Dissent NewsWire

April 22, 2020

Defending Rights & Dissent Urges Support For Federal Immigrant Release for Safety and Security Together Act

Last week, during the Defending Rights & Dissent/The Nation’s town hall on Civil Liberties and COVID-19, our board member and Project Souths’ Legal & Advocacy Director Azadeh Shahshahani gave a harrowing account of conditions inside ICE detention in Georgia. She also talked about the inspiring organizing activists were doing to end them. When I asked her during the town hall what can those watching at home could do, she urged everyone to contact Congress about the FIRST Act.
April 21, 2020

The Right to Protest is Precious, Even During a Pandemic

Dissent and protest are protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees freedoms of speech, assembly, and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. These rights are fundamental to our democracy. They cannot be
April 13, 2020

10 Years After ‘Collateral Murder’ We’re Still Shooting The Messengers

On April 5, 2010 Wikileaks published a classified U.S. military video documenting the killing of 12 people in Baghdad that included a Reuters photojournalist and his driver.  Collateral Murder, as the video is known, contradicted the military’s official version of
April 10, 2020

The Trump Administration’s Allergic Reaction to Oversight & Accountability

In a stunning 48-hour period this week, the President Donald Trump essentially admitted that he fired Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson for properly exercising the duties of his job and his administration relieved Capt. Brett Crozier, a decorated Navy
April 7, 2020

“Not in my backyard”: How Louisiana’s prison system is kicking the coronavirus can down the road

“Not in my backyard!”  That’s how those of us on the frontlines of prison reform advocacy here in Louisiana are interpreting a recent plan released by the state on how the Department of Corrections is confronting the crisis surrounding COVID-19
April 7, 2020

Watchdog’s Troubling Findings About FBI FISA Application In Line with Longer History of FBI Abuse

Yet again, the FBI has failed to uphold basic safeguards to protect US persons from illicit surveillance. The Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General issued a memorandum stating it did not have confidence the FBI was following its
April 1, 2020

A Balancing Act: Your Health vs. Your Rights

To encourage social distancing and limit the spread of the coronavirus, nearly one in five Americans have been asked by state and local officials to stay at home during the crisis.  Officials and medical experts say this extraordinary measure, an
March 26, 2020

A Guide for Activists on Stay-in-Place Orders

Defending Rights & Dissent has been working with community organizations to make sure necessary public health precautions don’t inadvertently lead to increased over-policing. We’ve prepared this guide that can help.
March 25, 2020

Media Advisory: Local Groups Call On Dc Law Enforcement To Halt Nonviolent Arrests, Limit Police Interactions During “Stay-at-home” Mandate

On Wednesday, March 25 at 3:30 PM (ET), Defending Rights & Dissent participated in a press briefing with other DC community leaders via conference call. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MARCH 25, 2020 WASHINGTON, D.C. – As businesses and individuals in the
March 18, 2020

Responding to The Coronavirus Requires Transparency, Not Xenophobia

The world confronts a frightening and dangerous pandemic, and urgent action is needed to protect public health. But xenophobia, secrecy, and lies are not the cure.
March 18, 2020

Voting Rights Groups Call on Election Officials to Act Now To Protect Voting Rights

"If states and localities act swiftly, we can create an elections system that operates safely, efficiently, and accessible to all. Under no circumstances should the November general election be canceled or postponed."
March 17, 2020
US Capitol

Score One for the Privacy Hawks!

Last night, privacy hawks won a decisive, if temporary, victory against the surveillance hawks who control the House and Senate (specifically, Speaker Pelosi (D-CA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and Adam Schiff (D-CA) in the House, and Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) and
March 16, 2020

DRAD Urges US Senate to Vote Against Cloture on the USA Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2020

On Monday, March 16, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will attempt to invoke cloture on the USA Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2020 – that means shutting down debate on the bill and moving forward for a full vote. Defending
March 13, 2020

Defending Rights & Dissent Official Statement on the Release of Chelsea Manning

“It was well past time for Manning to go free,” said Defending Rights & Dissent Policy Director Chip Gibbons. “However, Manning should never have been imprisoned to begin with. She testified extensively under oath during her court martial. This highlights the fact that the US government was likely abusing the grand jury to continue to retaliate against her exposing their crimes. That the grand jury itself is connected to an unprecedented attempt to use the Espionage Act against a publisher of truthful information shows that the US government is engaged in an all out war on truthtelling.”
March 11, 2020
person wearing a FBI JTTF windbreaker at a press conference with other police

What the Inspector General Report on FBI Assessments of Homegrown Violent Extremists Misses

The FBI’s use of assessments and its homegrown violent extremism designation are both highly controversial. Yet, the OIG ignores this completely, taking their existence for granted.