Radical Lives

A collection of passionate (activists, revolutionaries, rebels, dissidents, and humanitarians) from the past 100 years, one from every different country in the world.

Doria Shafik (Egypt) (1908-1975) was one of the principal leaders of the women’s liberation movement in Egypt in the mid-1940s. She founded an Egyptian feminist organization called The Daughters of The Nile, dedicated to educating and organizing working women of all classes. She was the driving force behind the changes of the Egyptian Constitution to give women the right to elect and be nominated for political office. In 1951, she led a 1,500-woman demonstration and stormed through the gates of the Egyptian Parliament while it was in session, and demanded their rights which these men had denied them for so long. She declared a hunger strike until Egyptian women were granted equal constitutional rights to men. A week later, the council granted Egyptian women the right to vote and run for political office.

“To Want and To Dare! Never hesitate to act when the feeling of injustice revolts us. To give one's measure with all good faith, the rest will follow as a logical consequence.” - Doria Shafik

Shin Dong-hyuk (North Korea) is a North Korean-born human rights activist. He is the only known prisoner to have successfully escaped from a “total-control zone” grade internment camp in North Korea. Shin Dong-hyuk escaped in 2005, climbing over the high voltage fence when guards were absent, eventually reaching the northern border with China along the Tumen River, bribing North Korean border guards with food and cigarettes, to finally escape.

Shin Don-hyuk formed a organization called Inside NK, educating the world about what’s happening inside North Korea, shining a light on the human rights abuses so prevalent within the regime.

“Even now, I still need some time to appreciate and process the new surroundings around me. But one thing that I know for sure is that the outside world has freedom, and it is freedom, and my fellow inmates in the prison camps in North Korea, they too were born with the right to enjoy and experience the freedom which they do not have.” - Shin Don-hyuk

Berta Cáceres (Hondurus) was an environmental indigenous rights activist who founded the National Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) to address the growing threats posed to Lenca communities and fight for their territorial rights and improve their livelihoods. Against the odds of violence, detainment, and murder towards their movement, Berta Cáceres rallied the indigenous Lenca people of Honduras and waged a grassroots campaign that successfully pressured the world’s largest dam builder to pull out of the Agua Zarca Dam, a construction on the sacred Gualcarque River, that violated international treaties governing indigenous peoples’ rights. Today COPINH and fellow activists continue Berta Cáceres’ enduring legacy, fighting irresponsible development and standing up for the rights of the Lenca people in Honduras.

“They are afraid of us because we are not afraid of them” ― Berta Cáceres

Amilcar Cabral (Cape Verde) was the founder of The African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde and led the guerrilla movement against the colonizing Portuguese government, which evolved into one of the most successful wars of independence in modern African history. Cabral was also an agronomist, he taught his troops to teach local crop growers better farming techniques, so that they could increase productivity and be able to feed their own family and tribe. Cabral and his movement also set up a trade-and-barter bazaar system that moved around the country and made staple goods available to the countryside at prices lower than that of colonial store owners.

"In combating racism we do not make progress if we combat the people themselves. We have to combat the causes of racism. Many people lose energy and effort, and make sacrifices combating shadows. We have to combat the material reality that produces the shadow." - Amilcar Cabral

Betsabe Espinal (Colombia) was one of the key organizers in the 1920 strike organized by women in Colombia at the textile factory in Bello, Antioquia.

Around 400 women walked out demanding equal pay with men, an end to sexual harassment by managers, the abolition of fines for sick leave, reduced surveillance and searches of workers and that salaries be paid directly to women workers, rather than to their fathers or husbands.

The women held firm; they had widespread public support and received donations from workers, especially in Medellin. Eventually, a month later, the women won most of their demands, including a 40% pay increase, reduced working hours, better health and safety.

radical Cesar Chavez (U.S.A) was a civil rights, Latino and farm labor leader, a community organizer and social entrepreneur; a champion of militant nonviolent social change; and a fighter for consumer rights, and working conditions of the migrant farmer. After holding many demonstrations, registration drives, fasts, boycotts, protests and appeals, the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act was signed into law in June 1975, guaranteeing justice for all agricultural workers and stability in agricultural labor relations.

“From the depth of need and despair, people can work together, can organize themselves to solve their own problems and fill their own needs with dignity and strength” - Cesar Chavez

Toussaint Louverture (Haiti) (1744-1803) was born as a slave in what would become Haiti. Toussaint and other black leaders of Saint-Domingue (Haiti) helped to lead the only Atlantic slave society which successfully defeated its oppressors. Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution inspired millions of free and enslaved people of African descent to seek freedom and equality throughout the Atlantic world.

"I was born a slave, but nature gave me a soul of a free man" - Toussaint Louverture

Meena Keshwar Kamal (Afghanistan) was an Afghan feminist, revolutionary and political women's rights activist, and founder of the Revolutionary association of the woman of Afghanistan,( RAWA ) Meena dedicated her life to fight for equality, giving voice to the deprived and silenced women of Afghanistan.

"Afghani women are like sleeping lions who, when awakened, can play a wonderful role in a social revolution." - Meena Keshwar Kamal

Jason Jones (Tobago) is a gay LGBTQI+ activist from Trinidad and Tobago. Jones challenged the constitutionality of laws prohibiting consensual adult intercourse and sexual acts between consenting same-sex adults.

On April, 2018, Jason Jones won this landmark legal challenge at the High Court of Trinidad and Tobago which decriminalized adult same sex intimacy. This win guaranteed freedom for nearly 100,000 Trinidadians and set a precedent. The case was also cited in a recent case that led to a decriminalization victory in India.

