Thursday, December 10, 2015


 Compiled by Dick Bennett
(#1 12-10-08; #2 12-10-09; #3 12-10-11; #4 December 10, 2012; #5 Dec. 10, 2013; #6, Dec. 10, 2014)

What’s at stake:  On Dec. 7 and 8 the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, repeating the clich√©s of 70 years ago, celebrated Pearl Harbor to exemplify US resolve and resilience in standing tall against aggressors, despite the truth that Pearl Harbor was an intensification of a long conflict over who would control the Pacific and E. Asia—Japan or the Western powers.  Since Dec. 7, 1941, Japan’s attack on the US fleet in Pearl Harbor has been used, like the Munich “appeasement” agreement with Hitler, to justify US imperial defense and protection, as if Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia had attacked the US.   Two pages of automatic celebration of armed violence to settle problems.  Today, December 10,  the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette made no mention of Human Rights Day.   This newsletter is some small corrective by recognizing the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as the common standard for human rights everywhere and the United Nations as the chief structure for their realization. 

See: UN/USA, Amnesty International, OMNI Human Rights Newsletter, Bill of Rights DAY Newsletter (Dec. 15), Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, OMNI Vegetarian Action (animal rights), numerous newsletters about UN organizations.

OMNI National/INTERNATIONAL DAYS Project.  December 2015 marks the end of new DAYS newsletters, which have been a small but significant body of the newsletters.  The total newsletters provide a much larger library of information for research and action from the perspective of anti-war nonviolence, world peace, democracy, social and economic justice, human rights, and protection of the environment  (193081 pageviews, 1553 posts, last tabulated on Dec 8, 2015). -

URL for all UN DAYS:

A Note on Strategy:  Global/Local.  
    I recently viewed the new film Spotlight, depicting the Boston Globe investigative team that exposed the sexual abuses by Catholic priests in the area.  The editor charged the team with discovering not merely the criminals but the system that enabled the criminal behavior for several decades.   What they discovered was the extensiveness of the system—not merely the Catholic hierarchy but the social and political hierarchy intertwined with the church.  And the newspaper itself, which decades earlier had discovered evidence of large-scale abuse but had buried the story in an inside section and then had abandoned it altogether. 
     Similarly, the peace, justice, and ecology movement is tasked with the discovery, analysis, and publicity of the US system President Eisenhower labeled the Military-Industrial Complex.   It is much deeper and widespread than he declared in his Farewell Address, though he had included Congress in his original draft.  Today Ike would have to include the Corporations, Pentagon, Congress, White House, Mainstream Media, Education, Imperialism, Exceptionalism, Racism, Secrecy, Surveilance Complex of structures—institutions--to begin to describe the 2015 US National Security State (NSS) system.
      Anywhere you start you find that system, but as with the Boston Globe’s investigation of the Catholic system in Boston, a focus on the local offers no hope of changing the system that created local conditions.  If you truly wish to make changes that matter and last, you must wring out the system to the top.   Here we start with human rights.  

Previous OMNI UN Human Rights Day Newsletters 2008-2013 at End

Contents OMNI UN Human Rights DAY Newsletter #7, Dec. 10, 2015
UN Human Rights Day Dec. 10, 2015: 50th anniversary of the two International
     Covenants on Human Rights:
UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner
Human Rights Organizations 2015, Google Search
O’Malley, Interview of Mary Robinson
Peace and Planet’s Human Rights Day Focus on Refugees
Attacks on Human Rights
Arkansas’ Congressional Representatives
OMNI’s Newsletters

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Human Rights Day
10 December 2015
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A young resident of Santa Rita, Bolivia during Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's visit.
A young resident of Santa Rita, Bolivia during Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's visit. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1950, the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V), inviting all States and interested organizations to observe 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day.
This year's Human Rights Day is devoted to the launch of a year-long campaign for the 50th anniversary of the two International Covenants on Human Rights: the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 16 December 1966.
The two Covenants, together with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, form the International Bill of Human Rights, setting out the civil, political, cultural, economic, and social rights that are the birth right of all human beings.
"Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always." aims to promote and raise awareness of the two Covenants on their 50th anniversary. The year-long campaign revolves around the theme of rights and freedoms -- freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear -- which underpin the International Bill of Human Rights are as relevant today as they were when the Covenants were adopted 50 years ago. For more this year's theme and the year-long campaign, see the website of the UN Human Rights office.
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Human Rights Day
Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt of the United States holding a Declaration of Human Rights © UN Photo
Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, (United States) holding a Declaration of Human Rights
© UN Photo

Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The formal inception of Human Rights Day dates from 1950, after the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V) inviting all States and interested organizations to adopt 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day.
When the General Assembly adopted the Declaration, with 48 states in favor and eight abstentions, it was proclaimed as a "common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations", towards which individuals and societies should "strive by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance". Although the Declaration with its broad range of political, civil, social, cultural and economic rights is not a binding document, it inspired more than 60 human rights instruments which together constitute an international standard of human rights. Today the general consent of all United Nations Member States on the basic Human Rights laid down in the Declaration makes it even stronger and emphasizes the relevance of Human Rights in our daily lives.
The High Commissioner for Human Rights, as the main United Nations rights official, and her Office play a major role in coordinating efforts for the yearly observation of Human Rights Day.
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For the original interview go to:
J.P. O'Malley.  √ćnterview: Mary Robinson.  Spectator, Sept. 21, 2012.
Former Irish president Mary Robinson discusses her new memoir 'Everybody Matters'
Mary Robinson, author of 'Everybody Matters,' talked with me about everything from her meeting with the queen of England to the relationship between Ireland and Rwanda.
By, Contributor / March 15, 2013
In 1990, Mary Robinson became Ireland’s first female president.
As a progressive liberal, Robinson seemed a very unlikely candidate for the job in what was then a deeply conservative country.
Throughout the '70s and '80s, she worked as a human rights lawyer as well as a senator, arguing a number of landmark cases that challenged various clauses within the Irish constitution which failed to protect minorities. Robinson fought on behalf of women, who were effectively treated as second-class citizens; homosexuals, who were criminalized for their sexual orientation; and campaigned to change the law on the sale of contraceptives, which were illegal in Ireland without prescription until 1985.
When she became president, Robinson was determined to reinvigorate the role. In 1993, she was the first Irish President to travel to Britain, when she met with Queen Elizabeth II for tea in Buckingham Palace.
Robinson then returned to Britain in 1996 on an official state visit.
From 1997 to 2002, Robinson served as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The role proved to have huge political difficulties, particularly in the post-9/11 world. Robinson openly criticized the Bush Administration, much to the chagrin of then Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan. In 2009, Robinson was awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama.
In recent years, Robinson has returned to Ireland to live, where she set up The Mary Robinson Foundation–Climate Justice, a center for leadership, education and advocacy for those affected by climate change across the globe.
Robinson’s memoir Everybody Matters recalls a long and dedicated career as a public servant, both at national and international level.
Recently she spoke with me about the difficulties the role of UN High Commissioner presented, how Eleanor Roosevelt provided a life-changing moment, and why she has always been persuaded by those who fight for equality and justice through non-violent methods.
Was it your awareness of middle class privilege from an early age that inspired you to peruse a career that fought for justice in society?
Well, I came from a family that was privileged but not rich. My mother was a very warm, engaging, and open person, but she was also quite snobbish. She thought our family were great because we had a background of a colonial past, and plaques on the wall in the Protestant church in the town of Ballina, County Mayo, because the first Catholic in the family was my grandfather. The more she talked about this, the more I was rebelling the other way.  For me, it was all about fairness.
You talk about reading Eleanor Roosevelt at any early age. What did you see in her worldview that inspired you?
I always loved people who were inspirational. Figures like Mahatma Gandhi, Michael Davitt, Daniel O’Connell, and Martin Luther King. In 1958, Eleanor Roosevelt made a famous speech on the tenth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and she said: “Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home.” When I read this, I had a lightbulb moment and thought, I really want to be involved in this.

Reminder: Human Rights Day Syria Actions - Diplomacy NOT War
Peace & Planet via 
11:46 AM (3 hours ago)
to me

