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Most states limit the amount of time they can hold you before bringing you before a judge for a bail hearing or arraignment to 48 or72 hours. During this time, they cannot legally prevent you from seeing your lawyer if your lawyer requests to see you. 

Of course, don't ever talk to the police about the arrest. Police do not "read you your rights" anymore, so it is up to you to remain silent. Not only might they use whatever you say against you in court, they may also use it against the other arrestees. 

Noncooperation can also mean "going limp," or refusing to walk with the police. The officers will often use pain holds and roughly throw you around when you choose this type of response. However, it can be very empowering to retain control over your own body. For some, walking with the police feels too much like you agree that you should be under arrest. Not walking and not giving your name are both empowering, but even cooperating fully can be empowering. You know you weren't doing anything illegal anyway, and it's unbelievable that you could be arrested for feeding people. 


If you do get arrested, there are several things to consider. Always try to have a support person for everyone risking arrest. Support people avoid arrest so they can do various tasks for those arrested. Such tasks include phone calls to family, friends, or employers to explain what happened; tracking those arrested through the legal system so they are not lost or mistreated; contacting the press; managing legal support; continuing to organize; and covering the tasks those arrested cannot do. It is best if the support person has some idea of how the arrestees plan to respond to the legal system, that is, noncooperation, jail solidarity, bail solidarity, and so on. This way, they can keep everyone informed of the arrest's progress and be therewith support when needed. It is also a good idea to leave the support person with your identification and some money, just in case you decide you want to get out. 

Call the Media 

It is also wise to keep a list of phone numbers handy in case of arrest. On this list should be sympathetic lawyers, support people, the jail, and the press. Getting coverage in the local media can be very instrumental in getting our message out and in attracting more support. If possible, remember the name of your contact at each media outlet and talk to the same person each time you call. Have your facts and statements ready, such as the number of people arrested, the charges, who you are, and why Food Not Bombs was doing whatever it was you were arrested for doing. Remember, however, that you are not trying to convince this person about what you were doing. Talk through the press, not to them. Just tell them what it is you want to say and end the conversation. Be polite but firm. Do not let them talk you into saying something trivial or irrelevant, because they will often use this unimportant information and ignore all the good things you did say. 


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