As 2020 drew to a close Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned, and the leadership of the Egyptian Initiative on Personal Rights were arrested. Persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar continued, as did the incarceration of millions of Uighurs in Xinjiang.
But in other ways 2020 has been cause for hope: The global protests that broke out in the wake of George Floyd’s death show what solidarity can look like in practice whilst the extraordinary international efforts to develop a vaccine have been a milestone in international cooperation.
What role does KES play in all this? We see so much in the news that worries and upsets us and it is easy to feel helpless. However, Amnesty International is working to reverse this trend. Amnesty is a worldwide network of individuals who respect human rights and put pressure on governments where it is most needed. By combining the actions of individuals in larger campaigns, lives have been saved, unfair laws have changed and the wrongfully imprisoned have been released. For the first time ever, this KES Society is joining activists across the globe to take a stand and think more deeply about issues that should affect us all.
It is good enough to have an opinion but to actually have it heard in a space with other people there to interrogate and evaluate it is an entirely different experience. Well-informed discussion and activism is the best way for us to proceed. Focusing on increasing awareness of abuses within the school community, we will address a wide variety of social and global issues, beginning with child poverty from next week. Then with a united front we lobby governments, and other powerful groups through petitions and letter writing campaigns.
Let’s promote and cultivate a generation of new thinkers. Please find information on how to join the movement in the Google Classroom (code is on the co-curricular bulletin).