File - A clergy member assists a protester as he is taken to the ground on Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014, at Kiener Plaza in St. Louis. (AP/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Laurie Skrivan)
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pair was one of several teams working in shifts to help some of the more than 100 people who were arrested during last week's sometimes violent protests in Ferguson, Missouri.They are tapping into a sophisticated network of legal experts established over the past decade in the wake of high-profile mass demonstrations, including protests at the Republican National Convention in 2004 and the Occupy Wall Street protests in 2011 .The network includes seasoned lawyers who routinely handle cases stemming from protests and civil disobedience, and who say they have learned from each protest.The job of the legal team working in Ferguson goes far beyond the duties of protest observers. Once people have been arrested and charged, lawyers from the same central network offer their services to each individual with a court case."There's a huge apparatus of invisible people working on this," explained Purvi Shah, the director of the Bertha Justice Institute at the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York.She is one of around a dozen lawyers who have made regular trips to Ferguson from around the country since August.
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