Constitutional rights author to speak at Brockport
Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 08:02
The College at Brockport’s History Forum has joined forces with several other campus clubs and organizations to bring journalist and author Glenn Greenwald to lecture on American liberty and justice in today’s world. Greenwald is a contributing writer for The Guardian and a New York Times bestselling author. He practiced litigation law until 2005.
Nicholas Lind, former president of the History Forum and current chair of lecture and website committees, said he first heard Greenwald speak on an independent news program called Democracy Now.
“I liked what he was saying and I read some of his articles online,” Lind said. “I thought that he was somebody I’d want to bring to campus.”
In the past, Greenwald has written for The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and Salon.com. His blog, “Unclaimed Territory,” won the Koufax Award for “best new blog” in 2006, shortly before he began working for Salon. He currently writes for The Guardian and is on the board of directors of the newly-formed Freedom of the Press Foundation.
According to Freedom of the Press Foundation’s website, its mission is to help promote “aggressive, public-interest journalism focused on exposing mismanagement, corruption, and law-breaking government.” Daniel Ellsberg, known for turning over the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times in 1971, is also a member of the board, along with actor John Cusack and former Grateful Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow. The foundation currently supports organizations like WikiLeaks, Truthout and the National Security Archive.
“Sometimes we don’t realize when they [our rights and liberties] are being infringed on because of the way that they’re being infringed on,” Lind said. “Those are some of the things Glenn talks about. Different government programs can have access to our information, like on cell phones … without our ever knowing it.
“Constitutional rights are important, but there are other human rights that Glenn writes about, so he writes a lot about drone warfare and different overseas campaigns, overseas wars that we have going on that we just don’t hear about.”
Lind said the lecture will probably be based somewhat off Greenwald’s latest book, With Liberty and Justice for Some, but what attendees take away from it will be completely up to them.
“Hopefully we’re going to have a better understanding of things that are going on around the world that we have a potential to change or get involved with, whether that’s different surveillance programs to be aware of and organize against, or maybe military or CIA programs that are going on around the world that we could organize against as well,” Lind said. “I think the main problem is that people just aren’t as aware of a lot of these things that are going on, so just awareness is the first step. Then it’s up to the students to decide how to act on that.”
The lecture is free and open to the public. The History Forum, S.O.U.L., English Club, Brockport Student Government (BSG), The American Democracy Project, the college’s history department, The Stylus and the Society of Professional Journalists are all sponsoring the event.
“I started in the fall, going to individual meetings and talking with professors and trying to see who would be interested in helping with this and who would have the resources to bring him in,” Lind said. “I got a few clubs interested, but the most important part that really set us forward and got the History Forum committed to the lecture was a grant from the American Democracy Project. That was enough to ensure we would be able to hold the talk, and from then on it was just a matter of getting additional sponsors.”
The lecture will be held in the New York Room in Cooper Hall at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 7. A brief book signing will follow.