"If you want change, you need to sacrifice and you need to work hard. Find your own route to it, don't look at following other people's footsteps. Forge your own path. Be clear about what that path is and what you want to achieve in the end." - Jason Jones

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Dolores Cacuango (Ecuador) was an Ecuadorian Indigenous communist. She got involved in the movement of landless Indigenous workers in the 1920s and 1930s, taking part in rebellions an advocating for women's rights. In the revolution of 1944 she led an armed assault on a government military base in Cayambe, and the following year established the country's first autonomous Indigenous school, teaching lessons in Spanish and Kichwa. More similar schools opened up, until the dictatorship of General Ramone Castro Jijon shut them down in 1963, banned Kichwa in schools and raided Cacuango's house, driving her underground. Dolores remained active, using disguises to evade capture, and after a year of continued Indigenous activism the dictatorship was forced to implement agrarian reforms.

Of their movement, Cacuango declared: “We’re like the grass of the mountain that grows back again after being cut, and as mountain grass we will cover the world.” - Dolores Cacuango

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Frank Mugisha (Uganda) risks his life to speak out for LGBTQ+ rights in Uganda, a country where homosexuality is criminalized and a bill entitled "Kill the Gays" was once introduced in parliament. He founded "Icebreakers Uganda" and "Sexual Minorities Uganda" to support LGBTQ Ugandans who face stigma, violence, and isolation on a daily basis. Additionally, Dr. Mugisha regularly speaks to international audiences in order to draw attention to the human rights violations experienced by the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda.

"For me, it is about standing out and speaking in an environment where you are not sure if you will survive the next day; it is this fear that makes me strong, to work hard and fight to see a better life for LGBTQ persons in Uganda." - Frank Mugisha

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Freddie Oversteegen (Netherlands) was an anti-fascist resistance activist born in Schoten, Netherlands. After Nazi forces invaded the Netherlands in 1940, Freddie and her sister Truus began as couriers, moving weapons and stealing identity papers to help Jewish people escape, using disguises to smuggle Jewish children across the country and sometimes out of concentration camps. Then they took up arms against Nazi occupiers and Dutch “traitors” on the outskirts of Amsterdam, where they sabotaged bridges and rail lines with dynamite, rode their bicycle down the streets of Haarlem in North Holland, firearms hidden in a basket, and assassinated Nazis while riding by. The two sisters often seduced their targets in taverns or bars, asking if they wanted to “go for a stroll” in the forest — and then “liquidated” them.

“We had to do it. It was a necessary evil, killing those who betrayed the good people.” - Freddie Oversteegen

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Nehanda Charwe Nyakasikana (Zimbabwe) is known as a svikiro (spirit medium) born 1840-1898 in what is now Zimbabwe

The Shona people of southern Africa believed she was the female incarnation of the oracle spirit Nyamhika Nehanda "lion spirit" whose spirit lived on in the human bodies of various spirit mediums for the next 500 years. This position gave Nyakasikana incredible power and influence, So Charwe Nyakasikana used this power to resist the colonial forces who were invading and exploiting her homeland and people.

Her defiance in the face of brutal colonialism left a lasting legacy, where fighters against colonial rule across Africa, especially in the 1960s and 1970s, looked to Nyakasikana as a source of inspiration and strength.

"My bones will rise again." were the last words of Nehanda Charwe Nyakasikana, the spiritual leader.

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Ken Saro-Wiwa (Nigeria) (1941-1995) environmental activist, and leading member of the Ogoni tribe of some 500,000 people, living in densely populated Ogoniland in south-eastern Nigeria. He was a central figure in the struggle to stop the devastation of the Niger Delta, which has been targeted for crude oil extraction since the 1950s and which has suffered extreme environmental damage from decades of indiscriminate petroleum waste dumping. Ken Saro-Wiwa had fought tiredlessly against the destructive oil companies and the government, to save the land and the Ogoni People.

“Whether I live or die is immaterial. It is enough to know that there are people who commit time, money and energy to fight this one evil among so many others predominating worldwide. If they do not succeed today, they will succeed tomorrow.” - Ken Saro-Wiwa

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Tawakkol Karman (Yemen) is a Yemeni human rights activist, journalist, politician, President of Women Journalists Without Chains organization, a group which advocates for freedoms and provides media skills to journalists. The organization also produces regular reports on human rights abuses in Yemen. Known as the “mother of the revolution” Karman regularly led demonstrations and sit-ins in Sana'a, and Tahrir Square, targeting systemic government repression and calling for inquiries into corruption and other forms of injustice.

"You have to be strong; you have to trust yourself that you can bring down the dictatorship regime and build a new country. You have to be part of building your country.” -Tawakkol Karman

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Tek Nath Rizal (Bhutan) is one of the top leaders of Bhutanese refugees, and a political and human rights activist in Bhutan. Rizal has struggled for the sake of about 100,000 Bhutani refugees who lived for a long time in camps in Nepal. Using direct expressions of his political beliefs, he campaigned against government policies unfairly affecting members of the Nepali-speaking community in southern Bhutan. Rizal, who now heads the exiled Human Rights Commission of Bhutan, sees the repatriation of the refugees as a crucial step in establishing civil rights in his country.

"Identity is something deeper than a piece of cloth you put on." - Tek Nath Rizal

Minerva Mirabal Reyes (Dominican Republic), along with her sisters Maria Teresa, and Patria were some of the initial organizers of the resistance campaign in the Dominican Republic against the brutal dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillos who took control of the country after fraudulent elections of 1930. The repression, tortures and murders carried out by the dictators regime created public support for the resistance campaign, since many were outraged by the treatment bestowed upon their fellow citizens. Even the Catholic Church, which had previously supported the dictatorship, became an active opponent of the government. It voiced its opposition through all of its churches, where priests read official pronouncements denouncing the regime’s violation of human rights.

Minerva and the resistance campaign, with its persistence, managed to develop a unified network of resistance against the dictatorship, promote democratic ideals and aspirations, and delegitimize the regime. Where eventually the dictator was eliminated by armed men in 1961.

“It is a source of happiness to do whatever can be done for our country that suffers so many anguishes, it is sad to stay with one's arms crossed” - Minerva Mirabel Reyes.

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Dr B.R. Ambedkar (India) was a Indian political activist born into the lowest caste. He became a great social reformer who campaigned for greater equality for the ‘untouchable castes’ and women. He was a fighter in the cause of Annihilation of Caste, and although suffering bitter caste humiliation, against all institutional and social odds, eventually became the first Minister for Law in free India, and shaped the country’s Constitution. Abolishing the practice of ‘untouchability’

“For a successful revolution, it is not enough that there is enough discontent. What is required is a profound and thorough conviction of justice, necessity and importance of political and social rights.” - Dr B.R. Ambedkar

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Comandante Ramona (Mexico) was an influential member of the Zapatista Army, a group fighting for indigenous rights and autonomy in Chiapas, Mexico. Dubbed “The Petite Warrior," she led the Zapatistas’ initial uprising against the Mexican government, leading to to the Zapatista rebellion and the revolution of indigenous women’s rights throughout Mexico. In 1993, Comandante Ramona drew up the “Revolutionary Law on Women.” In it, the law declared women equal to men. It was presented and voted on by women and men at an assembly and it passed.

“Our hope is that one day our situation will change, that we women will be treated with respect, justice and democracy.” - Comandante Ramona

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Munir Said Thalib (Indonesia) was Indonesia’s most internationally recognized human rights lawyer and anti-corruption activist. He formed the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS) to look into the abduction of dozens of activists at the end of president Soeharto’s authoritarian rule. KontraS continues its work to fight political violence, encourage respect for due process of law, ensure victims’ physical and psychological recovery, and promote reconciliation and peace.

“Human rights in the sense of human solidarity has created a new universal and equal language going beyond racial, gender, ethnic or religious boundaries. That is why we consider it a doorway to dialogue for people of all socio-cultural groups and all ideologies." - Munir Said Thalib

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Aminatou Haidar (Western Sahara) is a well-known human rights activist from Western Sahara, a disputed territory in West Africa, occupied by Morocco since 1975. The Sahrawis, have repeatedly been promised the right to self-determination. Though for more than 40 years, since the first days of its occupation, Moroccan authorities have suppressed Sahrawis demanding the right to self-determination and respect of fundamental human rights. Haidar is the leader of Defenders of the Sahrawi Human Rights (CODESA), a group committed to advocating for the rights of Sahrawi people through nonviolent means. Despite unfair imprisonment, being beaten, death threats and harassment directed at her and her two children, Haidar has carried on her campaigns for a political solution to one of the world’s longest frozen conflicts.

“My fight is not an individual fight; it is a fight for the collective rights of my people. Only death will keep me silent.” - Aminatou Haidar

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Abdul-Hadi Al-Khawaja (Bahrain) is a charismatic architect of Bahrain’s human rights movement and a leader of the 2011 protests calling for democracy and greater freedom in the Gulf region. Al-Khawaja is not only an activist, also a social entrepreneur who founded some of the first human rights research and defense organizations in the region, which still exist today. He inspires future generations in Bahrain to continue to fight despite his now decade-long imprisonment.

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Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, (Hawai’i ) is a mahu (third gender) Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) activist, teacher, cultural practitioner, and community leader. She was the founding member of Kulia Na Mamo, a community organization created to improve the quality of life for mahu wahine (a Hawaiian identity similar to trans woman), and is dedicated to using native Hawaiian culture, history, and education as tools for developing and empowering the next generation of warrior scholars.

"My entire life has always been in the middle," - Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu

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Chico Mendes (Brazil) was a Brazilian rubber tapper, land rights and trade union leader. Chico Mendes pioneered the world's first tropical forest conservation initiative advanced by forest peoples themselves. His work led to the establishment of Brazil's extractive reserves protecting forest areas that are inhabited and managed by local communities. The Chico Mendez Extractive reserve, the largest (2.4million acres) reserve in the amazon was created in his honor, protecting the livelihoods and culture of the Amazonian people and to ensure sustainable use of natural resources

“At first I thought I was fighting to save rubber trees, then I thought I was fighting to save the Amazon rain forest. Now I realize I am fighting for humanity” – Chico Mendes

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Paul Franklin Watson (Canada) is a Canadian conservation and environmental activist, who founded the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an anti-poaching and direct action group focused on conservation activism. Watson leads a pirate organization that sails around the world, stopping fishing ships who are committing deadly and illegal destruction against precious sea life. Wearing a long bowie knife and AK-47s on board, he threatens to ram any ship that won’t give in to demands to stop their deadly actions. Watson was a co-founder of Greenpeace, and a board member of the Sierra Club. He worked for the Canadian Guard and Norwegian and Swedish merchant marines before becoming a professional environmentalist.

