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The Lawfare Project to Represent Victims of Ann Arbor Synagogue Protests

The Lawfare Project has been retained as co-counsel with Marc Susselman, a Michigan attorney, in a lawsuit filed against a group of protesters and the City of Ann Arbor. The plaintiffs are Beth Israel Congregation member Marvin Gerber and Ann Arbor resident Dr. Miriam Brysk, a Holocaust survivor.   Every Saturday for the last 16 years, a group of anti-Jewish protesters have stood outside of the synagogue of Beth Israel Congregation, harassing congregants and placing in front of the synagogue hateful signs that say things like "Jewish Power Corrupts," "Zionism is Racism," and "RESIST Jewish Power."  These protests amount to targeted anti-Semitic harassment and do not fall within the bounds of protected free speech. However, for more than a decade and a half, Ann Arbor has refused to place even modest restrictions on the protesters, despite the city's considerable authority under existing ordinances. Brooke Goldstein, Executive Director of The Lawfare Project, said the following: "The City of Ann Arbor has completely abdicated its responsibility to protect the Jewish community from targeted, racist harassment at the hands of these protesters. There are few greater civil rights violations than impeding the free exercise of worship and assembly, and we are here to demand the city hold the protestors accountable under existing federal, state, and local laws." Marc Susselman, co-counsel in the lawsuit, added:  "Not only are the protestors harassing innocent people on their way to synagogue, they are actually in violation of the city's ordinances. However, the city has long refused to place even modest restrictions on them. The City of Ann Arbor could have at the very least enforced its own city code to substantially limit the protests, but instead city leaders have done nothing and allowed the harassment to continue for over a decade and a half." Ziporah Reich, Director of Litigation at The Lawfare Project and co-counsel in the lawsuit, said:  "The lawsuit seeks to prevent the protesters, aided and abetted by the city, from violating the worshippers' First Amendment right to engage in the exercise of religion free from harassment."


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