Mark Barrett of the People in Common group sends notice of a public meeting on the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This call for a critical debate about the very concept of ‘human rights’ and its practical application is to be welcomed. It is echoed in an article by Conor Gearty, Director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights in this month’s New Humanist. He proposes a fresh definition of this ‘most humanist value – http://newhumanist.org.uk/1901 As Gearty suggests it may be my Marxist past that infects my response to the issue. Put crudely I want always to ask, ” rights for whom, granted by whom?” Please circulate the information as widely as you can. It would be good to receive a report on the proceedings.
Why Human Rights?
Wednesday 10th December, 6pm
New Theatre, Building E, LSE Houghton St WC2 (nearest tube Holborn/Temple)
“Men are not capable of doing nothing, of saying nothing, of not reacting to injustice, of not protesting against oppression, of not striving for the good of society and the good life in the ways they see it” Nelson Mandela (First Court Statement, 1962)
On the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) creating a global framework for the protection of the rights of everyone, and in this climate of multiple crises, we invite you to consider: do we really have human rights? What’s right and wrong with them? Can ‘rights’ help us respond to the challenge of reconstructing society; so that justice, mutual respect and equality prevail? And if so, what concrete actions must we now take?
Speaker/panel: AC Grayling, Asad Rehman, Andy Worthington (author of the Guantanamo Files), Michael Edwards, Hicham Yezza, Anne Gray, Teresa Hoskyns (London Social Forum) Peter Tatchell and Vivienne Westwood. Q&A with panellists, followed by discussion on where to take the UK civil rights movement.
Also: informal pre-meeting from 3pm
For more details, email email@example.com