Defending Rights & Dissent

September 18, 2020
young Black people at Black Lives Matter protest with sign and facemasks

Over A Dozen Civil Society Groups Call on Congress to Investigate FBI & DHS “Black Identity Extremism” Spying

September 18, 2020

Increasing Funding for ICE & CBP is Pouring Gasoline on a Blazing Constitutional Fire

The shocking disclosures by Dawn Wooten, LPN, a nurse turned whistleblower, about dangerous and unethical medical practices, including mass hysterectomies, at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in Georgia have once again turned attention to the appalling way ICE
September 3, 2020

Rightwing Website Falsely Targets Black Portland Community Leader

September 2, 2020

DRAD talks with Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, and Thomas Drake about Whistleblowers, Press Freedom, and the Espionage Act

Recently, Donald Trump when asked about a pardon for whistleblower Edward Snowden claimed he was looking into it. While it’s unclear how serious his answer was or what his intentions were, this has sparked a renewed discussion about Snowden. Unfortunately,
August 7, 2020

Harsh Penalties For Students Who Question School Safety

Students returning to High School in Paulding County, GA this week crammed the halls. At least one student was concerned about the crowding and lack of masks, so she tweeted a photo (above). It went viral and resulted in her
July 22, 2020

Over 50 Civil Society Groups Join DRAD & NCAC in Condemning Unidentified Federal Officers in Portland

For Immediate Release July 22, 2020 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Defending Rights and Dissent (DRAD) and the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) were joined today by fifty civil society groups condemning the deployment of federal agents to Portland against the wishes
July 17, 2020

Rest in Power: DRAD Remembers Civil Rights Icon & former board member Rev. C.T. Vivian

The board and staff of Defending Rights & Dissent mourns the loss of our longtime board member, Rev. C.T. Vivian, a legend of the civil rights movement and who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013. He served
July 13, 2020
person wearing a FBI JTTF windbreaker at a press conference with other police

Barr’s New FBI Task Force Is Just Another Tool to Use Against Protesters

As the nation rises up against police brutality and racism, Attorney General William Barr has escalated his attacks on protesters. On June 26, 2020, he announced the formation of a task force on violent anti-government extremists. Although its stated purpose
July 13, 2020

Statement on Kenneth Marcus’s Resignation As Head of Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights

Kenneth Marcus has announced that he is resigning as assistant secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education.Given Marcus’s long history of working to silence student speech supportive of Palestinian rights, Defending Rights & Dissent opposed his nomination to the post. While Defending Rights & Dissent supports robust enforcement of our nation’s civil rights laws, we oppose the misuse of those laws to silence political speech about Palestinian rights or Israeli policy, as Marcus did.
July 10, 2020

Take Action: Congress Needs to End the Use of Facial Recognition Technology

“If the technology is flawed and the policing is flawed, then the whole thing is flawed.” Robert Williams wrongfully arrested in Michigan due to false facial recognition match As millions of Americans rise up – both on the streets and
July 7, 2020

DRAD Signs Open Letter Against Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act

On Tuesday, July 7, Defending Rights & Dissent, along with a host of national organizations and security experts (including DRAD board president Sascha Meinrath) from civil society, industry and academia, signed onto a national letter expressing our strong opposition to
June 17, 2020
collage of Black protesters and the FBI Black Identity Extremism report

DRAD and Over 100 Orgs Demand #ProtectBlackDissent

Today, Defending Rights & Dissent joined MediaJustice and 100+ civil rights organizations urging Congress to cease federal funding for surveillance technologies, known to be disproportionately deployed in Black communities and other communities of color. As Black activists around the country
June 11, 2020

Defending Rights & Dissent Joins Civil Liberties Group Urging Inspector General Investigation of Kenneth Marcys

Defending Rights & Dissent joined with eight other civil rights and civil liberties groups in urging the Department of Education Inspector General to review the actions of Kenneth Marcus. Marcus currently heads the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR), a position he previously held in the Bush administration. However, between his stints at the OCR, Marcus was a vociferous proponent of a number of schemes to deny supporters of Palestinian rights their First Amendment rights. This included encouraging the office he now heads to treat criticism of Israeli policies and support of Palestinian rights as violations of federal civil rights law. Complaints alleging just that were repeatedly rejected by the OCR. That is until Marcus came to head the office.
June 4, 2020
Donald Trump

Trump’s Antifa Boogeyman

People angry at the sorry state of the world and looking to build a better one go out and protest. Yet, across the country when people gathered to protest police violence, they themselves were met with police violence. Donald Trump has responded with a seemingly never ending stream of inflammatory tweets. On Monday, in a demagogic speech, he openly spoke of using the military on US soil against US citizens.  How does Mr. Trump justify his actions? He’s decided to claim that what the nation is is seeing is preplanned, carefully orchestrated, professionally managed protests and violence. The instigator? Antifa.
June 1, 2020

DHS ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ Program Based On Junk Science, Targets Vulnerable Communities

On Monday, a coalition of more than 70 civil rights and civil liberty groups and community organizations sent a letter to Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf asking him to end an anti-Muslim and deeply flawed $80 million
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