Skip to main content

The Stakes Have Never Been Higher.

In the face of existential emergencies to humanity, Common Dreams is facing other potentially fatal threats to our funding model. Please support our nonprofit journalism and help us reach our $75,000 Mid-Year Campaign goal.

'Normal' is killing us.

Donald Trump is out of the White House. COVID-19 is fading, at least in wealthier nations. The world, they say, is returning to “normal.” That’s the narrative that the corporate media is selling. But there’s a problem: “normal” is destroying our planet, threatening our democracies, concentrating massive wealth in a tiny elite, and leaving billions of people without access to life-saving vaccines amid a deadly pandemic. Here at Common Dreams, we refuse to accept any of this as “normal.” Common Dreams just launched our Mid-Year Campaign to make sure we have the funding we need to keep the progressive, independent journalism of Common Dreams alive. Whatever you can afford—no amount is too large or too small—please donate today to support our nonprofit, people-powered journalism and help us meet our goal.

Please select a donation method:

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

For Immediate Release

Press Release

ACLU Launches ‘Freedom Cities’ Grassroots Organizing Initiative in Miami

 ACLU Event Headlined by Actress and Author Padma Lakshmi and Singer MILCK

During an event over the weekend attended by more than 1,500 people in Miami and livestreamed to more than 200,000 at 2,341 house parties across the nation, the American Civil Liberties Union launched a national grassroots initiative to organize communities to promote policies at the local level that respect the constitutional rights of all residents.

The “Freedom Cities” initiative was driven by the Trump administration’s continued attacks on the diverse communities that represent the heartbeat of our nation. These attacks include the Muslim travel ban and immigration executive orders that trample due process rights for immigrants.

The ACLU’s “The Resistance Training: An ACLU Town Hall” was held at the University of Miami’s Watsco Center on Saturday. It included the participation of experts covering issues as varied as women’s health, protesters’ rights, LGBTQ rights, immigration, and religious freedom. It also featured Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi as keynote speaker and L.A. songwriter and vocalist MILCK, who moved the crowd with an powerful rendition of the Women’s March anthem “Quiet.”

The event’s primary goal was to ensure individuals know their rights. The ACLU also invited communities tuning in to assert those rights and call on their elected officials to turn their municipalities into “Freedom Cities.” They unveiled a list of template ordinances that citizens can propose to ensure their communities can become places where the Constitution is upheld.

“To paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King, who said it best: people should be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin, their religion, national origin, or sexual orientation,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero. “That ideal is underpinned by the Constitution and we at the ACLU feel every individual has a role in defending the rights enshrined in that document. You don’t need to be a lawyer to defend civil rights — you just need to care. And over the past few months we’ve seen an outpouring of caring energy unseen in the past. It is time to engage communities.”

The ACLU’s membership has nearly tripled to 1.5 million members since Donald Trump became president. Events such as the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. and protests in Miami against Miami-Dade County officials’ decision to turn over fathers and mothers to immigration authorities signal this renewed energy to promote the protection of constitutional rights.

"I first came here when I was four, joining my mother, a nurse who’d left me back in India two years prior. She’d ended an abusive marriage, and because of the stigma of divorce, arrived in America in search of a better future," said Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi, who spoke at the event. "I’m a mother, and I want my daughter Krishna to live in a country whose policies are governed by compassion, not by fear... I don’t have to be Muslim or Mexican to be offended by what’s happening. As Americans we should all be offended."

Howard Simon, ACLU of Florida Executive Director, said, “This country urgently needs a new mass civil rights movement that employs social media and the new forms of electronic communications to fight back against a national regime that is bent on rolling back the fundamental rights of Americans. And it is appropriate that is starts here in Miami, home to so many of the major targets of Trump’s policies, including the LGBT and immigrant communities.”

The town hall also featured the ACLU’s newest organizing tool,, a new grassroots mobilization platform to help organize the mass resistance to President Trump’s unconstitutional policies. will use digital tools to communicate with, and help train, volunteers to resist those policies. seeks to amplify organic, bottom-up grassroots actions as a one-stop hub for anyone looking to engage with their community and influence the national debate.

More information about the new platform is available here:

This release can be found here:


ACLU full logo

The American Civil Liberties Union was founded in 1920 and is our nation's guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

Progressives Alarmed by Privatization Dub Infrastructure Deal a 'Disaster in the Making'

"Communities across the country have been ripped off by public-private schemes that enrich corporations and Wall Street investors and leave the rest of us to pick up the tab."

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·

'We Must Not Stand Down': 270+ Arrested at Anti-Logging Protests in Canada

A battle over old-growth forests is raging in British Columbia.

Kenny Stancil, staff writer ·

US Lawmakers Demand EU 'Do the Right Thing or Get Out of the Way' on Covid-19 Vaccine Patent Waivers

"A global recovery requires a global response based on health needs—not Big Pharma," said Congressman Jesús "Chuy" García at a rally.

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·

'Horrible and Unconscionable Betrayal': Biden DOJ Backs Trump Line 3 Approval

"You are siding with a handful of corrupt corporate elites over honoring treaty rights, climate, water, and the future of life on Earth."

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·

'We Can't Wait': Thousands in DC Demand Bold Action on Climate, Immigration, and Jobs

"All of us have got to stand together and tell the billionaire class that our time is now," said Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Julia Conley, staff writer ·