 Reminder: Dec. 10, 2015, Human Rights Day Actions for Diplomacy Not War in Syria
Sometimes it’s not a pleasure to be right. Back in October the Peace and Planet Coordinating Committee discussed the increasing dangers of a military incident between the U.S. and Russia leading to escalation and in the very worst case, to a nuclear confrontation or worse.
This is why, thinking in terms of peace as a human right, we put out our call for actions and events on Dec. 10, Human Rights Day
Then came the downing of a Russian warplane in Syria after it reportedly violated Turkish air space for 17 seconds.  Remembering that Turkey is a member of NATO, you can fill out the picture.
And, since October, hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees have fled the war and dismal refugee camps across the Middle East. Here in the US, unlike Germany, instead of offering sanctuary to people fleeing for their lives, too many of our elected officials have exploited unjust fears and racism to prevent desperate children, women and men from reaching safety. 
This, in turn, feeds ISIS’ “the West hates Muslims” narrative that draws it new recruits, extends the Syrian War, and fuels terrorist attacks.
Among other responses to our call, here in Boston United for Justice and Peace has planned “War Is Not the Answer” vigil, merging appeals for diplomacy and support for the Syrian refugees.
Plea¬se take action next Thursday, organizing a vigil in your community. And, if you are in the U.S., please generate calls and e-mails to your Senators urging them to vote against legislation that would bar Syrian refugees.
For Peace & Planet
Joseph Gerson
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HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS, Google Search, Dec. 3, 2015, page one
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for H...
14 September - 2 October 2015 ... 13 August 2015 (published on 3 September 2015) ...Organizational session for the 10th cycle of the Human Rights Council  ... Human rights organisations and campaign groups are facing their biggest ...
PCHR Blog Post and the 2015 IAOHRA Conference ... Other Member Agencies Human Rights Events ... As President of the International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies (IAOHRA), I take great pride in welcoming you to our ...
Human Rights Watch
... Give Monthly · Partners for Justice. October 30, 2015 Dispatches ... Deregisteredhuman rights groups face an uphill battle. The bank accounts of most of the ...
Rights Groups Call on U.S. Agencies to Appoint Human Rights Contact · Jenna McLaughlin · Jenna McLaughlin. 2015-11-04T19:23:43+00:00. More than two ...
International Federation for Human Rights
Read here · 178 human rights organisations throughout the world ... Fighting terrorism and protecting human rights: analysis from FIDH movement ... 03/12/2015.‎
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ATTACKS ON HUMAN RIGHTS, Google Search December 3, 2015 › ... › Civil liberties - international
The Guardian
Aug 26, 2015 - Wednesday 26 August 2015 04.44 EDT Last modified on ... Human rights organisations and campaign groups are facing their biggest ...
Human Rights Watch
Nov 10, 2015 - As a result, by February 2015 at least 13 groups chose to shut down rather than wear the shameful “foreign agent” label, including Association ...
Human Rights Watch
The Chinese government's open hostility towards human rights activists was tragically ... China has 500,000 registered nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), ...
Human Rights Watch
... Give Monthly · Partners for Justice. October 30, 2015 Dispatches ... Deregisteredhuman rights groups face an uphill battle. The bank accounts of most of the ...
Human Rights Watch
Human rights activists and civil society groups reported harassment and threats for their work on justice and accountability. Abuses by Government Security ...
Rights Groups Call on U.S. Agencies to Appoint Human Rights Contact · Jenna McLaughlin · Jenna McLaughlin. 2015-11-04T19:23:43+00:00. More than two ...
United Nations
25 November 2015 – The top United Nations human rights official today deplored ... of 10 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including several working on ...‎
Save Lives: Makes A Gift To Amnesty International Now!
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Contents of UN Human Rights Day Newsletter #1 12-10-08
Dick Bennett: Break the Silence
Statement by UNA/USA December 10, 2008
Local Rights Organizations
National Rights Organizations
Human Rights Day, UDHR, DECEMBER 10
Amnesty International
Human Rights Watch
Bill of Rights Day, DECEMBER 15
American Civil Liberties Union
Plays about Human Rights
More Books about Human Rights

Contents of #2 12-10-09
Gore Vidal, State Terror, Tibet, Pres. Obama
Amnesty International
Human Rights Watch
Center for Constitutional Rights
Alison des Forges and Rwandan Human Rights
Chrysler and Altruism

Contents of #3 12-10-11
OMNI 2010 Human Rights Day
Human Rights Day 2010 UNA/USA
United Nations
Legal Power to the People
Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Rights of Women: CEDAW

Contents 2012, #4
UN and Human Rights
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders
Witness for Peace
Americans for Peace Now

Contents 2013 #5
UN Human Rights Day Celebrates UDHR
Two on Women: 
Code Pink Women Lead to Peace, Syria
Human Rights Hero: Cynthia Brown
Vets for Peace Celebrates UN Human Rights Day 
Death Penalty for Atheists
Jack Donnelly, Human Rights Scholar

Contents UN Human Rights Day 2014, Newsletter #6
UN Human Rights Day Dec. 10, 2014
UN/USA Dec. 10, 2014
Zeid Al Hussein, UNHCHR
Human Rights USA 2014
Anne Fagan Ginger,
   New Paths to Human Rights
   Human Rights Treaties are US Law
People’s Universal Declaration of Rights of Mother Earth, Cochabamba, Bolivia Recent OMNI Human Rights Newsletters

For research purposes, specific subjects can be located in the following alphabetized index, and searched on the blog using the search box.  The search box is located in the upper left corner of the webpage.
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