Defending Our Liberties
Liberty has been defending civil liberties and human rights in the UK since 1934. They are one of the oldest human rights organisations in the country. Today, their work focuses on a range of important topics - from the rights of service men and women in our armed forces, to the rapid rise of mass surveillance and the use of new technologies that restrict our privacy and freedom of expression.
Throughout their history Liberty has worked on some of the most important issues of the ages. In the 1930s, Liberty campaigned against fascism. In the 1960s and 1970s, they supported gay rights, equal pay for women and opposed a string of immigration laws that (in an echo of the recent Windrush scandal) stripped Commonwealth citizens of their rights.
Like every organisation, Liberty needs to keep up to date with developments in technology and changes in taste and design. So recently the organisation launched a new logo and brand. Looking to both their past and the future, their update was inspired by their bold, timeless campaigning materials from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. Liberty produced billboard posters which drew directly from their own history. These featured
- the original Windrush boat,
- an anti-fascist demonstration, and
- a photo of mass surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Their point is not just to remind us they exist but to remind us that since their very first day, their fight has been our fight too. That we're all in this together.
Liberty is cross-party and non-party. We live in some of the most challenging and difficult times since the Second World War. The work which they do has never been needed more. Liberty strives to ensure that when change comes, as it always has and always will, our basic civil and human rights are protected - especially for those most unable to defend themselves - and all of our voices are heard.
The funding which Liberty receives from players of People's Postcode Lottery allows them to keep promoting the values of decency, integrity, fairness, kindness and a fundamental belief in the rule of law. To date, our amazing players have provided £250,000 funding for a number of important projects. Projects like
- Access to justice for all: Liberty operates the only free human rights advice and information service in the UK, providing guidance and signposting specialist services. Thanks to our players, Liberty have hired a dedicated manager to help the service improve and expand.
- Ending indefinite detention: Liberty is campaigning for a 28-day limit to detention for asylum seekers arriving in the UK. Currently the Home Office holds around 30,000 people in UK immigration centres indefinitely. Their campaigns involve increasing awareness amongst the public and in key stakeholders (like MPs) and petitioning.
- Ending the hostile environment: Liberty is campaigning against a series of "hostile environment" policies targeting refugees and asylum seekers in the UK. This includes data-sharing deals between the Home Office and government departments, which sees personal information sharing with immigration officers. Last year, this campaign saw some success. The Home Office agreed to drop a data-sharing deal with Department of Health, meaning refugees and asylum seekers can now access healthcare through the NHS without risk of their data being shared with the Home Office.