We observe the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at a special time in the global fight for universal human rights. We have accomplished much since the U.N. declaration was signed in 1948 and there is reason to celebrate. Today, General Augusto Pinochet faces possible extradition for crimes committed against humanity during his brutal reign in Chile; War criminals from Bosnia and Rwanda are being sought and brought to justice; and human rights sits prominently on the world stage. But our work is far from finished.
We cannot accept the concept of trickle-down liberty which contends that business relationships will set people free. Indeed some authoritarian regimes are bolstered by monied interests. We cannot rest until basic, fundamental human rights are achieved around the world -- including China, Tibet, Burma, Indonesia, East Timor, Nigeria and Sudan. Respect for human rights is the foundation for freedom and justice in the world. May the light from this candlelight vigil serve as a beacon of hope for those who are oppressed and as notice to the oppressors that their crimes against humanity are visible for all the world to see.
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