Defending Dissent Foundation

Rating: 5 stars   40 reviews

Issues: Civil Rights

Location: 6930 Carroll Ave Suite 419 Takoma Park MD 20912 USA

Mission: DDF preserves and advances the right to dissent by educating the public, press, policymakers, and activists about the essential role dissent plays in a democracy. We alert local activists when civil liberties are threatened; and make sure the concerns of activists are heard in Washington.
Results: For the past 10 years, DDF has led or participated in coalitions to try to stop the onslaught of legislation, executive orders, administrative rules and practices that have added to the arsenal of repressive tools available to the Executive branch, while reducing oversight and transparency. We have focused on the removal of restrictions on FBI agents; and the escalating rhetoric that equates radical ideas with violence and terrorism. Fear-mongering about “radicalization” has especially targeted American Muslims and progressive demonstrators, including those involved in the Occupy movement.
Target demographics: Everyone who wants to live in a free society.
Direct beneficiaries per year: Every year we fight to protect our democracy! 2013 highlights include protesting NSA surveillance, promoting oversight of the FBI and educating Congress and the public about the value of dissent in a democracy
Geographic areas served: the U.S.A.
Programs: DDF is launching a new public education campaign called Dissent is Essential to promote understanding of the value of dissent in democracy, and the methods the government (particularly the FBI and local police) use to suppress dissent and marginalize progressive movements. Our advocacy work centers on rolling back the expansion of the FBI’s domestic intelligence mission and working to prevent the use of domestic intelligence authorities to chill organizing for progressive social change.

2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Been a supporter since their NCARL days (National Committee Against Repressive Legislation), helping to stop S.1 (predecessor to the Patriot Act).

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

DDF gets to the core of civil liberties issues. I've worked with them for over 40 years and their focus is consistently on the long-term protection of the Bill of Rights.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

The Defending Dissent Foundation is a critically important institution in the civil liberties sphere. Defending freedoms of speech, assembly and the press is, of course, necessary, but just as important is defending the right to dissent. Defending Dissent understands it is not the constitutionally protected speech and actions of those we agree with that need to be protected, it's the views of those who challenge and upset the ruling powers and status quo. Defending Dissent has a storied history of taking up the cause of dissidents, and I am proud to be a board member and supporter.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Grow its funding base.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

One of the features I volunteer to help with as a Board member is to build DDF's online Civil Liberties Hall of Fame. http://www.defendingdissent.org/fame/ DDF does so much more. It has a real commitment to explaining not just the right to dissent but the fact that a healthy democracy requires dissent and debate in order to function properly as a free society. We help build coalitions to defend dissent across the political spectrum.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase its visibility

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I began working with this group in the mid-1970s and have stuck with them, eventually becoming a board member. The Defending Dissent Foundation started in 1960 as a group of people trying to shut down the House Un-American Activities Committee due to its scandalous false claims and witch-hunting of dissidents who opposed the excesses of the Cold War McCarthy Period. We helped shut down HUAC, and then turned our attention to rolling back repressive legislation. Now in addition to challenging bad legislation we champion the cause of vigorous dissent because dissent is essential to real democracy.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

Defending Dissent, has a long history of struggle for justice, from its grandparent group, the Natl Committee Against Repressive Legislation, which helped to defeat the House Unamerican Activities Committee, to First Amendment Foundation. In its present life, Defending Dissent is a most vital and indispensable organization at a time when this nation faces perhaps its most difficult, in defense of civil liberties, working both with sister organizations and lobbying effectively on the hill.I am proud, as a board member, to be part of this most energetic, resourceful and courageous organization.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

Defending the right to political dissent (telling the government when we disagree) is the most basic predicate to a free society. The Defending Dissent Foundation, and it's predecessor entities, have been doing this superbly since 1960.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find a way to increase its donor base.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

It is my honor and privilege to serve as a board member with the Defending Dissent Foundation, a crucial organization in protecting political and free-speech rights in the United States. DDF is a small but indispensable contributor to American democracy, freedom and constitutional liberty.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

Defending Dissent Foundation is engaging activists to respond to critical civil liberties of the day. Further it connects the proud history of the organization and of dissent to people today.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get it better funded and well known.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of advisors?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Defending Dissent Foundation brings 50 years of supporting the right of political dissent to the present day. It recognizes both that we are informed by our history, and that the right of dissent will never be popular with any government in the present day, no matter how friendly we might think they are. DDF is a small but lithe organization.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of advisors?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

Defending Dissent is a great national organization that also makes great use of its local connections in the DC area to mobilize support for civil liberties, national security, and dissent generally. I'm with a local group, Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition; we're very fortunate to get to work with Sue Udry and DDF frequently on local and national civil liberties issues, and benefit from their expertise, enthusiasm, and support.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

...get it more funding!! :)

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I can't say enough about Defending Dissent Foundation. Since it began in 1960, it has been trailblazer in defending political dissent. In terms of staff, it's one full time executive director and a bit more for an assistant. And they still have an impact. DDF was sited by a UN human rights report several times in the past couple of years. Join the fight to protect the right to political dissent!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Add staff.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I am honored to be involved in such a great organization. DDF takes your rights and everyone's civil liberties seriously. It began as a coalition to abolish Joe McCarthy's HUAC, it then evolved and is now DDF -- a defender of the First Amendment. I recommend that you join and become a Dissenter! Dissent is Patriotic.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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