Connexions Resource Centre:
Focus on Civil Liberties and Human Rights
Recent & Selected Articles
- This is a small sampling of articles related to civil liberties and human rights in the Connexions Online Library. For more articles, books, films, and other resources, check the Connexions Library Subject Index, especially under topics such as
freedom of expression,
and political prisoners.
- Rethinking the challenge of anti-Muslim bigotry (November 15, 2017)
In 1997 the British anti-racist organisation the Runnymede Trust published its highly influential report Islamophobia: A Challenge for Us All. Twenty years on, the Runnymede Trust has brought out a follow-up report Islamophobia: Still a Challenge for Us All, which is a stock-take on current views, and facts, about the issue.
- Don't Call the Cops If You're Autistic, Deaf, Mentally Ill, Disabled or Old (October 24, 2017)
When people entering the police service are trained to be military warriors instead of peace officers, tense situations involving some of our society's more vulnerable people will more likely end violently.
- The Misguided Attacks on ACLU for Defending Neo-Nazis' Free Speech Rights in Charlottesville (August 13, 2017)
You can fight fascism by employing and championing one of its defining traits: viewpoint-based state censorship. those who favor free speech suppression, or who oppose the ACLUs universal defense of speech rights, will create results that are the exact opposite of those they claim to want. Its an indescribably misguided strategy that will inevitably victimize themselves and their own views.
- Comply or Die: the Police State's Answer to Free Speech Is Brute Force (July 12, 2017)
Forget everything youve ever been taught about free speech in America. It's all a lie.There can be no free speech for the citizenry when the government speaks in a language of force.
- Free Speech and Unsafe Spaces (April 8, 2017)
Malik criticizes "the blinkered, self-centred, indeed narcissistic, attitudes that shape much contemporary discussion on speech and its limits. Free speech, from this perspective, requires not a robust exchange of ideas but the validation of my views. I should have the right to denounce anyone I wish, but criticism of my views is a denial of my free speech. Vigorously defending oneself against criticism is to deny safe space for one's critics."
- Lies about Assange and UN human rights jurists imperil us all (February 6, 2016)
The defence secretary, 'comedians' on BBC Radio's News Quiz, and the entire media commentariat have ganged up this weekend up to pour mockery and poisonous lies over Julian Assange and the UN's human rights jurists. As they attempt to fight off the UN's 'guilty' verdict against the British state, they are putting dissidents at risk everywhere.
- The Canadian Ministry of "Truth": "Reality Is Whatever We Say It Is" (April 20, 2015)
The government and corporations operate as if truth and reality are what they say it is. Guerin analyzes and provides examples of this propaganda, including Canada's Bill C-51.
- Why the rise of fascism is again the issue (February 26, 2015)
Fascism is preserved as history, as flickering footage of goose-stepping blackshirts, their criminality terrible and clear. Yet in the same liberal societies, whose war-making elites urge us never to forget, the accelerating danger of a modern kind of fascism is suppressed; for it is their fascism.
- Bill C-51: A Legal Primer (February 17, 2015)
Bill C-51, the Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015, would expand the powers of Canada's spy agency, allowing Canadians to be arrested on mere suspicion of future criminal activity.
- Joint Declaration by International Law Experts on Israel's Gaza Offensive (July 28, 2014)
The indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks, the targeting of objectives providing no effective military advantage, and the intentional targeting of civilians and civilian houses have been persistent features of Israels long-standing policy of punishing the entire population of the Gaza Strip, which, for over seven years, has been virtually imprisoned by Israeli imposed closure.
- Surveillance Capitalism (July 1, 2014)
A massive corporate sales effort and military-industrial complex constituted the two main surplus-absorption mechanisms in the U.S. economy in the first quarter-century after the Second World War, followed by financialization after the crisis of the 1970s. Each of these means of surplus absorption were to add impetus in different ways to the communications revolution, and each necessitated new forms of surveillance and control. The result was a universalization of surveillance, associated with all three areas.
- The NSA's Mantra (May 16, 2014)
This is the world were living in now. One where privacy is quickly becoming a thing of the past where the government collects our metadata using dragnet surveillance. Who you talked to, where, when, and for how long are collected with each and every phone call. Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Skype, Microsoft, AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, and numerous other corporations partner with the NSA to subvert your right to privacy. The NSA has even been physically intercepting packages containing servers and switches, taking it from FedEx or the US Postal Service, opening the package, and planting a device that redirects information sent over these servers back to the NSA.