“Follow your dreams and use your natural born talents to make this a better world for tomorrow. Be a voice for the future, and a voice for the planet” - Paul Franklin Watson

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Trieu Thi Trinh created a rebel army of a thousand in Vietnam against the occupying Chinese who were oppressing them around 240CE. She rode on an elephant carrying swords , and when tried to be discouraged said:

"I only want to ride the wind and walk the waves, clean up frontiers, and save the people from drowning. Why should I imitate others, bow my head, stoop over and be a slave?" - Trieu Thi Trinh

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Francesc Sabaté i Llopart (Spain) was an anti-fascist resistance fighter, and the most tenacious of the anti-Franco guerrillas, born in Catalonia. With the outbreak of the civil war in 1936, Sabaté joined the anarchist Young Eagles column and fought against General Francisco Franco's Nationalists on the Aragon front. After the defeat of the Republic, Sabaté was interned in a concentration camp in France, and later joined the French resistance against Nazi occupation. Following the end of World War II he re-entered Spain and joined the growing underground resistance to the regime. Amongst his many legendary exploits he freed other imprisoned activists, robbed banks, assassinated fascist leaders and cheated death on many occasions. After robbing the home of a wealthy Franco supporter, Manuel Garriga, Sabaté left a note which read:

"We are not robbers, we are libertarian resistance fighters. What we have just taken will help in a small way to feed the orphaned and starving children of those anti-fascists who you and your kind have shot. We are people who have never and will never beg for what is ours. So long as we have the strength to do so we shall fight for the freedom of the Spanish working class. As for you, Garriga, although you are a murderer and a thief, we have spared you, because we as libertarians appreciate the value of human life,"

Sabaté outlived nearly all of the other active resistance fighters, only eventually succumbing to the bullets of the Civil Guard in 1960.

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Hilarius Gilges (Germany) was Black German anti-Nazi labour organiser, actor, and tap-dancer born in a working class household in Düsseldorf, Germany. In 1926 he joined the Young Communist League of Germany, and a few years later he founded a radical worker entertainment group called the Northwest Ran. Northwest Ran put on working class plays, music and other entertainment, as well as organizing anti-fascist protests. After a conflict with racists and police at a demonstration, Gilges was arrested and jailed for one year. Despite this, he continued his activism, and traveled through many towns and villages mobilizing opposition to Nazism. A plaza in Düsseldorf by his apartment was named after him in 2003.

radical Rebecca Gomperts (born in Suriname, Dutch Guiana) is a doctor and abortion rights activist, who has devoted her life to helping women safely terminate pregnancies in countries where doing so is illegal. Founder of Women on Web (the first telemedicine abortion service providing medical abortions globally to over 100,000 pregnant people in need), AidAccess (which helps women living in the USA), and Women on Waves, a floating abortion clinic that provided safe abortions offshore in international waters for countries where abortion is forbidden.

From abortion ships to abortion drones, and consistant campaigns Rebecca has led a distinguishing repertoire of action to the abortion movement and contributed to change across world. Gomberts is a beacon of hope, standing up for the principle that safe abortion is a human right.

“One of my strengths has been to make the impossible possible. When people say you can't do it I become determined to make it happen... I think there are two ways of being an activist; one is being reactive and the other is being proactive. The latter means that you design your own work and your own campaign. I think ideally activism should combine knowledge, public action and proactive projects. When you have these three elements together, then you have a form of activism that is very empowering.” - Rebecca Gomperts

radical Liu Xiaobo (China) was an activist, and outspoken critic of the Chinese government, known for his fearless commitment to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly in China. He was a bridge between intellectuals and grassroots activists. He is best remembered for organizing campaigns that aimed at ending the one-party rule in China. He was a co-author of Charter 08, a manifesto calling for political reforms in China, signed by more than 10,000, including prominent scholars, writers, and rights activists around the country. Liu Xiaobo helped negotiate safe passage for survivors of troops’ gunfire during the Tiananmen Square massacre, and saved the lives of many students. His long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China won him the Noble Prize in 2010.

“Freedom of expression is the foundation of human rights, the source of humanity and the mother of truth.” - Liu Xiaobo

radical Cynthia Maung (Burma) is a Burmese medical doctor and human rights advocate who created the Mae Tao Clinic along the Thailand-Burma border, which provides free healthcare to displaced people, migrant workers, orphans and jungle dwellers on the Thai-burmese border. The clinic was set up after Cynthia Maung was forced to flee her homeland in 1988 and recognized there was no system in place for healthcare and food relief. The clinic serves over 200,000 refugees and immigrants, 150 patients a day, and during the rainy season, the clinic workers venture into the jungle with baskets of medicine slung across their shoulders, looking for patients in need.

“we need to educate, and empower individuals to struggle for their human rights”

radical Eddie Koiki Mabo (Australia) was a torres Strait Islander activist in Australia, a free-thinker and passionate spirit, driven by his commitment to his people and his homeland. Mabo began the battle of his life in the form of a series of court cases against the Queensland Government known as the Mabo case,  a significant legal case in Australia that recognized the land rights of the Meriam people, traditional owners of the Murray Islands in the Torres Strait. The Mabo Case was successful in overturning the myth that at the time of colonization, Australia was ‘terra nullius’ or land belonging to no one. After a decade of passionate struggle, in 1992 the court case Mabo started had won, giving the land rightfully back to the indigenous Island people. This was a groundbreaking win for Indigenous communities across Australia, who could henceforth pursue claims of land ownership and compensation for lost land.

radical Abdullah Öcalan (Turkey) is a leader of the Kurdish freedom movement in Turkey, – a thinker, a philosopher, a freedom fighter, a civil rights activist, and also as a decolonial thinker who, during the last 20 years whilst imprisoned on Imrali island in Turkey, has developed a unique social and political theory of colonialism and radical democracy. Despite incarceration, he has forged a road map to peace that commits the Kurdish people to democracy and freedom and tolerance. Öcalan is central to the peace process needed to end Turkey’s war on the Kurdish people and one dedicated to find answers to the question of how to live meaningfully.

