Rally: Restore the Fourth

Rally: Restore the Fourth

Join in a direct action to promote the defense of civil liberties in response to the recent attacks by the Federal Government on the 4th and 1st Amendments.

Author Event: Patriot Acts: Narratives of Post-9/11 Injustice

Author Event: Patriot Acts: Narratives of Post-9/11 Injustice

Join FPIF and Teaching for Change Bookstore for a talk and book signing with Alia Malek, author of Patriot Acts: Narratives of Post-9/11 Injustice. Alia’s book seeks to tell the life stories of the innocent men and women who have been needlessly swept up in the “war on terror.”

Film & Discussion: COINTELPRO 101

Film & Discussion: COINTELPRO 101

COINTELPRO was a series of covert, and often illegal, projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic political organizations. The tactics used included discrediting targets through psychological warfare, planting false reports in the media, smearing through forged letters, harassment, wrongful imprisonment, extralegal violence and assassination.

Secrecy Industry Hits Home

Unchecked growth in intelligence agencies raises troubling questions and even affects how we interact with neighbors.

Author Event: Dr. Richard Wilkinson and ‘The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger’

Dr. King helped us see the moral imperative for more equal societies. Now exciting new research — on everything from how long people live to how well economies perform — shows that more equal societies work better for all people. In fact, middle-income people in more equal societies do far better than their middle-income counterparts in societies that let wealth concentrate in the pockets of a few.

Hear Dr. Richard Wilkinson, the famed British scientist, discuss his landmark new book, The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger, on the day we set aside to honor Dr. King and his struggle for equality and justice.

This event is cosponsored by Busboys and Poets and the Institute for Policy Studies.

Book Event: Gar Alperovitz and Marc Raskin

In the United States, many Americans assume they have certain liberties and rights as citizens: freedom of speech, freedom of worship; the right to pursue happiness and transcend social class.

Gar Alperovitz, a professor of political economy at the University of Maryland, and Marc Raskin, co-founder of the Institute for Policy Studies, both recently co-authored books that question these assumptions. Over the past few decades, they argue, freedoms U.S. citizens take for granted have slowly eroded.

Join us for a stimulating discussion on how this happened and where we can go from here.

About Raskin’s  Four Freedoms Under Seige: "FDR’s Four Freedoms — freedom of speech, freedom to worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear — were presented to the American people in his 1941 State of the Union address, and they became the inspiration for a second bill of rights, extending the New Deal and guaranteeing work, housing, medical care, and education. Although the bill never was adopted in a legal sense in this country, its principles pervaded the political landscape for an entire generation, including the War on Poverty and the Great Society reforms of the 1960s. Furthermore, the ideas expressed in the Four Freedoms speech inspired the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But since the late 1970s and early 1980s, these freedoms have been under assault, from presidential administrations of both parties, economic pressures, and finally, the alleged requirements of national security. After 9/11, this process accelerated even more rapidly."

About Alperovitz’s  Unjust Deserts: "The distribution of income and wealth in the United States is more unequal today than at any time since the 1920s. The following study shares with Buffett a fundamental skepticism toward the belief that the nation’s extraordinary inequalities are simply a natural outgrowth of differences in individual effort, skills, and intelligence…The new research findings suggest that such views are profoundly wrong — but for reasons that go well beyond…the understandings that until recently have been common among specialists concerned with these matters. Unjust Deserts suggests that something at least as portentous as these extraordinary developments is silently emerging among scholars studying the sources of wealth, and that once the implications are fully grasped, it too is likely to have dramatic implications — in this case for the distribution of income, wealth, and power throughout society. It suggests, moreover, that this new understanding and the steady evolution of the knowledge economy, combined with growing social and economic pain and set against a backdrop of ever-worsening inequality, are likely to contribute to potentially massive political change as the 21st century unfolds."

Gar Alperovitz is the Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland. He and Lew Daly are coauthors of the new book Unjust Deserts: How the Rich are Taking Our Common Inheritance and Why We Should Take it Back (Demos Books, 2008).

Marc Raskin is the co-founder and Distinguished Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies, and a professor at George Washington University. He and Robert Spero recently coauthored The Four Freedoms Under Seige: The Clear and Present Danger from Our National Security State (Greenwood, 2006).

Conversation moderated by Sanho Tree, Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.

Dude, Where Are My Rights?

The Bush administration has launched Round Two of its assault on the Constitution. Now it’s habeas corpus in the crosshairs.