The need to have human rights groups is one of those things that remind us that despite the strides that we have made in terms of growth when it comes to human rights there still remains a long way to go before we can really achieve what we would consider an ideal country and world for that matter. These organizations are self-funded or are funded by well-wishers but they ensure that all the financial assistance that they receive that they get does not affect their ability to run independently as well as continue to fight and remain true to the ideals and principles on which they were founded on.
Some of the most vocal voices in this area include
The Frontera fund
This is also an organization that was born in Arizona founded by journalist Jim and Micheal lacey on the settlement of 3.75 million that was awarded to them by the county for violation of their rights. Today the fund fights for the rights of the Hispanic community in Arizona as well as others in the country. The duo was arrested by Sheriff Joe Arpaio on the 18th of October in 2007 the arrest was made at midnight and from the word go there were all indications that they were illegal. The arrested were placed in unmarked cars and driven to the county jail which was run by the sheriff. The two were placed in separate jails and what followed as soon as the story of the arrest broke was a national public outcry. The sheriff unable to substantiate the reason for the arrest had to set the two free and at the same time drop all the charges that he had conferred on them.
The two knew that this was in response to what they have been writing against the sheriff and his department and it is at this point that they sued the county.
The actions of the sheriff led to the events that followed with a case being filed by the two centered on the first amendment rights that were violated. The ninth circuit court of appeals was in agreement with this view and hence the settlement.
Lacey and Larkin Defend Arizona from Arpaio
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were arrest in 2007 by Joe Arpaio, adding two more names to the list of individuals who have been made victims by Joe Arpaio.
Arpaio was the sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona at the time, a position he had held since 1992. When Arpaio made the arrest he had no idea it would lead to a 3.75 million dollar lawsuit being awarded to Lacey and Larkin, the former co-owners of The Phoenix New Times.
Arpaio himself didn’t have to pay the settlement, of course. It was left up to the taxpayers of Maricopa County to foot the bill for the corrupt politician. Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, recognizing this, have decided to give the money back to the community via their new charity The Frontera Fund.
The Frontera Fund works with such noteable charities as Can The Border Divide US?, the ACLU of Arizona, and the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition. Lacey and Larkin are using the cash from the settlement as funds to serve the Hispanic-American residents of Arizona and surrounding states.
Since the lawsuit Lacey and Larkin have sold their previous publication and began a new one. Front Page Confidential is their new medium between them and their readers. Their new paper publishes primarily material meant to persuade voters to not vote for Arpaio in his next attempt at holding political office. The newspaper also concerns itself with issues of civil rights and constitutional rights violations.