Under the United States Constitution, the power to declare war belongs exclusively to Congress. Yet, for 3 years the United States has provided support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, including refueling Saudi war planes mid air and providing targeting intelligence. Actions by the Saudi-led coalition, such as the bombing of school bus that led to the deaths of 40 children, have led to allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) has introduced a War Powers Resolution that would end this unauthorized, unconstitutional US military action. As war powers resolutions are privileged, they can be brought to floor without going to committee. Khanna introduced a similar resolution last year, but it never went to the floor. The House did vote 366 – 30 for a non-binding stating they had never authorized US military action in Yemen. Earlier this year, a bipartisan War Powers Resolution pertaining to Yemen made its way to the floor of Senate. While it was defeated, it garnered more votes than any other War Powers Resolution.
There is serious movement afoot to restore Constitutional war powers. If Congress believes the US should wage war in Yemen, then they must authorize it. Any unauthorized military action is unconstitutional and illegal under the War Powers Act.
Policy & Legislative Counsel
Did you miss our webinar last week? It was a deep dive into Critical Infrastructure Bills that are being introduced in states around the country, and are specifically aimed at anti-pipeline protesters. You can watch the full webinar here.
Today, the North Carolina Commission to Investigate Torture (NCCIT) published a report, Torture Flights, that investigates North Carolina’s role in the CIA’s illegal Rendition and Torture program, and traces 49 cases of torture in which the state was directly involved.
#FamiliesBelongTogether Stages National Day of Action Calling for JPMorgan Chase & Wells Fargo to Stop Financing For-Profit Prisons Profiting from Immigrant Family Detention
Protesters rally outside JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo headquarters in New York and San Francisco and deliver hundreds of thousands of petitions and letters to local bank branches in all 50 states.
Human and digital rights groups are planning on demonstrating at next week’s Dreamforce conference as Salesforce refuses to drop contract with US Border Patrol
DRAD has teamed up with PEN America, the Corcoran School of Art and Design and artists Nora Ligarono and Marshall Reese to host a weekend of For Freedoms programming as part of a 50 State Initiative in which concurrent decentralized public events across the country will reflect a multiplicity of voices and spark a national dialogue about art, education, commerce, and politics.
The National Park Service wants to start charging fees to hold protests on the National Mall as part of a new set of regulations the agency is proposing. They are also eyeing new restrictions on several public sidewalks in DC overseen by the Park Service, including in front of the White House and in front of the Trump hotel.
A historic level of activism and protest has come to define this era. A recent survey found one in five Americans either protested in the streets or attended a political rally since early 2016, with 19 percent having never done so before. It is proving to be the ultimate disrupter in an age of disruption.
Why Are 31 US Civil Society & Tech Orgs So Concerned About an Australian Anti-Encryption Draft Bill?
The drafters of this bill sprinkled-in some pro-encryption language, but that doesn’t mask the fact that, if enacted, it would seriously threaten everyone’s digital security by allowing the Australian government to demand that companies redesign their secure products to facilitate surveillance.
DRAD has joined with several advocacy groups calling on Will.i.am, Andre Iguodala, Al Gore, and Adrian Grenier to pull out of Salesforce’s upcoming conference, Dreamforce.
We at Defending Rights & Dissent believe in the tradition of popular constitutionalism, which looks to movements for defending, expanding, and enriching our democracy, for leadership in making our Constitution real. The promise of our Constitution is still powerful, but only if we seek to fulfil it
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Trump’s Department of Education Is Trying to Turn Support for Palestine Into A Civil Rights Violation
Kenneth Marcus, Trump’s choice to head the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Right (OCR), is moving forward with perverting civil rights law to silence student activism he opposes: advocacy for Palestine and Palestinian human rights.
State Bureau of Investigation unit prepared “threat assessment” of Atlantic Coast Pipeline protestors
The state’s surveillance and counter-terrorism unit, the Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAAC), warned law enforcement officials that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline could attract “violent extremists” who are opposed to the natural gas project in North Carolina, a document obtained by Policy Watch shows.
The fact that they were introduced is troublesome and dangerous. It is through protest, an essential part of American life,that we are given the abilityto speak out and challenge events and injustices. That power should be protected, not infringed upon, so that it can continue to shape and influence our American polity.
The bill, known as the Empowering Financial Institutions to Fight Human Trafficking Act of 2018 (HR6729) has two very big problems.
Do you think it’s embarrassing that our country “allows” protests? As an organization that has defended the right to protest for nearly six decades we don’t think so. And I know you don’t think so either. But Donald Trump does.