Sunday, December 26, 2021

Requiescat in pace Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Thank you for your solidarity and example of nonviolent resistance

"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality." -  Archbishop Desmond Tutu

 Desmond Tutu backed inquiry into Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero deaths 

Mourning the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu at age 90. Remembering with gratitude his solidarity with the Cuban people in 2013, when he joined with others in demanding an inquiry into the July 22, 2012, deaths of Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas and Harold Cepero.

But there is much more to be thankful for.

During the struggle against Apartheid people power had a huge impact, greater than the violence of the African National Congress, in effecting regime change. Archbishop Desmond Tutu played an important role in this nonviolent struggle to end an unjust regime.

"Among the most sustained campaigns, involving national organizations as well as providing a target for local demonstrators, was the campaign to boycott Shell that paralleled campaigns in Europe directed at the same multinational company. Beginning with a sit-in by the Free South Africa Movement at the Shell offices in Washington, DC,159 the campaign gained support not only from the United Mine Workers, but also other unions, including the AFL-CIO trade union federation. And it tied the action to support of the National Union of Mineworkers in South Africa. Desmond Tutu joined the press conference launching the boycott, and churches joined actively in the coalition. The Interfaith Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) added Shell to its list of 12 key corporate ‘partners in apartheid’ targeted for divestment actions."

The Christian Liberation Movement has drawn from this history and is calling for a clear, coordinated, multilateral targeting of companies doing business with the Castro regime, targeting them with boycotts, protests, sit-ins, and peaceful invasions of said companies until they divest from the dictatorship in Havana. The effort Archbishop Desmond Tutu joined demonstrated that it worked in South Africa and it can work again today in Cuba. 

Nontombi "Naomi" Tutu

He is survived by four children who have continued their father's nonviolent legacy. At the University of Rochester Nontombi "Naomi" Tutu, the third child of Desmond Tutu, who grew up in the midst of the racist apartheid regime in South Africa, in 2011 she gave the lecture “Our Shared Humanity: Creating Understanding Through the Principles of Martin Luther King Jr.,” and offered some insights on nonviolence:

  • "The lessons of Gandhi and King are that for true liberty and liberation, we have to be those who hold up the humanity of all.”
  • “We can’t dehumanize others without dehumanizing ourselves."
  • “We were going to be a family who did pray for those who oppressed us.”


Archbishop Desmond Tutu demonstrates his solidarity with Aung San Suu Kyi

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