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This weekend: Re-Thinking Human Rights at Occupy London

 

Saturday 10 December is the International Day of Human Rights. On this symbolic date, Occupy London wants to answer a recent call for an International Day of Action.

At OccupyLSX by St Paul’s Cathedral, we will devote the WEEKEND to explore the state of human rights around the world, and to rethink them critically for the future.

On Saturday, keynote speakers including Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International, will defend freedom of expression – the very week Occupiers in London have been catalogued as ‘domestic terrorists´ by the City of London Police – and leading activists including Stephen Corry, Kofi Mawuli Klu, Esther Stanford-Xosei and Ghillar Michael Anderson will approach the idea of human rights from a non-western viewpoint.

The multimedia event Through the Lens with Syria will bring the voices of Syrian activists from around the world to the space just by the steps of St Paul’s, with speeches, recorded interviews and live connections with protests there. The evening General Assembly (at 7pm) will be devoted to the potential connections between the Occupy movement and the Arab Spring, as well as to reflect on Human Rights today.

On Sunday 11 December, we will discuss global democracy as a human right, and think critically about human rights as a whole. Article 21 of the Declaration of Human Rights states that “everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.” However, in the 21st century, our societies are not only governed by national institutions, but also by global markets, banks, corporations and international institutions like the IMF, the World Bank, the Basel Committee on bank regulation and the UN Security Council. How do we bring the 21st Article into the 21st century?

2-9pm Saturday 10 December, OccupyLSX at St Paul’s Cathedral:

2-4pm – Human Rights today: an appraisal, in front of St Paul’s. Speeches by (and videos of ) international human rights activists including:

  • Defending Freedom of Expression in Turbulent Times with Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International
  • Tribal Peoples for Tomorrow’s World with Stephen Corry, Director of Survival International. Videos: http://www.survivalinternational.org/films/
  • Afrika in the Global Justice Struggle for Human and Peoples’ Rights with Kofi Mawuli Klu of PANAFRIINDABA (a Grassroots Pan-Afrikan Community Advocacy Think-Tank) and a Joint Coordinator of the Global Justice Forum
  • Pan-Afrikan Reparations in the Human Rights perspective of Global Justice with Esther Stanford-Xosei, Co-Vice Chair of PARCOE, and Presenter, Afrika Speaks on Voice of Afrika Radio (94 FM)
  • Aboriginal Sovereignty on a Human Rights matter of Global Justice with Ghillar Michael Anderson, Co-Founder of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy

4-7pm – Through the lens with Syria , in front of Saint Paul’s Cathedral. Events include:

  • 4-4.30pm – Professor Charles Tripp opening speech
  • 4.30-5pm – Short film plus Q&A with BBC Journalist Sue Lloyd-Roberts “Undercover” from Syria
  • 5-5.45pm – Live from Syria
  • 5.45-6.15pm – Interviews and clips with Syrians from around the world
  • 6.15-7pm – Live from Syria
  • 7pm – General Assembly, in front of Saint Paul’s Cathedral. Devoted to Human Rights, the Occupy Movement, and the Arab Spring. Three discussion topics for the General Assembly: Connections between the Occupy movement and the Arab Spring; Potential collaborations; Human rights today.

2-7pm Sunday 11 December, Tent City University at St Paul’s Churchyard:

  • 2-3.30pm – What will a democratic global system look like? With Ana Sofia Suarez, Mexican human rights activist; Anders Lustgarten, Campaigner against Development Banks; Jan Aart Scholte, Convenor at the Building Global Democracy and Peter Chowla, Researcher on World Bank, Finance and IMF
  • 4-5.30pm – How can activists and civil society create a democratic system? With Fanny Malinen, Occupy London’s International Commission; Peter Frankental, Amnesty International UK; Richard Laming, World Federalist Movement; Shilpa Jindia, Human Rights Activist and Sabine Selchow, Expert on Global Civil Society, LSE
  • 5.30-7pm – Whose rights are human rights? How are they used? Is it feasible to universalize such a concept? With Nira Yuval-Davis, Centre on Migration, Refugees and Belonging; Kofi Mawuli Klu of PANAFRIINDABA (a Grassroots Pan-Afrikan Community Advocacy Think-Tank) and a Joint Coordinator of the Global Justice Forum and Ghillar Michael Anderson, Co-Founder of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy.
 
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