Constitution in Crisis :: May Newsletter

This May Day, Support Striking Teachers’ Right to Free Speech
May 1, 2018
Defending Rights & Dissent Condemns Police Violence Against San Juan May Day Protesters
May 2, 2018

Dear Troublemakers,

Together, we’ve been fighting to hold the CIA accountable for torture for over a decade. Thank you for engaging with us in the most recent battle – to defeat the nominations of Mike Pompeo (torture apologist) to be Secretary of State, and Gina Haspel (torture supervisor) to be CIA Director. We lost a tough battle on Pompeo, but we’re fighting down to the wire on Haspel. Chip and I have been up on Capitol Hill for many meetings with Senate staff as part of a large coalition of human rights and civil liberties groups. Her hearing will be on May 9, and we’re organizing and participating in a series of actions on that day. And we’ll definitely be asking you to take action again, as we make plans for a national call-in day (date to be decided) to ensure that her nomination is defeated.

Meanwhile, we’ve been working with local activists in Iowa and Louisiana to defeat anti-protest bills in those states. In Iowa, despite strong grassroots pressure to defeat the bill, corporate interests won the day and on April 17, Governor Reynolds signed a bill to increase penalties for protests at pipeline sites. A similar bill is making its way through the Louisiana legislature, although activists have managed to win amendments to make it less draconian.

Stay Loud, Stay Strong,


This May Day, Support Striking Teacher’s Right to Free Speech

Labor movements demonstrate the importance of the right to engage in collective action for a shared goal and to agitate for a more just world.

J20 Trials Pushed Back, As After Nearly a Year and a Half Prosecutors Claim They Need More Time

If the prosecution can’t in “good conscience, ask another fourteen citizens” to sit through a trial of protesters, there’s a solution. Drop the charges.

In Light of Recent Massacre of Palestinian Protesters, It’s Time for US Police to End Exchanges of Worst Practices With Human Rights Abusers

Although Defending Rights & Dissent is a domestic civil liberties, we recognize the threat allowing police departments to train with known human rights abusers. US police are frequently criticized for acting like an occupying army. Training with an actual occupying army will only further this mindset amongst law enforcement.

Take Action: Don’t Let the Senate Give Trump a Blank Check for War!

DRAD, Joined by Chelsea Manning and Defend J20 Resistance, Delivers Nearly 180,000 Petitions Demanding J20 Charges Be Dropped

A day after the petitions were delivered, we learned that the trial, set to start April 17, had been delayed again.

End Espionage Act Prosecutions of Whistleblowers

Whistleblowers and government transparency join Defending Rights & Dissent in calling for an end to Espionage Act abuse.

Defending Rights & Dissent Warns Congress About New Authorization for Use of Military Force

Defending Rights & Dissent has deep concerns about the draft Authorization of the Use of Military Force (AUMF) introduced on April 16. The Constitution gives Congress, not the President, the power to declare war. Yet, the proposed AUMF would turn this on its head.

Civ Lib Groups and Generals Agree: Vote No on Haspel

Members of the Senate got two letters today. Over 100 Generals expressed concern over Haspel’s nomination, while civil liberties and progressive groups weighed in against both Haspel and Pompeo

Two Grassroots Victories Against Police Militarization and Trainings with Human Rights Abusers

From the Bay Area, California to Durham, North Carolina grassroots activists are scoring victories against police militarization.