Berkeley Human Rights Day Event
On December 6, 2014 BORDC Legal Fellow Matthew Kellegrew participated in a panel discussion in observance of International Human Rights Day in Berkeley, California. The panel was composed of a vast array of activists working across the spectrum in the fields of Human Rights and Civil Liberties protections.
For his part, Matthew helped connect the dots between threats to human rights abroad, such as extrajudicial drone killings in the Middle East, and domestic civil liberties violations. He explored the militarization of local police as a consequence of war equipment coming home. During the Q&A period following the presentations, Matthew had several questions directed at him asking for more details about what local residents can do to strengthen human rights and civil liberties protections in their own towns. Matthew talked about the successes BORDC has had passing local ordinances limiting police access to military equipment.
You can learn more about BORDC’s local toolkits here.
San Jose Human Rights Day Vigil
Several dozen people braved a massive downpour in San Jose on December 10 in honor of Human Rights Day and journalist Gary Webb. Webb, an investigative journalist who previously worked for the San Jose Mercury Newspaper, is responsible for exposing the CIA’s role in importing drugs into the United States during the peak of the crack epidemic.
The CIA denied Webb’s allegations, destroying his career. He eventually committed suicide, only to be posthumously vindicated after the CIA admitted that his initial reporting was indeed correct. The vigil participants paid homage to Webb and his legacy, as well as the connections between the CIA led war on drugs, human rights violations internationally and civil liberties threats at home.