- Where's the Body Count from Shootings by the Police? (December 12, 2013)
It estimated that in the United States in 2011 police shot more than 1,100 people, killing 607. However, the government refuses to keep track of the killings, so the exact number is unknown, and may well be higher.
- Quebecers' right to protest restricted after 2012 "Maple Spring" in Canada (October 28, 2013)
In 2012, a massive student strike over tuition fee increases rocked Quebec and thousands took to the streets, marching in protest. In the aftermath, Montreal residents find that their ability to protest has been restricted, as the police employ increased powers to arrest and fine demonstrators.
- Ten Steps You Can Take Right Now Against Internet Surveillance (October 25, 2013)
One of the trends we've seen is how, as the word of the NSA's spying has spread, more and more ordinary people want to know how (or if) they can defend themselves from surveillance online. With a few small steps, you can make that kind of surveillance a lot more difficult and expensive, both against you individually, and more generally against everyone.
- Cops Are Now Less Cautious Than Soldiers In Iraq (October 10, 2013)
Police militarization is a hot topic lately, but American police are beyond anything contemplated by the American military. American police today appear unwilling to accept any risk whatsoever and seem willing to kill anyone and anything that could possibly be seen as a threat.
- Eavesdropping on the Planet (June 27, 2013)
Like a mammoth vacuum cleaner in the sky, the National Security Agency (NSA) sucks it all up: home phone, office phone, cellular phone, email, fax, telex
satellite transmissions, fiber-optic communications traffic, microwave links
voice, text, images
captured by satellites continuously orbiting the earth, then processed by high-powered computers
if it runs on electromagnetic energy, NSA is there, with high high tech. Twenty-four hours a day. Perhaps billions of messages sucked up each day. No one escapes. Not presidents, prime ministers, the UN Secretary-General, the pope, the Queen of England, embassies, transnational corporation CEOs, friend, foe, your Aunt Lena
- Lessons of the Snowden Revelations (June 20, 2013)
We in the Left have long worried about police state tactics. Now we have to confront the police state structure. Its here and it can morph into a real police state with very little effort. Opposing and dismantling it should now be among our top priorities.
- Spying by the Numbers (June 20, 2013)
Thanks to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden many more people in the US and world-wide are learning about extensive US government surveillance and spying. There are publicly available numbers which show the reality of these problems are bigger than most think and most of this spying is happening with little or no judicial oversight.
- Capitalist Surveillance State: Everyone's a Target (June 10, 2013)
There is an inherent tendency for the state, which governs on behalf of a minuscule, ruthless class of obscenely wealthy exploiters, to attempt to amass ever greater power to control the population because it hates and fears the working people.
- Surveillance USA (June 7, 2013)
The government is merrily going about its business of keeping tabs on you in virtually every conceivable way.
- Tails: The amnesic Incognito Live System (2013)
Tails is an operating system like Windows or Mac OS, but one specially designed to preserve your anonymity and privacy.
- Liberties and Commons for All (August 24, 2012)
Liberties and Commons for All expresses two aspects of the ancient English Charters of Liberty; first is the restraint on political power of the King, second is the protection of subsistence in the commons.
- Obama signs police state legislation (January 1, 2012)
Militarism and aggressive war abroad go hand in hand with authoritarianism and dictatorship at home.
- Taking liberties: When elite representatives define 'national security' (October 24, 2011)
Most reporters assigned to the national security beat are not physically embedded within the RCMP and CSIS in the way those covering the occupation of Afghanistan seem to become stenographers for the Canadian military. But they tend to write as if they were, buying the assumptions created and sustained by those who benefit most from them while generally ignoring the fact that these agencies have a historical profile that reads "pathological liar."
- Connexions Archive Case Statement (September 24, 2011)
Working together to secure a future for the past
- The National Security State Cops a Feel (November 30, 2010)
It's finally coming into focus, and its not even a difficult equation to grasp. It goes like this: take a country in the grips of an expanding national security state and sooner or later your "safety" will mean your humiliation, your degradation. And by the way, it will mean the degradation of your country, too.