“You must believe before everything else that the revolution must come, that there is no other choice,” -Abdullah Öcalan

radical Omid Masoumali (Nauru) was a refugee held in detention on the Island country of Nauru, for more than three years as part of the Australian Government’s cruel offshore detention policy. Masoumali sacrificed his life, setting himself on fire during a UN monitoring visit in protest to the unbearable living conditions and forced stay of the detention center. His act resulted in an international human rights response, forcing the Australian government to respond, and effected a global awareness for refugee advocates and activist groups like Pledge for Refugees, to continue their path to end detention centers, release refugees, and resettle them peacefully.

“this place is a secret … if people knew about detention, detention wouldn’t be 500km away from a city. It would have been inside a city if people were supporting it. But people are not supporting it. It’s something that people don’t know about. Now we just need to make sure that they know.”

radical Hala Ahed Deeb (Jordan) is a practicing lawyer in Amman, Jordan, and a legal consultant for the Jordanian Women's Union, dedicated to the abolition of gender discrimination and the promotion of human rights. She defends prisoners of conscience, and worked to defend the Jordan Teacher’s Syndicate, one of Jordan’s largest labor unions. Hala also serves as the regional legal consultant on projects fighting the exploitation and abuse of migrant workers and the trafficking of women. She currently serves on a number of reform-minded legal committees, including the regional coalition to amend personal status law, the Expert Committee Drafting Election Law, and the Women’s Committee of the Jordanian Bar Association. Hala is developing a project to help fight discrimination and violence against women in the socio-cultural environment in Arab countries

“For women to be present and have free room, we need a civil state and equality for all citizens.”

radical Nataša Kandić (Serbia) is a Serbia-based human rights advocate who has documented abuses throughout the wars in Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo. She has crossed frontlines to document atrocities, provided legal aid to victims, and been a leading figure in establishing the truth of Serbian war Founder and director of the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC), an organization campaigning for human rights and reconciliation in the former Yugoslavia, focusing on the Serbian role in the conflict.

“If you want to establish a certain system of values where the rule of law is paramount, the law must be applied to those who broke it. The truth must come out.”

radical Emma Goldman (born Lithuania (1869–1940) stands as a major figure in the history of radicalism and feminism. An influential and well-known anarchist of her day, Goldman was an early advocate of free speech, birth control, women's equality and independence, and union organization. Her criticism of mandatory conscription of young men into the military during World War I led to a two-year imprisonment, followed by her deportation in 1919. For the rest of her life until her death in 1940, she continued to participate in the social and political movements of her age, from the Russian Revolution to the Spanish Civil War.

“When we can't dream any longer we die.” - Emma Goldman

radical Ute Bock (Austria) was a social worker, philanthropist, educator and the founder of ‘Refugee Project Ute Bock’ in Austria, Bock dedicated her life to supporting and empowering people who fled their home countries. She is known as ‘Mama Bock’ because of her unconditional and persistent efforts in helping refugees and asylum seekers. She established the Refugee Project Ute Bock in 2002, to provide accommodation and help refugees integrate in Vienna and give them fair starting conditions with shelter and education, providing legal advice, counseling services, and mailing addresses for more than a thousand refugees.

“Human is human, no matter where he or she comes from! And as human beings, we also have to treat the refugees.” Ute Bock

radical Karen Pruccoli (San Marino) is head of Union of San Marino Women, and an entrepreneur who spearheaded the drive to legalize abortion in San Marino, where abortion was criminalized by a law that hasn’t changed since 1865. After 18 years of lobbying for the legalization of abortion and being vetoed by conservative governments, they then pushed for a referendum, and with the help of Pruccoli's work, and all those working in the path of women’s rights, On Sept 2021, San Marino legalized abortion.

radical Jelka Glumičić (Croatia) was a human rights activist and founder of the Karlovac Human Rights Committee, Committee for Women's Rights, Helpline for Women and Children, and a sheltered housing project for the aged. Jelka Glumicic was one of the founders of the Democratic Union, a party that stood for anti-fascism, human rights, and gender equality. And in partnership with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), she founded a refugee support organization in 1997 that provided assistance to over 20,000 refugees. Her work included legal, humanitarian and psycho-social assistance to homeless internally displaced persons during the 1991-95 war and to returnees after the war.

“Peace for me is not just the absence of war. It is a state of consciousness, just as nonviolence is an ongoing learning process, a way of life. We create peace slowly, step by step. Peace is not the act of a lone individual. A person cannot make peace working alone. We build peace through joint efforts of a multitude, and that requires knowledge." - Jelka Glumičić

radical Roy Sesana (Botswana) is a leader of the Gana, Gwi and Bakgalagadi ‘Bushmen’ and a traditional medinine man, He is one of the founders of First People of the Kalahari (FPK), set up in 1991 to campaign for the Bushmen’s human rights, and especially their land rights. Sesana was one of the most outspoken defenders of Bushman rights in Botswana. In Botwana's longest-running trial, the Bushmen took the Botswana government to court in a case that soon became symbolic of the struggle of indigenous people everywhere. after a four year long and extremely expensive trial, Botswana's High Court ruled in favour of the Bushmen. The judges found that the government had illegally tried to evict them from their ancestral lands in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.

