Clonakilty puts the heart into Christmas with Human Rights festival

Posted on: 3rd January, 2014

Category: News

Contributor: West Cork People

Clonakilty Human Rights Week organised by the Clonakilty Amnesty International Group runs from December 3 to 10.

On December 10, 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was published, one of the most significant documents in the history of the evolution of mankind, as it states very clearly the 30 fundamental rights of every human being. The Clonakilty Amnesty International Group campaigns precisely for those rights, which unfortunately are too often denied, neglected, abused and violated in far more countries and occasions than we think. In some places even the most famous, vital rights are brutally disregarded: the right to life is erased by death sentences; liberty and security, together with fair trial, are concepts completely unknown to numerous victims of arbitrary arrests; prisoners of conscience suffer from the crushing of their cherished right to freedom of opinion and expression. It could be said that in our Western societies we enjoy most of them, but the point is that all of them, the whole 30, should be upheld, not just some. Is the right to housing a reality for everyone in Europe or do we read of forced evictions? Does everyone in country enjoy the right to health (a right shouldn’t depend on income…), education and employment?

Sadly, the above list could be much longer, but we are sure that if you stop just for a minute to think about those situations you cannot help being touched. This is because deep inside us, even though we might not know them well, we agree with, we believe in, we love human rights and we want them not just for us, but also for all our fellow humans.

So, the Clonakilty Amnesty International Group wants Clonakilty to celebrate, discover, celebrate and fall in love with those 30 precious articles of the Declaration, so that they can be knowingly and passionately campaigned for. With all this in mind, the group has once again come up with a wonderful, packed and varied programme of events for everyone.

On Saturday or Sunday (December 7/8), check posters or families and people young at heart are invited to a Birthday Party for Human Rights in the Emmet Square from 3pm to 4pm, with games, races, fun and…cake! On Monday, December 9, a free concert will take place at the Methodist Church at 8pm with 14 talented local singers who will raise their individual voices to remind the world about those 30 articles: last year the audience was astonished by the high-quality singing and this year will surely rival that, so don’t miss it! The final and most touching event will be on the anniversary itself, Tuesday, December 10, with the classic candlelight vigil and procession at 6pm, which this year will feature a music finale with a performance by ‘The Human Orchestra’, (which includes all the participants) in Emmet Square.

Moreover, all through December there will be a stall at the farmers’ market with Amnesty goods, a very good option for presents as they help spreading Amnesty’s values around while contributing to the research and campaigning work of the organisation.

At all events the public will have the opportunity to take a stand, by the simple but powerful action of signing letters or petitions on behalf of individuals whose rights are violated (and also to send solidarity messages).


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