- The Fear Factor (November 17, 2010)
This study analyses the financial and human costs of the Harper government's tough on crime agenda and concludes it is wrong-headed, expensive, and counter-productive. In fact, it will likely lead to more crime and a bigger deficit.
- The Crimewave That Shames The World (September 13, 2010)
It's one of the last great taboos: the murder of at least 20,000 women a year in the name of 'honour'.
- Is this what a police state looks like? (June 29, 2010)
The corporate security state is not static - it will keep filling more and more space to the extent that they are allowed to by civil society. The police actions in Toronto are one of those key moments, one that we will look back on as a time when the authoritarian governments we now endure tested our resolve. They know exactly what they are doing. There was no spontaneous 'over-reaction.' There were no cops 'out of control' - the obvious fact is they were always in control. The decision to allow the Black Bloc to do its destructive work without any intervention at all was strategic. They were assisted in their work by the Black Bloc, some of them agents provocatuers, all of them enemies of social change.
- U.S. Intelligence planned to destroy Wikileaks (March 15, 2010)
This document is a classifed (SECRET/NOFORN) 32 page U.S. counterintelligence investigation into WikiLeaks. ``The possibility that current employees or moles within DoD or elsewhere in the U.S. government are providing sensitive or classified information to Wikileaks.org cannot be ruled out''. It concocts a plan to fatally marginalize the organization. Since WikiLeaks uses ``trust as a center of gravity by protecting the anonymity and identity of the insiders, leakers or whisteblowers'', the report recommends ``The identification, exposure, termination of employment, criminal prosecution, legal action against current or former insiders, leakers, or whistlblowers could potentially damage or destroy this center of gravity and deter others considering similar actions from using the Wikileaks.org Web site''.
- Is Israel an Apartheid State? (March 6, 2010)
Do Israel's practices in occupied Palestinian territory, namely the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, amount to the crimes of colonialism and apartheid under international law?
- Reporting Gender Based Violence (December 28, 2009)
Violence Against Women has presented particular challenges to the media and to society because of the way it has been consigned to the "private" sphere -- dampening public discussion and stifling media debate. Yet, the media has the potential to play a lead role in changing perceptions that, in turn, can help galvanize a movement for change. This toolkit seeks to help reporters and news managers grapple with the challenge of reporting gender based violence is a way that doe snot perpetuate gender stereotypes but informs and encourages public debate.
- Tactics of desperation: Using false accusations of 'anti-semitism' as a weapon to silence criticism of Israel's behaviour (December 27, 2009)
The Israeli state and its defenders are increasingly attempting to silence critics because they are losing the battle for public opinion.
- Bloggers Name and Shame Torturers in Egypt (December 21, 2009)
Egyptian bloggers use the Internet to expose police abuse and torture.
- Grassroots activist and human rights defender Jamal Juma' arrested (December 21, 2009)
Jamal Juma's is the most high profile arrest within an intensifying campaign of repression of grassroots mobilization against the wall and the settlements. Initially only arresting local activists from the villages affected by the wall, the Israeli authorities have recently begun to shift their attention to the detention of internationally-known human rights defenders such as Mohammad Othman and Abdallah Abu Rahmeh.
- Too Damn Old! (December 20, 2009)
Ageism can strike anyone once they reach a certain age -- sometimes as early as 40 -- and it can make the victim feel unwanted, unneeded and oppressed.
- Connexions Archive seeks a new home (November 18, 2009)
The Connexions Archive, a Toronto-based library dedicated to preserving the history of grassroots movements for social change, needs a new home.
- The court does not sympathize (October 19, 2009)
The blood of Palestinians is cheap in this country. No one has ever been punished for killing Palestinians' children, adults, newborns, old people. The murderers are all walking among us, free and happy.
- On Palestinian Civil Disobedience (September 28, 2009)
Human rights organizations have documented the forms of repression Israel deploys against villages that resist the annexation of their land. Once a village decides to struggle against the annexation barrier the entire community is punished. In addition to home demolitions, curfews and other forms of movement restriction, the Israeli occupation forces consistently use violence against the protestors - and most often targets the youth -- beating, tear-gassing, as well as deploying both lethal and 'non-lethal' ammunition against them.
