The Dissent Newswire

June 26, 2020

DRAD Joins 40+ Groups to Declare Intimidation Tactics in Louisiana Won’t Silence Environmental Protesters

40+ advocacy groups express outrage over arrests of Louisiana Bucket Brigade leaders, vow to stop Formosa’s plans to poison the Black community in St. James BATON ROUGE, LA: Two leaders of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade were charged under Louisiana’s felony
June 17, 2020
collage of Black protesters and the FBI Black Identity Extremism report

DRAD and Over 100 Orgs Demand #ProtectBlackDissent

Today, Defending Rights & Dissent joined MediaJustice and 100+ civil rights organizations urging Congress to cease federal funding for surveillance technologies, known to be disproportionately deployed in Black communities and other communities of color. As Black activists around the country
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
June 11, 2020

Defending Rights & Dissent Joins Civil Liberties Group Urging Inspector General Investigation of Kenneth Marcys

Defending Rights & Dissent joined with eight other civil rights and civil liberties groups in urging the Department of Education Inspector General to review the actions of Kenneth Marcus. Marcus currently heads the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR), a position he previously held in the Bush administration. However, between his stints at the OCR, Marcus was a vociferous proponent of a number of schemes to deny supporters of Palestinian rights their First Amendment rights. This included encouraging the office he now heads to treat criticism of Israeli policies and support of Palestinian rights as violations of federal civil rights law. Complaints alleging just that were repeatedly rejected by the OCR. That is until Marcus came to head the office.
June 10, 2020

Race, Violence, and Political Illegitimacy

Perhaps it’s appropriate that with July 4th, the anniversary of America’s violent break from Britain, less than a month away, the issue of state-sponsored violence and reactions by citizens to it is, once again, front and center in our national
June 5, 2020

No One Expects the Third Amendment

It wasn’t long ago the president called for “liberating” states that had been on lockdown in response to the contagious coronavirus, encouraging people to exercise their First Amendment rights and push back against what he considered government overreach.  But now
June 4, 2020
Donald Trump

Trump’s Antifa Boogeyman

People angry at the sorry state of the world and looking to build a better one go out and protest. Yet, across the country when people gathered to protest police violence, they themselves were met with police violence. Donald Trump has responded with a seemingly never ending stream of inflammatory tweets. On Monday, in a demagogic speech, he openly spoke of using the military on US soil against US citizens.  How does Mr. Trump justify his actions? He’s decided to claim that what the nation is is seeing is preplanned, carefully orchestrated, professionally managed protests and violence. The instigator? Antifa.
June 1, 2020

DHS ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ Program Based On Junk Science, Targets Vulnerable Communities

On Monday, a coalition of more than 70 civil rights and civil liberty groups and community organizations sent a letter to Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf asking him to end an anti-Muslim and deeply flawed $80 million
June 1, 2020

The Ongoing Saga of the Patriot Act Surveillance Provisions

On Wednesday night our left-right coalition of grassroots activists and members of Congress managed to thwart House leadership’s attempt to ram an unacceptable reauthorization of the Patriot Act down our throats. Thousands of people across the country let their legislators
June 1, 2020
special tactics team ready for action in the streets

Killology, BulletProof, and Warrior Policing

President Trump’s reckless encouragement of police officers to rough up people in their custody overshadowed comments made by Bob Krull, head of the Minneapolis police union, at a 2017 political rally in Minnesota.  Fervent from speaking at the same podium
June 1, 2020
People protesting

Defending Rights & Dissent Condemns Nationwide Violence Against Anti-Police Brutality Protests

Over the last several days, we have seen shocking images of police violence against protesters. We have heard politicians at all levels of government, and from both sides of the aisle, speak of “outside agitators,” an age old lie told to delegitimize social movements, downplay rightful anger, and greenlight repression. These are dark and trying times. But it is precisely because of dark and trying times that we at Defending Rights & Dissent fight for the right to protest and engage in collective action aimed at building a more just world. 
June 1, 2020
Young Black women with fists upraised at a protest

Eight Immediate Steps Congress Must Take to Begin to Address Police Violence and Racism

Defending Rights & Dissent today joined with almost 400 civil rights, civil liberties, and human rights groups to call on Congress to begin to address police violence and systemic racism in policing by passing eight reforms immediately. The letter recommended
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

Did we really kill the PATRIOT Act last night?

Thanks to you and thousands of others who sent emails, signed petitions and made phone calls over the past year, we forced a stalemate in the House of Representatives last night over the USA Freedom Act, which would have extended
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