Chip Gibbons

September 13, 2021

He Spoke Out Against Torture. They Put Him In Prison. Hear John Kiriakou in His Own Words.

John Kiriakou is the only person imprisoned in connection with the CIA torture program. John didn’t participate in the program, he blew the whistle on it. His crime was that he was the first person to publicly confirm that the
May 1, 2021

Commemorating May Day 2021

May 1, 2021 By Chip Gibbons Today is May Day, commemorated throughout the world as International Workers’ Day. Although May Day is celebrated by the vast majority of countries, it is not an official holiday in the United States. Yet,
April 26, 2021

Defending Rights and Dissent Statement on DC Police Settlement With Trump Inauguration Protesters

April 26, 2021 The Metropolitan Police Department has settled two separate civil suits stemming from their arrest of Trump Inauguration (“J20”) protesters. The police have agreed to pay out $1.6 million to the plaintiffs, not challenge their requests to expunge
December 4, 2020

51 Years Ago Today, The FBI Tried to Kill the Revolution. They Are Still Trying.

Fifty-one years ago today, the Chicago Police murdered Black Panthers Fred Hampton and Mark Clark. The murder happened during a police raid that was orchestrated by the FBI as part of its notorious Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO). With COINTELPRO, the
September 10, 2020

FBI Still Can’t Follow FISA Rules, Yet Granted Sweeping Spying Powers Anyways!

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before.  The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court has rebuked the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for failing to follow the rules the court has imposed on its warrantless search of US persons’
September 8, 2020

Remembering Kevin Zeese, Tireless Fighter for Our Democracy

Defending Rights & Dissent was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Kevin Zeese over the weekend. Over his life, he was on the frontlines of many causes--whistleblower protections, election integrity, single payer healthcare, net neutrality, reforming our criminal justice system, environmental justice, and peace.Kevin fought for peace over war, for democracy over corporate dominance.  Kevin’s life embodied the importance of dissent to a democracy. He will be deeply missed. 
August 20, 2020

Hoover Appreciates Your Thoughtfulness: The FBI and History’s Most Infamous Anti-Semetic Forgery

The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion are an infamous anti-Semetic forgery. Created to stoke anti-Semetisim in Russia at the turn of the 20th century, they continue to be the centerpiece of bigoted conspiracy theories to this day.  So why did an official FBI account tweet them?
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 7, 2020

Watchdog’s Troubling Findings About FBI FISA Application In Line with Longer History of FBI Abuse

Yet again, the FBI has failed to uphold basic safeguards to protect US persons from illicit surveillance. The Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General issued a memorandum stating it did not have confidence the FBI was following its
March 11, 2020
person wearing a FBI JTTF windbreaker at a press conference with other police

What the Inspector General Report on FBI Assessments of Homegrown Violent Extremists Misses

The FBI’s use of assessments and its homegrown violent extremism designation are both highly controversial. Yet, the OIG ignores this completely, taking their existence for granted.
November 4, 2019
person wearing a FBI JTTF windbreaker at a press conference with other police

New Revelations About FBI Spying Renew Concern With Assessments

The investigatory powers of the Federal Bureau of Investigation are regulated not by any Congressional charter, but by guidelines promulgated by the attorney general. Thanks to George W. Bush’s lameduck Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who was the last attorney general to revise the guidelines, the FBI’s standard for opening an investigation is shockingly lax. The lax nature of current FBI investigatory powers are in the news again.
September 4, 2019
person wearing a FBI JTTF windbreaker at a press conference with other police

Leaked FBI Documents Show FBI Developed “IRON FIST” To Counter “Black Identity Extremists”

Portions of the FBI’s Consolidated Strategy Guide were leaked to the Young Turks’ Ken Klippenstein. Labeled “threat guidance”, these documents from 2018-2020, show how Black dissent continues to be viewed as a top domestic terrorism threat by the
July 18, 2019

H.Res.496 Simply Affirms the Right that All Americans Have the Right to Participate in Boycotts in Pursuit of Civil & Human Rights

The First Amendment protects your right to boycott. Yet, many lawmakers don’t care about your constitutional rights.
May 30, 2019

Texas The Latest Victory for Right to Boycott, As Another Federal Court Blocks an anti-BDS Law

Texas is like 27 other states in that it prohibits supporters of boycotts, divestment, and sanctions for Palestinian rights from receiving state contracts. It has also joined another growing group of states–those that have had their anti-BDS laws blocked by
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