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Larimer County, Colorado
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Civil Liberties
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This team monitors government activities at all levels for possible erosion of individual liberties as granted by the US Constitution. We strive to educate LWV members and the public about identified issues and encourage action based on League positions.

"Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you." RBG

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Civil Liberties News and Commentary


"A new wave of ICE arrests is expected to begin... in at least 10 cities across the country. We're fighting back by suing to stop mass deportations of refugee families. Here's what you can do to fight back in your community:

Share our multilingual Know Your Rights guide on Facebook and Twitter. Everybody should know that we have rights that ICE cannot violate.

Know this: We don't have to open the door if ICE comes knocking. If the agents don't have a warrant signed by a judge, then we can refuse to let them in. We have the right to remain silent. And we shouldn't sign anything before speaking to a lawyer.

ICE raids are nothing new. But for over two years now, the Trump administration has been terrorizing our communities at a new level – tearing thousands of families apart, spreading fear and hate. If this isn't the kind of country we want to live in, then we must keep fighting to defend our communities.

The best way to fight back? Know your rights. And help your family, friends, and neighbors to know theirs.

Spread the word on Facebook and Twitter so we all know what to do if ICE shows up. Our communities are diverse, so we've translated our guide to 8 languages that encompass most of the undocumented population. "

Reimagine Safety: A Civil Liberties Concern

Summary by Florence Field

Incidents of horrific killings and mass violence seem to fill our news these days. Intense discussions are heard almost everywhere: why is extreme violence happening so often? Who’s to blame? Why can’t we stop it? What should be done?

The Editorial Board of the Washington Post has launched an investigative project, called Reimagine Safety, to see what violence in our communities might look like if  viewed differently. Generally, response by government agencies and the public has largely been punitive. But as summer approaches, we can see that punishment cannot remain the dominant response to calls for greater public safety.

The Washington Post tells us “we rely too much on the police.” They are called by the public to deal with an unbelievable range of problems, from public urination to disastrous acts of terror. The Board continues: “Policing was never meant to solve all those problems … Over-reliance on police is preventing us from imagining and investing in other public safety tools” to achieve safe communities.

How then can we achieve public safety? The Editorial Board suggests we need to change the way we think about public safety. It is simply not just about law and order, about jail and punishment, any more than public health is just about doctors and hospitals. 

The article describes and analyses a number of ideas, projects and programs developed and implemented by communities and organizations throughout the country. Many are works in progress, but most exhibit elements of surprising success. The descriptions are concise, deep and often very insightful. Statements are often supported by numbers, graphs, tables – adding authenticity to the presentations.

This is a short summary of the original Washington Post news story, and limitation of space doesn’t allow us to give a detailed description of the innovative programs being currently tried out by various cities, communities and organizations to try to lessen violence and achieve public (and often personal) safety. 

We encourage you to use the link to the story below). The experiences told of the various efforts being made to bring about a public environment that is safer and more pleasant will show you that there is a light (however faint) at the end of most tunnels.

Research, Education, and Advocacy

Q&A About Aurora Detention Center
Why They Marched
Summary written by Florence Field of an article by Susan Ware
Florence's 1619 Project Essay
Summary written by Florence Field from August 18, 2019 NYT article