As we begin 2019, the Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute (MCLI) releases the Winter issue of Human Rights Now!
As we reflect on 2018, MCLI had numerous accomplishments. Our new Interim Executive Director Steven DeCaprio led the Campaign for the Human Rights of Landless People which eventually led to the formation of the Bay Area Landless Peoples Alliance.
MCLI assisted the homeless encampment of First They Came for the Homeless initiate civil rights litigation in Sullivan v. City of Berkeley. After that MCLI hired Program Director Anita Miralle de Asis, aka Needa Bee, who is also the founder of the Housing and Dignity Village an encampment of unhoused women and children. Their eviction led to the civil rights litigation Miralle v. City of Oakland.
MCLI also released a Shadow Report to the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination after holding numerous forums on racism throughout the City of Oakland.
MCLI organized the Workshop for the Human Rights of Children, Parents, and Families at the 2018 Convention of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG). Further, MCLI Founder Ann Fagan Ginger, MCLI Board Chair Walter Riley, and MCLI Interim Executive Director Steven DeCaprio spoke at a forum at Golden Gate University organized by the student chapter of the NLG.
While at the NLG convention, MCLI announced that we would coordinate the Policy Committee of the NLG Far West, which includes six chapters of the NLG, establishing a policy advocacy presence in Sacramento. To further this work Program Coordinator Rachel Saxer joined MCLI to expand outreach to sex workers and other marginalized communities to create a policy advocacy pipeline. MCLI’s goal is to facilitate alliances led by those directly impacted by human rights violations with this Policy Committee in order to magnify their voices with elected officials.
Recently, MCLI has begun collaborating with the San Francisco Bay Area Poor People’s Campaign to organize a panel discussion featuring poor movement leaders.
As MCLI looks toward 2019, we are well positioned to continue and expand our work focused on combating human rights abuses against poor people and people of color. MCLI is continuing and expanding efforts to combat the criminalization of homelessness. MCLI is expanding our efforts to fight the criminalization of poverty to include alliances with sex workers, drug users, and other groups targeted by law enforcement. MCLI is engaging with movement leaders opposing police violence and militarization. MCLI is planning multiple Human Rights Forums and Workshops for 2019. All of this work aligns with MCLI’s efforts to submit a Shadow Report to the U.N. Committee Against Torture where we will highlight these human rights violations.
Please share this issue of Human Rights Now! with as many people as possible. MCLI calls on you to support our work in whatever form you are able; be it in the form of a financial contribution, volunteering, or spreading the word about MCLI’s work.