The Defenders of State Sovereignty and Individual Liberties, a grassroots political organization created in Petersburg in October 1954, was dedicated to preserving strict racial segregation in Virginia’s public schools. A group of prominent Southside leaders formed the group following Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, the U.S. Supreme Court decision, handed down on May 17, 1954, that mandated the. Opening chapters across the state and employing a variety of tactics, the Defenders rigorously confronted the Brown mandate, influencing the state commission that bestowed its blessing on the policy of and even the temporary closing of public schools in Warren County, Norfolk, and Charlottesville. When Massive Resistance was declared unconstitutional, the Defenders organized a Bill of Rights Crusade and protested in Richmond, but the group’s support and influence was on the wane. It dissolved in 1967.