Right to Protest Program

Type of Activity: Project
Grantee: Proteus Action League
Amount: $100,000 in 2022 

What is Proteus Action League?

Proteus Action League convenes and facilitates donor collaboratives, partners with innovative projects through fiscal sponsorship and offers Donor Advised c4 accounts. Their work addresses democracy, human rights, peace, LGBTQI justice, racial justice, and gender justice, among other issues.

The Piper Action Fund’s Right to Protest program, 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. 

In 2021, there was a sharp increase in the number of attempts by states to criminalize protest. Unfortunately, this trend continued in 2022 with 22 states considering legislation to criminalize protest.

In response to these bills, the Right to Protest program quickly dispersed grants to organizations to conduct public education, engage their communities, and advocate for freedom of assembly. They also worked to coordinate national support to state groups through the Protect Dissent network, developed messaging to build strong support for the right to protest, and engaged the donor community in addressing these threats.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Proteus Action League?

In 2022, Democracy Fund Voice approved a one-year grant of $100,000 to Proteus Action League to support their project, Piper Action Fund’s Right to Protest Program. 

Previous financial support includes $100,000 in 2018, $100,000 in 2019, $100,000 in 2020 and $100,000 in 2021.