The Defending Dissent Foundation

We protect and advance the right of dissent in the United States:

We translate grassroots civil liberties concerns into national policy debate and action;

We alert grassroots activists to civil liberties threats;

We educate the public, the press and policymakers as to how dissent is crucial to democracy.


The Defending Dissent Foundation was founded in 1960 as the National Committee to Abolish HUAC (the House Un-American Activities Committee). Along the way we changed our name to the National Committee Against Repressive Legislation (NCARL)... and garnered the attention of J.Edgar Hoover for our outspoken advocacy in defense of the right to dissent. Over the course of two decades, the FBI accumulated over 130,000 pages in their NCARL dossier... including evidence of an assasination plot against then-director Frank Wilkinson. The FBI neglected to share information about the impending assasination, which fortunately never materialized. You can read more about that in FBI v. The First Amendment

In 2007, we changed our name again, to the Defending Dissent Foundation to more accurately reflect our mission.

DDF Board of Directors:

President: Woody Kaplan
Vice President: Chip Berlet
Secretary/Treasurer: Hussein Ibish

Board Members:
Timuel D. Black
Donald Goldhamer

Emily Goodman
Arun Gupta
Sarah Hogarth
Connie Hogarth
Kate Martin
Victor Navasky
Gifford Phillips
Frank Rosen
Fadi Saba
Chris Townsend
Rev. C.T. Vivian


Director: Sue Udry
Program Associate: Andrew Bashi

Assistant: Rachel Bernhardt

Contact us: info (at) or 202-529-4225
6930 Carroll Avenue. Suite 419, Takoma Park, MD 20912




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