- Hypocrisy over Cuba's 'political prisoners' (September 19, 2009)
Political prisoners and Cuba can be a confusing mix, in our time of mass propaganda. Three groups have attracted international attention over the past decade.
- Towards a 'Israeli War Criminals Watch' (September 18, 2009)
It is upon us, every woman and man, in Israel and abroad, who fear for international public hygiene and international law, to unite forces in order to place before those war criminals the dilemma: risk being tried if they are found in countries in which the law permits this or remain locked in Israel.
- I Am Barack Obama's Political Prisoner Now (September 11, 2009)
Given the complexion of the three recent federal parolees, it might seem that my greatest crime was being Indian. But the truth is that my gravest offense is my innocence.
- Double Jeopardy: Carbon Offsets and Human Rights Abuses (September 9, 2009)
Whether you're a climate change denier or doomsayer, an avid recycler or rabid consumer of plastic bottles, there is one very good but little-known reason to oppose carbon offsets: their immediate and dire human costs.
- India's UID And The Fantasy Of Dataveillance (August 24, 2009)
The perils of establishing nationwide identity systems have always been a hot topic of debate in countries that attach great value to privacy and human rights of its citizens. In India, there is not even a whimper of protest from politicians and civil society groups.
- Israel Seeks Ways To Silence Human Rights Groups (August 4, 2009)
In a bid to staunch the flow of damaging evidence of war crimes committed during Israel's winter assault on Gaza, the Israeli government has launched a campaign to clamp down on human rights groups, both in Israel and abroad.
- The Hate Crimes Bill: How Not to Remember Matthew Shepard (June 26, 2009)
The problem with the Hate Crimes Prevention Act is that it creates a thought crime and also categories of crime victims for disparate treatment. Goodbye to equality under the law.
- The Torture Memos (May 21, 2009)
Chomsky comments on the revelations of and reactions to the White House report. He examines the proposed justifications and reasserts that despite the idea of "American exceptionalism", allowing instances of torture to be forgotten lays the foundation for future crime.
- Unintended Consequences (May 12, 2009)
It will prove difficult to separate speaking against members of protected classes, or criticizing their practices, from hate. The two things are easily conflated. Once enacted, hate crimes will become independent of specific violent acts. An eventual likely outcome will be that speaking against members of specially protected classes will itself become a violent act of inciting violence.
- Criminalizing Criticism of Israel (May 7, 2009)
A massive push is underway to criminalize criticism of Israel. The Lobby is working to ban as anti-Semitic any truth or disagreeable fact that pertains to Israel. It is permissible to criticize every other country in the world, but it is anti-semitic to criticize Israel, and anti-semitism will soon be a universal hate-crime in the Western world.
- 'Free speech' - as long as it doesn't offend anyone (January 1, 2009)
On the issue of free speech most of the right and much of the left are in agreement, and so too are many liberals, activists, and human rights apparatchiks. They hold essentially the same position on freedom of expression - they are for it -in principle-, but only so long as it isn't used to express views that they find unacceptable or offensive. What they disagree about is merely who gets to decide what ideas are unacceptable, i.e., who gets to censor who.
- Journalists Killed since 1992 (2009)
A database of more than 700 journalists who have been murdered or killed on dangerous assignments since 1992. Interactive maps, timelines, and statistical breakdowns providing analysis by country, year, and type of death with a special emphasis on unsolved murders, a focal point of CPJ's Global Campaign Against Impunity.
- Free Speech and Acceptable Truths (April 1, 2008)
While we support freedom of speech and academic freedom, we believe that university administrations have a duty to provide a safe learning environment in which students and faculty are protected by incorrect or harmful ideas. To achieve this safe learning environment, it will be necessary for the university authorities to cleanse the university's libraries of harmful books, to block inappropriate Internet sites, to ban guest lectures who hold improper views, and to identify and prosecute students and faculty who are guilty of thought crimes.
- Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents (March 1, 2008)
Advice and technical tips for the best way to launch a blog and how to get round online censorship. It includes an explanation of how to blog anonymously and contains articles by bloggers, particularly in Egypt and Burma.
