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Defending Rights & Dissent

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Censorship, Freedom of Speech & Press, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, International, National Security

Mission: Defending Rights & Dissent, formerly the Bill of Rights Defense Committee & Defending Dissent Foundation, protects the right of political expression to strengthen participatory democracy, and to fulfill the promise of the Bill of Rights for everyone.

Results: DRAD has coordinated grassroots campaigns from coast-to-coast that have worked to strengthen civil rights protections in their community and defeat attempts to curtail civil liberties. DRAD has brought together a diverse range of groups, including non-civil liberties groups, to act as unlikely allies in the fight for political rights. We've documented curtailments of political rights and educated the public at large and key decision makers about these ongoing violations.

Target demographics: Protect individual rights and liberties and to strengthen our Democracy.

Direct beneficiaries per year: To defeat anti-protest bills across the country, educated members of Congress about FBI harassment of activists, and published a groundbreaking report on state anti-whistleblower intiatives ("ag-gag laws:_

Geographic areas served: national, state, and local level

Programs: Providing leadership, resources and technical support to grassroots coalitions and their independent advocacy for policies and practices protecting all of our civil liberties.

Community Stories

49 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Defending Rights and Dissent is, relative to its small staff size, a total powerhouse organization. Their tireless, principled work makes all dissenters safer. Collaborating with DRAD is always a pleasure.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Defending Rights & Dissent has been at the forefront in the struggle to defend free speech, the right to association, and to protest, for decades. In the face of the enormous threats to personal liberties and growing threats to the dissent, DRAD is needed now more than ever. The organization provides critically needed analysis, connects organizers and civil society leaders from different movements, and mobilizes through grassroots campaigns that are pivotal to everyone involved in social justice work. I continue to support DRAD, personally and professionally, as the organization is a bedrock for everyone who cares about challenging power and protecting our constitutional rights.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a retired attorney with a deep interest in civil rights and civil liberties, and I count on the review of civil rights and civil liberties put out on a daily basis by Chip Gibbons from Defending Rights and Dissent. It is invaluable reading to anyone interested in this field.

More recently, I and several organizations I am a member of turned to Defending Rights and and Defense to help us explain to our state legislature that proposed legislation penalizing the BDS movement would violate the constitution. Defending Rights and Dissent took the lead in crafting an outstanding analysis joined in by other civil rights organizations. I frankly do not know how they can turn out such high quality work with the small staff they have.

This is a remarkable organization that I cannot recommend too highly.

Susan T. Nicholson, Ph.D., Esq.
Gloucester, MA

Joan Q.

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a retired Superior Court staff attorney who specialized in criminal law. Defending Rights and Dissent is an incredibly important organization at any time - and especially in this crazy time of Trump!

Curtis C.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Defending Rights and Dissent has helped to spread the word about important free speech issues both in the federal government and DC, and around the country. Their analysis of free speech issues is first rate, and highly applicable to volunteer groups and activists around the country.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with one of the merged organizations - BORDC -from the days when it mobilized cities and communities to pass local resolutions against the USA PATRIOT Act.

Then and now in its merged form, it is a dynamic force for informed participation and holding government accountable and for resistance to government overreach and suppression.

I am impressed with the job that Sue Udry has done in merging BORDC and Defending Dissent into an even more important and powerful entity -- and with the commitment she and her colleagues demonstrate and the quality of work they do.

susangaissert

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering for DRaD about seven years ago, when the then-director read a blog post I wrote and graciously asked me to volunteer as a writer. I was immediately impressed: This person was really working -- looking for ways to serve his organization, reaching out to strangers he thought might be able to help. I have remained impressed to this day.

The people who work at DRaD are frighteningly smart, incredibly energetic, and passionate, passionate, passionate about equal rights and justice for all. In my time writing for DRaD, I was introduced to many of the groups and organizations they partner with -- all of them organizations that involve the community, work hard and do good work.

Good work. That's the way I'd sum up what DRaD is: Good people who do good work. The organization is essential and, sadly, increasingly more relevant.

