This past week has since mass protest in France against proposals to change the country’s pension system, and China react with extreme anger to the award of the Nobel peace prize to human rights activist and Tiananmen Square veteran Liu Xiaobo. Closer to home, the UK government is set this Wednesday to announce a set of what will seem to many to be further savage attacks on the capacity of many of us to lead decent lives.
Human rights supporters are universalists, dedicated to making the world a better place for all. In this week’s main track on The Rights Future, I ask ‘if we really believe in human rights how far, should we go to defend them?’ What role does defiance of law, direct action, violence even, play in the history and current practice of human rights?
The connection is with my third manifesto propostion – ‘Realising human rights must always be emancipatory and securing them might sometimes be revolutionary’. As usual I’ll be setting out my thoughts here and inviting comments and responses this week, before I reply on Friday.