Topic: Free Speech and Assembly
On April 23, 2017, Defending Rights & Dissent’s Policy & Legislative Counsel, Chip Gibbons, addressed 110 people at the Faith Forum on Middle East Policy.
In Spite of Local Law Limiting Investigations of First Amendment Assemblies, DC Police Infiltrated Organizing Group for Inauguration Protests
Before the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) had arrested a single protester at Trump’s inauguration, undercover agents had infiltrated one of the main groups organizing protests according to court documents.
A Customs and Border Patrol proposal to collect social media identifiers of Chinese visa holders is racist and undermines internet freedom and privacy. Take action to oppose the proposal.
Does the First Amendment protect your right to tweet anonymously or “pseudonymously” (as the case is when one uses a twitter handle, but not their real name)? Even when you criticize the President?
Undercover officers with the New York Police Department (NYPD) not only infiltrated Black Lives Matter protesters, they become so embedded within the group as to have access to text communications available only to a limited number of organizers. And, they continued their undercover operations despite a lack of any evidence of criminal wrongdoing
It is bad enough that there are corporations that wish to protect their profit margins by muzzling their critics, it is even worse though, that there are elected officials who are willing to violate their constituents constitutional rights in order to appease them.
Anti-protest bills, whether they target boycotts against Israel or the mythical (and non-existent) paid rioter, are designed to silence social movements by sowing confusion and spreading fear. These pernicious bills are popping up in statehouses across the nation. To defend dissent, it is incumbent for activists to push back against these bills.
As civil and human rights advocates face the challenges of the new administration, it is imperative to not be demoralized or frightened into ceding the streets in the face of legislative attempts to curb mass protest. We must instead continue to organize and to keep a close watch on these bills as they emerge in state and federal legislatures, and to push back at every level.
On Monday March 6, 2017 plaintiffs who had challenged the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) spying on their First Amendment protected activity announced they had reached a settlement with the NYPD. The settlement would impose new guidelines on the NYPD designed to prevent future abuses from happening.