The lawsuit resulting from the mass detentions and arrests at the anti-war protest on March 20, 2003 has recently been granted class status by Judge Virginia Kendall. The significance of this ruling is that a single lawsuit will proceed on behalf of everyone who was detained or arrested that evening on Chicago Avenue, between Michigan Avenue and Mies Van Der Rohe Way. Judge Kendall’s decision supports the plaintiffs’ assessment that the class includes over 800 people and can be divided into three sub-classes. The three sub-classes include those who were detained on the street for 1 ½ to 3 hours, those who were taken into custody and released without charges, and those who were taken into custody and subsequently charged.

An official notice will be sent out to as many class members as possible in the near future. The National Lawyers Guild attorneys working on the case, Jim Fennerty, Janine Hoft, Joey Mogul and Melinda Power are attempting to compile a comprehensive list of the names and contact information of all people who fit into these three sub-classes. The police recorded the names of all those they took into custody but the attorneys are also trying to identify as many people as possible who were only detained on the street. So far, they have identified 278 people who were taken into custody and charged, 218 people who were released without charges and 119 who were prevented from leaving the area for a period of time. It is important to identify as many people as possible in order to hold the police fully accountable for their unlawful actions. Any class member who previously contacted us, but has since changed their contact information, should provide us with their updated information. Also, it is not too late for people who were detained or arrested that night to contact the legal team, if they have not previously done so.

If you have any questions about the case, or would like to inform us of your status in one of the three sub-classes, please contact Brad Thomson, a paralegal working on the case. He can be reached at (773)235-0070 ext. 123 or at You can also update your contact information by e-mailing Cheryl Angellaccio at

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