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Tag Archives: Amnesty International

Day one of the three day quote challenge

Hello all.  My wonderful WordPress friend Eddie Mae, or Emz, has nominated me for the three day quote challenge.

The challenge has a simple set of rules.  For three consecutive days, the challenge nominee posts one, two or three quotes.  Also, with each of these posts, the nominee nominates three other bloggers.

Hmmm.  I have stopped nominating individual blogs when accepting awards.  The reason being that I would love to nominate all of the blogs I follow for each award that I receive.  I don’t want for anyone to miss out so I am nominating every one of the blogs that I follow.

Please, if I follow you, consider this post a nomination for you to accept the three day challenge.  Let me know if you take up the challenge.

So, my three quotes today:

edmundburke_The_Only_Thing_Necessary_For_Evil_To_Win

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing – Edmund Burke

This quote is so true.  If everyone ignores the wrong doing around them then…well…nothing will ever change.  Things have only changed when bystanders have stood up for what is right.

mas_puede_la_plume_que_la_espada

The pen is mightier than the sword – Edward Bulwer-Lytton

When I wrote for the Amnesty International Write For Rights campaign last year, I wrote a slogan on a piece of paper which gave me the incentive to keep writing.  I wrote “Más puede la pluma que la espada” which is Spanish for the pen is mightier than the sword.

I looked up this quote online earlier today as I was curious where this idiom came from.  I found the above concerning its origins and took a screengrab with Shutter.

I will be posting three quotes for each of these three days, the third of which will be a quote that has made me laugh when I first heard it.

The third quote today is one that has made me laugh several times – in fact, nearly every time that I imagine the situation.

Actress Tallulah Bankhead was quite a headstrong character and said the following when meeting up with a previous lover at a party.  Can you imagine the gentleman’s reaction when she said this to him having not seen her since she had left him without warning a few years previously?

Yes, she said, “I thought I told you to wait in the car”.

quote-on-seeing-a-former-lover-for-the-first-time-in-years-i-thought-i-told-you-to-wait-in-tallulah-bankhead-1-74-50

(On seeing a former lover for the first time in years) I thought I told you to wait in the car – Tallulah Bankhead

More good news about the Write For Rights campaign

Due to being ill, it took me a few days to notice an email that I received.

It was an update on another of the cases that I wrote about during the Amnesty Write For Rights campaign.  I am quite sure that I mentioned that this was the first case for which I wrote a couple of letters in December last year.

The email is an update of good progress but more still needs to be done.

I hope that this can give us all hope that we can all do just a little bit to contribute to making the World just a little better than before.

It’s also nice for me to find out what happens after I sent those letters.

Here is an excerpt from the email:

Dear Harry,

Maria* was 13 years old when her father forced her to marry a 70-year-old man, a common practice in Burkina Faso.

Her father threatened her saying, “If you don’t go to join your husband, I will kill you.”

Amnesty is working to end child marriage once and for all…With your help, we are making strides.

In response to pressure from letters and actions from activists around the world, the Ministry of Justice, Human Rights and Civic Promotion in Burkina Faso has recently committed to raise the legal age of marriage for girls to 18 years and to ensure that forced marriage is clearly defined in Burkina Faso’s criminal code.

While these promises are a step in the right direction, we need your help to ensure these plans turn into real action.

Maria escaped after spending three days with her husband and his five other wives. She walked 105 miles over three days to get to a shelter.

When her father learned that she had fled, he threatened to attack the priest who helped her escape if she didn’t return home.

When she did return, she was beaten by her father and sent back to live with her husband. She again fled the house on foot and sought refuge at the nearest police station.

Amnesty is advocating for girls like Maria, who have suffered the injustice of early and forced marriage. We are telling their stories and we are holding governments accountable for their safety and well-being.

*Maria is not her real name

So was the letter writing worth it?

You may remember that I took part in the Amnesty International Write For Rights campaign at the end of last year.  Well, do these letters ever help achieve anything you may well ask?

Previous Write for Rights campaigns have helped achieve freedoms in the past and it would appear that they still do even in 2016.

I’ve taken the liberty of reproducing an email that I received this week from Amnesty International.  This email is in regards to one of the ten cases that I wrote letters for.

In this particular instance, I wrote a handwritten letter to both the Attorney General of Louisiana and also to Albert Woodfox himself to give him courage as he sat in solitary confinement.

I want to add that none of this makes me proud of myself.  I was one of many, many people who done the same as me.  In fact, almost countless people done more than me.  All I did was wrote two letters.  Other people were daily standing outside of the prison or negotiating with the authorities.

But it was a humbling feeling to think that my letter was perhaps like the straw that broke the camel’s back.  The sheer weight of international public feeling may have just tipped the balance and helped those fighting on Albert Woodfox’s behalf to successfully secure his release.

This letter writing was the least that I could do.  This man was imprisoned before I was even born.

Below is also a link to the BBC Website about it which was one of the top three read stories that day:

Dear Harry,

Today, Louisiana prisoner Albert Woodfox walked free, 44 years after he was first put into solitary confinement.

He was the United States’ longest serving prisoner held in isolation. Nearly every day for more than half of his life, Albert Woodfox woke up in a cell the size of a parking space, surrounded by concrete and steel.

Tomorrow morning, for the first time in more than four decades, he will be able to walk outside and look up into the sky.

Over the course of nearly five years working on Albert Woodfox’s case at Amnesty, I heard many times that the odds were insurmountable.

But I always knew that Albert Woodfox would go home.

I have seen the incredible power of our movement when we work together.

I have seen the courage humility, and determination of so many of you who have played big and small roles to help this historic human rights victory come to fruition.

I have seen the unbelievable strength of the Angola 3: Robert King, Herman Wallace, and Albert Woodfox himself—all three of whom endured nightmares but persevered with humor, dignity, and resolve to wage a relentless fight against the cruel, inhuman and degrading practice of prolonged solitary confinement in the United States.

With the knowledge of his release, Albert had this message for those who have helped him secure his freedom:

I want to thank my brother Michael for sticking with me all these years, and Robert King, who wrongly spent nearly 30 years in solitary. I could not have survived without their courageous support, along with the support of my dear friend Herman Wallace, who passed away in 2013. I also wish to thank the many members of the International Coalition to Free the Angola 3, Amnesty International, and the Roddick Foundation, all of whom supported me through this long struggle. Lastly, I thank William Sothern, Rob McDuff and my lawyers at Squire Patton Boggs and Sanford Heisler Kimpel for never giving up. Although I was looking forward to proving my innocence at a new trial, concerns about my health and my age have caused me to resolve this case now and obtain my release with this no-contest plea to lesser charges. I hope the events of today will bring closure to many.

I’m carrying those words with me today as we celebrate this victory.

Today Albert Woodfox walks free—February 19, 2016, his 69th Birthday.

BBC link – Albert Woodfox freed after 43 years in US solitary prison

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