GPAHE Celebrates International Day of Democracy

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Our work to push back the threat from far-right extremists protects and strengthens democracies 

Democracy, our democracy, is meant to provide for the protection and furtherance of our civil and human rights with our government reflecting the will and expression of the people. On this International Day of Democracy, we look at the state of our democracy and those across the world and believe that we must all recommit ourselves, in the strongest possible way, to its preservation.

Far-right extremists are positioning themselves to shatter the very foundations of our freedoms. Voting rights, racial justice, LGBTQ+ equality, the right to be free from fear and violence as we go about our daily lives in our workplaces, houses of worship, schools, and libraries, and our right to be governed by those who are dedicated to all people’s rights, are all under threat.

For our democracy to truly thrive, far-right extremists, from street-fighting groups like the Proud Boys who attacked our Capitol, to the politically powerful who encouraged them, must be shown for what they are, denormalized, and pushed back to the fringes where they belong. The barrier, the cordon sanitaire, which is critical to preserving democracy, and previously kept far-right extremists and their poisonous ideologies and policies out of the mainstream, has failed in recent years.

Together we can — and we must — defeat these dangerous movements. At the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, we know what it takes, and our campaigns to push extremists back to the fringes and create an open political space are underway. Among other efforts, we’re:

  • Training public officials on how to keep voters safe at the polls from antigovernment militias, racists, and other extremists who intimidate voters.
  • Pressuring the tech companies to address disinformation and the harms of targeted political advertisements on social media.
  • Exposing how the politically powerful, including Trump and others here in the US, spread the racist, antisemitic “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory and contribute to dehumanizing hate speech and policies and targeted violence globally.
  • Advocating at the highest levels to root out extremism in our military ranks. Read our op-ed in The Hill.
  • Provide expertise to lawmakers on how far-right groups undermine democracy. For instance, we provided expert testimonies to the January 6 Select Committee.

This isn’t just an American problem. Countries like Poland and Hungary have been transformed into illiberal democracies in a short period of time, with rights protections stripped from the LGBTQ+ community and others, and a free press decimated. Digging deeper, the undeniable growth of far-right hate and extremist movements across the globe is leading to the spread of disinformation, violence, and discriminatory policies. What’s more, from voter intimidation, to the spread of election denialism, to violent insurrections and attempted coups in the US, Brazil, and Germany, these movements are an existential threat to democracies everywhere.

Every one of us has a responsibility to do what we can to preserve our democracy and protect our rights. And that includes our political leaders on both sides of the aisle, but particularly GOP members who must have the courage to do what they know is right and stand up to the far-right extremists among their ranks.

And the media must not conflate extremism with conservatism, create false equivalencies, and normalize the very destructive ideas and behaviors of those who would create a narrow-minded U.S. that restricts rights out of fear of losing power, rather than expand rights to preserve a diverse and flourishing democracy.

We have a lot of work to do in this fight — and it is a fight — to preserve our democracy and civil rights. We cannot take for granted the liberties this nation affords us and the institutions that support those liberties. And we’re so very grateful for your commitment to this fight and your willingness to stand strong with us.

2400 1600 Global Project Against Hate and Extremism
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