001. Public speeches

Showing 1-25 of 461 results

Anti-war activists march to Moscow for peace, 1960-1961

Country
International
United States
Time period
December 1, 1960 to October, 1961
Classification
Change
Cluster
Peace
Total points
5 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Kelly Schoolmeester, 26/04/2010

On December 1, 1960, just after a rally in San Francisco, ten members of the Committee for Non-Violent Action marched out of the city, intent on marching across the country, all the way to Moscow in the Soviet Union. Their chances for success were slim. Despite the backing of the (admittedly small) CNVA, marching most of the way around the world is a monumental task. Even if the distance were not an issue, the Soviet Union was notoriously unsympathetic to peace groups or protest action in general. Breaching the Iron Curtain would not be easy.

South Africans disobey apartheid laws (Defiance of Unjust Laws Campaign), 1952-1953

Country
South Africa
Time period
June 26, 1952 to February, 1953
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Human Rights
National/Ethnic Identity
Total points
4 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Anthony Phalen, 06/11/2009

The Defiance of Unjust Laws Campaign was developed by the African National Congress (ANC) to combat apartheid. More specifically, the campaign used large-scale national noncooperation to target laws enacted by the South African government that the ANC deemed unjust. The campaign began on June 26, 1952, as groups throughout South Africa executed various acts of defiance in main cities. The ANC and the South African Indian Congress (SAIC) united Africans and Indians alike to take on apartheid.

U.S. activists and politicians campaign at South African Embassy for end to apartheid, 1984-1985

Country
United States
Time period
21 November, 1984 to November/December, 1985
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Economic Justice
National/Ethnic Identity
Total points
8 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Zein Nakhoda, 14/02/2010

In 1984, South Africa was ruled by an increasingly brutal and repressive regime under Prime Minister Pieter Botha, a strong supporter of apartheid, a system of legal racial segregation enforced by the National Party government under which the rights of the majority black inhabitants of South Africa were curtailed and minority rule by whites was maintained. In response to increased anti-apartheid protest in 1984, the Botha regime repressed political dissent with increasing brutality. In November of that year, Ronald Reagan had been reelected as President of the United States.

Argentines protest Uruguayan paper mills, 2005-2008

Country
Uruguay
Argentina
Time period
April, 2005 to April, 2008
Classification
Defense
Cluster
Environment
Total points
7 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Meghan Auker Becker, 28/02/2010

Argentina and Uruguay have a history of friendly diplomatic relations, with their countries sharing similar heritages, mutual alliances and significant cultural and political ties. However, following the 2005 announcement of the construction of two paper mills on the Uruguayan side of the Uruguay River (which serves as a boundary between the two countries), Argentina and Uruguay experienced their first significant diplomatic tensions since the 1970s.

Australians block cricket and impede rugby tour of apartheid South Africa, 1971

Country
Australia
Time period
May, 1971 to August, 1971
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Human Rights
Total points
8 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Arielle Bernhardt, 11/02/2010

To South Africans and Australians alike, rugby is not just a sport, but a cultural symbol. In the 1960s and early 1970s, it was also a unifying force between apartheid South Africa and its “white neighbor by the sea”—Australia. At the time, Australia had in place many racist policies that discriminated against Aboriginal peoples and the Australian public was only beginning to gain an awareness of both the domestic and international issues of human rights at stake.

Atlanta students sit-in for U.S. civil rights, 1960-1961

Country
United States
Time period
March, 1960 to March, 1961
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Human Rights
National/Ethnic Identity
Total points
10 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Hannah Jones, 31/01/2010

In the early 1960’s, student-led sit-ins were a prominent scene in the United States Civil Rights Movement. The success of a sit-in in Greensboro, North Carolina (see “Greensboro, NC, students sit-in for U.S. Civil Rights, 1960”) began a wave of action in college campuses throughout the South. One of the many areas inspired by the Greensboro sit-ins was Atlanta, Georgia.

