This is a community forum for civil liberties experts, grassroots activists and you to share your thoughts and analysis on breaking civil liberties issues. We welcome your comments, and blog postings (just submit those to us at info at defendingdissent dot org)
Setting the Record Straight
On May 9, the House Homeland Security Committee held the first in what will be a series of hearings in response to the Boston marathon bombing. DDF is pushing back hard against the fearmongering, misinformation, ignorance and Islamaphobia. Here's what we're saying:
1. Don’t buy the argument that the FBI’s hands were tied.
2. The vast range of people who “hate” U.S. foreign policy renders that metric absolutely worthless in discovering a potential terrorist.
3. The key question is: why does the FBI waste so many resources investigating innocent people?
4. Fusion Center Threat Assesments are meaningless.
Letter urging opposition to the Feinstein Amendment to the NDAA
We write as a broad array of organizations in the civil rights, human rights, civil liberties, and immigrant rights fields to urge you to oppose Amendment 3018, submitted by Senator Feinstein as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). We greatly appreciate the leadership of Senator Feinstein and many other senators in working last year to try to fix some of the NDAA’s detention provisions. Unfortunately, the Feinstein amendment fails to address a central concern raised in the public debates: the specter of the military being used to police our streets and detain individuals on U.S. soil. The amendment also unintentionally reinforces the false and discriminatory notion that due process protections are only afforded to some – not all – persons within the United States. For these reasons, while we very much want to work with the sponsors of the amendment and are open to supporting a revised version of the Feinstein amendment, we oppose the amendment in its current form.
How to protect protesters
DDF submitted a few recommendations to the United Nations High Commissioner for human rights today. He graciously asked for our input regarding best practices and effective measures to protect and promote human rights in the context of peaceful protests. This is what we told him:
The Defending Dissent Foundation is pleased to offer these recommendations to promote and protect the human rights of participants in peaceful protests, which include political demonstrations and non-violent direct action and civil disobedience. We firmly believe that governments can protect the rights of protesters while maintaining the peace and protecting public order without resorting to repressive measures.
Welcome to our world General Petraeus.
Innocent peace activists, animal rights activists, anarchists and Muslims are all used to having their privacy invaded by the FBI. Under recently revised guidelines, the FBI has free reign to spy on you, question your employer, pick through your trash and more, even if they have no evidence or suspicion you have committed or will commit a crime. It happens to us all the time.
Blasphemy: an indispensable human right
Blasphemy is an indispensable human right. Without the right to engage in blasphemy, there can be no freedom of inquiry, expression, conscience or religion.
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