Don’t be a Bystander!

Jacob Agee/ March 21, 2017

Up till now, discussions about civil society’s relation to genocide and mass violence seem to be limited to reconciliation in the aftermath, and to stopping on-going suffering. The new approach we could seek to create is to use civil society as a means for prevention, once warning signs have been detected, as calls for prevention tend to be limited to politics, and circles within the country in question. We can change this by engaging international civil society, in a Standing Rock style, in attempts to prevent mass violence and genocide before they begin. And you can be part of it!

Civil society matters. It’s not just a nice idea. MVAI considers itself as a part of civil society, and therefore is able to participate in the prevention of mass violence. By tirelessly identifying possibilities of persecution of innocent civilians all over the world MVAI is raising awareness which can lead to political action. We do not accept being bystanders!

“Human suffering anywhere concerns men and women everywhere.”

Elie Wiesel, Night

Mass violence can be prevented when political will is achieved. And mass violence is happening worldwide. By ignoring current systematic attacks on civilians, such as in Syria, South Sudan or Myanmar, we are all becoming exactly that: bystanders. History taught us that civilians in danger need international awareness and support as soon as their state turns a cold shoulder to them or even attacks them. Mass violence does not happen spontaneously and abruptly: it is always a part of a process which can be and is observed beforehand. By raising awareness of communities in danger; by directly influencing the political process; by creating an environment of empathy, MVAI can and will address this problem. Like the Standing Rock Movement, we perceive ourselves as part of the civil society which united is able to make a change. Don’t be a bystander: join us!