|The Freedom Forum was held in the old Jockey Club |
building off of Santander Plaza in La Candelaria.
And there's plenty there to protest about, particularly with the current administration in Washington. But there's plenty to protest against in other places. So, it's refreshing to see young people taking on those other targets.
And some of those young people got their say this week at the College Freedom Forum, hosted this year by Bogotá's Rosario University. They included Abdalaziz Alhamza, a young Syrian, who talked about the horrors ISIS is committing against his country's people; Kimberley Motley, a U.S. citizen who is a pioneering defense attorney in Afghanistan, where just being a woman is a challenge, much less a foreigner who is of Korean and African descent; Cuban freedom activist Kimberley Motley; Mexican anti-drug prohibition activist Lisa Sánchez; and Ukranian anti-corruption activist Yulia Marushevska.
Significantly, the participants, four of the five of whom are women, don't seem to belong to any single ideology. Instead, they fight against severe social problems and straight-out evil.
Of course, the College Freedom Forum, and its sister organization, the Oslo Freedom Forum, as well as their sponsor, the New York-based Human Rights Foundation have been linked to islamophobia for criticism of repressive governments in Moslem nations. The Rights Foundation "has been described by the Cuban state media as a CIA front, labeled “imperialist” by the Ecuadorean president, and declared “enemies of the state” by the Venezuelan propaganda machine" says the Huffington Post. But, sadly, many Moslem-majority nations do have repressive governments. And Cuba, Ecuador and Venezuela, which label themselves lefist 'revolutionaries,' have all committed serious violations of human rights.
For its part, the Rights Foundation says it promotes an open society and opposes authoritarianism. It's hard to argue with those values.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours