“Dissent & Democracy” and “Justice in Action” are the Civil Liberties Defense Center’s programs serving as our two-pronged approach to achieve the goals set forth by our mission. By utilizing education, and when necessary, the courts, the Civil Liberties Defense Center is directly able to both proactively and reactively challenge attacks on our liberties and rights. Additionally, as a grassroots organization, we have the powerful flexibility to address our constituents’ immediate needs, tailoring our responses accordingly.
The Civil Liberties Defense Center’s “Dissent & Democracy” program uses education to proactively challenge attacks on our civil liberties and rights. Our Know Your Rights (KYR) training is our most regular and widely held educational event with each workshop tailored to the needs of the participants. CLDC has substantially increased the diversity of trainings we provide including but not limited to; youth, parent, immigration, landlord-tenant, workers, arrest to sentencing, activist, and our trainers’ trainings. Additionally, under our “Effective Communities Campaign”, we paired with other activist groups to walk them through not only their first amendment rights, but also the rights of the entities they are protesting. Armed with knowledge, activists are able to make informed choices regarding their interactions with government agents or counter-protestors and, thus, better protect their rights.
In addition to the KYR workshops, the CLDC frequently gives Legal Observer, Grand Jury, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), police misconduct and Taser workshops and presentations. We also speak out regarding other federal or state laws or pending bills that restrict the constitutional rights and liberties of activists or at risk communities, such as the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, the Real I.D. Act, the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, and many others. In addition to conducting public forums, media interviews, and editorials, we send out email action alerts to our members regarding pertinent timely threats to our liberties.