'Scholars and government officials have spent countless pages trying to define “terrorism.” They should instead follow Charles Tilly’s definition of political violence:
any observable interaction in the course of which persons or objects are seized or physically damaged in spite of resistance (Tilly 1978, p. 176).
What is often termed “terrorism” is more properly the use or threat of political violence.
A virtue of Tilly’s definition is it acknowledges that state and non-state actors engage in (and threaten) political violence. Unfortunately, many scholars who study “terrorism” explicitly exclude state actions from their definition or they include the potential for state violence and then selectively focus on non-state activists. This is misguided, at best.
From my perspective, “terrorism” is a label used by elites to smear dissenters. For example, The Guardian reports that the Chinese government has referred to the Dalai Lama’s prayers for self-immolating monks as “terrorism in disguise”....'
The stopspying.us website is part of a broad coalition that spans ideological boundaries. All the participant groups know that defending civil liberties and opposing government surveillance abuse is a job for all of us.
For more information on conservative voices in support of civil liberties, visit this page at the
Bill of Rights Defense Committee.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Democracy is not a specific set of institutions but a process that requires dissent.
Democracy is a process that assumes the majority of people,
over time, given enough accurate information,
the ability to participate in a free and open public debate, and can vote without intimidation,
reach constructive decisions that benefit the whole of society, and
preserve liberty, protect our freedoms, extend equality, and thus defend democracy itself.