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Natalie Strecker

Human and social rights activist / Campaigner

I have seen many people online refer to 2020 as the year we received 20:20 vision and I think this is an appropriate analogy for many. We have observed a number of social issues being dragged out into the cold light of day. Institutional racism, rampant inequality, corporate funded environmental destruction and its consequences have all been exposed in their full ugliness. In the UK, even members of the shrinking middle class have been forced to confront the inherent unfairness of so called ‘trickle down economics’, with some choosing to share their experiences of the dignity destroying process of applying for universal credit, contrasted by the 1% celebrating great gains, such as Jeff Bezos who recorded making $13 billion in one day!

Few people are able to hide from the reality of how deep the rot has set in, in our international community, as we witness the widespread degradation of our democratic processes, aided by the manipulation of the masses through the ‘hacking’ of our social media timelines. Mainstream media has also been weighed and found wanting! We have learned too that what happens in a city on the other side of the world does impact our lives here, thus underscoring how inextricably linked all our lives are whether we like it or not. It is imperative that we wake up to the truth, that if we do not look after the weak amongst ourselves in our global society, we will all ultimately fall.

At times I have felt bereft as the reality of what is facing our generation and future generations has sunk in; however, the response to the murder of George Floyd, the ‘straw’ that finally broke the ‘camel’s’ back, has renewed my hope in the basic good of humankind, as people of all colours continue to take to the streets demanding better of the institutions that ought to serve us all.

As I stood on the platform in front of 1000 Jersey residents at ‘People’s Park’, at our own ‘Black Lives Matter’ vigil, it occurred to me how we place the great humanitarians of history on a pedestal; the Martin Luther King Jr’s and the Sophie Scholl’s forgetting that they were not superheroes, they were flawed human beings just like us. What distinguished them is their commitment to justice and humanity. When we appreciate this, we can truly comprehend that we can stand on their shoulders and walk in their footsteps and so we would do well to remember that the future is not certain, the book has not finished being written, rather it is for us to determine what we want latter chapters to contain, we write those chapters with every positive action we choose to take.