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Be the unstoppable force

Never an unstoppable force will find an immovable object. I carry this Law of Physics (yes, I am that geeky) very close to my heart. Many of today’s problems seem like they are insurmountable; but it takes our work for the change to happen.

I was lucky. My parents taught me to speak up and never to accept injustice (growing up in a dictatorship made them cherish human rights and civil liberties). Not only that I always had instilled that we have to work for the world we want. Change it’s not a delivered good, you have to work hard for it.

Mobilization is a big challenge in Latin America, especially in Central America because with have to create a culture of participation and reporting. Several of our huge problems steam for our inability/or impossibility of making our voices heard and denouncing those that try to muffled them.

We are using the web to spread the message, trying to instill a participation culture and set examples by exchanging experiences showing that Change is possible and active citizen participation is, in fact, the key.

Web 2.0 and international networks such as Pulsewire help us amplify our voices, spread denunciations and pressure governments to protect Human Rights. I think those mechanisms already proved themselves very effective in cases such as Serbia and Burma, where outside pressure could strengthen national movements and not letting injustice being unpunished. For me, mainly during campaigns, the help of this networks have been invaluable.

So, for me these networks are key for overcoming inertia. And between being an immovable object or an unstoppable force, I'm always going to choose to be the unstoppable force.

Comments

Rebecca Roberts's picture

Not unstoppable!

You make such a good point about how outside pressure, by many individuals, can indeed create change. What are the issues you see in your own area, and how could group pressure help to change it? What's your vision for your writing here on World Pulse? Thanks for sharing your unstoppable passion, and keep writing!

Pushpa Achanta's picture

Carry on!

Dear NatashaLeite,

Thanks for this short and enthusiastic post. It'll be great if you can describe the challenges that you face, if possible.

Warmly,
Pushpa

When I was working in Rio (right now I'm in Panamá), situations were different in the sense of the degree of the problem - armed violence and citizen security related - but also in the degree of the response. The culture of participation was bigger. On top of that, when we get to sit down with key players of the civil society, we didn't had to "force" the necessity of female participation it was easy, because they are the heads of associations of victims of violence, major academics and law enforcement.

Here in Panama, and through out Central America is really hard to massively congregate people, it's hard to find female representation in any institution (hats off in this case to the Police force of Nicaragua). While helping to organize this major event of experiences exchange, that will have a lot of different events, side events and all that, I was helping out in a News Media and Security Seminar, and once a took a glimpse at the participants list, I wanted to cry. Of hundreds of journalists, we only had so far, a few women representing.

I though I was used to machismo, working on security and being a woman it's definitely a challenge, because there's always going to be the one person in the room that is going to treat you like a sub-class of Human Being, you have to focus on your work and the assurance that you are helping others and you can overcome it. Having said that, machismo in Central America is through the roof. And people may say, that is just a cultural barrier, and we can work around it, but I, personally, don't think Culture should be use as an excuse to violate Human Rights.

How are you supposed to help create public policy to diminish Domestic Violence when all your counter parts don't believe that's actually a crime? That defending one's honor is justification for murder?

And the issue of mobilization comes back here. One way to achieve culture change is though social pressure. If people put their voices out there and call out the injustice, change is more achievable. However, is easier said then done, and other reason why PulseWire and Networks are so important. Protest in Panamá is a crime punishable with liberty restrictions, which means, you can go to jail for protesting. Not only go jail, but go to jail for a while. On top of that civil rights restriction, you have the government arresting journalists that don't agree with their policy.

That's why be the unstoppable force, you have to keep pushing, and I realize I should try to put a little more of what I do in my work, but I have a challenge - here I was over share, it's bizarre -: I am a researcher and a little more to the technical side, so when I write on issues, I'm technical. I'm still learning to be more didactic... But I'm not there yet. And being honest, I write what a feel here. It's very emotional driven. So I can be from very positive, to needing to share, to chicken soup for the soul to angry and annoyed.

This all was just to say, I appreciate you giving feedback of what you wanted to hear! I hope I have answered a little bit, and if not, you can comment back, or message me... And we can talk!

Laura in Portland's picture

Thank you

Dear Natasha,

The internet is certainly a powerful tool for community reform. I hope you're able to use it effectively to foster change in your own community and in Latin America in general. Good luck to you!

Laura

NatashaLeite's picture

Thanks, Laura!

It's always nice to get positive feedback!!!

All the best,

Natasha Leite

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