- The Professor of Torture (December 13, 2007)
Whitney exposes the hypocrisy of Alan Dershowitz, who claims to support civil liberties while advocating the use of torture. Dershowitz seems to believe that he should be considered a liberal because he says that prisoners should only be tortured by "nonlethal means, such as sterile needles, being inserted beneath the nails to cause excruciating pain wthout endangering life." Whitney characterizes this as "barbarism".
- Don't Incite Censorship (June 1, 2007)
Free speech for everyone but bigots is no free speech at all.
- Why has the left gone soft on human rights? (March 22, 2007)
A perverse interpretation of multiculturalism has resulted in race and religion ruling the roost in a tainted hierarchy of oppression. In the name of "unity" against Islamophobia and racism, much of the left tolerates misogyny and homophobia in minority communities. It rejects common standards of rights and responsibilities; demanding that we "make allowances" and show "sensitivity" with regard to the prejudices of ethnic and faith communities. This attitude is patronising, even racist. It judges minority peoples by different standards.
- Why Israeli Anti-Zionists do NOT 'recognize the right of the State of Israel to exist as a Jewish state' (2007)
States that define themselves with reference to the domination of one ethnic group cannot claim legitimacy.
- Israel boycott may be the way to peace (December 15, 2006)
The non-violent international response to apartheid was a campaign of boycott, divestment and UN-imposed sanctions which enabled the regime to change without bloodshed. We should try to follow the same route to a just peace.
- Free Speech in a Plural Society (October 27, 2006)
The argument against free speech is really an argument in defence of particular sectional interests. And that is the best reason for rejecting restraints on speech. We can build a plural society in which free speech provides the means of engagement and dialogue between different parts of society.
- Radio Frequency ID Removes Freedom (January 19, 2006)
Radio Frequency ID violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and is part of the stealthy forging of a police state.
- Right to Life - Ghouls and the Schiavo Case (April 1, 2005)
Exploiting the Terri Schiavo tragedy.
- Right-Wing Thought Police Assault Free Speech on Campus (February 1, 2005)
The Orwellian campaign to portray the expression of views in the university that run contrary to those ruling the country as a lack of "academic freedom."
- Sanctions Against the Israeli Occupation: It's Time (January 29, 2005)
A call from the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) for sanctions as the next logical step in the global campaign to end the Occupation.
- Challenged Books List (2004)
A partial list of books subjected to censorship attempts in Canada from the early 1980s to 2003.
- Quest for Justice (November 1, 2002)
Judith Stone, an American Jew, argues that Jews of conscience must support the right of return of the Palestinian people.
- Israeli Violations of Human Rights (June 20, 2002)
Speech by Jeff Halper, Coordinator Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. Halper focuses on the fact that "virtually all of Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands violates human rights conventions and especially the Fourth Geneva Convention that forbids an occupying power from making its presence a permanent one."
- Time to Abandon Gay Rights (June 24, 1999)
Thirty years after the Stonewall Riots, comprehensive human rights laws - not gay rights - are the way forward.
- Freedom of Speech Under Siege (1999)
Censorship is the handmaiden of a police state.
- The United States and the "Challenge of Relativity" (1998)
In light of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, Chomsky examines the relativity with which America uses human rights principles to exercise selectivity in policy-making.
- Interview with Ellen Meiksins Wood (1996)
Postmodernist pluralism, just like the old variety, obscures the realities of power in capitalist societies. It also disarms and disintegrates the opposition to capitalism. Postmodernism brings us back to the old and uncritical forms of capitalist ideology, which leave the system fundamentally unchallenged. Marxism -- historical materialism -- is the best foundation for an understanding of the society in which we live and therefore also the best guide in our search for a better one.
- Thinking About Self-Determination (1994)
Does that familiar canon of the left, 'the right to self-determination', actually mean anything, or is it an empty slogan whose main utility is that it relieves us of the trouble of thinking critically?
- Ask Yourself... Do You Really Want More Censorship? (February 1, 1992)
Censorship is dangerous and feminists who support it are wrong-headed.
- Execution Day in Zhengzhou (1991)
A first-hand account of an execution day in China.
- Women and Censorship - Letters to Index on Censorship (1991)
Reader comments on pornography and censorship.
- The Right to Offend (September 21, 1990)
Humans do have a right to offend other humans, especially in presenting dissent from the views with which many people seem to be very content. This includes those views called religious.
