International Human Rights Day

International Human Rights Day was held on December 10, 2012 all around the world. Personally, it seems more appropriate to have December as International Human Rights Month, because of all the reasons people complain, fight and celebrate in December. You ask yourself; “When was the last time I celebrated or even gave a thought about Pearl Harbor Day, which is December 7th?” Many people think only about Christmas and birthdays in December and how in less than a week later a new year will begin.
This year, Boston celebrated being a Human Rights City on December 10, 2012. Human Rights City Boston & Beyond, The Green Rainbow Party, Survivor’s News/Survivor’s Inc., The Disability Law Center, HUD and several other individuals came together to meet at Boston City Hall at noon to talk to and listen to City Councilor Charles Yancey speak about what Human Rights was about. Things started off with Theodore (Ted) Chelmow and Chaun Renaud of Survivor’s Inc. and Human Rights City Boston & Beyond doing introductions and speaking to the crowd of about 40 people in Boston City Hall’s The Curley Meeting Room on the fifth floor across from several of the city councilors’ offices. Michael Caine from HUD spoke briefly about why he and his organization was helping Human Rights City Boston & Beyond by supporting their events throughout the year. The event was very peaceful and respectful.
Ted introduced Mel King to the crowd, and Mel gave a nice speech. But the day wasn’t about Mel; it was about Dottie Stevens and how she, Mel, Debbie Ferretti, Diane Dujon and Yancey fought to make Boston a Human Rights City. Ted, Chaun, Mary, and other people fought hard to make Boston a Human Rights City alongside of Dottie, Mel and the hundreds of people that we don’t see every day. They fought for our right to have safe and secure housing, clean water and education. They are still continuing to fight for our rights here in Boston and throughout the state of Massachusetts.
Out of one hundred Rights listed in the Declaration of Human Rights, the group and I read one of thirty articles that were listed in The Declaration of Human Rights Manual/Book. Yancey read the Declaration of Human Rights in its entirety before he told us about how inspirational Mel King was to him and how he met Mel. He told us another person that he looked up to was Dottie Stevens; he was enamored with her strength when it came to all the things that she’s done over the years. It was because of that strength that he was presenting her with a copy of The Declaration of Human Rights. She has been a force to be reckoned with over the years. She’s picked her battles and won them. She’s been there at events when Mel King and the other powerhouses were marching alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and the many others who’ve fought long and hard for our civil rights and our human rights. Dottie is the founder, Editor and owner of Survivor’s News/Survivor’s Inc. which is geared toward empowering women of low-income. She is one of the founders of Human Rights City Boston & Beyond and she helps The Green Rainbow Party from time to time. Dottie fights mainly for women’s welfare rights but she’s done a lot more over the years.
International Human Rights Day has been a part of Boston for two years now but it’s been celebrated in other countries before coming to Boston Massachusetts and the rest of the United States. It is a day to remind people of the fact that they have rights which are only able to be taken from them by God. Your God, whatever his or her name is, gave you human rights at the time of your birth when your God gave you life. Some people say to themselves; “I had rights when I was born! Wow, that’s amazing — I didn’t know that!” Everybody is born with the same rights. The right to safe and secure housing, safe and healthy foods, a decent paying job, and there are many other rights that we obtain as we get older such as the right to fair and equal education, the right to determine if we want to have children or not, the right to own a gun for protection or not, the right to choose how our body is used, the right to vote and the right to fair justice if we have any criminal problems whether they’re major or minor crimes.
Remember people: just because you’re okay this season doesn’t mean that everybody else is. In Sandy Hook, Connecticut, they are finishing having funerals for 28 people who died on December 14th, 2012. In foreign countries as well as here in the United States children and adults are starving to death and being killed simply because they’re different from somebody else. There are people who can’t sleep nice and happily tonight or any other night because they are hiding from people who are fighting a war over something stupid such as land, drugs, weapons, oil, ores, different ideas, food, education, religious beliefs and the list goes on. They hide in caves, underground, they travel at night only so that soldiers won’t find them and kill them. While we’re celebrating Happy Happy Joy Joy Christmastime; there are Billions of people who are not because they can’t unless they want to starve to death or be killed for having fun. There are over 7,000 people here in Massachusetts alone every year that can’t celebrate because they’re homeless, living on the streets in their cars, an abandoned building or they’ve some other issue going on to prevent them from having fun. While we’re enjoying our rights, they are not, because they don’t know how to stand up for their rights in order to obtain what they were born with in the first place.

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