This New Coalition Protects Protesters’ Right to Civil Disobedience

Status: Active

Ben Paynter reports in Fast Company on the launch of the Protect the Protest task force. Strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs) often involve a power imbalance, in which a wealthy corporation or individual attempts to force a smaller or less-resourced nonprofit organization, journalist, or activist to surrender their free speech rights.

The task force is responding collectively in order to upend this power imbalance. As Paynter describes, its goals “are to communicate about common types of SLAPP suits and how to avoid or dismiss them, campaign together when such salvos are lobbed against both Protect the Protect members and smaller pods of activists or organizers that might not have the resources to defend themselves, and eventually support legislation that helps diffuse these practices altogether.”