Michael Lacy and Jim Larkin are co founders of the Phoenix New Times and Village Voice Media. On October 18, 2007 they were both arrested from their homes in the middle of the night. They have sued the Sheriff responsible for their wrongful arrests. They have dedicated the settlement money to the Frontera Fund.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio was responsible for the arrests of Lacy and Larkin. They reported findings that the Sheriff worked to incite a Grand Jury to force the release of the names of people writing and reporting the news. The sheriff tried to get the names and locations of the people reading the articles posted online as well. Read more: Michael Larcey | Crunchbase and Michael Larcey | Twitter
The Phoenix New Times reported on the rampant abuse both in management and financially within Sherrif Arpaio’s office. The sheriff took issue with this and tried to force a Grand Jury to name the reporters and reveal the writers. This is in direct violation of the constitution.
Michael Lacy and Jim Larkin were held for 24 hours after their arrest. The charges were later dropped. In 2012 on laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org website reported that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals wrote, “It is hard to conceive of a more direct assault on the First Amendment than public officials ordering the immediate arrests of their critics. And, in this case, there was nothing subtle about their efforts to stifle the New Times.”
Michael Lacy and Jim Larkin sued after the arrest and have won $3.75 million. They have earmarked that money to go to the Frontera Fund.
This fund supports areas such as civil rights, human rights, and the rights of migrants. The fund also helps promote community participation and freedom of speech for everyone. They also help fund other non-profit organizations that help advocate for Hispanic civil and human rights.
On the website, laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org Jim Larkin says, “I grew up in Arizona. I was taught from an early age that one must give a hand to those of us less fortunate in life”
Larkin goes on to say, “I cannot think of a more deserving group than those Mexican immigrants who brave unimaginable peril in the desert to travel to Arizona for work and economic opportunity.”
In that same article on laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org Michael Lacy says, “I think the people of Arizona are better than this. Of course, Jim and I stand with migrants. We are all Migrants.”
Michael Lacy and Jim Larkin have fought for the rights of migrants for years before this incident and the lawsuit. They have been supporters of civil and human rights for Hispanics for many years as well. They are both paying it forward in a literal way by donating the award to the Frontera Fund. Thousands of people will benefit from this donation and the Frontera Fund.
Thor Halvorssen, founder and president of the Human Rights Foundation, was recently interviewed by Fox News. He expounded on his opposition to U.S. Senator and democratic party candidate for president Bernie Sanders and Sanders’ support of democratic socialist principles. Thor Halvorssen explains that while it is potentially possible for socialist countries, such as Denmarks, to not violate human rights, however, it is more likely that socialism is instituted by authoritarian regimes, with the potential for massive human rights violations.
In a departure from strictly academic or theoretical discourse, Halvorssen explains the reality of socialism in practice today. First of all, Halvorssen contends that socialism tends to erode individual rights. Halvorssen continues to explain that there is a difference between having a democratic government with socialist policies. But, in the case of countries like Venezuela, an authoritarian government may institute socialist policies to undermine the good of the people and actually loot the common good. With price fixing by national governments, the people can experience an actual humanitarian crisis. In this way, Thor Halvorssen is especially leery about democratic socialism when rule of law is not in place and much prefers free markets to protect individual liberty and help build the prosperity of the country. Halvorssen warns against the dangers of allowing the government to control property instead of protecting the individual property rights of private citizens.
Halvorssen has very personal experience with the human rights violations of authoritarian socialist regimes. His father was a political prisoner and his mother was shot at a peaceful protest in Venezuela. In addition, Halvorssen’s cousin is currently imprisoned in Venezuela.
In considering which candidate to support in the upcoming 2016 U.S. presidential election, Halvorssen said that in spite of Sanders’ socialist policies, he still made the maximum contribution allowable by law to Bernie Sanders’ campaign because he is afraid of Hillary Clinton’s support of dictators around the world. While Halvorssen presents a cautionary tale about the dangers of democratic socialism without the proper checks and balances against government in place, he does concede that there are circumstances where socialism can be instituted without violating basic human rights.
Nicki Minaj scheduled a concert in Angola with approval from the Dos Santos family, and the Human Right Foundation reached out to Nicki to voice their disapproval of her performance schedule. Angola is a country rife with human rights abuses that have been perpetrated by the ruling Dos Santos family for decades, and HRF founder Thor Halvorssen wanted Minaj to have no part of the country’s ruling family. This article explains how Thor Halvorssen reached out to Nicki Minaj over a situation she may not have fully understood.
#1: Thor Halvorssen Attacks All Human Rights Abuses
Thor Halvorssen has a history of attacking all human rights abuses around the globe. He is not a politician who must keep up appearances with his ruling government, and he is a private citizen who is free to call attention to any injustice he sees. Thor has spent his career making light of human rights abuses the media does not report on, and he keeps stories alive about countries that have fallen out of the media.
#2: Nicki’s Concert In Angola Would Be Ill-Advised
Thor wrote a personal letter to Nicki Minaj in advance of her concert in Angola to note all the human rights abuses that have been reported in Angola. Thor understands that many people do not realize the Dos Santos has been terrorizing their people for decades, and Thor wanted Nicki to be aware of the terrible conditions in the country. She would have been paid in what amounts to blood money, and Thor found the concert to be in poor taste.
#3: Thor Is Fearless
Thor Halvorssen is a fearless social justice warrior who keeps an eye on the news throughout the world. Human rights infringement is happening all over the world, and Thor is one of the first people to make a story out of something the west has not heard of. Thor writes letters to world leaders calling for action, uses the media to call for action in third world nations and takes on special cases where an individual has been persecuted.
The track record Thor Halvorssen has amassed over the years is a stellar one. Thor is not afraid to put his own neck on the line to speak up for people who have no voice, and Thor will contact world leaders who seem out of reach. His Human Rights Foundation changes lives around the world when human rights abuses are finally reported because of his diligent work.