Activism Is Not Terrorism

June 11, 2020

Refusing to be Silenced: Protesting Anti-Protest Laws in the Midst of Global Protests

On Wednesday, a coalition of environmental and civil liberties groups – led by local activists from St. James Parish, Louisiana – held a press conference urging Governor John Bel Edwards to veto anti-protest legislation that recently passed overwhelmingly in the
May 29, 2020

Defending Rights & Dissent Stands With Those Fighting for Justice for George Floyd, Condemns Trump’s Outrageous Calls For Shooting Americans

It is unconscionable for the president of the United States to use his platform to call for the military to shoot people here at home. Police or the national guard do not have authority to use lethal force unless their
October 7, 2019
close up of the FBI HQ shows cracks in cement and Brutalist features

FBI’s powers need to be reined in, not expanded

Calls to expand the FBI’s powers to investigate “domestic terrorism” are unnecessary and would further enable law enforcement to suppress dissent.
October 4, 2019
child looks through border wall

Leaked FBI Memo Conjures Threat of Armed Conflict From Anarchist Groups Fighting for Immigrant Rights

The FBI is monitoring groups protesting U.S. border and immigration policies and considers them violent threats despite providing little evidence to support that claim.
September 12, 2018
protesters march down the street with anti pipeline signs

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.
February 27, 2018

IOWA: An expansive bill takes aim at protesters, with huge penalties and frightening rhetoric.

Iowa State Senator Jack Shipely (R-Nodaway) claims that activists have engaged in “terrorist activity” while protesting against the Dakota Access Pipeline, and he claims that there aren’t enough laws on the books to prosecute this supposed terrorism.
February 21, 2018
teepees at Standing rock at night back lit by headlights

Toxic Brew: State Politicians, Gas & Oil Lobbyists, and ALEC Join Forces Against Environmental Protesters

UPDATED 1/17/2019 Politicians in some states are none too pleased with the environmental movement, particularly with protests against pipelines and fracking. Aided and abetted by extractive industry lobbyists and the powerful and secretive American Legislative Exchange Council, they have been
December 12, 2017

50K People Tell DOJ to Drop J20 Charges

Defending Rights & Dissent was joined by allies Free Press, Demand Progress, DropJ20, and the ACLU of DC in delivering over 50,000 signature to the US Attorney’s Office calling on the Department of Justice to end its prosecution of protesters arrested on Inauguration Day in Washington, DC.
November 10, 2017

Take Action: Political Expression Is Not A Conspiracy

The DOJ is turning political expression into conspiracy and free assembly into a crime. They are using a shocking legal theory: if you attend a march where other individuals engage in vandalism you are collectively liable for their acts and should face decades in prison. Ditto if you’re a journalist who is merely covering the event
October 7, 2017

The FBI Is Raiding Animal Shelters

Two piglets, near death before being rescued by two animal rights activists and nursed back to health. This may not seem like something within the FBI’s jurisdiction, yet the FBI is carrying out an interstate pursuit to find these two rescued piglets.
October 6, 2017

Take Action: Is The FBI Concocting A Terrorist Threat Out of Racial Justice Groups?

If you are black and angry about police violence, you are a potential terror threat. Or so says a newly released FBI Intelligence Assessment that concocts a non-existent movement they dub “Black Identity Extremists.”
September 18, 2017
sticker at construction site in DC says "resist Trump" with Disrupt J20 website

Defending Rights & Dissent Statement on Judge’s Refusal to Dismiss #J20 Felony Charges

Defending Rights & Dissent expresses its deep sense of dismay that a DC Superior Court Judge has refused to dismiss charges against participants in a counter-inauguration protest. The currently nearly 200 defendants face multiple felony charges carrying up to decades in prison for participating in a First Amendment protected assembly.
September 6, 2017

Defending Rights & Dissent, Center for Constitutional Rights Release First Comprehensive Report on Ag-Gag Laws

This landmark report discusses ag-gag laws in historical and political context, catalogues an earlier wave of ag-gag legislation, examines each recent law in detail, explores constitutional concerns and current lawsuits, and documents several successful campaigns to defeat ag-gag legislation.
August 31, 2017

No, Donald Trump Can’t Declare Antifa a Terrorist Group

A WhiteHouse.Gov petition asking for Antifa to be declared a terrorist organization has exceeded the number of signatures that in theory mandates the White House to respond. It is riddled with misunderstandings of the First Amendment and US anti-terrorism law.
August 29, 2017

“Blue Racism:” Police Accountability Opponents Latest Shameful Attempt At Stifling Dissent

The bizarre assertion of blue racism is a new low, but it plays on a similar theme we’ve seen time and time again.