The 1st of December marked 60 years since Rosa Parks refused to move from her bus seat for a white person, an act that sparked a demonstration which lasted 381 days and helped to change the way minorities were treated all across America.
It is a perfect example how the resolve of a small number of people to do what is right and not what is easy can make a positive difference in society.
At present many in the western governments, backed by irresponsible elements in the media, are determined to escalate the ‘war on terror’ in the middle east in supposed retaliation for the abhorrent attacks in Paris. We are told of pinpoint accuracy and only hitting ISIS, just as we were told similar stories in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
The reality is a continuing cycle of suffering and death for millions of innocent Syrians caught up in a terrible civil war. History has shown us that air strikes go wrong on a worryingly regular basis, only last month the US paid out compensation to one of many wedding parties it has destroyed in drone strikes. The past twenty years have seen hundreds of thousands killed and millions displaced and yet we are no closer to peace in the middle east or ‘security at home’.
As Albert Einstein said:
‘to repeat the same experiment over and over again expecting different results is nothing less than insanity’.
We need to stop this insanity now.
So what is the answer? The last one hundred and fifty years have shown continual interference in the middle east by western powers interested only in their own gains. We need to break the cycle of violence by stopping support for regimes that deny democracy and abuse human rights. We need to stop the supply of arms and training to those regimes. And most importantly we need to support those countries to develop free and open societies that value all their citizens or whatever gender, race, religion or sexual orientation. It won’t happen over night but it is the only way we can move forward.
What can the people of Tamworth do? Write to Mr Pincher and tell him that military intervention is not being done in your name. Make sure he knows that we will hold him to account at the next election.
Support the Syrian refuges when they arrive in Tamworth. Let us all make Tamworth a place we can all be proud of, safe in the knowledge that anyone fleeing terror will always find a welcome in our town.
What better way could we could celebrate 60 years since Rosa Parks stand for human rights than by standing together one more time?