To the Editor:
For the past 17 years, Northfielders have had a community celebration of the International Day of Peace (Sept. 21). Participants have been aware of a second significant day worthy of attention and support — the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Dec. 10. The occasion of this — its 71st year — is stimulating some action in the community.
Rather than beginning with a focus on the important issues via a city-wide event, leaders are encouraging individuals to learn about the declaration and find ways to support its goals.
The website of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has extensive material available. Copies of the declaration in English and Spanish are at the Northfield Public Library by the wall of small posters.
The active Citizens Climate Lobby is already working with climate issues that affect human rights. Vigils in Bridge Square are being organized.
The UN description of the declaration notes that it was adopted in the wake of the devastation of WWII. It was the first time that rights and freedoms of individuals were expressed so clearly. It was the first universal recognition that human rights and freedoms apply to "every person, everywhere." It continues today to affect and inspire lives and actions in the face of heavy challenges.
We encourage you to learn about human rights and to strengthen their role in the world.
We encourage you to consider how these human rights affect you and your community.
Mar Valdecantos, director of the Northfield Human Rights Commission
Janet Petri, Citizens Climate Lobby
Jane McWilliams, peace and justice advocate
Judith Stoutland, peace and justice advocate