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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.


Digital Security for Activists

June 4, 2020
3:00 p.m. PST — 5:00 p.m. PST

Webinar--information provided upon registration

In a world where millions of digital communications are silently intercepted, collected, and stored every day, how do activists effectively say “I do not consent to this search?” As in a physical encounter with law enforcement, we must be proactive. Online, this means using encryption along with other privacy-protecting and autonomy-preserving tools.


Police Misconduct & Racial Profiling 

June 11, 2020
3:00 p.m. PST — 5:00 p.m. PST

Webinar--information provided upon registration

CLDC lawyers will discuss how police misconduct and racial profiling affects oppressed communities and individuals, and how it has done so historically. They will also cover the basics of a federal civil rights lawsuit, the mechanisms available in the alternative to litigation, and the shortcomings of the legal system for addressing systemic racism and oppression.


Know Your Rights for Immigrants & Allies

June 18, 2020
3:00 p.m. PST — 5:00 p.m. PST

Webinar--information provided upon registration

CLDC lawyers will discuss your constitutional rights and how to assert them when interacting with ICE and police in various situations and settings. They will be joined by Juan Escalante, immigration advocate and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient, who will add additional information about the current state of the DACA program. By the end of the webinar you should be more prepared to empower yourself and your community.




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.

Learn more about the CLDC
Activists Defended
Victories in 2018
Activists Trained Every Year