December 15, 2013

Agency and activism - Mary Robinson

Change demands action, agency and activism. It requires the young and free minded to challenge every accepted norm. As Fareed Zakaria said here, there is nothing inevitable about the continuance and rise of liberal democracy. I wrote of Mary Robinson's agency and activism on here:
"Northern Ireland needs the modern, functioning, internationalist youth to push back against discriminatory holdouts.
We should look to the foresight of Mary Robinson, who in 1967 at the age of 23, used her inaugural address as auditor of the law society in Dublin to speak on law and morality and take on every sacred cow. She took on the authoritarian and repressive influence of the Catholic Church, fighting for contraception, women’s rights, divorce, abortion and gay rights."
History has show that sacred cows make the juiciest burgers. Mary Robinson's first piece of legislation aimed to overturn the ban on the import, distribution and sale of contraceptives. In response to this action condoms were posted through her letterbox and she was denounced from the pulpit by the bishop of Ballina Cathedral. She also worked as a legal advisor for the Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform with future Trinity College senator David Norris (my blog post on David Norris here).

As Christopher Hitchens said: "That's one definition of corruption, is indifference." Judge Alan Mahon said the same in the 2010 Tribunal report when he said: "Ignorance and apathy are both corruption catalysts [because] the pathways of corruption are ever changing." As Tom Hayden said: "A silent majority and government by the people is incompatible."

Mick Fealty said here: "If you don't vote that's as good as an approval, albeit a lukewarm one." The same figures for silence, indifference and neutrality on violence and economic vandalism.

Read my blog on Peter Tatchell and on the need to provoke and even offensive here. My blog post on the Heroine of Hackney who spoke out against the rioters in London in 2011 here.

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