Posts in Category: Human Rights

Finding hope in Larkin & Lacey’s frontera fund

Or the recent threats to repeal DACA, undocumented immigrants and their supporters are rightly concerned what’s going on at who they can turn to for help. As an undocumented immigrant, it can be hard to know who to trust, who is rightfully on your side, and who is supporting your rights. This is why Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin co-founded the frontera fund.

The Frontera fund was established by Larkin and Lacey after they were wrongfully arrested in 2007 under the orders of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The two journalists or wrongfully taken from their homes in the middle of the night and placed in jail after they revealed the existence of certain grand jury proceedings targeting their notes in particular.

Even more terrifying than targeting journalists and interfering with their first amendment right to free speech, grand jury subpoenas also demanded the identity of citizens who are reading stories published by the New Times involving the sheriff. In order to protect their readers, they sued maricopa County for this egregious breach of their first amendment rights, ultimately prevailing and being awarded a settlement of 3.75 million dollars.

Larkin and Lacey knew they had to do something moral with the money. This is why they established the Frontera fund in order to support civil rights for all people within the United States, including those of migrants who are not yet citizens.

Most notable and simple way to Frontera fun fights back against breaches of civil rights is to target those leaders and law enforcement directly responsible for it. Because it was Sheriff Joe Arpaio that initially sparked this dispute by breaching the First Amendment rights of New Times readers, the frontier of fun has fought relentlessly to ensure that he does not win the election. Read more: Michael Lacey | Crunchbase

Their work eventually paid off. In November 2016 Sherrif Joe Arpaio was not reelected as sheriff and instead Paul Penzone was elected in his place, ending the 24-year of Sheriff Joe in Maricopa County. What’s even more notable is the degree of success that spends own had in defeating Joe Arpaio, leading by more than 10 points.

It’s amazing just how much many voters miss out on by not having all the information. Sheriff Joe Arpaio had won reelection several times, resulting in his long 24-year tenure as Sheriff. Once voters finally had all the information about who he was as a person and what he was responsible for, they voted differently.

The mission of the Frontera fund is not over. There will continue to be those who breach basic human civil liberties in America, and it is the ongoing Mission of the frontera fund to protect citizens from these abuses of authority, no matter who may be the victim next time.

Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey:

http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427427/Jim_Larkin
https://about.me/michael-lacey

Thor Halvorssen Stands Up For Freedom

Thor Halvorssen is a well-known human rights activist who was born in Venezuela. His father served as a Venezuelan Ambassador for anti-Narcotic Affairs and was a special overseas investigator of the Senate Commission. Thor Halvorssen graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with undergraduate and graduate degrees in History and Political Science.

When Thor Halvorssen was just a freshman, his father was arrested, tortured and beaten presumably for his investigation into the Medellin cartel. He was incarcerated for a total of 74 days, but went on to have a successful life afterwards. Thor Halvorssen led the campaign for the release of his father, enrolling the help of Amnesty International. This fight sparked his passion for human rights activism.

Since young adulthood, Thor Halvorssen has become extremely passionate and educated about human trafficking, slavery, dictatorships, and any threats to a democracy. He has lectured at places like the United Nations in New York, the American Enterprise Institute, and Harvard Law School.

In 1999, he founded a U.S. civil liberties organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. He became the foundation’s executive director and CEO, forming coalitions which brought together varying organizations like ACLU and the Heritage Foundation.

In 2005, Thor Halvorssen founded an international group with the aim of being the champion of human rights, focused on freedom and self-determination. The Human Rights Foundation’s headquarters was finally opened in New York City in 2006 and its International Council includes many well-known figures and activists like Vladimir Bukovsky, Elie Wiessel, and Mart Laar. Vaclav Havel sat as the council’s chairman until 2011.

Thor Halvorssen founded an international gather of human advocates in 2009, the Oslo Freedom Forum. Commonly referred to as the “Gathering of Heroes,” this yearly forum hosts a number of activists, survivors, and experts in an effort to combine forces to fight for freedom.

He is also a patron of the Children’s Peace Movement, On Own Feet. This “centipede movement” is a Czech-based organization that helps create relationships between children in Poland, Canada, Norway, and the Czech Republic with other children in war-torn countries like Iraq and Afghanistan.