The Dissent Newswire

March 9, 2021

“Five feet four inches forward.” The Persistant Courage of Fannie Lou Hamer

Hamer’s brilliance as a public speaker, bravery in the face of white supremacy, and understanding of how to organize communities made her an effective civil rights advocate. Hamer saw with clear eyes the imperative of addressing both legal and extralegal barriers to political participation.
March 7, 2021

Happy FBI Burglary Day: Celebrating the Citizens Commission to Investigate the FBI and the Demise of COINTELPRO

Sometimes, a citizen has to break an existing law in order to expose a prevailing injustice or the government’s own crimes. 
February 24, 2021

DRAD Joins Over 110 Organizations Demanding NYC Cancel Recent Hiring of 475 School Safety Officers

Dear Mayor de Blasio & Commissioner Shea: The revelation made during a City Council Education Committee hearing on February 18, 2021, that the NYPD is planning to hire 475 new school safety officers, at the expense of $20 million, is
February 18, 2021

Oscar De Priest: Black Congressional Pioneer

In becoming the first Black American elected to Congress since Reconstruction—and the son of former slaves, no less—Illinois Representative Oscar De Priest faced challenges and threats on multiple fronts. First, it was his erstwhile House colleagues, specifically long-time racists like John Rankin (D-MS) and Thomas Jefferson Busby (D-MS). 
February 17, 2021

Arkansas’s Anti-Boycott Law Violates the First Amendment

On February 12, 2021 the 8th Circuit of Appeals ruled that Arkansas’s anti-boycott law targeting supporters of Palestinian human rights violated the First Amendment. The challenge was brought by the Arkansas Times.  The newspaper that takes no position on Boycotts,
February 9, 2021

Defending Rights & Dissent Joins Press Freedom Groups in Calling on Biden Admin to Drop Assange Charges

Defending Rights & Dissent joined with a wide range of press freedom, civil liberties, and international human rights advocacy organizations to call on acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson to drop the indictment of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The Trump administration
February 4, 2021

Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories Posted Publicly on a US Department of Homeland Security Website

DHS has an unfortunate habit of asking the general public to help protect the homeland in ways that that predictably reinforce racist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and other profiling.
January 27, 2021

70+ Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Organizations Warn Against Repealing or Making Overbroad Changes to Section 230 in Wake of Capitol Attack

Gutting Section 230 would make it more difficult for web platforms to combat the type of dangerous rhetoric that led to the attack on the Capitol.
January 26, 2021

Fred Hampton: The Fight for Truth

Fifty-one years ago, the Chicago Police raided the office of the Illinois Black Panther Party killing Fred Hampton and Mark Clark. The police initially claimed they acted in self-defense, but this was quickly exposed as a lie. The Chicago Police
January 23, 2021

​Defending our Rights in a Time of Rightist Revolts and Mass Media Handwringing

Some journalists are still using overheated prose and alarmist rhetoric and are pushing elected public officials to undermine our First Amendment rights to Free Speech and Assembly.
January 22, 2021

Civil Liberties After the Insurrection

The January 6 attack on our democracy has led to renewed calls for a domestic terrorism law, expanded surveillance powers, laws to limit protest rights, and other civil liberties killing measures. Somehow, despite the demonstrated disutility of law enforcement on
January 20, 2021
US Capitol Dome. Blue night sky behind.

A Chorus of Voices Warns Against Creating a “Domestic Terrorism” Charge

a new federal domestic terrorism statute or list would adversely impact civil rights and — as our nation’s long and disturbing history of targeting Black Activists, Muslims, Arabs, and movements for social and racial justice has shown — this new authority could be used to expand racial profiling or be wielded to surveil and investigate communities of color and political opponents in the name of national security
January 9, 2021

Civil Society Groups Warn Against Anti-Protest Legislation Following Siege of US Capital

January 7, 2021

You Know What Would Have Happened If They Weren’t White

On the same day in February 2018 that would have been the 23rd birthday for Trayvon Martin, the unarmed teenager killed by George Zimmerman in 2014, Philadelphians woke to find their city vandalized.  Overnight, downtown store windows had been shattered,
January 7, 2021

Defending Rights & Dissent and Justice for Muslims Collective Condemn Coup Attempt and Police Political Bias, Warn Against Using Events of Jan. 6 to Impose Domestic Terrorism Statute Or Other Measures to Suppress Dissent.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Defending Rights & Dissent and Justice for Muslims Collective are non-partisan organizations. We are unwavering in our commitment for people in a democracy to exercise their sacred right to select for themselves their own leaders. Yesterday,  a
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