University of Arizona students campaign against sweatshop-produced apparel, 1997-1999

Country
United States
Time period
Fall, 1997 to 30 April, 1999
Classification
Change
Cluster
Economic Justice
Human Rights
Total points
9 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Meghan Auker Becker, 14/02/2010

The anti-sweatshop movement was the largest student activism movement in the United States since the South African divestment movement over ten years before. Students all around the country pressured college and university administrators to adopt strict labor codes that guaranteed that merchandise bearing the college’s logo was not made by people working under unacceptable, “sweatshop-like” conditions.

Women's textile strike in Barcelona, Spain, 1913

Country
Spain
Time period
July, 1913 to September 15, 1913
Classification
Change
Cluster
Economic Justice
Human Rights
Total points
5 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Zein Nakhoda, 22/03/2010

In 1913, sixteen to eighteen percent of all women over fourteen in and around Barcelona worked in textile factories and related industries. Spinning and weaving workshops usually employed fewer than 40 women and these women worked eleven to twelve hour days. In contrast, male workers usually worked only ten-hour days. Male wages varied between 3 and 3.75 pesetas while female wages were between 1.75 and 2.50 pesetas, with few women earning over 2. Some women worked from the home, manufacturing corsets, paper boxes, shoes, and garments for employers who provided them with piecework.

Barcelona workers win general strike for economic justice, 1919

Country
Spain
Time period
5 February, 1919 to 3 April, 1919
Classification
Change
Cluster
Economic Justice
Total points
9 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Sophia Naylor, 20/02/201; Michael Alex Hall, 18/06/13

During the first decades of the 20th century, Spain saw the rise of several radical left and right groups that continually vied for power against the largely ineffectual civilian government.
On the left the groups included the socialist Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT) and its more radical rival the anarcho-syndicalist Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT).

Belizean unions strike to increase political participation and prevent increased taxation, 2005

Country
Belize
Time period
January 20, 2005 to February 14, 2005
Classification
Change
Defense
Cluster
Democracy
Economic Justice
Total points
10 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Meghan Auker Becker 04/04/2010

Belize formally became an independent nation in 1981 and quickly established itself as a parliamentary democracy with a high degree of electoral participation and a Constitution that guaranteed basic rights and freedoms to all citizens. In 1998, the People's United Party won a landslide victory and party leader Said Musa was sworn in as Prime Minister - a position he held until 2008.

Belgian socialists general strike for universal suffrage, 1913

Country
Belgium
Time period
January, 1913 to April 28, 1913
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Total points
9 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Hannah-Ruth Miller 21/02/2010

The general strike of 1913 was organized by the Socialist Party of Belgium as the last desperate measure to make the Government create a system of universal manhood suffrage rather than the system of plural voting which was practiced at the time. 

The exasperation of the Liberal and Socialist Opposition had increased significantly after the elections of June 2

Baton Rouge students sit-in for U.S. civil rights (Southern University 16), 1960

Country
United States
Time period
March 28, 1960 to April, 1960
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Human Rights
Total points
3 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Arielle Bernhardt, 28/01/2010

Throughout most of the U.S. civil rights campaigns of the 1950s, Baton Rouge, Louisiana remained quiet. The city of “broad avenues and tree-lined streets” (Sinclair 1998) remained fully segregated despite movements towards desegregation in neighboring states. However, at the beginning of 1960, when university students staged sit-ins at lunch counters across the south, students at Baton Rouge’s Southern University took notice. Southern University, a black university on the edge of the city, became home to the main civil rights campaign in Baton Rouge.

Swarthmore Afro-American Student Society fights for greater representation and support services, 1968-1969

Country
United States
Time period
October, 1968 to January, 1969
Classification
Change
Cluster
Human Rights
National/Ethnic Identity
Total points
3 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Olivia Ensign, 03/11/2010

The first attempt by an African American to enroll in Swarthmore College was 1905 when the admissions committee mistakenly admitted a light-skinned black student thinking he was white. Upon discovering his race the college withdrew its acceptance. The next attempt was not made until 1932 when a black student from Philadelphia High School applied to Swarthmore College. The admission’s committee decision was that, as a co-educational institution, Swarthmore College was not yet prepared to admit African American students.

