Defending Rights & Dissent was elated by the news that 159 of the J20 defendants had their charges dismissed. Nonetheless, the struggle continues. Fifty-nine people still face multiple felony charges.Defending Rights & Dissent demands that the remaining charges be dropped, that Jennifer Kerkhoff be fired, and that DC police be held accountable for the wanton brutality they engaged in during the inauguration.
Last night, the Oakland City Council voted to formally end all law enforcement cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and its parent agency Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
This introductory briefing will cover the basic mechanics of filing a FOIA request, how journalists, activists, or just everyday citizens can use FOIA, and the current landscape for FOIA policy under the Trump administration.
Following the rough policing of an immigration-related protest on Thursday and prior protests in NYC where protesters were subjected to abusive treatment and tactics, a number of civil rights, legal and other organizations called for the City Council to hold an oversight hearing into the policing of protests.
Yesterday, the House passed the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act (S. 139), giving the NSA authority to sweep up internet communications of foreigners and untold numbers of Americans without a warrant, and allowing the FBI to troll through the collected data without a warrant.
Earlier today, Defending Rights & Dissent and the National Lawyers Guild filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking information about the infiltration of protest group DisruptJ20 by DC police, as well as the extent of police cooperation with non-law enforcement third parties like Project Veritas.
On January 10, 2017 Defending Rights & Dissent sent a letter to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence expressing concern over their investigation of political activist and former Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein. While it is legitimate to be concerned about foreign interference in a US election, the tenor of discussions concerning this interference has increasingly moved into the direction of chilling dissent.
On Thursday, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017, a terrible bill proposed by the Intelligence Committee that will not only extend Section 702’s vast surveillance powers, but also explicitly give the FBI and other law enforcement permission to sift through the data collected without a warrant.
In a victory for journalists, whistleblowers, and activists, on January 4, 2018 the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down key provisions of Idaho’s ag-gag as unconstitutional. Defending Rights & Dissent has long asserted ag-gag laws are unconstitutional.
Together we will call for an end to these abuses and stand together to resist and dismantle institutionalized Islamophobia – a system of oppression that uniquely targets Muslims and which has made it possible for the prison to be in operation for more than a decade and a half, with numerous prisoners, all Muslims, being detained without trial.