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Minnesota Valve Turners Annette Klapstein and Emily Johnston help stop the flow of tar sands crude oil into the United States

Activist Defense

The CLDC represents activists that, in the course of fighting for a better world, are arrested and criminally charged. We believe their courage deserves the best possible defense that can incorporate the political, social, and philosophical motivations of these activists.

Civil Cases

The CLDC engages in civil litigation to hold the powerful accountable and to protect the rights of activists and marginalized communities. Our civil litigation is aimed at holding governments, corporations, and the powerful accountable when they violate the constitutional rights of others. The civil practice of the CLDC is shaped and driven by a desire to create a lasting impact.


CLDC Portland Benefit with David Rovics & Alder Street!

December 14, 2019
6:00 pm — 9:00 pm

SEIU Local 503: 6401 SE Foster Rd, Portland, OR 97206, United States

Join us for live music from social justice folk musician David Rovics and Bluegrass/Rock/Alt Country Rock band Alder Street, beer from Lagunitas, and light bites to benefit the CLDC's work as we head into the next decade! Tickets are only $10 in advance: https://cldc.org/product/tickets-cldc-benefit-with-david-rovics-alder-street-in-portland/  



The Civil Liberties Defense Center supports movements that seek to dismantle the political and economic structures at the root of social inequality and environmental destruction. We provide litigation, education, legal and strategic resources to strengthen and embolden their success.

CLDC educates, supports and defends grassroots activists nationwide. We are dedicated to being a backbone for the grassroots and the frontlines. We help activists navigate the legal system, we represent them at no cost when they are arrested and we help them make smart choices in the face of state repression. We provide the necessary legal support so that activists can have long, sustainable lifetimes fighting in the movement for justice.

We also provide Know Your Rights and other legal trainings for activists and other vulnerable groups such as youth, tribes, the houseless community and the undocumented community. We believe that knowledge is power, and when people have the tools and understanding to take action and demand that the government honor all their rights, then grassroots activism will be the best chance of exacting necessary change.

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Activists Trained Every Year

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