African American citizens campaign for integration in Durham, N.C., 1963

Country
United States
Time period
18 May, 1963 to 21 May, 1963
Classification
Change
Cluster
Economic Justice
Human Rights
National/Ethnic Identity
Total points
9 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Meghan Auker Becker, 14/03/2010

The mass demonstrations of 1963 in Durham were the culmination of a local black freedom movement that had slowly gained momentum over the preceding years. Durham had been the site of a thwarted sit-in at the Royal Ice Cream Parlor in 1957, limited desegregation of schools, and the long-standing lunch-counter sit-ins in 1960 (see “Durham students sit-in for U.S. Civil Rights, 1960”). Throughout the next few years, civil rights activists continued to attack segregation in theaters, schools, motels, and restaurants as well as demand increased employment opportunities for blacks.

University of California Berkeley students win divestment against apartheid South Africa, 1985

Country
United States
Time period
10 April, 1985 to 23 May, 1985
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Human Rights
National/Ethnic Identity
Total points
9 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Arielle Bernhardt, 05/02/2010

In the spring of 1985, campaigns against apartheid in South Africa mobilized on campuses across the United States. Students at University of California Berkeley became aware of these campaigns and were moved to act. On April 10, two student groups—the UC Divestment Committee and the Campaign Against Apartheid—began organizing daily rallies at Sproul Plaza, a main gathering place on campus. Nancy Skinner led the Divestment Committee and William Nessen headed up the Campaign Against Apartheid, but the student coalition made decisions through the consensus of all members.

British citizens campaign for the abolition of the slave trade, 1787-1807

Country
United Kingdom
Time period
(1787), 1700 to 1807
Classification
Change
Cluster
Human Rights
Total points
10 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Hannah Jones, 14/02/2010

During the 1700’s, Great Britain was a strong colonial power with extensive land holdings in the West Indies, India, and Africa. A key aspect of this colonial empire was the shipment of slaves from Africa to the sugar plantations in the West Indies.

Brazilian Rubber Tappers campaign to protest the deforestation of the Brazilian rainforest region, 1977-1988

Country
Brazil
Time period
1977 to 1988
Classification
Defense
Cluster
Economic Justice
Environment
Total points
7 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Olivia Ensign, 2/28/10

For centuries, those who made a living by extracting and collecting rubber from rubber trees had been virtual slaves to the powerful rubber barons who controlled the Amazon region. Attempts were made in the 1960s to unionize these workers, called “rubber tappers;” however, these attempts failed. The 1970s marked a shift in the dynamics of the extraction of resources from the Amazon. Ranchers from Southern Brazil began to buy up huge tracts of land in order to clear them for cattle grazing land.

Redwood Rabbis protect northern California trees, 1995-1999

Country
United States
Time period
1995 to 1999
Classification
Defense
Cluster
Environment
Total points
8 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Jasper Goldberg, 11/11/2009

Maxxam, a logging company run by CEO Charles Hurwitz, took over Pacific Lumber Company in 1986. Hurwitz doubled the rate of logging in Northern California forests, including Headwaters forest, an old-growth redwood forest in Humboldt County, California. Environmental activists were outraged and began to organize to protect the Headwaters forest. Several rabbis realized that Hurwitz was Jewish, and decided that they might be able to use Jewish theology to persuade him to change his mind and protect the forests.

