Constitution in Crisis :: November Newsletter

American Flag
Statement on the Attack in New York City
November 1, 2017
drawing of hands holding signs that say NO JTTF!
Portlanders Again Fight to Cut Ties to JTTF
November 8, 2017

Dear Troublemakers,

Somebody doesn’t want you to be able access our website.

Starting on Wednesday October 25, the Defending Rights & Dissent website came under a suspected Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack when thousands of bots invaded the site. The relentless attack lasted five days and overcame our escalating defenses to shut down the site several times.

We don’t know who is trying to keep our site offline.

We do know that there are quite a few people who don’t like our work. They resent the fact that we defend your right to boycott. They detest that we continue to defend the rights of protesters and have vocally spoken out against the ongoing witchhunt against Trump inauguration protesters. They despise that we continue to support marginalized communities in their struggle against state repression. And they absolutely loathe that we stood in solidarity with NFL players who were coming under fire for exercising their First Amendment rights to protest police violence and racism.

We know this because they’ve told us.

They’ve told us in hateful messages sent to us by email, left on our voicemail, posted on our social media accounts, and even sent to staff members’ personal social media accounts.

This, however, is the first time we’ve been victim of a suspected DDoS attack.

But we’re not going anywhere!

There may be people out there who don’t want the public to be able to access our site, but we aren’t backing down. As of Monday, we seem to be in the clear.

We also want to assure you that we take safeguarding your information seriously.

If you have used our site to sign up for email alerts or to make a contribution, your information is safe. The interactive features on our site are housed on a separate server that was not targeted in this attack. We take your privacy seriously, we never share, sell, or otherwise disclose your information to anyone else

We will never stop defending your right to dissent.

Now, please enjoy our newsletter, and check out any articles you may have missed while our site was down.

Stay Loud, Stay Strong,

Staff and Board of Directors,
Defending Rights & Dissent

P.S. Please support our work with a donation today.


Defending Rights & Dissent Joins 65 Groups In Calling On Congress to Stand Up to Unconstitutional War in Yemen

While we take no position on what US foreign policy should be, we support congressional efforts to reclaim their constitutional war powers that have for far too long been usurped by the executive branch.

DRAD, DC NLG FOIA Request Uncovers That DC Police Spent Over $300,000 in Weapons, Ammunition to Use against Inauguration Day Protesters

New, previously undisclosed records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the DC Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild (DC NLG) and Defending Rights & Dissent (DRAD) details the types, quantities, manufacturers and costs of munitions used against protesters on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017.

Take Action: Don’t Let Trump Bully the NFL Into Silencing Players

Trump trying to shift the narrative, as our government always does, by calling into question the patriotism of those who protest. The issue is not patriotism. The issue is injustice.

DRAD Joins 40 Groups to Warn Congress That Spy Bill Is Full Of Loopholes That Will Allow Continued Spying on Americans

The bill still allows the government to read emails, text messages, and other communications of Americans without a warrant.

Take Action: Is The FBI Concocting A Terrorist Threat Out of Racial Justice Groups?

If you are black and angry about police violence, you are a potential terror threat. Or so says a newly released FBI Intelligence Assessment that concocts a non-existent movement they dub “Black Identity Extremists.”

Sens. Paul, Schatz, and Wyden Reintroduce the Stop Militarizing Our Law Enforcement Act

The bill would stop the steady supply of battlefield equipment from entering our communities and put safeguards in place to ensure that federal funds are used more appropriately.

Defending the Right to Boycott in Maryland and Texas

Defending Right & Dissent recently took action against affronts to the right to boycott in Maryland and Texas.

There They Go Again! The FBI Just Can’t Stop Being Racist and Afraid of Dissent

A recently leaked FBI Intelligence Assessment distributed over the summer is evidence that the FBI remains mired in racism and suspicious of dissent.

Democracy Can Never Be Defended By Curtailing Democracy: DRAD Statement on Concerning “Russiagate” Rhetoric

While we understand that many have legitimate concerns about Russian interference in our democratic process and that an impartial, transparent investigation is necessary, we caution people against creating an environment in which the government is given new rationales to target dissent.

Defending Rights & Dissent Statement on Legal Challenge to Kansas Anti-Boycott Bill

Defending Rights & Dissent opposes anti-BDS bills, like the one being challenged by the ACLU in Kansas. These laws are unconstitutional, as the right to boycott is protected by the First Amendment.

The FBI Is Raiding Animal Shelters

Two piglets, near death before being rescued by two animal rights activists and nursed back to health. This may not seem like something within the FBI’s jurisdiction, yet the FBI is carrying out an interstate pursuit to find these two rescued piglets.

Defending Rights & Dissent Statement on US Citizen Being Held Without Charge By US Military

Defending Rights & Dissent strongly condemns the US military’s detention, without charge, of an unidentified US citizen.

Statement on The Withholding of JFK Assassination Files

Regardless of what one thinks of the explanations and counter-explanations proffered over the decades about the JFK assassination, attempts to foil government transparency are contemptible.

On Jeff Sessions’ Testimony Before the Senate Judiciary Committee

After months of dodging the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Jeff Sessions elected to finally stop by for an oversight hearing on Wednesday. For those concerned with what impact Jeff Sessions as Attorney General would have on civil liberties, there was little to alleviate those concerns during this week’s oversight hearing.

The President Vs. The Free Press

Many analysts believe Trump crossed a line with a series of tweets earlier this month suggesting that networks should lose their broadcast licenses for ‘fake news’ (ie: stories that displease the President).

Young Muslim Collective Hosts Forum on CVE

YMC opposes CVE because it “targets Muslim youth for surveillance and thought policing based on vague and unfounded theories of radicalization.”

Activists Work for Surveillance Transparency in Cambridge

Residents are encouraged to turnout at the City Council meeting next week to stand up and speak up for surveillance transparency and oversight.

DRAD Nominates Oakland Privacy for FAC Free Speech & Open Government Award

The activists of Oakland Privacy are a bulwark against government abuses of the First and Fourth Amendment in the Bay Area and the state of California. The group is also an inspiration and model for grassroots activists across the country. They deserve this award!