The American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, is a civil rights organization that has been around since 1920. It’s purpose is to fight for those who feel that their civil liberties have been trampled upon.
The ACLU fights government abuse and defends individual freedoms in issues such as freedom of religion, women’s rights, freedom of speech, rights to privacy, the right to due process and many other issues. It has even stood up for people with unpopular and controversial views, such as the KKK.
The ACLU has stood up for the rights of such controversial parties not because it agrees with their views, but because it believes that freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are rights that everyone equally deserves.
Their philosophy is that throughout history, people with the most radical views have been the ones most vulnerable to having their rights impeded upon, and that once the government impedes upon the rights of one individual, the government can violate the rights of everyone else. The ACLU operates nationwide, though has its headquarters in New York City. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase
Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund is an initiative that focuses on freedom of speech, human rights and immigrants’ rights. They are located in Arizona, and put extra emphasis on the plights of immigrants and the Hispanic community. The Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund supports grass roots initiatives and organizations that fight to improve human dignity in the state of Arizona.
Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund was founded as a result of government officials trying to silence free speech. It all started when New Pheonix Times exposed the misdeeds of a sheriff by the name of Arpaio. The publication discussed political posturing and anti-Mexican fear mongering in Arizona, financial irregularities in the sheriff’s office, mismanagement in the sheriff’s office, aggression against the sheriff’s critics, inferior jail conditions under Arpaio’s watch and inmate deaths .
Mainstream newspapers regarded New Pheonix Times as a benign, offbeat publication. However, Arpaio, “The Toughest Sheriff in America,” was heavily insulted. At the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, Arpaio’s allies issued subpoenas that requested details about the writers and editors, as well as the readers. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/immigration/2014/12/16/proceeds-arpaio-suit-fund-asu-journalism-chair/20480479/
The subpoenas asked for private information about the readers, such as IP addresses and browsing history. Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin refused to adhere to the subpoenas, and wrote about them instead. As a result, they were taken from their homes and thrown into jail. They were released from jail before 24 hours and had their charges dropped due to national outcry.
Their detainment resulted in a prolonged court battle that discussed abuse of power and the First Amendment. The Ninth Circuit Court made it clear that they were arrested without probable cause, and that the prosecutors did not go through the proper legal procedure when the subpoenas were initially issued. In 2013, Maricopa County gave Lacey and Larkin a $3.7 million settlement. Lacey and Larkin used this money to start the Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund.