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With Frank I started the workshop "Gaining Members and Keeping Them". Winning new members is an essential task of Amnesty groups. We started to connect with everybody that was interested in this topic. It was because they began to see that we have a common…connection. If that’s not created, no matter how much you appeal to the youth here, no matter how genuinely you invite them to join you, they will continue to see the activity as yours, not theirs. Develop ideas and strategies together. So that the question of how to win members, bring movements together is also a question of the kind of language one uses and the consciousness one tries to impart. A few tasks they had made them wonder. I would say that as our struggles mature, they produce new ideas, new issues, and new terrains on which we engage in the quest for human rights. Hope they understood, we must be willing to embrace the long walk toward human rights.
My main goal was to talk about our struggle as Amnesty activists. To try to define it in real and concrete terms. To try to understand what it means to people engaged in it. Where and how does it start? Does it ever end? What are the essential foundations for building a movement? What does it mean physically, philosophically, and psychologically? All around us and up close, we are being told not to care. Not to collectivize, not to confront. But we want human rights. We want them now. And we will keep trying, changing together.
It is easy to feel discouraged and simply let go. There is no shame in that. We are, after all, engaged in a struggle that seems unwinnable. On the other hand, if we take a step back, look at things from a broader angle, reflecting on what is happening all over the world and the history of struggle, the history of solidarity movements, it becomes clear sometimes even obvious, that seemingly indestructible forces can be, thanks to people’s willpower, sacrifices, and actions, easily broken.
We, Amnesty never stopped; we are still, every day, living the struggle. Together we are an embodiment of resistance. I see their ongoing work and presence reflected in and inspiring.
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