XR Portland 2019 Zenith action

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 Left: Extinction Rebellion Portland activists block a tar sands oil train with a “Victory Over Fossil Fuels Garden” on active railroad tracks in protest of tar sands exporter Zenith Energy, one of Oregon’s largest sources of carbon emissions
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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.


Resisting Online Censorship of Activists (co-hosted with Palestine Legal)

November 11, 2021
3:00 PT — 5:00 PT


Join a panel co-hosted by CLDC and Palestine Legal to discuss censorship of activists online and in the classroom, as well as alternative technology options that could help ensure access to the digital commons.




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


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