A Thank You from Movements.org

The website Movements.org was launched last year as a tool to “crowdsource human rights.” It is a great idea. In the last five years or so, many crowdsourcing sites have been started and most of them are geared toward raising money for specific projects. Movements does not raise funds, but awareness.

If you know about a human rights violation and you think the world needs to know about it, you post a statement about it there in your language. Activists read about it and take it from there. On the other side, if you are an activist looking for a story that has not received much attention yet, several dozen new ones are posted each day. If you are someone who cares about human rights as an issue, as a philosophical idea, but you do not know where to begin, who to contact, or what to say, Movements.org is a fine place to start. In certain ways, it puts the human back into the phrase “human rights,” because the cases featured on the site are stories of individuals, not the usual eye-tiring and heart-saddening litany of overwhelming numbers.

Readers of this website know that I have recently featured the story of a photographer named Shawkan, who has been in prison in Egypt for two and a half years now. Today, Movements.org cited TheGadAboutTown.com in a section of the website called “Success Stories.”

Now, this is a success story in only one way: the request had been for international attention on Shawkan’s story. This website got recognition for the fact it brought some attention on the sad story. The story continues, and it remains disconcerting: Shawkan is still in prison and his hearing has been postponed until next June because of the Egyptian justice system’s inability to handle large cases. (Shawkan will be in the dock with 700 others.)

Movements.org wrote today, “Shawkan Zeid, the Egyptian journalist, needed international attention and pressure to help him get released from jail. Movements user Mark Aldrich wrote a powerful story on his blog The Gad About Town.” Readers have awarded this website various blogging awards; this is a nice citation.

The group also put out this Tweet:

Readers of this website have commented on Facebook, Twitter, and the site itself about some of the human rights stories I have covered this year. Your encouragement is directly responsible for my writing about Shawkan Zeid, thus this citation on Movements.org is for each one of you, too.

Follow The Gad About Town on Facebook! Subscribe today for daily facts (well, trivia) about literature and history, plus links to other writers on Facebook.

Follow The Gad About Town on Instagram!

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


  1. lifelessons · December 15, 2015

    I was hoping by “success story” it was going to say he had been released. Just incredible that such barbarity and close-mindedness exists to that degree in the modern world. It is as though the entire country is enslaved!! At least in the states even a madman like Donald Trump can have his say and the only penalty is (hopefully) a loss of votes!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Aldrich · December 15, 2015

      I, too, found putting this in the “success stories” file … um, well, you saw that I felt the need to explain it, in part because I needed to explain it to myself.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lifelessons · December 15, 2015

        Perhaps they felt like it was a success in that someone was moved to write about it and try to spread the word. I think it is so hard for folks to read these stories–they just want to put them out of their minds. I just keep thinking of these old men trying to crush the spirit of young idealistic men who could be the leaders of their country if given a chance. How are such tyrants ever overcome?

        Liked by 1 person

Please comment here. Thank you, Mark.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.