The Concord Carlisle Human Rights Council (CCHRC) has seen marked increased in inquiries and visits to our website and FaceBook page, and the CCHRC continues to follow up on local incidents of human rights abuses and to support the victims of these specific incidents. Beyond the local sphere, human rights are under attack from multiple fronts: From the rise of white right-wing supremacists, to immigrants and their children threatened with deportation, to proposed budgetary cuts to programs that largely impact the poor, the human rights impact is immense. There are many other legal and social issues that are changing at a dizzying rate: reproductive rights, pollution control, global warming, equitable education, labor standards, and of course, the composition of the Supreme Court, to mention but a few.
It can all be a bit daunting and dispiriting, but in response to these affronts to our human rights, a new spirit of activism is developing. There are dozens of local grassroots organizations springing up to defend causes that are dear to us. Each week we read a new appeal from groups of concerned citizens who have banded together and are eager to do something to make a difference. There is so much going on that it is hard to know where to pitch in and help. Each member of the council has individual concerns, but we gather monthly to lend each other support and to discuss initiatives that we can advocate for collectively.
After much discussion, the CCHRC has thrown its weight behind the movement to designate Concord a “Welcoming Community.” We support the current Concord Police policy of not inquiring about a person’s immigration status. We hope that by codifying specific and limited protections we will help protect the human rights of immigrants that live and work in our community.
These are trying times, but they are also times that force us to examine what is valuable to us as a society. We have an opportunity to enact changes that defend our core ideals and principles. We encourage our fellow citizens to embrace this renaissance of social protest and activism. Get involved and be heard!
Ronni Olitsky & Rob Morrison
Concord-Carlisle Human Rights Council Co-Chairs