Human Rights for All Ages
Ending the Greatest Human Rights Tragedy on Earth!
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Thanks for coming to the Human Rights For All Ages campaign website. We hope you will want to stand up for the human rights of the preborn on the one day of the year that is specifically dedicated to human rights. First of all, plan to have a presence of some kind on International Human Rights Day in your own area. Then if you have chapters or groups in different states/cities/locations please send the link to this page to them, encouraging them to have a presence on International Human Rights Day in their area.
The first thing to do is to determine if there is already a Human Rights Day celebration in your area. I have created a list of all of the celebrations/commemorations in the U.S. that I have been able to find out about. (If you are in a different country then I apologize, but I will have to leave it up to you to do your own research in this regard. You might start, though, by checking out the United Nations Association in your country.) I did quite a bit of work chasing them all down, so the list should be fairly comprehensive, but there are bound to be at least a few that I missed, so if your community isn't on the list, that doesn't necessarily mean that there is not such an event in your community. If you find that you do have such an event in your community, then the approach would be to (first, let me know so I can add it to the list, thenů) sign up to have a table, booth, etc. so that the unborn are represented. I assume most of you are well practiced at representing the unborn to the public. I have, however, put up a representation of what such a table might look like if it were being done under the banner of Human Rights For All Ages (see bottom of page).
It probably won't surprise anyone that there is likely to be resistance from the organizers of many such events. We already know that many so-called "human rights" groups condone or overtly promote the killing of preborn children. Please make a strong effort to be included, though. Perhaps the most important message that this campaign is trying to get across is that we are human rights advocates (indeed, the leading ones of our day) and not separate from human rights advocacy. Seeing us working together with other human rights organizations will make tremendous headway in helping people to be accepting of our message. If they are not willing to let you participate, though, than you will have to decide on what is the next step. One option would be to protest your exclusion from the event. We do not recommend this. We are trying to break down the dichotomy that exists between so-called "human rights" groups and "pro-life" groups. The whole point is that we are the main human rights advocates of our day, not separate from human rights advocates, and protesting would tend to reinforce the impression that we are "something else", separate from the "real" human rights groups. So if you are not welcome to participate, simply go on to the next step. (But please make sure you have an absolute and final "No" before doing so.)
If there is not already such an event in your area, or if you are not welcome to participate in the event that is taking place, that you would need to create one of your own. This, of course, takes more work, but it is worth it, in those locations where an event is already taking place because it is simply unacceptable to exclude the unborn on such an occasion, and in those locations where an event is not yet taking place because it is an opportunity to take the initiative and really be the human rights leaders in our communities. Also, if we are the ones taking the lead in the first place then we will be the ones who make the decisions, rather than having decisions made against us, such as happened in Buffalo. Imagine the difference in the way abortion is dealt with in our society if the groups that were fighting abortion were the ones who were heading up most of the events around the country such as this one! If you are doing this in a community where there is already an event that has excluded you, then I would recommend trying to do it as close to (within sight of, if possible) the other event as possible. However, once again, don't do it as a "protest"; we don't want to reinforce the dichotomy even more. Instead, just do our job of representing the unborn.
As far as what this should "look like", that will depend on various factors, including your location, your organization, what is already taking place, the climate, etc. If you are joining an event that is already taking place then you will, of course, fit into the context of the event as it is organized. I would imagine that in most cases this would simply mean setting up a table and being present to talk with attendees during what will probably be something like a two- or three-hour event. As already mentioned, I have included a picture below of what such a table might look like if done under the "banner" of Human Rights For All Ages, but your organization undoubtedly has its own setup that it will use.
If there is not already such an event in your area, then take advantage of this opportunity to be the human rights leaders in your community and set up the event yourself. This could be as simple as picking a spot in a public location, showing up on International Human Rights Day and setting up a table or display, and staying around for a few hours to talk to people who might come by. Here in Eugene there are locations such as in front of the public library, in the Wayne Morse plaza at the end of the county court house, or the plaza outside the old federal building where people are free to just come along and set up their table or display and engage the public. I, of course, do not know what such locations exist in your community; you will have to determine that yourselves. I have also posted a picture below of a sign that I used in front of Planned Parenthood last year in my community. I held the sign as a "protest". In this case we wish to avoid protesting, so setting a sign like this on the ground in front of a table would work. December, of course, is not the most hospitable of climates, particularly in areas where temperatures are typically below freezing, so an outside location where you can just "throw up" a table or display may not be particularly inviting. On the other hand, people everywhere are out running around in the cold during that time of year doing all kinds of things, and even if it is cold out an outside location may be alright to set up and talk to people. You will have to make the judgment as to what works in your own area.
