Defending Dissent

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Template:TOCnestleft Defending Dissent Foundation, was initially launched as the First Amendment Foundation


Defending Dissent Foundation’s mission is to protect and advance the right to dissent in the United States.

Here’s how we do it:

  • We translate grassroots civil liberties concerns into national policy debate and action;
  • We alert grassroots activists to civil liberties threats;
  • We educate the public, the press and policymakers as to how dissent is crucial to democracy.[1]


The Defending Dissent Foundation was founded in 1960 as the National Committee to Abolish HUAC (the House Un-American Activities Committee). Along the way it changed its name to the National Committee Against Repressive Legislation and garnered the attention of J.Edgar Hoover "for our outspoken advocacy in defense of the right to dissent. Over the course of two decades, the FBI accumulated over 130,000 pages in their NCARL dossier, including evidence of an assassination plot against then-director Frank Wilkinson. The FBI neglected to share information about the impending assassination, which fortunately never materialized."

In 2007, it changed our name again, to the Defending Dissent Foundation to "more accurately reflect our mission".[2]

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors as at Oct. 3, 2009 is as follows:[3]

Vice Presidents:

Board Members:


The Staff as at Oct. 3, 2009 is as follows:[4]