The Dissent Newswire

September 30, 2010

Food Not Bombs and the new COINTELPRO

Food Not Bombs is an unlikely name for a violent terrorist organization. Nevertheless, since its inception, Food Not Bombs has been at the center of multiple government surveillance operations, with present and former members disproportionately represented in courtrooms and jail
August 24, 2010

A Climate of Acquiescence

What do Ferdinando Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, The Scottsboro Boys, and The Hollywood 10 have in common? All were famous miscarriages of justice, yes. But all of these abrogations of civil liberties also spawned massive public protests. By contrast
August 18, 2010

Hartford Common Council considers civil rights reforms

On Monday, August 16, the Hartford Common Council held a public hearing on a groundbreaking proposed ordinance. The bill, introduced by Councilor Luis Cotto, would raise civil rights above the federal floor by limiting law enforcement powers and imposing transparency
July 28, 2010

BORDC and 45 allied organizations call for more FBI oversight

Yesterday, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee submitted a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee on behalf of 46 organizations. The letter raises concerns about the 2008 FBI Guidelines promoted by then-Attorney General Mukasey. UPDATE: While news from today’s hearing
July 2, 2010

We the people do not sacrifice our liberty for temporary security

Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Steps from the Old State House, where Bostonians first heard the Declaration of Independence, essential liberty was traded
June 22, 2010

Lieberman’s Cyber-Demagoguery

Demagoguery in the name of national security is a grand tradition in the US Congress—so much so that the competition for top demagogue is fierce. Despite the crowded field, however, when it comes to grandstanding on terror, Senator Joe Liebermann
May 12, 2010

Demagoguery vs. Constitutionality

How many constitutional amendments and civil liberties legacies can one piece of misbegotten legislation gut? Well, if it’s the latest legislation from Senator Lieberman on terrorism, you can bet it will run roughshod. Let us count the ways. The First
April 22, 2010

US report exposes FBI’s post-9/11 investigations of Greenpeace, PETA

Originally published at DW In the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began spying on a number of liberal groups under ambiguous new terror laws, a US Department of Justice
February 15, 2010

The Bill of Rights applies to all

A major debate is taking place on national television, and even in Congress, regarding terrorism, detainee rights, torture, and constitutional protections. While not attempting to deride the whole criminal justice system, one would think that we should examine the differences
October 20, 2009

The truth shall set you free, unless the facts are being with held

Remember in May 2009 when the White House reversed its position on the now infamous torture photos?  President Obama, Eric Holder, and the Department of Justice made the claim that we must have an open and honest government, promising to
July 14, 2009

Preventive Detention, at What Cost?

A family vacation over Independence Day offered a poignant reminder of why, over 30 years ago, my parents sought refuge in the U.S. Fleeing the racial hostility they encountered in Britain after escaping the brutality of the Indian Subcontinent’s Partition,
March 10, 2009

National Orgs Call for Strong Anti-Police Spying Bill in Maryland After Scandal

Twenty national organizations sent a letter to members of the Maryland General Assembly and Governor O’Malley calling for a strong bill to prohibit police spying on political groups without a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity and to release all information
September 1, 2008
Police in riot gear in St. Paul

2008 Political Conventions Report

In August, conventioneers gathered for a good time in Denver, CO for the Democratic National Convention (DNC), and in St. Paul, MN for the Republican National Convention (RNC). But for protesters, the conventions were marred by the massive presence of police in riot
May 14, 2008

DOJ Wants Your DNA; Unclear Whether Projectile Saliva Donation Will Be Permitted

Have you ever been arrested while protesting at the White House or in Congress? The next time you’re arrested,* the Justice Department wants federal police to harvest your DNA, and add it to their massive DNA database.* This outrageous proposal