Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Do Words Have the Power to Set Us Free?

Last class, we talked a little about the power of words when they are used against people who are of different sexual orientations. Though we just touched on this issue, you all seemed to have some sense that words carry a lot of weight, especially when they are directed at a person in a hateful manner.

Amnesty International has been working to free citizens who are prisoners of conscience. A prisoner of conscience, which we've talked about in previous classes, is someone who is jailed for expressing their beliefs in a non-violent manner. Recently, international attention has been called to one such prisoner of conscience. His name is Liu Xiaobo and he is charged by the Chinese government with "inciting subversion of state power" and given an 11-year prison sentence on December 25, 2009 simply for co-authoring a proposal for political and legal reform in China.

Even though this man has won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts, he is still being held prisoner in China. Today, we're going to add our voices to the international outcry concerning this man and his plight. You will:

Send a prefabricated letter about this case to the Chinese government from the Amnesty International site.

Choose one other case to send a letter about. Please take a few notes on stickies to share with the class.  Please send me your stickies in an email for credit. Be sure to include the following information about the person or group of people:

-Their Name/ Cause:
-Country:
-Time incarcerated:
-Reason for incarceration:

Here is a video from Amnesty International about the power of words:

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