Me, We

Known as one of the shortest speeches in the world (my view), these words were uttered by boxer Mohammad Ali. It was reported as one of his opening lines at a speech he gave at Harvard University. If you’re interested in aspects of his life, especially events surrounding the build-up and progress of the Ali Vs George Foreman match in Zaire (back in 1974), be sure to watch/buy the award winning (Oscar 1996, directed by Leon Gast) documentary (available on DVD) ‘When we were Kings’.

Some amazing Ali quotes can also be observed, for example: ‘I’m young, I’m handsome, I’m fast, I’m pretty and can’t possibly be beat…’ And,
‘I done something new for this fight! I done rassled with a alligator! That’s right, I have rassled with a alligator. I done tussled with a whale! I done handcuffed lightning, throwed thunder in jail! That’s *bad*. Only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick. I’m so mean, I make medicine sick!’

The film/footage is inspiring in many ways. It shows how Ali fought Foreman on a number of levels: psychologically and physically. The latter may not go down well with anti-boxing campaigners but the important issue here is how strength can be achieved through unity. I truly believe that if enough people demand change the energy created will ‘drive change home’ and a positive outcome can result. Ali showed us that confidence can provide one with the will to see a mission through.

Back in July I wrote about the Make Poverty History campaign. A massive momentum was built-up as the G8 summit began to gear-up in parallel. Lets remember that on 2nd July over 225,000 people turned out in Edinburgh to demand a change from the G8 attendees. In addition, 1Million people attended global Live8 gigs and over 1Billion viewed the gigs from TVs, the Internet…

Here is a quick update on the campaign of events to support the make poverty history campaign over the coming months:

White Band Day 2 will take place on 10 September 2005. Its purpose has been positioned to remind world leaders, meeting at the UN Summit in New York, that the world is still watching and waiting for them to make poverty history.

On 24-25 September 2005 the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund will hold their Annual Meetings in Washington, attended for the UK by Gordon Brown and Hilary Benn. This meeting is important for two main reasons. Firstly, the need to ensure that the June’05 G7 Heads of Finance debt cancellation plan is reduced and what some report as the need for greater transparency / awareness of members and policies to be developed.

On Wednesday 2 November 2005 campaigners will stage a mass lobby of Parliament calling for trade justice not free trade. Thousands of people are expected to come to London to lobby their MP as part of the campaign. Again, its aim to build on the July G8 summit but through public mobilisation.

There you have it, more opportunities for us to unite for the people. If we dream that poverty can become history then it surely will. We just have to believe in our ability to change the status quo and certainly not in our continued apathy to let people down.

Categories: 2005

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