Since Thuesday the 6th of December 2011, the Secretary of State of the USA, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is in Geneva giving talks about the beauty of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.
“Today, I want to talk about the work we have left to do to protect one group of people whose human rights are still denied in too many parts of the world today. In many ways, they are an invisible minority. They are arrested, beaten, terrorized, even executed….I am talking about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, human beings born free and given bestowed equality and dignity, who have a right to claim that, which is now one of the remaining human rights challenges of our time….The Obama Administration defends the human rights of LGBT people as part of our comprehensive human rights policy and as a priority of our foreign policy. In our embassies, our diplomats are raising concerns about specific cases and laws, and working with a range of partners to strengthen human rights protections for all.”
Is that why the government she represents uses tear gas, pepper spray and other “non lethal weapons” against peaceful demonstrators who want justice and equality in her country? Is this why students at University of California San Diego (among many others) got peper sprayed for denouncing corporate greed and student debt?
At this point we can see how pathetic the discourse of a senior US official is. I call this “political hypocrisy”, nothing new.
The Obama administration has a “comprehensive human rights policy” she says, seriously? The same administration that inaugurated seven new military bases in Latin America the first month of its mandate? The same administration that has extended Bush era’s war policies in Afganistan, Iraq and Pakistan (to cite only a few)? Are we talking about the same administration that murders dozens of civilians around the world every day with its drone strikes , air strikes, raids, unconstitutional and illegal interventions and detentions?
Political hypocrisy disgust me.
When I see and hear such things I can’t help but wonder: ” do theses people have any integrity, any small part of humanity inside them?” I asked myself this question many times because I really couldn’t understand how people can act in such inhumane manner. I now think that the problem does not come from the lack of humanity of a single person, nor of a single corporation or government. This isn’t the result of a couple of conducts put together. In fact, it is the opposite. This is the result of a fundamentally inhumane system. A system that rewards greed and self interest at the expense of human dignity. A system that has no conductor, no pilote, no chief. Of course that the United States of America have more impact on the world than Switzerland, the same is true for Novartis compared to the old herborist living down the street. But this doesn’t mean that Switzerland has no impact on the world, the same is true for the old herborist living down the street.
During his conference on international law the other night at the University of Geneva, Stephane Hessel said that the 21th century knows a triangle of power. On one end there are the governments which do all these kind of crazy and inhumane things. Then, there are the financial and economic forces who are internationalized and independant from single states. Finally there are citizens who have to assume their responsibility to denunce what their governments do that they do not accept. Civil society is the only force left today that can influence for the good this triangle of power.
We the 99% have the moral obligation, the duty if you will, to expose our governments, to protest, denunce and resist the atrocities that they are conducting in our names, with our money and our passive consent. Each and every person can bring a significative impact on our world by organizing and participating in the struggle. “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” said the Dalai Lama.
We are the 99% and we must stop giving our silent consent to a fundamentally inhumane system. We must stand-up, speak up and put an end to these atrocities.
The system is global and so are the problems we are facing today. Problems such as the financial crisis, such as violations of human rights or the climate crisis cannot be solved in one country. Governments are not showing any sign of progress, sometimes they don’t even show a willingness to make things better. It is why time has come for a global social movement to act before it is too late. Today, not tomorrow we need to stand together and unite in face of a fundamentally inhumane global system.
Our vision at Occupy Geneva is to lead a transformation to a fair and respectful world where societies choose to adopt a system that rewards solidarity and integrity instead of greed and the pursuit of self-interest. And as part of a global social movement, Occupy Geneva aims to unite and empower all people who share the same concerns about today’s failed system and contribute to building together an alternative system based on fundamental human values.
“It does not matter what country we live in, who our leaders are, or even who we are. Because we are human, we therefore have rights. And because we have rights, governments are bound to protect them.”
We agree with you Mrs. Clinton, but we actually mean it.
Quotes of Hillary Clinton are taken from the transcript of her speech made in Geneva Swtizerland the 6th of December 2011 and available here.