Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Calling all bloggers - take part in the Human Rights Challenge!

When I say all bloggers, I mean those of any political party and none who sigh when they see yet another article decrying the Human Rights Act in the right wing press. And, actually, you don't need to be a blogger. If you want to contribute, just e-mail me a piece and I'll put it up.

You may have seen my tweets from the Liberty fringe meeting at Lib Dem Conference in Birmingham last week. This was all about defending the Human Rights Act from the attack of David Cameron's Conservatives.

Julian Huppert made the point that we don't often talk about why these rights are so important. We know why we believe passionately that human beings should be protected from life and liberty threatening state abuse, but we need to talk about it more among friends, to families, colleagues. We need to take on the right wing press and win. That's why I want us all to start blogging regularly about the rights we need to defend. I would love to link to all the posts so that a record can be kept here. You can take part as often as you like.

If you read nothing but the Daily Mail, you would think that the Human Rights Act is all about giving KFC to prisoners protesting on rooftops, or giving hardcore porn to inmates, or protecting the rights of burglars to ransack your home, or stopping us deporting immigrants or criminals. There is occasionally a grain of truth behind these stories, but it has been distorted out of all recognition. It's time to debunk those myths. Human rights do not cause riots.

Why would you not want to give people the right to marry and have a family, to enjoy privacy in their own homes, to have a fair trial, to not be killed by the state? These rights are there to protect every single one of us. If the Tories were ever to get their way, we'd all lose out. There is a stack of information on the Liberty website about the Act and the organisation's Common Values campaign.

I hope Melaina doesn't mind, but I've completely copied her Feminist Friday system so that any posts you do to take up this challenge all appear together. Over time, it'll build up a good information base for those of us who want a fresh perspective on human rights and will also get some positive stuff out there. I'm hoping that this is something we can do regularly, because the scope and range of what we could write is enormous.

I would really like lots of people to take part in this, so anything you can do to publicise this Human Rights Challenge via the usual social networking channels would be appreciated.

Also, if anyone with artistic skills wants to design a logo for this enterprise, let me know.

So, all you need to do know is a post publicising this challenge and saying something about why you love the Human Rights Act and then link it here via the magic linky thing below. You can make a submission any time over the next week.

The last week has seen a 17 year old hanged publicly in Iran, the execution of Troy Davis whose conviction was clearly not safe, by the State of Georgia. Saudi Arabia sends out mixed messages by saying it'll let women vote in 2015, but is happy to sentence them to flogging for driving.  At home, even with the Human Rights Act we've seen the UK Border Agency try to send gay people back to countries where they would be tortured, telling them to be discreet. Don't ever doubt that these protections in law are necessary.

So, readers, do your best and let's show why we need to protect people's human rights.

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