Dissent & Democracy
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.
Know Your Rights
Our Know Your Rights (KYR) training is our most regular and widely held educational event. Each workshop is tailored to the needs of the particular group of participants. Below you can find a list of Know Your Rights resources and videos. If you are interested in us giving a training you can make a request here.
- Know Your Rights
- Know Your Rights for Activists
- Know Your Rights for Youth
- Know Your Rights for Unhoused
- Know Your Rights for Immigrant Communities
- Know Your Rights (Arabic)
Action Legal Resources: Legal Observer, Police Liaison, Copwatch & Jail Support Resources
The CLDC offers supplemental trainings to prepare individuals for specific roles or to fit complex situations that exceed the scope of our KYR trainings. We recognize the necessity for activist groups to be well-organized and prepared for potential legal issues and to be aware of the tools available to them. Thus, we also offer trainings and provide support for Police Liaisons, Jail Support Persons, Legal Observers, and Copwatchers, as well as for how to submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. We also have created resources for specific actions.
Laws that may affect your organizing
- Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA)
- Railroads, Ports, and Utilities Legal Primer
- SLAPP Suits
- Guide to Using Corporate Logos
Police Misconduct (militarization of police, use of force, citizen complaints, tort claims, etc.)
- Lawyer Response to ETP’s Reckless Mistreatment of Protesters at the L’eau Est La Vie Pipeline Resistance Camp
- Water Protector Undeterred One Year After Standing Rock Police Brutality
- Water Protectors file class action suit for retaliation and excessive force against brutal police
- Update: Militarized Police Presence at Standing Rock
- In Standing Rock, The Cops Are Out of Control
- A Few Bad Apples?
- Federal appeals court rejects police use of taser against man recovering from diabetic seizure
- Police in Massachusetts and New York held accountable for civil rights violations in court
- Federal appeals court finds police use of taser on nonviolent bystander to be unlawful
- Glimmers of Hope