Saturday, 5 January 2008

Could You Commit Genocide?

As events unfold in Kenya, with hundreds killed and thousands displaced by political and ethnic violence, the question of why people commit genocide, or “ethnic cleaning” or “gross human rights violations” (whatever you want to call it) returns. The list of recent atrocities continues to grow, although we entered the 21st Century hoping and believing that the phase "Never Again!" might actually become a reality under a new world order. However, it seems the struggle for human co-existence with ourselves and our differences continues to haunt us and is as elusive as ever. Or is it?

January 27th is a time to commemorate and reflect on the meaning today (and tomorrow!) of the worst 20th Century genocide, under the banner of Holocaust Memorial Day. Across Northamptonshire there are numerous activities taking place – mainly in Northampton and Wellingborough – which hope to shed some light on these important questions and issues for our time:

Events in Wellingborough can be found at: HMD 2008 in Wellingborough

Events in Northampton can be found at: HMD in Northampton

One specific free event, as part of this programme, is organised by Independent Socialists in Wellingborough on Thursday January 31st at 7.30 pm in the Victoria Centre, Palk Road, Wellingborough.

Under the theme “Five Steps to Tyranny: Could you commit Genocide?” there will be a showing of the acclaimed BBC documentary. The film tries, at least in part, to answer the following questions. What is it about human psychology that can lead us to participate in (or stand aside and ignore) the horrors of genocide or gross human rights abuses taking place around us? How can a person, who has known other people throughout their lives, suddenly turn on them and kill them in the most brutal fashion? What are the political, economic and social conditions that can lead so quickly to such a catastrophe?

Prepare to be challenged! Prepare to be shocked! This film will change the way you look at the world. It might even help us to prevent genocides in the future, by starting with the person closest to you – YOU! Now that would be a fitting contribution to the 21st Century that we can all make!

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