- Connexions Annual Overview: Human Rights, Civil Liberties (October 1, 1989)
If we accept that anyone may be denied their rights, their freedom, then we undermine our own rights and freedoms even as we undermine social solidarity.
- The Capital Punishment Debate (November 1, 1984)
The death penalty make us all complicit in killing, and degrades us as a society.
- Rights and Liberties (July 1, 1984)
Civil liberties and human rights appear as a key dimension in almost every other field of social justice and social change, but those who seek a freer and more just society cannot rely on the state to achieve their goals.
- His Right to Say It (1981)
Chomsky takes the opportunity to clarify the details of the so-called Faurisson Affair in which he played a catalytic role by signing a controversial petition. He defends his involvement by reiterating and exploring the principle of self-expression irrespective of content.
- Some Elementary Comments on The Rights of Freedom of Expression (1980)
It is precisely in the case of horrendous ideas that the right of free expression must be most vigorously defended; it is easy enough to defend free expression for those who require no such defense.
Selected Websites and Organizations
- This is a small sampling of organizations and websites concerned with human rights and civil liberties in the Connexions Directory. For more organizations and websites, check the Connexions Directory Subject Index, especially under topics such as
freedom of expression,
and political prisoners.
The Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories.
- Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture
Provides programs and services for victims of torture.
- Gush Shalom
Gush Shalom (Translated from Hebrew, the name means "The Peace Bloc")
is the hard core of the Israeli peace movement. Often described as "resolute", "militant", "radical" or "consistent", it is known for its unwavering stand in times of crisis, such as the al-Aksa intifada. For years now, Gush Shalom has played a leading role in determining the moral and political agenda of the peace forces in Israel, as well as in breaking the so-called "national consensus" based on misinformation. Gush Shalom is an extra-parliamentary organization, independent of any party or other political grouping. Some of its activists do belong to political parties, but the Gush is not aligned to any particular party. The primary aim of Gush Shalom is to influence Israeli public opinion and lead it towards peace and conciliation with the Palestinian people.
- International Freedom of Expression Exchange
IFEX works to help build the foundations of healthy democracies by protecting the rights of journalists, free expression advocates and others to hold those in power accountable.
- Israel/Palestine: Resources for peace, justice, and human rights
A selection of resources for those looking for a solution to the situation in Isreal/Palestine based on peace, justice, and human rights.
Steve Gibson's campaign against Internet spyware used by companies to extract information from Internet users' computers without their knowledge or consent.
- Publicity and Media Resources
Resources and publications to assist your organization in getting more and better media coverage and raising awareness.
- Reporters without Borders
Defends journalists and media assistants imprisoned or persecuted for doing their job and exposes the mistreatment and torture of them in many countries. Fights against censorship and laws that undermine press freedom. Works to improve the safety of journalists, especially those reporting in war zones.
Other Links & Resources
- Alasdair S. Roberts
Provides resources relating to Professor Alasdair Roberts' current research on freedom of information law.
A site offering services to allow anonymous Internet browsing, to defeat Internet sites which steal your information and violate your privacy.
- Article 19
Defends and promotes freedom of expression and freedom of information all over the world.
- Censorship in Canada - When the Censor Comes
Developed primarily for teachers, librarians, booksellers and others who disseminate the printed word, this guide offers basic information about dealing with would-be censors. Researched and written by Sandra Bernstein for the Freedom of Expression Committee of the Book and Periodical Council.
- Criminal Law & Crime Topic Index in Sources Directory of Experts
A subject guide to experts and spokespersons on topics related to criminal law and crime in the Sources directory for the media.
- Disabilities Topic Index in Sources Directory of Experts
A subject guide to experts and spokespersons on disability topics in the Sources directory for the media.
- Equality & Equity Topic Index in Sources Directory of Experts
A subject guide to experts and spokespersons on topics related to equality issues and equity in the Sources directory for the media.
- Feminists Against Censorship
A group of feminist academics and campaigners who fight censorship from a feminist perspective. They believe:
1) Censorship is a dangerous tool that is primarily used to suppress dissent from those who would challenge oppression by society and the state, and particularly victimizes minorities.
