Center for Constitutional Rights

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Formed in 1966 by civil rights attorneys working against racial discrimination in the southern U.S., the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) describes its mission as using legal and educational means to ensure rights under the U.S. Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Activities

Former President George W. Bush, in February 2011, cancelled a trip to Switzerland when CCR and European affiliates threatened demonstrations and legal action over allegations that he approved torture of detainees. Bush was to have spoken before a meeting of the United Israel Appeal. A lawyer for Bush said ""The calls to demonstrate were sliding into dangerous terrain." The complaint, specifying violations of the Convention against Torture, would be filed on behalf of Majid Khan, who remains the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, and Sami al-Hajj, a former Al Jazeera cameraman who was released in May 2008.[1] CCR said they would still release their complaint, which presumably asked Swiss officials to act under the controversial doctrine of universal jurisdiction.

Press releases

In January 2011, CCR called for Fox News to restrain the verbal attacks of commentator Glenn Beck against progressive professor Frances Fox Piven, asking Fox President Roger Ailes distinguish between "First Amendment rights, of which they are “vigorous defenders” and an “intentional repetition of provocative, incendiary, emotional misinformation and falsehoods [that place that person] in actual physical danger of a violent response.” "[2]

With both sides arguing that the other violated free speech, the University of California at Santa Barbara has suspended the Muslim Student Union for repeated interruptions of a campus speech, by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, in February 2010. CCR was among the groups protesting it, including the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee [3]

References

  1. Peter Finn (5 February 2011), "Bush trip to Switzerland called off amid threats of protests, legal action", Washington Post
  2. UPDATE: CCR Appeals to Fox News President for Help in Silencing Glenn Beck Misinformation Campaign Against Progressive Professor; Repeated Branding of 78-Year-Old Professor Frances Fox Piven as “Enemy of the Constitution” Incites Death Threats, Center for Constitutional Rights, 20 January 2011
  3. Take Action: Tell UC-Irvine Chancellor: YOU GOT IT WRONG!, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, 27 July 2010