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Protect the Protest. Stopping SLAPP. Defending Dissent - Support Centres

A task force of nonprofit organizations that have long dealt with SLAPP threats (threats coming from strategic lawsuits against public participation).

The organizations of "Protect the Protest" have combined their expertise and collective power to protect the free speech of public interest advocates in the United States.

They declare: "An attack on one is now an attack on all".

The task force includes experienced lawyers, journalists, communications professionals, and activists, in order to stand together as one to expose courtroom bullying, and protect the right to boldly speak the truth.

The approach is threefold:

● Building Resilience to SLAPPs - providing resources and training for civil society organizations, community leaders, journalists, and the broader public on how to best protect themselves from SLAPPs and what to do if they’re targeted. This includes a network of attorneys to defend those facing SLAPPs, especially individuals and small organizations with extremely limited resources.

● Exposing SLAPPs and Those Who File Them - drawing on their own organizations’ campaigning, communications, and legal expertise to support public interest advocates and watchdogs targeted by SLAPPs. This includes campaigning against the biggest SLAPP offenders, as well as legal defense where resources allow.

● Campaigning on Strategic Issues - When a specific SLAPP poses a broader threat to civil society or to democracy, they mobilize their collective resources to protect the rights to free speech and peaceful protest. Likewise, when opportunities arise to advance anti-SLAPP policies or laws, we engage in close collaboration with other stakeholders.

GIJN Help Desk - Support Centres

The Global Investigative Journalism Network, an international association of journalism organizations, offers the access to a network of experts and resources able to help reporters around the world.

The helpdesk integrates hundreds of tip sheets, how-to stories, conference videos, in a sort of library, mirroring the aim of the network which is the training and sharing of information among investigative and data journalists—even in repressive regimes and marginalized communities.

GIJN helpdesk is presented as "a space designed to help investigative journalists around the world".

GIJN Guide: Resources for Women Journalists - Support Centres

Women journalists often face unique challenges while doing their jobs. The Global Investigative Journalism Network GIJN has gathered resources to help our female colleagues around the world find networks, resources and tools to handle issues such as online harassment, workplace discrimination and gender-based violence, as well as easily locate opportunities and support designed specifically for women journalists.

The topics:

Networks (international and regional), Safety, Discrimination & Harassment, Mentors, Grants & Fellowships, Awards, Female Experts, Investigative Journalism

Free Press Unlimited (FPU) - Support Centres

Free Press Unlimited is a foundation based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, which supports local journalists in war zones and conflict areas in over 43 countries. 

The organization offers several support programmes for journalists at risk:

  1. Emergency support: Journalists and media organisations in distress can apply for emergency support from Reporters Respond. Through this fund, Free Press Unlimited enables them to resume their work as quickly as possible when faced with obstruction, vandalism, or intimidations. More info here .
  2. Legal support: With the Legal Defense Fund, Free Press Unlimited provides financial support to journalists and media organisations worldwide, giving support to journalists who face prosecution or imprisonment and who are unable to afford a lawyer or trial costs. More info here .
  3. Safety trainings & tools: In collaboration with international partners, Free Press Unlimited supports (media) organisations and media workers with safety training. More info here .
  4. Advocacy: Independent media and press freedom cannot exist if safety for journalists isn’t guaranteed. Therefore, Free Press Unlimited actively lobbies for a safe work environment for journalists. An environment which enables them to work free of fear and danger. More info here .

Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) - Support Centres

The Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) is a Turkish non-profit (registered as Medya ve Hukuk Çalışmaları Derneği) founded in late 2017.

The main goals of the association, as stated in its website, are:

  • offering legal protection to journalists who are punished for expressing their thoughts
  • promoting the public’s right to information, particularly by supporting good finance and science journalism
  • promoting rights of minority groups, with a concentration on refugees and the LGBTI community.

Digital Defenders Partnership - Support Centres

The Digital Defenders Partnership (DDP) was formed in 2012 by the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC). The aim of the DDP is to protect and advance internet freedom, and to keep the internet free from emerging threats, specifically in repressive environments. DDP coordinates emergency support for individuals and organizations such as human rights defenders, journalists, civil society activists, and bloggers. The DDP affirm to have "a people-centered approach, focusing on our core values of transparency, human rights, inclusivity & diversity, equality, confidentiality, and freedom".

The DDP has three different types of funding that address urgent emergency situations, as well as longer-term grants focused on building capacity within an organization. Furthermore, DDP coordinates a Digital Integrity Fellowship where organizations receive personalized digital security and privacy trainings, and a Rapid Response Network program.

Access Now - Support Centres

Access Now is an international non-profit whose aim is to defend and extend the digital rights of users at risk around the world. By combining direct technical support, comprehensive policy engagement, global advocacy, grassroots grantmaking, and convenings, Access Now is engaged in defending human rights in the digital age. Policy furthers Access Now’s mission by developing and promoting rights-respecting practices and policies. Another activity of Access Now is aimed to advance laws and global norms to affect long-term systemic change in the area of digital rights and online security, developing insightful, rights-based, and well-researched policy guidance to governments, corporations, and civil society. Access Now also works to  provide technology solutions and real-time advice for users at risk in circumstances where communications are not open, free, or safe. Through its 24/7 Digital Security Helpline, Access Now offers technical guidance and incident response to inform and support activists, journalists, human rights defenders, and civil society actors on the ground.

In Europe It has offices in London, Brussels and Berlin.

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression - Support Centres

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) is a Canadian organization founded in 1981 that works to defend and protect the right to free expression in Canada and around the world.

CJFE carries out monitoring, defence and reporting activities on free expression and access to information in Canada and abroad. Rooted in the field of journalism, CJFE promotes a free media as essential to a fair and open society.

CJFE runs a programme called Journalists in distress: securing your digital life , a platform the includes information on how to protect yourself while browsing the web, while using instant messaging and social media, how to secure your passwords and e-mail, and other privacy and security issues. The guide also includes information for getting help from supportive organisations and how to mitigate risks and protect yourself during your search for help. A section is dedicated on precautions to prevent governments, authorities, intelligence or security agents as well as other potential threats to control and easily access your data and devices.

Security without Borders - Support Centres

Security without Borders is a volunteer network of hackers and cyber-security professionals that offers free assistance to organizations, activists and journalists fighting against human rights abuse, racism and other injustices. 

ProtectDefenders.eu - Support Centres

Launched in 2015, ProtectDefenders.eu is the European Union Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) mechanism which supports individuals and local actors who strive to promote and defend human rights worldwide. The mechanism is implemented by a Consortium of twelve international organisations active in the field of Human Rights.

Its services comprise:

  • Emergency support for HRDs at risk 
  • Support to local HRD organisations
  • Temporary relocation of HRDs at risk
  • Training and information to HRDs at risk
  • Monitoring and advocacy

HOTLINE: +353 (0) 1 21 00 489