Dec. 11, 2008
On the 60th Anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Human Rights.
We celebrate 60 years of failure. Human rights have been converted from a noble goal into an instrument of foreign policy used by rich and powerful nations against the poorest and weakest people of the world.
In 2008, almost 3 billion people throughout the world suffer the most basic privations.
After 60 years of empty human rights rhetoric, we demand that governments focus their attention on fulfilling the promises of 1948. We write this document on the parchment of the environment, which everyone shares, and has warned us all to drastically change the ways in which mass production and consumerism take place.
1. The United State is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
2. Benefits accrue to those who cooperate with the global community and view other countries as potential partners for the upliftment of humankind.
3. Unfortunately, the leadership of the United States Government has consistently been a disappointment to those of us who value the tenets and possibilities for humankind embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
4. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms the rights of self-determination, the rights of women, the rights of the indigenous, and the rights of association and expression and resistance to protect and preserve these precious rights.
5. Poverty and severe income inequality on the one hand and greed and over consumption by a few on the other hand deny for far too many on the planet universal application of the Universal Declaration.
6. Climate change, unsustainable agriculture, unbridled militarism, terrorism with impunity nuclear proliferation represent threats to our planet and threats to humankind.
7. The current implosion of the engine of US Imperialism and global capitalism contains the seeds of a new global order in which the rights of humankind and the Universal Declaration can find universal application.
8. The incoming Barack Obama administration has a unique opportunity to make a clean break with the policies of the past, which include installation of dictatorships, campaigns of invasion, terror and slander, torture and occupation, and can build bridges of peace and justice with respect to African, Latin America, Asia and Europe.
9. Therefore, we call on the President-elect to put the United States on a clear course of global fraternity by invoking the Universal Declaration of human Rights, rejecting torture and demonstrating this by closing and vacating the Guantanamo Bay facility and ceding to Cuba its rightful patrimony, ending the US embargo of Cuba, releasing the Cuban 5 and other political prisoners, and extraditing Luis Posado Carriles to Venezuela for his act of terrorism against a Cuban airliner, which killed dozens of people.
10. While this list is not exhaustive, it represents a much needed down payment on hope and change.
11. This document will be disseminated through our respective networks.
Saul Landau, Film maker from Alameda, California, USA
Nelson Valdez, Retired professor from Albuquerque, N.M., USA
Cynthia McKinney, Green Party Presidential Candidate, Former U. S. Congresswoman from Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Cindy Sheehan, Peace and Human Rights Activist from San Francisco, California, USA
Dede Miller, Peace and Human Rights Activist from San Francisco, California, USA