Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Price of Silence is...

...too high.

This is the theme of Amnesty International's song commemmorating 60 years of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (fancy title....makes it sound like it has some weight...wish that were true).

On Dec 11, a day after the UHR declartion, UN resolution 194 was passed affirming the Palestinian refugees' right of return. That too has been not much more than ink on paper...this Counterpunch article says some more (although I don't agree with the conclusion - another resolution will not make a difference).

Fancy meeting rooms and suits aside, it is the brave women and men risking their lives every day to stand up for the innocent, to stand up against injustice, to stand up for human rights, that makes a difference at the end of the day. Those people are in every city across the globe, working tirelessly in hope that someone else may have a chance at a better life. Many of them have probably never heard of the UN declaration; they don't need a UN declaration to know right from wrong. They don't need a man-made declartion to know justice from opression.

The one initiative that stands out in my mind at this moment is that of the Israeli conscientious objectors, the Shministim. These are young men and women who refuse to be part of the illegal occupation of Palestine. As a result, they are prosecuted by their own government, families, and communities and remain in and out of prison until they are 21. Read their stories and send a message of support here (Dec 18 has been marked the Shministim Day of Action).

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