People Are Mobilizing Against the Crackdown on Dissent

Janine Jackson: Welcome to CounterSpin, your weekly look behind the headlines. I’m Janine Jackson.

This week on CounterSpin: A new year means a chance to take a look at where we’re at, and where we hope to go, including thinking about what makes our work possible: the freedom to speak our criticism of the powerful out loud, to protest, to communicate with one another about how to demand the better world we know is possible.

Corporate media serve up a lot of palaver about free speech, but when people actually act on it, media elites use their megaphones to dismiss and deride, to circumscribe conversation to make it appear that ideas that threaten their interests aren’t serious ideas, and the people fighting for them are marginal or dangerous.

The power is with us, and our ability to speak and to hear one another. Holding on to that ability is just another part of the work we have to do.

We talked about that with Chip Gibbons, policy and legislative counsel at the group called Defending Rights & Dissent. That conversation’s coming up right now on CounterSpin.

As we look to the year ahead, one thing is certain: There will be cause for protest, and there will be protest — big and little, in the streets, in the courts, in schools and in workplaces. People will be looking to express their opposition, criticism and concern about the actions and the policies of the powerful.

The freedom from fear required for that expression is something to be valued. It relies on work — ongoing work — defending and promoting and defining our right to dissent, making that right a living thing.

Here to discuss what that work looks like right…

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