Previous Stories
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Volunteer

Rating: 5

My interactions with Sue Udry and the staff of BORDC/DDF have always been positive, intelligent, and inspiring. These people work hard, really hard, and working with them is a pleasure. They exude dedication, passion, and a fighting spirit. The work they do really matters, to all of us, and I am extremely grateful to them for doing it.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

DRAD and its predecessors have persisted for over 50 years, especially when the Bill of Rights were attacked, to defend the civil liberties of all of us.

giblfiz

Board Member

Rating: 5

DRaD is an absolutely amazing organization. I have seen few others that do as much with their resources, and particularly in the urgent times we are moving into, with freedom of speech and freedom of expression being threatened from every side, I can think of no organization that I would rather support.
DRaD effectively fights Police Militarization, Entrapment, Surveillance, and Lack of Accountability in our government. It serves as part of the non-profit nervous system that keeps activist organizations working together synergistically, and it helps mobilize and inform concerned citizens.

I liked this organization so much, I joined the board!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Defending Rights & Dissent(DRAD) has a storied history of often being first out in front to defend our most vital civil liberties and concomitant rights to dissent and protest free from unwarranted surveillance and harassment. These rights are essential elements of a functioning democracy the absence of which illuminate or presage devolution into authoritarianism. DRAD has stood against McCarthyism, the unconstitutional surveillance elements of the Patriot Act, the often hidden indefinite detention clause of the National Defense Authorization Act, FBI unwarranted harassment of peaceful activist groups, denial of rights and persecution of animal rights activists, and many other affronts to our democratic rights and liberties. DRAD is that small, innovative, cutting edge organization punching above its weight to protect and ensure our fundamental rights now and in the future.

Julie Greenberg T.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Not a day goes by that I don't learn (and share) things we all need to know in these distressing times.

Board Member

Rating: 5

DRAD's work to ensure that Americans continue to enjoy their First Amendment rights express to political dissent and unpopular viewpoints is more essential than ever before. I am proud to be a member of DRAD's Board because of the importance of its mission--which has never been more important than it is today--the storied history of the organization, and the expertise and dedication of its hardworking staff.

Benjamin D.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Defending Rights & Dissent is at the front lines, handling unpopular issues that many mainstream groups avoid. It is principled, courageous, prudent, and strong.

Charlotte42

Advisor

Rating: 5

Please, we desperately need the voice of BORDC! They need all our support.

Donor

Rating: 5

We live in an age when the Lam Stream Media, controlled by the corporations of the 1% and serving as it's propaganda arm, fail miserably to cover events critical to the nations populace. The Bill of Rights Defense Committee/Defending Dissent Foundation is hard at work, publishing the truth behind much of this Propaganda. In a nation where the rich have massive wealth and greed drives their attempt to appropriate more from the poor, whether it be liberty, wealth, privacy or freedom, the BORDC/DDF serves as a scout for Activist who are valiantly progressing the struggle to right these despicable wrongs.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Great source of information not generally available.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Performs a valuable service in collecting and presenting news items concerning civil liberties-related issues.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Khalil Abu Rayyan's story is exactly why we need agencies like the Bill OF Rights Defense Committee. The FBI entrapped a lonely man, using his need for love to manipulate him into doing and saying things he never would have said otherwise. The FBI should be sued for this. This is not the first such story I have heard about the outrageous behavior of undercover agents. I myself am being tortured and controlled by undercover agents. They hurt me, and they violate my rights every single day of my life. When I protest, they (the police, medical staff, psychiatrists, my family and my husband) falsely accuse me of being mentally ill. All of this they do, AFTER they have ridiculed me, threatened me, tortured me, hit me, propositioned me for sex, used me for child pornography, stolen my money my ideas and my documents, and in general treated me like dirt.

At the end of the article about Khalil is this: "In California, alleged eco-terrorist Eric McDavid was released last year after his lawyers discovered the government withheld documents, including love letters, which showed the FBI had manipulated him through an informant known as “Anna.”" Author Trevor Aaronson✉trevor@​trevoraaronson.com

We need agencies like the BORD to keep us informed so that we can protect ourselves from the criminal behavior of the police.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I try to keep up on issues with the erosion of Constitutional Rights, and the BORDC Digest is the one e-mail I open and read daily. They do the deep reputable research and FOIA requests that are needed for long-form journalism and also post links to Court cases or articles about current disclosures about abuse of govt. power.

Martine Z.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

BORDC/Defending Dissent Foundation's work is so important to citizen activists taking part in movements for change (environmental, social * economic justice). Powerful forces are at work, constantly attempting to criminalize dissent and equate activism with "threats" to national security. BORDC/DDF provide valuable information to activists on this front, and help guide citizen advocacy to ensure our rights, especially 1st, 4th amendment protected rights are not eroded.