Archive for December 12th, 2012

News Digest 12/12/12

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 5:00 pm by

Civil liberties advocates convene in CT for conference on solidarity and action

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 10:49 am by

This past Saturday, the Connecticut Coalition to Stop Indefinite Detention along with BORDC organized “An Injury to One is An Injury to All: A Conference in Defense of Civil Liberties and to End Indefinite Detention”.  A litany of advocacy groups and activists attended to demonstrate solidarity against the systematic and divisive abridgment of Americans civil liberties.  The conference encompassed critical issues such as police militarization, government aggression against dissident voices, prejudiced enforcement practices, and domestic surveillance.  The ideology under which so many civil liberties groups gathered expresses that, though all Americans face significant challenges to their civil liberties,  no one community should endure isolation, even in marginalization.

The conference featured notable speeches addressing the most pernicious assaults on Americans civil liberties.  Critical Guardian columnist and best-selling author Glenn Greenwald spoke out against indefinite detention and the use of laws to undermine the rights they ought to preserve.  He also raised the issue of surveillance drones already in American airspace, which suggests the further adaptation of foreign conflict policies for domestic law enforcement.

BORDC Executive Director Shahid Buttar revealed the disturbing implications emboldened ‘criminal justice agencies’ and Next Generation Identification (NGI) for Americans’ privacy and freedom.  Through biometric data-sharing among federal agencies and local police, community cops become proxy feds and every American is a suspect.  Professor Sahar Aziz extended this discussion with a piece on government plants and informants utilized to listen in on dissident voices, instigate criminal acts, and enable manufactured investigations against targeted communities, which you can view online.

The conference also entailed multiple workshops to closely examine pertinent issues such as prejudiced law enforcement and diminishing speech rights.  The simultaneous impact of these violations  marginalizes targeted communities such as African-Americans, South Asians, and Latinos while negating opportunities to expose and challenge abuse.  Though not all groups experience the same levels of discrimination, the liberty of all peoples requires each group to represent the cause of others. Without such solidarity, we will all be competing for false freedom.

Ultimately, the “Conference in Defense of Civil Liberties”  brought together a diverse cross-section of civil liberties advocates for a singular purpose: preserve the rights of all Americans.  Though tireless organizing, activism, issue engagement, and resistance to regressive and abusive policies, We the people can build the power to keep the state in its proper place.  In identifying with the struggles of other groups and communities, we develop the understanding necessary to truly contextualize our own efforts to establish liberty and justice.