Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin

It is a story that could have come straight out of a country run by a dictator, or some other form of fascism. Two people are relaxing in their respective homes in the evening, then unmarked vans with tinted windows pull up to their houses, and out jumps men who go on to take them away and put them in prison without going through proper procedures.

For those still wondering where this happened, they may be shocked to know it happened in none other than Phoenix, Arizona! This happened back in 2007 and the two victims were Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin.

The village voice

Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey are the founders of Phoenix New Times and Village Voice Media, publications based in Phoenix, Arizona. They have a history of keeping an eye on law enforcement through these media outlets, especially the Sheriff’s office in Maricopa County.

If the name Maricopa County rings a bell, then it’s likely people have heard about this county for all the wrong reasons. This is the infamous county where the sheriff’s department was headed by a colorful character named Joe Arpaio. Learn more about Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/jim-larkin/

He went on to gain notoriety by calling himself the “toughest sheriff in the country”. One of the reasons why he called himself that is because of his tough stance on illegal immigration. Some would argue that not only was his methods illegal, but he practiced racial profiling to do his job.

Mr. Larkin and Mr. Lacey through Village Voice Media were not shy about exposing Sheriff Arpaio’s lack of discretion. In fact, the two have been doing so since the early 1990’s, exposing all sorts of misdeeds of the sheriff and his department.

Finally, things came to a head when Sheriff Arpaio decided to take justice into his own hands by having Mr. Larkin and Lacey arrested. The specific reason why he did this is what is more shocking. Sheriff Arpaio wanted the browsing history and names of people who read the online articles pertaining to the sheriff’s actions. Needless to say, this was a gross violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution. Read more: Michael Larcey | Twitter and Michael Larcey | Crunchbase

Mr. Larkin and Lacey went ahead and sued the sheriff for his actions. Last year they won the case and received a $3.75 Million settlement. With this money, the duo started a non-profit organization devoted to protecting people’s rights, including immigrants who are illegally detained. The foundation is called the Frontera Fund. Even though the fund was started to tackle injustices towards people in general, the main aim of the fund is to help with any civil rights abuses that Mexicans who take the perilous journey to work in the US at substandard wages, may face.

Most of these immigrants do not have the knowledge or support to defend themselves if they were to find themselves in a situation such as what Mr. Lacey and Larkin had to endure.

After all, even if two well-known journalists such as Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey can be treated that way, one can only imagine what happens to an immigrant who can barely speak English.

The Success Made By Thor Halvorssen in Political Activism

Human right activism has been recognized around the world as the only sure way of freeing unlawfully detained political prisoners. The activism started long time ago when people started being aware of their rights and privileges enshrined in the constitutions across the world. Political instability has contributed greatly in the rise of civil activism that has brought rise to democratic rights. It is difficult to undertake the process of human right activism and only the brave and fearless in the society have stood firm to condemn the act.

This is due to the increased number of political assassinations attributed to human activists that have been killed by many people around the world. However few people like Thor Halvorssen have continued to advocate for the right to equal political and civil rights. He is the founder of human rights foundation found in New York City and has been involved in active political activism. As a result, he has contributed in the release of many political detainees who had been held by different governments across the world.

Thor Halvorssen was born in Venezuela and became active in the human activism world during his university life.He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania having acquired a degree in political science and history. He later joined active human right activism when his father then serving in the ministerial position in the Venezuelan government was arrested. His father was a prominent personality that headed a powerful position when he was in the middle of undertaking an investigation to nub drug cartels, he was arrested and detained without trial. This necessitated the rise of street protest and atavism in Venezuela championed by Thor Halvorssen. Many people came to the street to protest and later international organizations weighed in on the matter which saw his father freed. Thor Halvorssen is a renowned and recognized film producer across the world.