Since 2017, over 60 bills have been proposed in state legislatures which disincentivize—and even often criminalize—protest. Several states have already passed bills restricting protest in a variety of ways, putting our Constitutional right to freedom of assembly at dire risk.
This rapid onslaught of bills has made it challenging for state and local advocates—those best positioned to engage their communities around the issue—to stay informed and know how to best respond. There is a critical need, then, to provide education to organizations and leaders across the country about the rising threat to the right to protest.
Piper Fund identified an urgent need to organize around this issue and created a new grantmaking initiative, a rapid response fund to protect the Right to Protest. We reached out to and have been leading weekly meetings with national and local organizations and held a conference in the summer of 2018 to share knowledge and strategize around best ways to respond to this threat. Together, we are now officially the Protect Dissent Network.
In order to support the field, the Protect Dissent Network is holding a webinar series this fall and winter. While these webinars are designed for advocates and organizers, they are open to those in philanthropy who wish to learn more about the issue as well.
The first webinar, “Anti-Protest Legislation: Implications for Social Movements,” which took place on August 22, provided a general overview of the most common types of anti-protest legislation. The next webinar, on Understanding Critical Infrastructure Bills, will take place on September 27 at 7 pm ET.
Future webinars currently being planned include:
We welcome you to join the network for this webinar series. To sign up to receive more information, please fill out this contact form: