Casting a Wide Net

Published on Author Androidita

To make informed decisions is to make good decisions, whether right or wrong. Information is vital in this information age. Human rights activists need to understand that information plays a center stage role in their operations and that they need to invest in getting any sort of relevant information.

Additionally, they need discerning minds to counsel them on strategic and innovative ways to share critical information regarding human and civil rights and how those rights are faring. Such a configuration for receiving and disseminating strategic information is especially critical when activists are called upon by need to prove abuse in courts of law and in public opinion.

When advocating and championing for human rights, exposing the individuals and entities responsible for the violations is necessary. When Maricopa journalists felt that the then sheriff was abusing the rights of Hispanics too much, they collected compelling evidence on the abuse and published articles about it in the papers.

The sheriff tried to arm twist them of their information by demanding that they surrender their notes on the case and provide private browsing data of their readers to his office. They declined the demands and a standoff involving illegal arrests and a consequent lawsuit ensued.

Larkin and Lacey, the reporters, won the case because they still had their notes and were able to prove matters easily. Fortunately for the communities that Sheriff Arpaio oppressed, Larkin and Lacey won and were awarded a settlement of 3.75 million dollars.

They used the settlement money to set up the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund which chiefly champions for the civil rights of immigrants and Hispanics within Arizona.

Unfortunately, the Sheriff, who was set to receive his indictment sentence on October fifth, 2017, was pardoned by President Donald Trump. The presidential pardon attracted public reprimand but that was not enough. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/jim-larkin/ and http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/michael-lacey/

The whole saga casts light upon the fact that activism should be innovative, resilient and reliant on many methods and means. Civil rights lobby groups should use more than just one strategy to combat the abuse of rights.

They should even combine effort to achieve more results. Some individuals, especially political officials, do not mind opposition from the public. Individuals like President Trump and Sheriff Joe Arpaio seemingly feed off bad publicity and their relevance is apparently dependent on ticking off the masses.

An effective advocate for human and civil rights should develop new ways of advocacy and keep oppressors busy trying to catch up. For the case of perpetrators who use their political vantage to justify their abuse of human rights, activists should dissuade their enablers from empowering them. They can do so by conducting awareness campaigns.

Through campaigns, enablers can be made to understand the negative impact that abusing human and civil rights causes. Activists should explain that coercion and repression instigated on others makes perpetrators powerful enough, and confident enough, to turn on them. Read more: Phoenix New Time and Village Voice Media | Wikipedia

Those who can’t respond positively to such education should be subjected to legal and just coercive tools like prosecutions and sanctions. An activist should be open minded and creative enough to beat any odds to defend human and civil rights.