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The quiet fights

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By dxw

This week we celebrated the International Day of Democracy. It is a day which cannot be ignored or forgotten, not least because of the current international climate and recent events such as the Arab Spring, and not forgetting, the quiet fights; every-day battles that go on in the name of democracy – unpublished and unpublicised.

As history reminds us, fighting for democracy is not a new phenomenon and until it is achieved by all, the fight will remain. Freedom of speech, the right to fairness, equality, and political freedom, are things that we in the UK take for granted. Indeed once democracy is obtained it is easy to forget how hard the fight was to achieve it.

As we move on from the Arab Spring and witness revolution, this weeks International Day of Democracy allows us to remember not just protests but those extraordinary individuals who, with the aid of mass support, fought in the name of such democratic ideals: Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Morgan Tsvangirai and Aung Sang Sun Kyi to name but a few.

Groups formed in the name of democracy such as the Chartists and, most recently, the National Transition Council of Libya, are also testament to the power of the people. Britain, through its promotion of the Arab partnership is actively involved in building the blocks for more open, free societies, underpinned by vibrant economies especially in Egypt and Tunisia where revival of the economy it vital to democratic success. The list could go on, but thats what is so fascinating about democracy.

Democracy cannot be spread by bombs and bullets, but with free speech, open debate, activism and Soft Power. Here at Wilton Park we intend to discuss the power of soft power, in an upcoming meeting, inviting opinion formers, policy makers, government and non-governmental organisations. In a climate that is anxious yet excited about the future of democracy, the power of individuals and groups to speak out and speak up needs to be nurtured, supported and encourage. Is Soft Power the future?

 

Comments

Ingo-Steven Wais says

Dear Wilton Park Team, this day we don 't surely have this International Day of Democracy.But-in my opinion-there is one important fact clear:You have to fight for,you have to keep,you have to defend democracy at every single day.That 's why I 'm
writing this comment today.You've also mentioned some conception so I do full agree to yr. statement that"...fighting for democracy is not a new phenomenon...".
Plus "...the fight will remain...".I also do read of some basic standards ( e.g. "Freedom of speech" )that the UK "take for granted".Well, that 's quite nice to notice but there is also-amongst the 193 UN-Memberstates-some kind of a blacklist of countries in which these British - Standards just doesn't exist.E.g. Russia,Sudan as well as South Sudan, established on July 11th,2011, Burma and so on...within this context is
Peace Nobel Prize "Winner", Mrs.Aung Sang Sun Kyi ,maybe one of the most notable models.I still do know very well the campaign "64 words for Aung" of which I wrote a comment via the British Embassy in Tokyo/Japan.Exactly 64 words why ?Because at this year when this campaign started she was 64 years old.To my surprise it worked-if only very slow.But-to be honest-I'm still doubting of how long this Arab-Spring will last and end.But I do hope that all these former "Terror-Regimes"have been "vanished " forever.Even if there is now a real civil - war in Syria. BW, Ingo-Steven Wais,Stuttgart/Cardiff.

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