“We are the ancestors of our grandchildren's children. We look after them, just as our ancestors look after us. We aren't here for ourselves. We are here for each other and for the children of our grandchildren.” - Roy Sesana

radical Wangarĩ Muta Maathai (Kenya) was an environmental and political activist. She founded the Green Belt Movement, an organization for planting trees, in Kenya. Since 1977, The Green Belt movement has worked with communities to plant more than 51 million trees in Kenya. Also the Movement played a critical role in Kenya's fight for a multi-party democracy. In the 1980s, it carried out pro-democracy activities such as registering voters and pressing for constitutional reform and freedom of expression.

"It's the little things citizens do. That's what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees." - Wangarĩ Maathai

radical Aminetou Mint El-Moctar (Mauritania) is a women’s rights activist, and abolitionist, focused on child marriage and ending slavery. She is President of l'Association des Femmes Chefs de Famille (AFCF), the Association of Women Heads of Family. AFCF works to promote and defend the rights of women and children, support women in precarious situations, create a network of associations working to improve living conditions of women heads of household and their children, and contribute to the emergence of an active solidarity amongst women of different social classes.

“We need to raise taboo issues in order to break them, to make people aware of their rights and duties, and, above all, to denounce all inhuman, degrading, and discriminatory practices towards people, especially women and children.” - Animetou Mint El-Moctar

radical Khadija Ismayilova (Azerbaijan) is an outstanding investigative journalist. At great personal risk, she has revealed corruption at the highest level in Azerbaijan, involving leading European politicians and multinational companies. Despite harassment and intimidation, she continues to be a voice for government accountability and the protection of human rights in Azerbaijan.

"When you come up against problems, it’s better to think not about the problems themselves, but rather on how you will solve them, or how you will get around them, or how you will endure them." - Khadija Ismayilova

radical María Verónica Reina (Argentina) was recognized globally for her extraordinary leadership in the disability community. Reina served as President of the Center for International Rehabilitation (CIR). In this capacity, she oversaw the CIR’s programs including Research, E-Learning and the International Disability Rights Monitor Project, a landmark international initiative that documents and assesses the situation of people with disabilities worldwide. She is a psycho-pedagogue, a specialist in learning disabilities, and a renowned international disability rights advocate, for justice and dignity of people across the world.

radical Zoella Zayce (Brunei) is a trans woman from Brunei who fled to Canada because of the new Islamic laws that punish homosexuality with the death penalty, including stoning to death. Zoella's journey was a deliberate act of survival and self-determination. The international community responded to the law with boycotts, and global condemnation, which eventually caused the sultan to back down on the laws and remove the death penalty as the punishment.

"I'd rather die being true to myself than resenting a long life. " - Zoella Zayce

radical Raúl Sendic, (Uruguay) was a Marxist lawyer and activist who had sought to bring about social change by unionizing sugarcane workers. Sendic both saw and experienced the abuse by agricultural employers in areas where there seemed to be no awareness of democracy. In the late 1950s Sendic started a campaign to create social awareness of the cane workers' situation in Montevideo. Four hundred workers marched to Montevideo with the motto "For the land and with Sendic" Afterwards, Sendic sought more direct action, and along with a handful of sugarcane workers, they attacked and burned the Uruguayan Union Confederation building in Montevideo. From this, the radical group the Tupamaros was formed, a left-wing urban guerrilla group that began by staging the robbing of banks, gun clubs and other businesses in the early 1960s, then distributing stolen food and money among the poor in Montevideo. The Tupamaros continued their fight of improving social justice in Uruguay, the Tupamaros got a huge boost when 111 political prisoners, most of them Tupamaros, escaped from Punta Carretas prison through a tunnel they dug up that led to the living room of a nearby house. One of the prisoners who escaped was Sendic himself. In the mid-1980s, democracy returned to Uruguay and the Tupamaro movement went legitimate, the Tupamaros were given amnesty, and the freed Tupamaros decided to lay down their weapons and join the political process. They formed the Movimiento de Participación Popular, or the Popular Participation Movement, currently one of the most important parties in Uruguay.

radical Augusto César Sandino was a Nicaraguan revolutionary and leader of a rebellion between 1927 and 1933 against the United States occupation of Nicaragua. His efforts made him a hero throughout much of Latin America, where he became a symbol of resistance to American imperialism. Sandino's political legacy was claimed by the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), which finally overthrew the Somoza government in 1979. Sandino is revered in Nicaragua and in 2010 its congress unanimously named him a "national hero." His political descendants, the icons of his wide-brimmed hat and boots, and his writings from the years of warfare against the the U.S. continue to shape Nicaragua's national identity.

“We will go to the sun of freedom or to the death; if we die, our cause will continue living.”- Augusto César Sandino

radical Arn Chorn-Pond (Cambodia) is a musician, human rights activist, survivor of the Cambodian genocide, and a peace advocate. He was born in Battambang province in Western Cambodia in the 1960s, and grew up in a family of artists. During the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s, free expression through music and arts was banned in Cambodia. 90% of the country’s artists were killed during the years of the regime, and overall around 2 million people died. During this time, Arn escaped into the jungle where he survived for months by himself, following monkeys, eating whatever they ate, fished with his hands and ate fruits. Arn became the first Cambodian child soldier to speak publicly about the atrocity that occurred during the genocide. Arn co-founded Children of War, an organization that helps young children experiencing trauma from the byproducts of war. And also cofounded Peace-Makers, a gang intervention program for southeast asian youths.

