Criminalizing Dissent

CCR was born out of dissent. Growing directly out of Civil Rights struggles in the South, we have consistently worked to protect the right to dissent, not simply as an individual liberty but as the starting point for social change. Historically, CCR established the right to challenge the constitutionality of subpoenas to the House Un-American Activities Committee; litigated on behalf of anti-war activists; defended witnesses against grand juries; represented the Chicago 8 and had their convictions overturned; and won landmark First Amendment cases in the Supreme Court. In more recent years, the Center has been among the most prominent defenders of animal rights and environmental activists targeted by the corporate and government repression known as the Green Scare; we have stood firmly by those advocating for Palestinian human rights; and we have been staunch defenders of whistleblowers, such as Chelsea Manning. Along with litigation, we educate activists and communities about their rights, both through our widely-requested, free booklet If An Agent Knocks, and by providing informational legal trainings to activists. In 2012, we published Hell No: Your Right to Dissent in Twenty-First-Century America, and in 2017 we are prepared to respond to new assaults on the right to dissent from the Trump administration.