First they came for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time, there was no one left to speak up.
Pastor Martin Niemoller
World War II
When I started this blog a few years ago, I intended to expose injustice in my area of the world, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I did not yet realize that people all over the world would be reading what I write.
Now, while I listen to world news on public broadcasting from the CBC in Canada and Vermont Public Radio in the USA and the BBC, I am always aware that people all over the world are reading my blogs.
At this writing on December 18, 2011, more than 39,500 people all over the world have been reading my blogs - people in Fiji, Mongolia, Poland, Venezuela, Australia, Greece, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Japan, China, South Korea, Zimbabwe, India, Finland, Uganda, Israel and Russia and beyond. I note the new countries on my blog as you join me.
So, I take this opportunity to reach out to good people everywhere, to assure you that we are aware of what you are experiencing and there are people in the west who care.
It is true that many of you are facing very difficult situations. We here in Canada have problems, but nothing that compares with the starvation in Africa and parts of India and elsewhere; nothing that compares with being attacked by pirates or rebels or our government's armies; nothing like children being sold into prostitution and slavery on a grand scale; nothing like being deprived of freedom of speech.
Canadians who are struggling for justice are mostly ignored. The authorities here try to discourage dissent by wearing us out from endless frustration. But Canadians are still able to speak and to write without fear of being arrested. And because this is still true, I am writing today to ensure that we maintain those freedoms and do not allow them to be stolen from us.
Because of failures and corruption in our own system, I have been arrested by the Montreal Police and taken to hospital on more than one occasion, accused of being "insane and dangerous." But as soon as the doctors spoke to me, they realized that the arrests were the results of malicious acts by criminals I have been exposing. I was quickly set free.
You can read the detailed reports of these crimes at http://dawnmcsweeney.blogspot.com.
See THE PHYLLIS CARTER DETENTION and CONDEMNED IN ABSENTIA.
At the same time, I reach out to people in Africa and Asia and the Middle East and South America to assure you that - because of the Internet and brave reporters - those who oppress you or deprive you of human rights or the basic necessities of life through their tyranny and greed are not safe from the eyes and ears of the free world.
I am just one of the many people in the free world who care about your plight. I can do little to help you except to let you know we are paying attention and to encourage you. My responsibility is to report injustice and to encourage good people to be responsible by doing your part, each according to your own skills and gifts.
Support those among you who seek peaceful ways to fight for justice. It is the support of ordinary people that makes all the difference.
If one among you is speaking out for justice, please support that person. You do matter. Silence implies consent. If you don't support those who speak up for justice, you are helping the enemies of freedom.
Truth is the most powerful weapon in the world and villains everywhere fear it. So speak the truth all the time, everywhere, without ceasing.
Here are some of the things I have learned about truth:
You can deny it, suppress it, distort it, try to discredit it, try to shame or intimidate or silence the one who tells it. You can hide it under a pile of lies and deceptions. You can find associates who will help you smother it or heap dirt or ridicule on it. You can shove it under a bushel basket and sit on it. But the truth about truth is that it is always true. And it will shine through.
We are listening. We are watching. There are people who care.