Protecting the Right to Protest Fund

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: Proteus Action League
Amount: Updated to $300,000 in 2021 — originally approved as $100,000 in 2019

What is Proteus Action League?

The Protecting the Right to Protest Fund, a project of Proteus Action League, is a rapid response fund to state groups combating legislation that would restrict the freedom to assemble. In addition, they coordinate a national network of organizations that serve as support to local actors.

Why do we think this project is important?

Peaceful protest is a quintessential exercise of the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. Throughout American history, protest has been a key strategy to hold the government accountable to the people and to advance democracy. In recent years, state and federal threats to peaceful protest have mounted, including legislation ranging from significantly increased civil fines for protestors and increased criminal penalties for specific forms of protest. 2020 specifically saw increased protest mobilization, which led to new attacks on the right to protest.

In response to these bills, the Protect the Right to Protest fund quickly dispersed grants to organizations to conduct public education, engage their communities, and advocate for freedom of assembly. By coordinating the Protect Dissent Network, the Protect the Right to Protest Fund also provided support to state groups and works collaboratively to protect this fundamental Constitutional right.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Proteus Action League?

In 2019, Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant to Proteus Action League in the amount of $100,000 to support their project, Protecting the Right to Protest Fund. In 2020 and in 2021 amendments were approved to increase the amount of the grant by $100,000, for a total of $300,000. A previous grant of $100,000 was made in 2018.