A Note from Our Founder, Anastasia Pateruk
I am from Ukraine and am a graduate of the National University Odesa Law Academy. In 2021, I became a US citizen. I started the Liberty.org nonprofit organization after Russia began full-scale invasion of my native country where all my family still live.
People in Western democracies today experience more favorable conditions than the vast majority throughout human history, or even than contemporaries in most other countries. Great suffering and evil exist in the world today. Many of the things that people worry about are small compared to problems that others face.
Many people do not have the freedoms that we in the West take for granted. The United Nations' 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights articulated ostensibly inalienable rights of all people. Everyone has a right to freedom of speech, freedom of information, freedom of conscience, to chose what to believe and who to marry. Yet many of its member states systematically violate their people's rights. Many control what people can read, hear, and speak. People are fed a diet of propaganda, whether political, religious, or ideological, with which they are forbidden to disagree, and which serves the agenda of those in power. Even in the West, rights have been increasingly infringed.
Many thought that the Twentieth Century resolved key disputes. The first World War ostensibly resolved the right of peoples to national self-determination. The second World War was the impetus for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, affirming the worth and dignity of all people. We were promised that these conflicts and atrocities could occur "never again" and that the world would "never forget." But today, these rights are being denied by states, groups, and individuals. Some, from Russia's Putin to ruthless criminal cartels, characterize and treat their designated foes as non-humans, depriving them of inalienable rights without remedy.
The challenge is not only the perpetrators of violence and abuse, including both state and non-state actors. It is also the many well-intended people who do nothing to fight evil. A quote inaccurately attributed to Edmund Burke states that "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [and women] to do nothing." How many people spend their time on things that are not so important while doing little to improve the world? Others, unaware of history or holding distorted views, unwittingly enable violence and oppression.
Criminals and dictators conduct themselves badly because they benefit from doing so. They are dissuaded and defeated by stiff resistance imposing costs greater than perceived gains. The evil forces in our world are neither strong nor brave, but are empowered by the indifference and inaction of well-meaning people.
I started this site because I believe that people matter, and because I cannot sit idle while the world burns. Please join us in working to make a difference.
Liberty.org is a nonpartisan grassroots human rights organization run by volunteers passionate about making our communities, our nation, and world better.
Our volunteers come from across the political spectrum. We value human rights, democracy, and public integrity. We support peaceful advocacy and civil discourse. We repudiate in the strongest possible terms any and all organizations, groups, and individuals that incite, support, glorify, or engage in violence.
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