D-Day for President Trump, who surrendered his Android and got a new private phone number for the occasion. Washington DC police use pepper spray on demonstrators outside last night’s DeploraBall.‎ Read PEN America’s statement on how abolishing National Endowments for Arts and Humanities will usher in a “New Dark Ages.” -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director

DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression

PEN America’s take on today’s most pressing threats to free expression


Police pepper spray anti-Trump protesters outside ‘DeploraBall’ event
Protesters gathered outside an inaugural party celebrating Trump were pepper sprayed last night, kicking off what is likely to be a tense weekend as thousands flock to D.C. for the inauguration and thousands more arrive to protest it.

Lawmakers in Five States Propose Bills to Criminalize Peaceful Protest
In some states, nonviolent demonstrating may soon carry increased legal risks — including punishing fines and significant prison terms — for people who participate in protests involving civil disobedience.

Free speech policed by Bikers For Trump. What could go wrong?
The president-elect is unwise to welcome vigilante gangs to his inauguration. When Hells Angels provided security for the Rolling Stones, there was chaos.

What Trump’s Proposed Spending Cuts Could Mean for the Arts Economy
Along with major funding cuts to the departments of Energy, Commerce, Transportation, Justice and State, the plan would achieve this reduction in part by “targeting waste” like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Why the White House Press Matters
When officeholders start deciding who is and who isn’t a reporter, and instituting bans or blacklists against government access, everyone starts getting jumpy.


Police Raid Premium Times, Arrest Publisher, Journalist
Nigerian police yesterday raided the head office of the Premium Times newspaper in Abuja, and arrested the newspaper’s publisher alongside the paper’s judiciary correspondent.

China steps up censorship for Trump inauguration
Beijing censors have ordered media outlets to tone down their reporting of Donald Trump’s inauguration as the Communist party weighs its response to a new administration that threatens to tear up the rule book of US-China relations.

Turkish court orders pre-trial release of journalist Hüsnü Mahalli
An Istanbul court ordered the pre-trial release of journalist Hüsnü Mahalli on Jan. 20, a day after an indictment sought his imprisonment for up to seven years and five months for “insulting” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during a TV show.

Nigerian Writers Urge President Buhari To Halt Harassment Of Journalists
A group of Nigerian public commentators, intellectuals, activists, and writers have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the harassment of journalists and bloggers by security agencies, and to respect the freedom of expression.

Former Prime Minister Says Independent Thinking And Freedom Of Expression Are Under Threat In Indian Universities
Independent thinking and free expression in Indian universities “are now under threat”, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday alleged.

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