2) Censorship is used by those in power as a way to avoid dealing with serious, intractable problems in society that require real, imaginative action, and are not solved by banning words and images.
3) Women must have recourse to free expression in order to explore the truth of our own experience and sexuality that has been forcibly hidden from us for millennia, and the state must no longer be permitted to interfere with this discourse.
4) Censorship can never eliminate evil ideas, and so the best answer to bad speech is more speech.
5) Censorship gives unacceptable powers to the police to invade our privacy and harass individuals who they find threatening although they pose no threat to others.
- Forum 18
Everyone has the fundamental human right to freedom of thought, conscience and belief. Forum 18 expresses this fundamental right as: The right to believe, to worship and witness.
The right to change one's belief or religion. The right to join together and express one's belief.
- Freedom to Read Week
Freedom to Read Week encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom.
A one-stop portal that describes best practices, consolidates lessons learned, explains campaign strategies and tactics, and links the efforts of freedom of information advocates around the world. It contains crucial information on freedom of information laws and how they were drafted and implemented, including how various provisions have worked in practice.
- The Global Campagin to Stop Killing and Stoning Women
Campaign initiated by a group of lawyers, activists, journalists and academics in order to address the intensifying trend of cultural/religious legitimization of lethal violence against women.
- Human Rights & Civil Liberties Topic Index in Sources Directory of Experts
A subject guide to experts and spokespersons on topics related to human rights and civil liberties in the Sources directory for the media.
- Human Rights Library
Library of online documents in the human rights field.
- Index on Censorship
One of the world's leading repositories of original, challenging, controversial and intelligent writing on free expression issues. Documents free expression abuses in scores of countries world wide.and reports on censorship issues from all over the world.
- Intelligence Online
Online newsletter dealing with intelligence issues.
- Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions
A non-violent, direct-action group originally established to oppose and resist Israeli demolition of Palestinian houses in the Occupied Territories, now also engaged in resistance activities in other areas - land expropriation, settlement expansion, by-pass road construction, policies of "closure" and "separation," the wholesale uprooting of fruit and olive trees and more.
- Journalists for Human Rights
Human rights organization which seeks to harness the power of the media as a tool to combat human rights abuses.
- Law Enforcement & Corrections Topic Index in Sources Directory of Experts
A subject guide to experts and spokespersons on topics related to law enforcement and corrections in the Sources directory for the media.
A gateway to resources about Marxism compiled by Connexions.
Tracking efforts to stifle open debate about US-Israeli foreign policy.
- Not In My Name
A predominantly Jewish organization committed to a peaceful and just resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, one that will provide safety, security and freedom for Jews, Palestinians, and all others living in this region. Believes that such a peace can only be achieved when Israel withdraws from its settlements in the Palestinian territories and addresses the legitimate national and human rights of the Palestinian people.
- Online Rights for Online Workers - Privacy at Work
Deals with workers' right to privacy in the face of online surveillance by employers.
- Spies for Hire
Company profiles and articles related to intelligence outsourcing.
- Stop the Wall
Site of the Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign.
Books, Films and Periodicals
- This is a small sampling of books related to civil liberties and human rights in the
Connexions Online Library. For more books and other resources, check the Connexions Library
Subject Index, especially under topics such as
freedom of expression,
and political prisoners.
- Anti-Capitalist Demonstration of May 1, 2013 in Montreal
Journée des Travailleurs et Travailleuses: Manifestation Anti-Capitaliste
Montreal 2013: police state. Montreal's municipal goverment passes a bylaw that suspends the right of citizens to assemble unless they have received advance permission from police. Citizens who assert their right to assembly are kettled by police and arrested.
- Disability in the Majority World I've got a right!
New Internationalist November 2005
Discussion of people with dissability and their fight for equal rights.
- The End of Privacy
How Total Surveillance Is Becoming a Reality
Author: Whitaker, Reg
Whitaker argues that we live in a surveillance society; in order to get rewards and privileges, we have to give up our personal privacy to the government and corporations.
