Remembrance Day...for everyone...

Remembrance day will be upon us tomorrow and there is so much strife in our present day that I think many of us will find little time to give a moment's consideration to all those individuals who have fought for the rights of their people.

It is not only our organized military men and women serving in war-time (past & present) who deserve remembrance.

Many people around the world have made personal sacrifices and Ken Saro-Wiwa's story is but one of countless stories from around the world of the ultimate sacrifice being paid by non-violent protesters fighting against corporate and governmental sidelining of the interests of the people:

Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa (October 10, 1941 - November 10, 1995) was a Nigerian author, television producer and environmental activist.

The Ogoni people of the Niger Delta are still as confident, proud and strong as Ken Saro-Wiwa left them 10 years ago but they have little to smile about on the anniversary of his tragic death.

Their youths roam idly about their peaceful oil-rich land with no hope of employment, and their schools and hospitals are but a shambles.

~ full article

In 1990, Saro-Wiwa founded MOSOP, to advocate for the rights of the Ogoni people. The Ogoni Bill of Rights, written by MOSOP, set out the movement's demands, including increased autonomy for the Ogoni people, a fair share of the proceeds of oil extraction, and remediation of environmental damage to Ogoni lands. In 1992, Saro-Wiwa was imprisoned for several months, without trial, by the Nigerian military government.

In January 1993, MOSOP organised peaceful marches of around 300,000 Ogoni people - more than half of the Ogoni population - through four Ogoni centres, drawing international attention to his people's plight. The same year, Shell ceased operations in the Ogoni region.

Saro-Wiwa was arrested again and detained by Nigerian authorities in June 1993, but was released after a month. In May 1994, he was arrested and accused of incitement to murder following the deaths of four Ogoni elders, believed to be sympathetic to the military. Saro-Wiwa denied the charges, but was imprisoned for over a year before being found guilty and sentenced to death by a specially convened tribunal. The trial was widely criticised by human rights organisations.

~Ken Saro-Wiwa

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