The Dissent Newswire

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
May 29, 2020

Karen Knew What Was Going to Happen to George Floyd. We All Knew.

As we watch the streets of Minneapolis, Minnesota erupt in response to the heinous killing of George Floyd, I find that it’s hard for me to separate the direct historical connection of last week’s dominant news story – the so-called
May 27, 2020

DRAD Withdraws Support for Lofgren-Davidson Amendment

Once again we’ve been double crossed by Nancy Pelosi, shanked by Adam Schiff.  As these “heroes” of the resistance and leaders of the Democratic Party decry the authoritarian tendencies of President Trump, they fall over themselves to undermine our Constitutional
May 20, 2020

Big Brother Rolls On

Life as we used to know it has been upended. But before anyone else declares that “nothing will ever be the same” let us not forget that Big Brother never sleeps.  From California to Maine, the mass surveillance of lawful
May 20, 2020

Don’t Let the FBI Snoop Around Our Internet Search History Without a Warrant!

None of us wants the FBI looking over our shoulder while we surf the web. Most members of Congress understand that, but so far they’ve been unable to amend the PATRIOT Act to prohibit the FBI from using Section 215
May 18, 2020

It’s All in Pelosi’s Hands Now

Last week, the Senate passed the USA Freedom Reauthorization Act (H.R. 6172) to reinstate three PATRIOT Act surveillance authorities, including the notorious Section 215. To its credit, the Senate adopted a beneficial amendment to strengthen oversight of the FBI and
May 15, 2020

Senate Votes to Extend PATRIOT Act Surveillance

Eighty Senators voted yesterday to extend three PATRIOT Act surveillance provisions with minimal safeguards to protect US persons from the prying eyes of the NSA and FBI. That final vote doesn’t tell the whole story, which stars the intense campaign
May 12, 2020
NYPD officers at a #BlackLivesMatter protest in NYC

It’s Time to Rein in NYPD’s Vast Surveillance Regime

A national coalition of 41 civil rights and community-based organizations, including DRAD, sent a letter yesterday calling on New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson to call for a vote on the Public Oversight of Surveillance Technology (POST) Act.  In
May 12, 2020

Showdown Between Privacy and Surveillance Set for Tomorrow

No matter which side of the aisle you lean toward, the evidence is clear: the FBI’s use of Section 215 surveillance authorities is highly politicized and dismissive of the basic constitutional rights of US persons. In fact, the FBI has
May 7, 2020

Contact Tracing Needs Strong Safeguards

Until safeguards are put in place to prevent mission creep and other abuses of data collected through electronic contact tracing, the privacy and security of Americans could be undermined long after the emergency has ended
May 7, 2020

“We’re Dying In Here” – A Recap of Our Incarceration & Coronavirus Town Hall

  On May 5, Defending Rights & Dissent hosted an important virtual town hall meeting on incarceration during the coronavirus entitled “We’re Dying In Here: Incarceration & Coronavirus,” moderated by DRAD communications director Quentin Anthony Anderson and featured panelists such
May 4, 2020

Protect Workers Who Blow The Whistle

Defending Rights & Dissent joined with  the Athena Coalition, Fight for the Future,  Free Press, Media Justice and dozens of other justice groups on this statement in support of warehouse and other lower-income workers blowing the whistle on unsafe working
May 1, 2020

May Day Reminds Us of Labor’s Contribution to Civil Liberties & the Continued Importance of Workers’ Free Speech Rights

The First of May is commemorated around the world as International Workers Day or May Day. Its origins lay in the Haymarket Massacre, an infamous act of state repression designed to bludgeon the burgeoning US workers’ movement. Instead of defeating the workers’ movement and its demand for a more just world, it sparked international solidarity. Today, throughout the United States and the world, workers, including at Amazon, Target, and Whole Foods, are continuing to fight for their basic rights as workers. Their collective action aimed at building a more just world represents the power and importance of free speech and the right to protest.
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
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