Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Defending Dissent Foundation

1,934 pageviews

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Censorship, Freedom of Speech & Press, Citizen Participation, Civil Rights

Mission: We have merged with the Bill of Rights Defense Committee! Please check us out at our new profile page: http://greatnonprofits.org/org/bill-of-rights-defense-committee-defending-dissent-foundation

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.

Donor & Volunteer Advisory

This organization's nonprofit status may have been revoked or it may have merged with another organization or ceased operations.

Community Stories

40 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

daleaxelrod

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

1 Chip6

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Hussein I.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Kit G.

Advisor

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories

Advisor

Rating: 5

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.

Thomas17

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

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!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Defending Dissent has for decades fought to protect our political and civil liberties and to defend unpopular people and causes in the name of justice and democratic rights. It deserves continuing support.
Clay Steinman

Volunteer

Rating: 5

If it weren't for the efforts of DDF I wouldn't have heard about many important citizen actions. They are doing an excellent job and deserve recognition. Thank you.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Defending Dissent is vital to the continued protection of American civil liberties and universal human rights.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Defending Dissent's outstanding newsletter is an indispensable component of the civil liberties ongoing compendium of information and analysis. My organization, the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights (www.ccdbr.org) makes regular use of these newsletters, forwards them and links them to our web site. DD's participation in various coalitions in unselfish and consistently useful in promoting our mission of defending civil liberties and especially First Amendment rights. Finally, DD has provided, including recently, very signficant material support to our work here in Chicago. Thank you, Sue Udry, and DD board for all that you are doing.

Sommer G.

Donor

Rating: 5

I appreciate the Defending Dissent Foundation for their excellent communications. They send only a few emails, and these emails let me know precisely what concrete actions are being taken with my donations, from submitting briefs in important court cases to lobbying for particular amendments. These announcements are also timely, and help me interpret what I'm reading in the news about particular legislation from the perspectives of informed civil liberties advocates.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization is very informative in terms of helping my understand that my civil liberties in America are under attack.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Defending Dissent Foundation's skill at networking and coalition building has made its effectiveness even greater. It has the respect and support of many organizations.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first heard of this group in 1984 and have been supporting them every since.

Steppen-Wolf W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is an EXCELLENT channel for defending human rights and civil liberties (human rights are civil liberties, too) in the U.S., and I highly praise them for their work in doing so, particularly because human and civil rights are under increasing attack and threat in the U.S., with less and less Americans understanding the importance of being vigilant, standing up for their preservation, standing up against their abrogation, and understanding that we must NOT sacrifice them for so-called "security". Thank you for all of your consideration.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We must defend dissenters, as they alone have the courage that others lack to speak out against the wrong-doings committed by the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of our government and against our war-mongering, inhumane, profiteering, unjust, lawless, short-sighted policies.

Susan175

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Defending Dissent keeps me informed and active on issues of civil liberties in the USA and human rights.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a criminal defense lawyer, I am very familiar with just how eroded civil liberties have become in the name of "national security." Organizations that are willing to stand up against these policies, like DDF, are critical to the preservation of our liberties.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a lawyer and board member with the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights (CCDBR). DDF has had a longstanding relationship with CCDBR and other leading organizations, and it stands at the forefront for important civil liberties issues. CCDBR is unafraid to build connections between other organizations, support the work of other groups, and to continue to fight the evisceration of civil liberties and rights. They even support the CCDBR newsletter and press releases, which helps to build a national coalition around these issues. All in all, DDF is a 5-star deserving organization.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with the Defending Dissent Foundation for many years. They are a reliable coalition partner in DC, but the best thing about this group is that they are solid on the facts and the policies they work on without being a boring think tank. They make grassroots activism easy and fun.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It's comforting to know that there is an organization that is still willing to speak out against the dangers to our democracy posed by government actions. It's frightening that some other organizations (including some of the previously most progressive) are now afraid to defend some of our basic human rights.

Donor

Rating: 5

This group has long defended free-speech and anti-harassment rights -- issues that are once again under challenge today.

Ivan G.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Their mailings are very helpful to my research. They cover the material with skill and comprehensiveness.

Linda168

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Defending Dissent is on the job providing up to the minute info on the deteriorating conditions in our democracy. The passion and commitment of Sue Udry also impresses!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am glad to help Defending Dissent in any way that I can in order to ensure our Freedoms

Donor

Rating: 5

Consistently, for over 50 years under earlier names, it has done what its name says, preventing people from being jailed or suppressed by other means of law for holding unpopular views. Or on suspicion of holding such views. Its actions probably show a bias towards support of people who criticize the government; this would be because agreeing with the government is rarely a form of dissent that goernments try to suppress.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Defending Dissent fills a role that very few other organizations do, by standing up for American's liberties.

Martine Z.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The need for Defending Dissent Foundation's work is more critical than ever as the President and Congress continue to take away more and more of our civil and political liberties, and haul activists in front of grand juries for no reason other than their political beliefs or associations. We're on a slippery slope sliding fast to totalitarianism and a corporate/military/intelligence police state.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Defending Dissent Foundation have a focused eye on probably the most crucial issue in the "war on terror" -- the right and ability of the American people to let their government, their fellow citizens, and the world know what the government gets seriously out-of-line. Without visible dissent, liberty is a goner. Harvey A. Silverglate, Cambridge, MA: Lawyer and author.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Defending Dissent Foundation plays a critical role in linking grassroots activists with what is happening in Washington. DDF is the only group that is focused on articulating and defending the vital role that dissent has in our democracy.

Zach O.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

the action they are taking on getting the public aware of what is happening with the NDAA is phenomenal!

Dave44

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Defending Dissent was first and fastest about getting word out about the scandalous effort to gut the legislation designed to reform of the NDAA.

Ann_46

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Defending Dissent has been one of my most trusted sources of information on issues that I care about deeply and have worked on for more than 20 years.