James “Big Jim” Larkin

James “Big Jim” Larkin, notable activist and union man, was born on January 28, 1876 to impoverished Irish parents in the slums of Liverpool, England. He had almost no education, and instead started working young to support the family and was apprenticed at 14 after the death of his father. He eventually became a foreman at the Liverpool docks.

He married Elizabeth Brown, and had at least two sons, James Larkin Junior and Denis Larkin. Big Jim soon grew tired of the working conditions and joined the National Union of Dock Labourers, and in 1907 founded the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union.

An intense Marxist, he wanted all Irish industry workers to join the union. His founding principles of the union sound standard today, but were revolutionary at the time: 8 hour workdays, pensions for 60 year old’s, suffrage, and nationalizing infrastructure and transportation.

1912 was a busy year for Big Jim, collaborating with James Connolly to form the Irish Labour Party, which they used to organize several strikes, where over 100,000 workers successfully went on strike for eight months. Big Jim is immortalized addressing a crowd during this time on O’Connell Street in Dublin, where his statue still attracts tourists today. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/easterrising/profiles/po08.shtml and http://www.historyireland.com/20th-century-contemporary-history/big-jim-larkin-hero-and-wrecker/

His success stalled with the 1913 lockout, where many of the 400 employers of Dublin locked out union workers. He forged on, to the United States in 1914 while still remaining apart of the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union. He attempted and failed at starting a public speaking career, and eventually became a German agent.

He was tasked with disrupting war related industries in the United States, and either failed or refused to do so. He eventually joined the New York Socialist Party, which resulted in his arrest and conviction in 1919 of “Criminal Anarchy”. In 1923, he was pardoned and summarily deported to England, where he began a downward spiral and eventually separated from his wife.

He began slandering Irish Transport and General Workers Union leadership, which lead to his ejection in 1924, and the new Workers Union of Ireland to be formed a few short months later, starting a battle of Unions in Dublin.

As the decades hearkened on, he became a much calmer soul as he worked with the labour movement until his death on January 30, 1947.

Read more: Jim Larkin | Biography and Jim Larkin | Wikipedia

Lacey and Larkin Do Not Plan on Losing

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are the owners of Village Voice Media. Through Village Voice Media they report current news in the Maricopa County through the Phoenix News Times. One person who has consistently appeared in the Phoenix News Times is the Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Read more: Michael Lacey | Twitter and Phoenix New Times | Wikipedia

Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has dubbed himself America’s Toughest Sheriff, has committed many atrocities against the Latino community, and Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin have blown the lid on his entire operation.

Through the Phoenix New Times, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were able to report how Sheriff Joe Arpaio was able to turn the Maricopa County Police Department into his own personal army.

It all began when Sheriff Joe Arpaio systematically looked through the human resource files and fired every police officer who refused to engage in racial profiling. He then filled their positions with police officers who were more than willing to specifically target Latinos or Hispanics.

After this, he created a reward system that gave police officers monetary bonuses for bringing in illegal immigrants.

The next thing they reported on was how he was solely responsible for an innocent family’s home being burnt the ground. He had a tip that most police officers would say did not come from a trustable source. However, he went with his gut and ordered for the SWAT team to move in on this home because it was allegedly a drug cache.

Of course, they found no drugs in this Hispanic home, but because the raid went awfully wrong, the home burned to the ground. Sheriff Joe Arpaio prevented the family from calling the fire department by detaining them and putting them into the cop cars.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio was also responsible for the death of an unborn child. One of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s favorite ploys was to detain illegal immigrants and then underneath the law of the state of Arizona deny them medical care.

He did this with a woman who was pregnant and in her third trimester. Unfortunately, she was really an American citizen, but because he would not listen to her and look up for information, the child died needlessly.

These were just some of the evils that Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin reported on to the Phoenix News Times. When Joseph Arpaio heard this on the radio, he called his police force together to come up with a way to silence these two men.

He gathered together several unmarked black SUVs, which was in violation of Arizona law, and under the cover of darkness burst into the homes of these two men and threatened to arrest them if they did not hand over the evidence. Of course, they refuse to do so and then were illegally detained.

This illegal detention would give the men the grounds they needed to file a lawsuit against the Maricopa County Police Department. In the end, they will be awarded a settlement of $3.75 million which started the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund.

