Supporters tell us that Defending Rights & Dissent helps them speak truth to power. They feel empowered to join with others — in the streets, at community meetings, to send an email, or call elected officials. That is what democracy looks like.
In 2018 DRAD and our grassroots supporters and activists worked hard to to defend the right to protest, challenge FBI abuses, oppose the Countering Violent Extremism program. We also defended whistleblowers, fought surveillance and censorship, championed internet freedom, and continued to rally against Guantanamo and torture.
The Trump Administration has demonstrated an unrestrained contempt for journalists, whistleblowers, and truth tellers. Charging an individual with publishing information–even classified information–would be an unprecedented act of aggression against press freedom. Defending Rights & Dissent has long opposed the use of the Espionage Act against whistleblowers or journalists and called for it to be amended or repealed.
According to ICE’s data, there was a 41% increase in the number of undocumented immigrants arrested by the agency in 2017 compared to the previous year.
Much like Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey or oatmeal raisin cookies, the constitution’s 14th Amendment is remarkably underrated.
Attempts to insulate the agricultural industry from public scrutiny by using “ag-gag” laws suffered another major blow. On October 29, 2018, a federal judge ruled found that Wyoming’s ag-gag laws were unconstitutional. Ag-gag laws in other states have suffered similar fates.
Ms. Jones recently settled a lawsuit that she filed in 2017 against the City of Cleveland forcing the City’s Administration to cease the suppression of her and her co-workers first amendment rights to free speech relative to working conditions on the job, misogyny, and disparate treatment.
The Fourteenth Amendment is one of the cornerstones of modern protections for civil liberties. It was passed during Reconstruction in order to rectify the horrifying decision of the Supreme Court that held African-Americans could never be citizens of the United States. It was meant both to grant citizenship rights to the newly emancipated slaves and to stop the former slave states of the Confederacy from violating their civil liberties.
Defending Rights & Dissent has teamed up with the Justice for Muslims Collective to host an informative discussion for residents of DC, Maryland, and Virginia about the ways the Countering Violent Extremism program is impacting communities in the area.
Defending Rights & Dissent Policy & Legislative Counsel Chip Gibbons wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post on why the left cannot embrace the FBI.