- Free Speech For Me - But Not For Thee
How the American Left and Right Relentlessly Censor Each Other
Author: Hentoff, Nat
Hentoff is a passionate believer in free speech who recognizes that if speech is truly to be free, we must protect the expression even of ideas we abhors. He catalogues with equal disapproval the efforts of both the right and the left to censor speech they don't like. While being sympathetic to those who object to allowing bigots, racists, pornographers, atheists, and others of many stripes the right to lay out ideas that one group or another finds repugnant, he makes both an intellectual and an emotional case for allowing everyone to have their say, no matter how much this may offend some. He points out that suppressing speech doesn't get rid of the underlying thought, but merely drives it underground and gives it the benefit of martyrdom.
- Gag Rule
On the Suppression of Dissent and the Stifling of Democracy
Author: Lapham, Lewis H.
Dissent is democracy. Democracy is in trouble. Never before, Lapham argues, have voices of protest been so locked out of the mainstream conversation. A call to action in defense of one of the most important liberties, the right to raise our voices against the powers that be, and to have those voice heard.
- Human Rights: in a time of terror
New Internationalist January/February 2008
A look at human rights in various countries including women's and sex rights.
- Lockdown America
Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis
Author: Parenti, Christian
Why is criminal justice so central to American politics? Lockdown America not only documents the horrors and absurdities of militarized policing, prisons, a fortified border, and the federalization of the war on crime, it also explains the political and economic history behind the massive crackdown.
- The No-Nonsense Guide to Democracy
Author: Swift, Richard
Ths book explores how democracy is constricted and deformed by economic power-brokers and a self-serving political class.
- The No-Nonsense Guide to Global Surveillance
Author: Tudge, Robin
In the world of CCTV, email and DNA, this book shows the extent to which Big Brother is watching us all.
- The No-Nonsense Guide to Human Rights
Author: Ball, Olivia; Gready, Paul
- The No-Nonsense Guide to Women's Rights
Author: van der Gaag, Nikki
- Restricted Entry
Censorship on Trial
Author: Fuller, Janine; Blackley, Stuart
- Rights and Freedoms State Fear The Global attack on rights
New Internationalist March 2005
A look into rights and freedoms, the connection to occupation, and their state in different parts of the world.
- The Soft Cage
Surveillance in America from Slavery to the War on Terror
Author: Parenti, Christian; Rossetti, Chip (eds.)
Parenti explores the history of American surveillance from colonial times to the present. What this historical evidence clearly reveals is a continuum of the culture of surveillance. The weakest, most disenfranchised and most alienated groups are subjected first, and then the surveillance regime slowly spreads toward the mainstream.
- Terror Takeover
The monstrous march of the security state
Author: New Internationalist November 2009 - #427
Has our panic over terrorism given permission for unchecked abuse? The fear of terrorism has been used to curtail our liberties and violate human rights.
- When Freedoms Collide
The Case for Civil Liberties
Author: Borovoy, A. Alan
Civil liberties are proclaimed as important in our society, but in reality they are under constant attack.
- When the Prisoners Ran Walpole
A true story in the movement for prison abolition
Author: Bissonette, Jamie
In the months before they took over running the Walople maximum-security facility in 1973, prisoners and outside advocates created programs that sent more prisoners home for good. This account reveals what can happen when there is public will for change and trust that the incarcerated can achieve it.
- Women Against Censorship
Author: Burstyn, Varda
Essays which argue that women have nothing to gain by allying themselves with anti-feminist forces and mainstream politicians. The contributors say that censorhip will be used against feminists who seek deep and permanent changes in the status quo.
Learning from our History
Resources for Activists
The Connexions Calendar - An event calendar for activists. Submit your events for free here.
Media Names & Numbers - A comprehensive directory of Canada’s print and broadcast media. .
Sources - A membership-based service that enables journalists to find spokespersons and story ideas, and which simultaneously enables organizations to raise their profile by reaching the media and the public with their message.
Organizing Resources Page - Change requires organizing. Power gives way only when it is challenged by a movement for change, and movements grow out of organizing. Organizing is qualitatively different from simple “activism”. Organizing means sustained long-term conscious effort to bring people together to work for common goals. This page features a selection of articles, books, and other resources related to organizing.
Publicity and Media Relations - A short introduction to media relations strategies.
Grassroots Media Relations - A media relations guide for activist groups.
Socialism Gateway - A gateway to resources about socialism, socialist history, and socialist ideas.
Marxism Gateway - A gateway to resources about Marxism.
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