On the day that Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, John Simpson, world affairs editor at BBC News, has written a wonderfully appropriate piece on how individuals can change the world:
“At a single day’s trial last December, Mr Liu was sentenced to 11 years in prison after having helped to draft Charter 08, a manifesto for political change in China.
The act of official irritability which took away Mr Liu’s freedom is becoming more and more of an international embarrassment to China.
Now, in every country in the world, his name and cause will be known; and more people in dictatorships everywhere will be emboldened to imitate his small act of resistance.”
He also points to a book that is published today – Small Acts of Resistance: How Courage, Tenacity, and Ingenuity Can Change the World – which details how governments which deny their people freedom have been brought down by individuals determined to speak and act as though they are free.