Liberty Director Martha Spurrier meets American Civil Liberties Union counterpart Anthony Romero in wake of Trump victory

22 November 2016

Liberty Director Martha Spurrier has held her first meeting with her counterpart at sister organisation the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) – in the wake of Donald Trump’s election victory and the passing of the UK’s Snoopers’ Charter.

The meeting in New York saw Martha and Anthony Romero, the ACLU’s Executive Director, discuss the acute threats to rights and freedoms on both sides of the Atlantic.

Martha Spurrier said: “As human rights campaigners – and as citizens – we find ourselves in a time of threat, hostility and instability.

"The President-elect of the USA has been elected on an openly racist, sexist and disablist platform. Far-right politicians are gaining ground across Europe and our own Prime Minister Theresa May used her time at the Home Office to establish deportation squads, indefinitely detain migrants, scapegoat Muslims and enshrine totalitarian-style surveillance of every British citizen – and her Government remains committed to repealing the Human Rights Act. 

“History has taught us all too well that human rights and the Rule of Law are the first things to go in societies where fear and uncertainty have been spun into hatred. And when that happens, it is the marginalised and the disenfranchised who lose the most and the powerful who reap ill-gotten gains. As we attempt to steer our nations down a more hopeful path, all those committed to liberty, freedom and equality must speak out and stand together.”

Anthony Romero said: “We at the ACLU are gearing up for the civil liberties fight of our generation: holding strong against the unconstitutional and illegal proposals he offered on the campaign trail.

"Our staff of litigators and advocates across the United States are ready to fight against any encroachment on our freedoms and rights. We also look forward to cooperating with our civil liberties sister organizations like Liberty, to show governments around the world that our vigilance is resolute.

"Martha Spurrier is the right leader for Liberty, and our civil liberties advocacy version of the ‘special relationship’ across the Pond will make a difference in our respective countries.”

Contact: pressoffice@liberty-human-rights.org.uk / 0207 378 3656 / 07973 831 128