Chip Gibbons

September 24, 2020

Ten Years Later: FBI’s Politically Motivated Sting Operation and Raid Still Unjustified and and Epic Fail

In the early morning of September 24, 2010, 70 FBI agents raided the homes of anti-war and peace activists throughout the Midwest. These activists learned that they had been targets of a years long undercover sting operation that attempted to
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?
August 6, 2020

Despite Reports of a Federal Withdrawal, DRAD Continues to Monitor the Situation in Portland

On July 17, Defending Rights and Dissent and the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) were joined by over fifty civil society groups in condemning the deployment of unidentified federal agents to Portland against the wishes of local elected officials.  According
July 28, 2020

NO BAN Act Passes After Years of Delays

Over three years after Donald Trump’s Muslim ban was enacted – and a year after he expanded the ban – the US House of Representatives finally passed the NO BAN Act on Wednesday, July 22 by a vote of 233-183,
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
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 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 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 16, 2020

DRAD Urges US Senate to Vote Against Cloture on the USA Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2020

On Monday, March 16, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will attempt to invoke cloture on the USA Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2020 – that means shutting down debate on the bill and moving forward for a full vote. Defending
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.
March 2, 2020

FISA Extension Bill Delayed; Next Steps Uncertain

On February 26, the House Judiciary Committee suddenly postponed a scheduled vote on the USA FREEDOM Reauthorizaion Act, a months-long, bipartisan effort to reform and reauthorize a handful of domestic surveillance authorities – most notably, Section 215 of the Patriot
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