By Richard D. Iyall
On Dec. 10, 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Thereafter, Dec. 10 of every year is observed as Human Rights Day. On Dec. 10, 2015, a group of people assembled at the Robert E. Coyle U.S. Courthouse in Fresno in honor of the day. The event was called the International Human Rights Day. It was hosted by Hashid G-Flo Kasama, M. Gloria Hernandez and Juan Rafael Avitia.
People gathered at the corner of Tulare Avenue and O Street in front of the federal courthouse. There was a rally at the corner with some people holding lighted cardboard letters that spelled out “NO WAR” in the style of the Fresno Light Brigade, which might well have made them, and other people holding signs for passersby to see. It had been a day of rain, but no rain fell during the event. After the rally, the group gathered into a circle. Hernandez led with a speech. Enrique Reade spoke, saying that he had been on the board of Masten Towers for 10 years. Susan McCall Carrasco also spoke.
As the group was about to break up, I said that I would like to say a few words. I asked for people to all hold hands, to magnify what we could do to change the world, for those who wanted to do so. Everyone present held hands with the people next to them to make the circle of energy even stronger.
As the idea of indigenous rights was mentioned in a post on Facebook, I told the group that I am indigenous. I said that many of my ancestors were strong leaders. I said that I don’t agree with many things that people have done to the people, to the land and to life. I said that I agreed with Reade, who said that some people need to learn lessons. I said that everyone there at the event was doing good to the world, I believed. I said that we were doing something right there and right then. I said that the best thing that we can do is love. That was how the event in Fresno ended.
Richard D. Iyall is a volunteer journalist/photographer for the Community Alliance newspaper. Contact him at richarddiyall@yahoo. com.