Bulgarians defend Jews from deportation during World War II, 1941-1945

Country
Bulgaria
Time period
1941 to 1945
Classification
Defense
Cluster
Human Rights
Total points
9 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Kelly Schoolmeester 05/05/2010

Early on in the Second World War, Bulgaria was a member of the Axis powers, having signed the Tripartite Pact on March 1, 1941. However, Bulgaria was not emotionally attached to the ideals of the major Axis powers. They simply signed on because they desired - and were guaranteed by Germany - the nearby territories of Thrace and Macedonia, which they had lost after their defeat in World War One. As a result, though Hitler was certainly a persuasive influence on Bulgaria’s foreign and domestic policy, he was not quite dictating every action taken by Bulgaria’s ruler, Tzar Boris III.

Chinese students campaign for democratic reform (Tiananmen Square), 1989

Country
China
Time period
April 15, 1989 to June 4, 1989
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Human Rights
Total points
4 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Nida Atshan and Aden Tedla, 21/03/2010

During the second half of the 20th century, Chinese society experienced profound and tumultuous changes. Communist rule was declared in 1949, and the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s resulted in much social and economic upheaval. Students were particularly hard hit by the changes made during the Cultural Revolution as university funding decreased and education quality deteriorated. Student resentment towards the Communist government was further exacerbated by the practices of nepotism and profiteering among party officials.

African Americans campaign for voting rights in Selma, Alabama, USA, 1965

Country
United States
Time period
January, 1965 to April, 1965
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Human Rights
Total points
10 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Max Rennebohm, 28/9/2009

Even after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, most African Americans in the southern United States were still unable to vote because of registration requirements such as literacy tests and slow registration processes. In Selma, Alabama the registration office was open only two days a month and could only process 15 registrations for each of these days. This was not nearly enough to register the 15,000 black citizens of voting age in the county.

The Albany Movement campaigns for full integration in Georgia (Fall 1961- Summer 1962)

Country
United States
Time period
Mid-November, 1961 to Summer, 1962
Classification
Change
Cluster
Human Rights
Total points
2 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Anthony Phalen, 06/11/2009

Up until 1961, the extent of the civil rights movement in Albany, Georgia had been limited to small student groups refusing to obey segregation laws; however, with the arrival of a prominent civil rights group the community would be energized. Albany, Georgia was chosen by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to conduct voter registration drives and SNCC arrived in September 1961 to begin the challenging process of mobilizing support and excitement around their cause.

Quakers fight for religious freedom in Puritan Massachusetts, 1656-1661

Country
United States
Time period
(July 1656), 1600 to (1661), 1600
Classification
Change
Cluster
Human Rights
Total points
8 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Carl E. Sigmond, 25/03/2012

The Massachusetts Bay Colony of the New World was a Puritan theocratic state in the early 1650s. Puritan leaders did not have much tolerance for people of other religions, and as a result, the Puritan government often persecuted and banished religious outsiders who tried to enter and live in their Puritan towns. A fear was embedded in the Puritan society that if they started to admit outsiders, they would lose their political and religious control of the colony.

Freedom Riders end racial segregation in Southern U.S. public transit, 1961

Country
United States
Time period
4 May, 1961 to 1 November, 1961
Classification
Change
Cluster
Human Rights
Total points
10 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Gavin Musynske 12/09, edited with additional material by George Lakey 9/9/11

In 1947, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) conducted a “Journey of Reconciliation” to direct attention toward racial segregation in public transportation in the Southern U.S.A. Although this initial freedom ride campaign was not regarded as a great success during its time, it inspired the 1961 Freedom Rides that fueled the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.

Cornell University students sit-in for divestment from apartheid South Africa, 1985

Country
United States
Time period
18 April, 1985 to 11 May, 1985
Classification
Change
Cluster
Economic Justice
Human Rights
Total points
4.5 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Meghan Auker Becker, 07/02/2010

By the mid-1980s, the Apartheid regime had been in control of South Africa for nearly 40 years. The country was in the midst of a national crisis, had declared a state of emergency, and over 5,000 people had been killed by the violence. Despite the African Nation Congress’ requests for international aid, specifically in the form of divestment, the United States (as well as many other powerful countries) resisted.