The same old strangers
By Dafne Plou, APC women\'s programme
TUNIS, TUNIS, 17 November 2005
Why is that the police who want to look like an average citizen look alike all around the world? Why do they cut their hair and comb it the same way? Why do they use the same black glasses and same gold chains? Why do they like those tropical shirts that in the long run become a uniform? In Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, Tegucigalpa or Tunisia, they are instantly identifiable.
This is why the for human rights activists from Latin America that are participating in the Summit in Tunisia, it was easy to recognize them on the corners, in hotel lobbies, in public gardens and in the streets. It was even fun to see them popping around the corner in surprising multicolour bunches at the Tunisian Human Rights League headquarters yesterday afternoon, when some 200 representatives from social organizations around the world began to arrive by taxi one after the other to hold a press conference organized in less than two hours, with the presence of international media, government representatives and no less than the Iranian Noble Peace Prize winner, Shirin Ebadi.
The press conference at the League’s Headquarters allowed the long-time silent voices of Tunisian human rights activists to be heard with passion and to be registered via immediate transmission. They will circulate through cyberspace to remind us that freedom of expression is essential for the lives of people and that solidarity and spaces for freedom are built by all of us, shoulder to shoulder. We will remember that this reality is far away from the illuminated architecture of conference centres, where the attempts to mute our discourse and lull our commitment are often made.