Free Press Free Speech

February 15, 2018
Sunset sky over the US Capitol building dome in Washington DC.

In Growing Crackdown on Foreign Media, Lawmakers Call for Al-Jazeera to Register As Foreign Agent Due to Its Investigative Reporting on Pro-Israel Lobbyists

A group of lawmakers are angry that an Al-Jazeera reporter partook in an undercover investigation of Israel lobbyists. As a result, they are calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to force the network to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Such a move would clearly be a retaliatory act against investigative journalism.  
February 10, 2018
Library of Congress Main Reading room

Defending Rights & Dissent Leads Civil Liberties Groups In Raising Free Speech Concerns with Russia Report

One cannot safeguard democracy against foreign interference while delegitimizing dissent at home
February 8, 2018

Trump’s Civil Rights Nominee Has A Record Of Squashing Dissent–Help Us Stop Him

Marcus has shown little interest in defending the civil rights of vulnerable people, but he has shown a strong desire to distort civil rights law to silence political speech he disagrees with. This is unacceptable. Demand your Senators oppose Marcus.
January 29, 2018

Defending Rights & Dissent Expresses Concern About Florida’s Retaliation Against Prison Strikers

Earlier today, Defending Rights & Dissent sent a letter to the Florida Department of Corrections expressing our concern with allegations they had retaliated against prisoners who engaged in political organizing.
January 19, 2018

Charges Dropped for 129 Inauguration Protesters

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.
January 11, 2018

With New FOIA Request, Defending Rights & Dissent and National Lawyers Guild Demand Answers About Infiltration of Inauguration Protests

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.
January 10, 2018

Defending Rights & Dissent Expresses Concern Over Senate Committee’s Inquiry into Jill Stein

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.
January 8, 2018

Victory for Journalists, Whistleblowers, and Activists As Key Provisions of Ag-Gag Law Found to Be Unconstitutional

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.
December 15, 2017

Prosecutor Tells Jurors In Trump Inauguration Protest He’s Sick of the Chant “Whose Streets? Our Streets!” And That He Assumes They Are Too

The first of the closing arguments in the trial of Trump Inauguration protesters took place on December 14, 2017. Closing for the government, Assistant U.S. Attorney Rizwan Qureshi put the government’s bizarre legal theories and claims on full display
December 12, 2017

Over 150 Groups Ask Congress to Save the Internet

More than 150 organizations including DRAD, and encompassing a broad swath of civil society representing a diverse group of consumer, media, technology, library, arts, civil liberties, and civil rights advocates, artists, and musicians sent a letter today to Congressional leaders asking them to step in to protect Net Neutrality.
December 8, 2017
Woman holding sign "Democracy requires equal access to information for all"

Nation’s Leading Press Freedom and Civil Liberties Groups Call on FCC to Abandon Its Attack on Net Neutrality

DRAD joined more than 30 press freedom, civil liberties and open government groups today to urge Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to cancel the scheduled Dec. 14 vote to undermine the open-internet protections put in place in 2015.
December 5, 2017
US Capitol

Defending Rights & Dissent Opposes Kenneth Marcus’ Nomination to Department of Education Civil Rights Post

Marcus’ interest in civil rights seems limited to advancing unusual legal theories to silence opinions on Palestine-Israel he disagrees with. As the DOE’s Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Marcus would endanger the First Amendment and civil rights, his nomination should be rejected.
November 22, 2017

In Opening Argument Prosecution Concedes No Evidence Tying First J20 Defendants To Property Destruction

On Monday November 20, 2017, prosecution and defense gave opening arguments in the trial of the first of the six people--one journalists, two medics, and three protesters-- swept up in the mass arrest of Inauguration Day Protesters. What was startling was how many of the key facts were not in dispute. Neither prosecutors nor defense attorneys purport that any of the six people on trial personally engaged in any destruction.
November 17, 2017

Defending Rights & Dissent Statement On Forcing RT America To Register As Foreign Agent

Regardless of what one thinks of RT America, and people have every right to criticize their coverage, the DOJ's decision to force them to register under FARA threatens press freedom.
November 15, 2017

Defending Rights & Dissent Asks UN Special Rapporteurs to Take Action On J20 Prosecutions

On November 13, 2017 Defending Rights & Dissent sent a letter to the UN Special Rapporteurs on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association and Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. In our letter, we alerted both special rapporteurs to the ways in which the trials and arrest of the inauguration protesters violate international human rights norms.