Berta Caceres

Being an activist has never been easy. Even in the 21st century, the death sentence for speaking the wrong words can be delivered unexpectedly by those that happen to disagree for whatever reason. This happens despite millennia of social development, now culminating with a sharp rise in our ability to exercise the right for free speech thanks to the Internet.

Last month, just before UK’s referendum on whether or not they should stay in the European Union, a member of parliament was killed, probably because she was holding peaceful views in a country that is increasingly dominated by hate. Jo Cox was stabbed, shot, and then stabbed again, in a horrifying illustration of how the wrong politics and education have mutilated our society:^

And, almost four months ago, Berta Cáceres, an activist that was militating for the rights of indigenous people was shot and killed in Honduras.^

No, being an activist has never been easy. Yet, some amazing people have not been deterred by the fatal risks. I am humbled and honored to know that I have lived among such courageous beings. These two women, along with countless others sisters and brothers throughout history, have led us out of savagery and hate.

I dream of a day when any man or woman can express their thoughts without fear of death. Even more, I dream of a day when everybody will care about what these driven individuals have to say. The most important thing that I believe we should all be aware of is that it is within our power to change our society’s course. Don’t let this blood be spilled without a change. Don’t let any more blood be spilled…

Updated 2016-07-20: today the news came out that another “inconvenient” person was murdered, this time in Ukraine. Rest in peace, Pavel Sheremet^.

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