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Larkin & Lacey

You may think that only people who are in the minority have civil rights that should be defended. This is not the case. It may be surprising to you, but even demographics that exist in large numbers, or are the majority, need protection. A good example of this is laborers. Nearly everyone is a laborer.

However, that does not mean that laborers don’t suffer from human rights abuses. Laborers started unions to work together and to have a political voice. From these unions came labor organizations that weren’t just unions themselves, but consisted of a variety of different unions working together.

Two great example of this were the Congress of Industrial Organization and the American Federation of Labor. These two organizations opposed each other, though they eventually melted into one organization—the AFL-CIO. In the 2000s, due to internal discourse some unions left the AFL-CIO and started their own rival organization—Change To Win. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase

Unions, more or less, do a pretty good job to protect the rights of their members. Many provide health insurance, career guidance for the children of members, income in times of unemployment and guide members toward employment. The unions set humane hours and rates that employers are supposed to follow.

The American Southwest is flooded with an enormous Hispanic population. Much of this population consists of immigrants, and many of those immigrants are undocumented. Sheriff Arpaio, a local politician in Maricopa county, was wrongfully racially profiling and roughly handling people who he thought were “undocumented.” Two writers, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, wrote about this in a publication.

As a result, they had their houses broken into by law enforcement, and they were forced into separate jails. After the incident, the two men pursued this wrongdoing in court.

Because they were in the right and Maricopa County was in the wrong, they gladly received a huge settlement. Instead of living the high life and throwing their money away on ludicrous, frivolous stuff, they invested in the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund.

The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund has a deep zeal for promoting the existence of DACA. They are outraged about the recent decision to stop and restrict DACA. Their cause is provide as much help as possible to immigrants in every way, shape and form–from giving rations to those who are making the trek over the border to those who are living here and are in need of education.

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Larkin & Lacey of Frontera Fund Say Deportations Will Hurt Local/State Revenue

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, founder of Arizona-based civil and human rights organization, the Frontera Fund say albeit a small group, some Republican congressman are asking President Trump to protect young undocumented beneficiaries of the Deferred Action Program, known as “dreamers”.

Several representatives, Dan Donovan (New York), Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Florida), Jeff Denham and David Valadao (California) and Don Bacon (Nebraska) sent a letter last week telling the president that keeping DACA immigrants is “in the best interests of the nation.”

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin point out that all the funds that are spent on President Trump’s endeavor of mass deportations could be better spent on real criminals.

The congressman said that young children are brought to the United States at an early age and have no choice in the matter.

They are not attempting to violate the law voluntarily, and these cases require careful analysis and the administration should be careful about what is best for the interests of the country.

Congressmen noted in the letter that “dreamers” are studying at American universities, have work permits, they pay taxes, and that many are buying their first cars and homes. All of this generates revenue for our local, state and federal governments.

Larkin and Lacey point out that local, state, and federal governments could lose millions in tax revenue from mass deportations.

Although President Trump is considering dreamers, the administration has pointed out how citizens voted in the last election and how they are depending on Trump to keep his promises.

The Fear and Anxiety

Larkin and Lacey say this tough immigration policy spearheaded by President Trump is causing anxiety, not only to the parents but to the children of immigrants. They fear the threat of separation and this translates into everyday stress.

The government has a disregard for the emotional toil deportation and separation of family members has on society. The situation is exacerbated by barriers that many immigrants have to access adequate medical care and healthy eating.

Larkin and Lacey say the byproducts of these deportations are tremendous, and have many long-term consequences. The fear causes the poor to shy away from medical care, and many drop out of high school, and then there is poverty.

The number of illegal immigrants enrolled in public assistance is low for fear of having to interact with public institutions.

The agenda of mass deportation of immigrants will have a lasting impact on future students, the workforce and leaders, as well as embracing a diverse community.

Since 2014, the Frontera Fund, a human and civil rights organization, has advocated for the less fortunate, that including immigrants and migrant workers. Based in Arizona, founders Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin have campaigned for immigrant rights.

Joining other grassroots organizations, the Frontera Fund carries out their mission of building upon voices through mass campaigning to realize change.

After realizing their own civil rights had been violated by then Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin used proceeds from a multi-million dollar legal settlement to establish the Frontera Fund.