Arn believes in the vital power of music and the arts to heal and to transform; in terms of individual people, communities, and whole countries. He has dedicated his adult life to this cause, founding the organization Cambodian Living Arts in 1998. Originally, Cambodian Living Arts worked to revive the country’s endangered traditional art forms and pass them on to the next generation. Twenty years later, they offer scholarships, fellowships, grants, exchanges and more - acting as a catalyst for creativity and innovation, and helping artists today to write the stories of Cambodia’s future, including work such as the Khmer Magic School Bus, a program that brings musical performances and demonstrations to villages and communities around Cambodia that otherwise lack access to performing arts.

radical Lucy Banda-Sichone (Zambia) was a fierce advocate for social justice, human rights and institutional reform, who played a pivotal role in representing the Zambian people who had their rights violated by the State. As a lawyer, Lucy took on high-profile cases, defending citizens charged with treason and espionage. Speaking truth to power put her life at risk, as she declared that ‘the freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights make it a sacred duty for me to defend them to the death’. Lucy challenged repressive legislation such as the Public Order Act, which required groups to get permission from the police for public meetings and often used to clamp down on political dissent. The Supreme Court, in January 1996, struck down the public order act as unconstitutional.

Lucy became the most notable and influential voice in Zambian public life, finding expression in a weekly column –Lucy Sichone on Monday– published inThe Post, the most widely read independent newspaper. Between 1993 and 1998, Lucy tackled wide-ranging issues affecting the country, including government excesses, corruption, state brutality, injustice and abuse of power. A thorn in the side of the ruling authorities, her writing inspired Zambians to take a critical stance on the country’s leadership.

Lucy was also a strategist and visionary. She institutionalised the promotion of civic awareness by establishing the Zambia Civic Education Association (ZCEA). The aim of the association was to spread the gospel of human and democratic rights and to remind Zambians that it was not enough to have democracy on paper, but it had to be practiced. The association formed many civic education clubs within secondary schools around the country – her idea was to capture the imagination of the young whilst they could still dream. The association continues to teach citizens rights and civic education to this day.

radical Motarilavoa Hilda Lin̄i (Vanuatu) is a chief of the Turaga nation of Pentecost Island in Vanuatu in the South Pacific, who has been associated with the nuclear-free Pacific movement, women's rights, indigenous rights, and environmental issues, and who helped her nation win its independence in 1980. Following Vanuatu's 1980 independence, she became one of the first two women elected to Parliament. During the early 1990s, as Minister of Health, she was instrumental in persuading the World Health Organization to bring the question of the legality of nuclear weapons to the International Court of Justice, and continues to be a strong advocate for peace and nuclear disarmament. In 1996 she co-founded the Tuvanuatu Komiuniti, a network of indigenous leaders throughout Vanuatu communities who wish to preserve Vanuatu’s indigenous system of peaceful co-existence, based on collective ownership, shared responsibility, and community accountability.

“Indigenous Peoples, have always believed that peace is central to human security and all life forms that exist in a community, a nation, Mother Earth and the universe”- Motarilavoa Hilda Lin̄i

radical Alberto Pizango (Peru) is a Shawi indigenous person, and worked many years as a bilingual teacher in various indigenous communities. Later he became the president of the Asociación Interétnica de Desarrollo de la Selva (AIDESEP), the largest indigenous organization in Peru, representing around 350,000 Indigenous people. In August 2008 Pizango supported tribal groups who resisted the exploitation of a gas field on their territory in northern Peru by the Argentine company Pluspetrol, and stated: “Indigenous people are defending themselves against government aggression.” After the protest and unrests, Alberto Pizango and AIDESEP succeeded in persuading the government to withdraw two laws that were created to open up the indigenous areas to oil companies. Pizango celebrated their victory as "A new dawn for the country’s indigenous peoples."

“Indigenous peoples not only struggle for our own rights, but also for the defense of the life of all humanity and the protection of the Planet Earth”

radical Mamadou Ba (Portugal) is a Portuguese citizen, born in Senegal, and one of the most prominent voices of the anti-racist movement in Portugal who has denounced the proliferation of hate speech in the public and political spheres. Self identifies as “a decolonial-anti-racist by condition and conviction” and despite being a constant target of attacks by the far right, he has dedicated himself to persistant anti-racist activism. And is a founding member of several organizations defending the human rights of migrants and racialized people of national and European scope.

“Ultimately, the goal of the struggle is happiness, not as a universal idea, but in a way that people can be happy how they want to be. And when they are happy it is because they are not oppressed by anything within the system.” - Mamadou Ba

radical Polikalepo Kefu (Tonga) was a LGBTQ activist, Former president of Tonga Leitis Association, an organisation dedicated to the country’s LGBTQ+ communities, providing support services, advocacy, and education on HIV-Aids. Kefu was known to many as a selfless humanitarian and a tireless advocate for the rights of those with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions. The polynesian Archipeligo islands have a rich queer history including the celebration of transgender people of the “fakaleiti.” The Polikalepo Kefu’s work and legacy will be continued and throughout LGBTQI community of Tonga and the greater world.

radical Ndiilokelwa Nthengwe (Namibia) is an intersectional gender justice activist involved in advocacy and communications for several organisations, including Equal Namibia. a coalition committed to realizing the constitutional promise of equality, to its fullest extent, for LGBQT+ people. Also a Co-founder, Voices for Choices a leading coalition of reproductive justice organisations, activists, and individuals in Namibia. It was established to stand in solidarity and to support the reproductive justice movement in Namibia as well as the protection and prioritisation of women’s health, women’s rights and gender diverse persons’ reproductive status in Namibia.