If you want to put more effort into this (as I hope you will want to do) then you can truly organize an event, inviting other human rights groups to participate, having a program with speakers and/or music, or whatever things you feel appropriate to include. You could even set up a stage and do skits if you have people who are of such a bent. (I don't know of any human rights and/or pro-life skits that could be performed, but perhaps something would turn up with a Google search.) It is up to you how involved you want to get, but the bigger and grander it is, the more people will be getting the message that abortion is a human rights issue.
In regards to other groups or organizations, you should invite all groups that are working for any human rights cause to be a part of the effort. This is how we break down the dichotomy and show people that abortion truly is a human rights issue. This means potentially "rubbing shoulders" with people and groups that we might feel at odds with, but it is important to be inclusive. If we invite only those groups we "like", we are to a large extent defeating the purpose of the campaign, which is not only to point out the situation of the unborn, but also to break down the dichotomy that exists between "us" and "them". In order to do that we must at least welcome all groups that do not promote abortion.
This, though, leads to the question of how we deal with any "human rights" organization that supports abortion that might wish to participate. (This is the inverse of the situation last December in Buffalo.) There are two lines of thought here. One could say that such groups should be excluded (as AI did to us in Buffalo), since we are fighting for human rights and they are promoting the violent violation of people's human rights. On the other hand, I believe that any display that we set up that truly displays abortion in a factual manner, showing the reality of the human rights abuse that is taking place in an objective and factual manner, would only serve to make any display to the contrary look ridiculous. This could serve as an avenue to reach out to those organizations that promote abortion in the name of human rights and help them see just what it is that they are doing. (This would help fulfill the other objective of the campaign, "Challenge Them".) I will leave it to each organization to make their own decision as the best way to handle this situation in their location, should it arise.
If you are not sure what place to conduct such an event, you can look at the Human Rights Day celebrations list and see what kind of places events have been held at. I would recommend avoiding churches or other religious locations, since there is already such strong association with religious organizations and opposition to abortion. We want to keep the theme focused squarely on the human rights of those who are being killed.
Please keep the display/theme strictly to that of human rights and abortion. Do not bring in other issues of contraception, sanctity of marriage, religious concerns, etc. We do not want to do anything that would detract from the message that we are trying to get across: Abortion is a horrible human rights violation. Please do have abortion victim ("graphic") pictures available to depict clearly what this human rights violation is all about. I would recommend having a copy of the Human Rights For All Ages pictorial (PDF version) which includes pictures of a number of different human rights abuses, as well as other pictures that you can get from websites or that you may already have. But keep them in a binder, rather than displaying them prominently, so that people will be more inclined to visit your display.
Publicize the event by including it in the "calendar" section of the local paper(s), putting up fliers, putting it on your website, notifying your members, or any other methods that you might normally use to publicize your organization's activities. If you can afford it, you can pay to run an ad in your local newspaper. I believe it will be the best way you will spend your money this year. If you manage to get other groups to participate they will also help publicize the event.
When you decide on the specifics of what you will do, please send the information so that I can create a list at the web site showing where different groups will be active. Please include the name of your organization, when the event will be taking place, the specific location, whether you are sponsoring the event yourself or who is sponsoring it, and perhaps a single one-sentence description of what you intend to do. Please also plan on taking a picture(s) of your setup at the time that you do it so that I can post those on the website as well after the event. And, of course, we will all be looking for feedback from each other as things go along. This is still very much a learning experience. Please share any insights you gain as you go along that might be helpful to others. If you do not already have contact with the campaign through email, you can contact us at the contact page. We look forward to hearing from you.
Here is what a table might look like at an International Human Rights Day event. Click on the picture to get more details.
Here is a sign that I used one year to protest in front of Planned Parenthood on International Human Rights Day. A sign similar to this could be put in front of a table such as shown in the picture for a "free-standing" setup in some public place.
International Human Rights Day, December 10, is the big event for the Human Rights For All Ages Campaign. However, there are some other dates that would be good for us to remember and be involved in as well (some are specific to the U.S.):
"The greatest destroyer of peace is abortion, because if a mother can kill her own child what is left for me to kill you and you to kill me? There is nothing between." -Mother Teresa
If you have any comments, questions, etc. send a message.
Copyright 2013, Human Rights for All Ages Campaign