AZ ACLU has honored the New Times founders, namely, Jim Larkin and Mike Lacey with their highest honor, the Civil Libertarians of the Year. They were given these trophies during their annual Bill of Rights Dinner. A crowd of more than 200 guests was the witness to this grant event that was held in the Heard Museum’s Steele Auditorium.
At this meet, John Hay, who is the former President of the ACLU Foundation of Arizona, stated that the arrests of these two New Times’ founders following their publication of the illegal as well as overbroad grand jury subpoenas have earned them this award. This was due to their double-bylined cover story titled “Breathtaking Abuse of the Constitution.”
John Hay further commented that the County Attorney along with the Sheriff had conspired in order to shut down New Times by making use of the criminal system. In this way, they had tried to prevent people from being able to exercise their civil liberties.
In this way, the honorees had put these persons, their families as well as their business at a grave risk. He further pointed out that all these events were just the latest in their long string of actions that defended the civil liberties by Larkin and Lacey.
Hence they are being honored for their work on civil liberties. Even though this is recognizing how they faced down the Sheriff as well as the County Attorney, the fact remains that they have been defending civil liberties for nearly 38 years now. This is why they are being awarded for being Civil Libertarian of the Year though they have been doing so for the past four decades now.
This is why Lacey and Larkin were the receivers of a standing ovation that came from all the attendees. Jim Larkin stated that the conflict with Sheriff Joe Arpaio was not over yet. But he said that they were prepared. This is because they consider Joe Arpaio to be a thug with guns. Hence they at Village Voice Media are well-prepared to resist him.
They further stated that the racial abuses which have been perpetrated by Joe Arpaio along with County Attorney Andrew Thomas against the immigrants from Mexico, besides the trampling of the constitutional rights of journalists, cannot continue as the public is vigilant now.
During the meet, Lacey also announced a $10,000 donation to the AZ ACLU from the Larkin and Lacey Frontera Fund.
Learn more about Jim Larkin Michael Lacey: