Parading down a techno-consumer superhighway into the new millennium, the new electronic age of divine enlightenment has conscripted us to be witnesses to an extraordinary event: a resurgence of activism among indigenous peoples, energetically asserting their international rights not only as individual human beings but as self-determining peoples, unique and independent cultures. They have achieved the “extraordinary” feat of asserting international rights. In many settler societies indigenous activism has been more or less continuous since foreign invasion, though often successfully ignored by the state. Rather than a resurgence, it is simply that current attempts have achieved the more widespread popular and political attention that signals less success in containing dissent. Such as the Maori experience in Aotearoa New Zealand and the Iroquois struggle for independence.
Video empowers human rights activists
The handicam - or hand held video camera - was introduced to the market a decade ago so that the average person could capture family and personal moments on tape. But activists worldwide soon discovered the handicam's potential for their campaigns for justice. Coupled with the increasingly inexpensive digital editing facilities and the rapidly expanding World Wide Web, video has become one of the most powerful tools for safeguarding human rights. Sam Gregory of WITNESS reports.
In a remote area of the Philippines, a people's organisation of indigenous rights groups is legally pursuing its ancestral land claims when it comes under attack. Local authorities do nothing to act on these attacks and are allegedly linked to those responsible.
In the jungles of eastern Burma, the Burmese military junta harasses and kills ethnic Karen villagers. Driven from their homes, and forced to flee without food or shelter, these villagers' stories go untold.
Under the Taliban government in Afghanistan, the rights of women were trampled in a society closed to the outside world.
When the Malaysian police started accepting crime reports sent in by members of the public from their cellphones, little did they expect that their own misdemeanours would one day be caught in the frame.
Malaysians have had to put up with police corruption and misconduct as a part of everyday life. But now blogs and video cellphones have given Malaysians who are exasperated by the lack of action against the police a new and very public outlet. A new Malaysian facebook blog - or (Polis Raja Di Malaysia) - aims to pull together footage documenting police misconduct from video-sharing sites like YouTube and GoogleVideo. The blog promotes itself with the strapline “Police should fight crime, not fight the people”. Cellphone videos on YouTube range, for example, from footage and photomontages of the police breaking up protests to a police officer firing into the air unprovoked while breaking up a fight.
Dear Robin, if you ever wondered what I would be like if I were a woman, this is your opportunity. My new friend Paula Khoo is much more kind, humble and compassionate, but she still thinks very much like me in many ways. I know you will like her just as much as you do me, if not more. Here are some links and stories about this brave mother, teacher, humanitarian activist, friend, musician and devoted housewife.
People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Take no one for granted and embrace all equally with joy!
Julie A. Manhan ...