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The Bill of Rights Defense Committee/Defending Dissent Foundation offers several internship opportunities for students passionate about protecting civil liberties, especially the right to dissent.
ferguson protests close up of black man with hands up

In Effort to Stifle Dissent, St. Louis County Charges At Least 100 Protesters One Year Later

Legal coalition condemns recent move after multiple jurisdictions chose not to charge activists FERGUSON, MO.—In a surprise move, just before the statute of limitations was about to expire, St. Louis County Counselor Peter Krane filed charges last week against at least 100 people who were arrested a year ago peacefully protesting the murder of Michael […]
NSA emblem on computer motherboard

Search and Seizure in a Digital World

By Suraj Sazawal When police copy a computer’s hard drive to investigate one crime, can they hold that information indefinitely and search it for unrelated crimes? The Second Circuit Court of Appeals will decide when it rehears the U.S. vs Ganias case in late September. In 2014, the three-judge panel ruled that the government violated […]
HIROSHIMA JAPAN - MAY 20 2015: Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Atomic Bomb Dome or Genbaku Domu) in Hiroshima Japan. UNESCO World Heritage Site

The little-known history of secrecy and censorship in wake of atomic bombings

Photo: Atomic Bomb Dome In Hiroshima, Japan. UNESCO Site. Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Atomic Bomb Dome or Genbaku Domu) in Hiroshima Japan, a  UNESCO World Heritage Site. Photo BigStock (c)  joymsk 2015   by Janet Farrell Brodie, Claremont Graduate University The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 70 years ago, is one of the most studied events in modern […]
Attorney Larry Hildes
Photo Credit: © Steven Miller 2010

First Harass the Activists…Then Their Attorney

Environmental activists challenging the transport of petroleum extraction equipment from the United States to Canada are the target of a series of intrusive and threatening visits from federal agents. Now civil liberties attorney Larry Hildes is a target as well.

Taking Action


The Future of Peace & Justice Activism: Thursday 08/27/15 in Dallas

Commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Thursday, August 27 2015, 7-9 p.m. At Bridge Bistro, 921 N Riverfront Blvd., Dallas, Texas 75207 Tickets: $20, includes dinner and program. Benefit for Dallas Peace & Justice Center. TO PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE Search for THE FUTURE OF PEACE AND JUSTICE ACTIVISM IN DALLAS […]
by Chip Berlet | August 25, 2015 |

Homies Unidos’ Alex Sanchez Reading for “If the SHU Fits”

 “IF THE SHU FITS Voices from Solitary Confinement ” is a theatrical performance of reading by the prison writings of people incarcerated in Security Housing Units or SHUs. Event was in Universal City, California Sunday 23 August 2015, 14:00-16:00 | Organized by : Michael Novick Every 23rd of every month is when activists who oppose prison solitary […]
by Chip Berlet | August 22, 2015 |


Demo photo

History: Washington Free Press Battles Suppression 1969-70

Photo: Demonstrators picket Judge Pugh’s home April 4, 1969 over subversion probe and obscenity arrest. Photo: Pike. Courtesy DC Public Library, Washington Star Collection © Washington Post. Editor’s Note: In the 1960’s and 1970’s the growing underground press faced serious repression and censorship at the hands of government entities from the federal level on down […]
by Craig Simpson | August 13, 2015 |

Expert on Right-Wing Groups Challenges Feds’ Policies

“In short,” says Mudde, he believes US government federal agencies should “rely on and develop more expertise, invest in more desk research, conduct less surveillance, and reduce the use of informants.
by Chip Berlet | July 20, 2015 |
DHS seal

Liberal Counterinsurgency versus the Paramilitary Right

[Dissident_Voices_Header] Editor’s Note: In the wake of the terrorist murders in Charleston,  there are calls for a government crackdown on Right-Wing racist and paramilitary groups. This essay raises questions that should be considered in this public debate. In this article I’m going to discuss U.S. security forces’ changing response to the paramilitary right. I will argue […]
by Matthew N. Lyons | July 14, 2015 |

Protecting Free Speech Across the Political Spectrum

A Statement from the Board of the Defending Dissent Committee: The justified public outcry over recent white supremacist murders and other violence against people of color should not be exploited to further erode the Bill of Rights and its protection of dissident ideas. Civil Rights and Civil Liberties have equal status. Just as we have […]
by Chip Berlet | June 29, 2015 |

Did Lone Wolf Terrorism Target Charleston, Paris, and Boston?

Following many recent terrorist attacks, headlines have labelled the perpetrators as “Lone Wolves” engaged in “Leaderless Resistance.” In many cases these labels are not being used accurately. Those of us who wish to defend our Bill or Rights need to know how this improper use of language further erodes our civil liberties.
by Chip Berlet | June 28, 2015 |
Small U.S. and confederate flags for sale

Look Away, Dixie!

The confederate flag hasn’t had a week this bad since April 1865. Several national retailers have put the kibosh on confederate flag merchandise. That’s not censorship. That’s the free market.
by Suraj Sazawal | June 24, 2015 |
george washington bridge

Keep Fear Alive

Since the time the Patriot Act sunset at the end of May, the media has reportedly widely on two allegedly lethal terrorist attacks on U.S. soil thwarted by the FBI.
by Suraj Sazawal | June 18, 2015 |
nsa SIGN

Update: Why USA Freedom Act is not a win for civil liberties, but how what you accomplished can help change the game.

At midnight on Sunday, section 215 of the PATRIOT Act expired because activists like you fought back and forced a showdown in the Senate over unconstitutional spying on Americans.
by Admin | June 4, 2015 |
u.s. capitol at night

Surveillance State Smackdown

Last night, the Senate delivered a stunning rebuke to the NSA and the other surveillance agencies, voting to allow mass spying to die.
by Alex Marthews, Restore the Fourth | May 23, 2015 |
police truck with LRAD and row of riot police

When even the DOD says your police are too militarized

Obama announces no more federally-supplied grenade launchers or bayonets for local police. But data and transparency initiatives may be most important parts of his policing reform initiative.
by Sue Udry | May 19, 2015 |
eye imposed on digital data

Bill of Rights Defense Committee & Defending Dissent Foundation (BORDC/DDF) urge Senate to reject so-called USA Freedom Act

Today, the House of Representatives passed the so-called “USA Freedom Act,” a bill that would preserve mass surveillance in the face of an impending deadline when several provisions of the notorious USA PATRIOT Act are set to expire.
by Sue Udry | May 13, 2015 |
a page from the files of FBI investigation of the Media break in

A Patriotic Crime

Many of the greatest heroes of United States history were criminals.
by John Lamperti | May 10, 2015 |