ADL to use civil litigation to fight anti-Semitism in Ohio – Cleveland Jewish News

Posted By on July 29, 2020

The Anti-Defamation Leagues Cleveland office launched an initiative July 27 the Ohio Legal Assistance Project to support victims of anti-Semitism and extremism who are interested in using civil litigation as a tool to combat hate in Ohio.

At a time of rising anti-Semitism and extremism across the country, including here in Ohio, we want to make sure that we at ADL are doing all that we can to support victims who may be interested in taking legal action, said James Pasch, regional director of ADL Cleveland in a news release. Civil litigation can be an incredibly powerful tool not only to hold perpetrators accountable for their conduct, but also to send a clear message that hate and extremism are not welcome in Ohio. We have accordingly put together a small panel of attorneys who stand ready and willing to provide legal services, at no cost, to victims in appropriate cases.

ADLs Ohio Legal Assistance Project will operate out of ADLs Cleveland office. Ohio residents who are interested in learning more about the program can visit the offices website at bit.ly/2EpXQrz to learn about the types of cases ADL may accept and to complete an intake form requesting a referral to a pro bono attorney.

ADL is best equipped to help victims of anti-Semitic vandalism, extremist-motivated violence, severe and pervasive harassment or stalking on or offline; swatting, i.e., the reporting of a false emergency at the home of a victim in order to prompt a law enforcement response; civil rights violations; defamation; and/or privacy violations, according to the release. Victims can include individuals, family members, businesses or organizations that have experienced harm.

From ADLs perspective, this project could not come at a better time, Pasch said. Over the past five years, ADL has documented a 150% increase in anti-Semitic incidents of assault, vandalism and harassment here in Ohio. Hate online has also skyrocketed, with 53% of American adults now reporting experiencing some form of online harassment.

Pasch said this year there have been bomb threats targeting Jewish community centers, extensive anti-Semitic graffiti on college campuses and anti-Semitism arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, including the sign displayed during a stay-at-home protest in Columbus that depicted a rodent with the Star of David on its side and the words The Real Plague.

Extremists are also taking advantage of COVID-19 to spread their hateful ideologies here in Ohio, Pasch said.Enough is enough. We must be using all tools at our disposal, including the tool of civil litigation, to send a clear message that our state is no place for hate.

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ADL to use civil litigation to fight anti-Semitism in Ohio - Cleveland Jewish News

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