Strong Voices Rise

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    Two strong voices with not only generations parting them, but also miles. They speak of different reasons that drive their passion for activism, and yet they are united in the fact that nothing will stand in their way as they help our world work towards achieving its dream for a true global democracy.

    Zainab Alkhawaja stopping Bahraini Riot Police (photo credit: Mohammed Mirza / YFrog / NY Times)

    One young woman is Zainab Alkhawaja, the daughter of prominent Bahraini human rights activist Abdulhadi Al Khawaja, who is following in her father’s footsteps while also protesting the actions perpetrated by the government of Bahrain on her people. She is outspoken because her father, husband, brother-in-law, and uncle are all being held in long-term detention by their government. After her recent hunger strike ended, Zainab took her actions further when she blocked riot police and their vehicles from attacking a peaceful protest and funeral procession. NY Times editor, Robert Mackey, recently conducted an extended interview with Zainab that will open the eyes of those of us who don’t live under tyrannical conditions.

    Dorli Rainey pepper-sprayed at Occupy Seattle (photo credit: Joshua Trujillo / Seattle PI)

    An ocean away, another woman became an unsuspecting hero in another protest movement in the United States. Dorli Rainey is an 84-year old activist who has spent her life standing against causes that she sees as detrimental to society, whether it be nuclear power or social injustices. She recently spoke to Keith Olbermann about the day she was pepper-sprayed by the riot police at Occupy Seattle. Her most cherished thought is about one of her heroes, Jackie Hudson, who said, “Whatever you do, take one more step out of your comfort zone”. Hear her inspiring thoughts as she speaks to Keith on his show, Countdown KO.

    Many people are now walking into activism, political or otherwise, even at the threat of being yelled at or insulted by those who aren’t ready for any kind of substantial change. These are just two remarkable women from within an ocean of humanity who are standing up to speak in strong voices against those social ills that have changed all of our lives. Their causes are as different as the lands that they come from, and yet they both hold onto a single dream that we all share: a free and democratic world with a prosperous and safer future for everyone.

    Suddenly, our individual problems begin to pale as we start to realize that the path that we all walk has become more precarious by the day. Everyday, a new voice is added to the call. More and more people are answering it in their own way. And in ever-increasing numbers, entire countries are awakening to a darkened future that can only be changed if we all work together. That’s the key that we all still need to understand: Together. Because alone, we won’t be strong enough for the battle to save us all.