Topic: Activism Is Not Terrorism
Anti-protest bills, whether they target boycotts against Israel or the mythical (and non-existent) paid rioter, are designed to silence social movements by sowing confusion and spreading fear. These pernicious bills are popping up in statehouses across the nation. To defend dissent, it is incumbent for activists to push back against these bills.
As civil and human rights advocates face the challenges of the new administration, it is imperative to not be demoralized or frightened into ceding the streets in the face of legislative attempts to curb mass protest. We must instead continue to organize and to keep a close watch on these bills as they emerge in state and federal legislatures, and to push back at every level.
For the third time in four years, the Maryland General Assembly is considering an anti-free speech, anti-boycott bill specifically designed to silence supporters of Palestinian human rights. The Bill of Rights Defense Committee/Defending Dissent Foundation worked with grassroots partner Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition and other local groups to fight back against the bill.
Write to your Senators today. Ask them to call FBI Director James Comey on the carpet. He has to explain why the JTTF is questioning Standing Rock Water Protectors.
Leaders of every social and political movement of consequence in the United States have been spied on by the FBI, simply because they sought to change the status quo.
As a domestic civil liberties organization, we don’t take a position on the Middle East conflict, but when we see a systematic effort to crack down on a social movement, we fight back. As such, we have long been involved in opposing attempts to shut down Palestinian human rights advocacy. In 2016, we saw a record number of threats to Palestinian human rights advocacy domestically in the United States and a record level of involvement on our part.
DHS is responsible for a number of areas where civil liberties are concerned. It oversees immigration enforcement, as well as, the US response to the border. DHS has been implicated in the monitoring of domestic social movements. It is therefore highly inappropriate that Kelly, given his background of human rights abuses and anti-civil libertarian views, would be named to head the DHS.
The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act is an attempt to use real fears about a political climate in which white supremacy is increasingly becoming normalized and made mainstream to enact a longstanding political project aimed at censoring and restricting speech about Israeli policies. As such, the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act must be rejected.
North Dakota is stretched thin in its battle to protect the Dakota Access pipeline construction: Costs are nearing $15 million, and police reinforcements are diminishing.