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Life Arts

Remembering Helen Suzman: I Hate Bullies and I Like Simple Justice

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Robben Island
lies
off one of the most beautiful
cities in the world
in hand touching
closeness
like
Dachau
to
Cape Town


Mandela's Jail and His Visitor, by Steve Punter at Flickr

For Helen Suzman
held
in respectful memory:

A woman who made
Me
a teenager
in Chiswick
think

She
a white
woman
would get on her feet
and
speak


Apartheid Museum1, by a kep at Flickr Commons

"Those who knew her will attest to her sparkling yet resolute nature and deep commitment to and love for the causes of justice, human rights and peace.

"It is this very core set of beliefs that led Helen to a noteworthy public life in South Africa where she dedicatedly fought for the cause of equality and dignity for all and diligently fought the apartheid regime from where she was with what she had."

For 13 years - from 1961 to 1974 - Suzman was the sole representative in Parliament of the liberal Progressive Party, forerunner of the Democratic Alliance.

Suzman has been generally recognized as the most effective parliamentary fighter against the old National Party's apartheid policies when the NP was at the heyday of its power.

Mr. Mandela wrote of her in his biography: "It was an odd and wonderful sight to see this courageous woman peering into our cells and strolling around our courtyard. She was the first and only woman ever to grace our cells."


Apartheid Museum2, by a kep at Flickr Commons

I have been to South Africa
twice
The last time was with my friend John Stapleton to produce a five day outside broadcast on the tenth anniversary of the ending of
apartheid


The first time was in 1998
with Eamonn Holmes
and another week long
series of live programming
When I took this shot
scanned from a film slide

and I learnt
how Nelson M
6 foot something
could barely
lay down
legs
out stretched
in his cell

These are the stories
that
must be told
and re told
as John Quincey Adams
has it
so
our
children
will learn

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I have a law degree (Stanford, 66') but have never practiced. Instead, from 1967 through 1977, I tried to contribute to the revolution in America. As unsuccessful as everyone else over that decade, in 1978 I went to work for the U.S. Forest (more...)
 
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Living under information control is similar to bei... by Jason Paz on Saturday, Aug 29, 2009 at 1:01:57 AM
your entire comment, Jason, and yes, Suzman certai... by GLloyd Rowsey on Sunday, Aug 30, 2009 at 10:57:30 AM
Helen was a giant among all people. She was the on... by John Little on Sunday, Aug 30, 2009 at 3:48:46 PM