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Donald Trump was not helping. Boris Johnson was not helping.
How can we make this better? How do we create a strong voice against this sort of thing? I have so many questions and so few answers.
Politicians who say something – frequently quite innocent – that others misunderstand are often forced to resigned. When top politicians – sometimes “jokingly” – deliberately whip up aggression, they tend to get away with it and are often even applauded for it. I guess this is also why some people love watching mud-wrestling? But discrimination and hate tend to beget discrimination and hate. I have also seen it in myself. There is only so much you can take without getting really angry.
Behind it are real or perceived power imbalances and when Presidents and PMs signal that hate towards a specific group of people is okay, it shifts that perceived power imbalance even more.
We are relieved that at last, after an eight-year legal battle, and much campaigning, migrant rights activist Andy Hall has been cleared of the last remaining charges against him by Thailand’s Supreme Court.
In a final ruling on May 11, 2021 Thailand’s Supreme Court dismissed lower court rulings that Hall was guilty of defaming pineapple company Natural Fruit and liable to pay the company 10 million Thai baht (approximately 265,000 Euros or 319,000 USD) in damages.
Importantly, the court also ruled that Hall’s research and publication of allegations in interviews and in writing, concerningserious labor rights abuses against migrant workers at Natural Fruit, was both done in good faith and was accurate.
In response to the ruling, Andy Hall said in a press release:“I welcome today’s ruling. But after years of ongoing judicial harassment that has taken a heavy toll on me, my family and my colleagues, this is not a victory. My activism for over a decade in Thailand was intended only to promote and uphold the fundamental rights of millions of migrant workers in the country. These workers continue to find themselves without a voice in high-risk situations of forced labour and subject to systemic human and labour rights violations in global supply chains.’’The Freedom United community has been united in support of Andy Hall throughout his battle, with nearly 137,500 supporters around the world signing our petition — raising the profile of his case internationally. Several of you even stepped up to donate to help with Hall’s legal fees.