"Being at the forefront is not about leading people, it’s about giving them the authority to become a part of the movement. It’s about showing up. What propels me to be at the forefront is that I know myself. I know my leadership qualities. When you say you’re going to do something, you must do it. You must be accountable to yourself.” - Ndiilokelwa Nthengwe

radical Tsetsgeegiin Mönkhbayar (Mongolia) is a herdsmen and environmental activist, who successfully shut down destructive gold-mining operations along Mongolia’s scarce waterways. Mönkhbayar heads the Onggi River Movement (ORM), a grassroots organization that protects and restores the Onggi River, and inspiring people to get together and protect their rights. His work has led to the formation of the Mongolian Nature Protection Coalition, which brought together 11 Mongolian river movements and has had significant impact on the awareness of this issue both at the grassroots and legislative levels. Devoting his time, Mönkhbayar convinced the Mongolian Government to pass and enforce more restrictive laws in 2006, including the Law on Minerals, which regulates mining and protect precious waterways. In addition, 35 of the 37 mining operations working in the Onggi River Basin have ceased destructive operations. Erel Mining Company—the most egregious violator—has been shut down and And citizen over-sites have been developed to ensure future sustainable construction methods. The Onggi River is flowing higher and farther than it has at any other time in years.

“Gold can bring eternal happiness, and tragedy without end. . . When I realized that our water was becoming contaminated and our river was dying, this experience prompted me to act . . . Clean water and air are life itself for Mongolians." - Tsetsgeegiin Mönkhbayar

radical Martín Almada (Paraguay) is lawyer and rural teacher dedicated to human rights protection and democracy building. When the military regime was overthrown in 1989, Martín Almada became a leader in the human rights movement in Paraguay and the efforts to create a democratic government. He later found the so-called “Terror Files”, three tons of military documentation on the Condor Plan. The ‘Archives of Terror’ are the most important collection of documents ever recovered about state terror in the whole continent. Days after the finding, Almada convened a national commission to protect the Archive.

Where the government once operated a detention and torture centre, Almada and his team founded the “Museum of Memory”, a key institution in the teaching of Paraguay’s recent history. He founded the Celestina Pérez de Almada Foundation in memory of his dead wife, aiming to struggle against poverty and protect the environment. Martin Almada is celebrated for his outstanding courage in bringing torturers to justice, and promoting democracy, human rights and sustainable development."

"Impunity generates more repression and more corruption. Thus we must fight for justice, because life lies on the road to justice. " -Martín Almada

radical Irene Fernandez (Malaysia) was a Malaysian campaigner for the rights of the poorest: migrant workers, farmworkers, domestic workers, prostitutes and people with HIV/AIDS. Despite harassment and intimidation, Fernandez courageously refused to limit her work or blunt her message, even when a prison sentence hung over her head.

After working on a variety of issues ranging from workers’ rights to the protection of women from violence, Fernandez founded Tenaganita, an organisation in Kuala Lumpur, in 1991. It campaigns for the rights of foreign workers, who are often lured into the country through a deliberate policy of the Malaysian government. These workers have played a critical role in the country’s recent economic success, however, many later find themselves suffering the most appalling abuses and are detained in camps as undesirables.

Tenaganita works to document these problems, while also running a halfway house for prostitutes with HIV/AIDS and a number of other programmes relating to migrant and poor workers’ health, education and human rights.

“When I see the migrant workers broken bodies and eyes without hope, I want to embrace and wipe away their fears. It makes me angry and helps me to keep fighting the oppressive system.” — Irene Fernandez

radical Nisha Ayub (Malaysia) has dedicated her life to fighting for the rights of transgender people in her country, demanding an end to discriminatory laws and setting up organizations that work with marginalized groups.

Apart from spearheading activism on transgender issues in Malaysia, Nisha also set up two important NGOs – SEED Foundation, and Justice for Sisters. The two organizations work towards repealing Malaysia’s discriminatory laws against transgender people and provide support services to transgender people, sex workers and people living with HIV.

Justice for Sisters won a major legal battle in 2014 when the Court of Appeal upheld their challenge of a Sharia law targeting transgender people. The Court of Appeal struck down the law, observing that it contravened constitutional provisions that guarantee personal liberty, equality, freedom of movement, and freedom of expression. This was seen as a watershed moment for transgender rights in Malaysia.

"You can cut my hair. You can strip me naked. And you can take my dignity away from me. You can even kill me. But you cannot take away my identity as a transgender person." - Nisha Ayub, describing her three months in prison for being transgender

radical Ales Bialiatski (Belarus) is a human rights activist, leading an almost 30-year campaign for democracy and freedom. In 1996, he founded the Minsk-based Human Rights Center “Viasna” to provide support for political prisoners. It has since become the country’s leading non-governmental organisation contributing to the development of the civil society in Belarus through documenting human rights abuses and monitoring elections.

During pro-democracy protests, including the recent large-scale demonstrations in the aftermath of the fraudulent 2020 presidential elections, Viasna has been playing a leading role in advocating for the freedom of assembly, defending the rights of people arrested for protesting and documenting human rights abuses.

radical Natalia Kaliada (Belarus) is the co-founder and artistic director of Belarus Free Theatre, an underground theatre group formed in response to the severe censorship and repression of Alexander Lukashenko’s regime, the last dictatorship in Europe. Since its founding in 2005, Belarus Free Theatre has performed provocative plays (often held secretly) that focus on the consequences of state repression and its accompanying culture of fear. The group has repeatedly endured harassment from Belarusian authorities, police raids, beatings, and Kaliada, forced into exile, has sought political asylum in the U.K. Kaliada continues to fight against the dictatorship in Belarus and works tirelessly to bring abuses in Belarus to the international community’s attention. radical Jacqueline Moudeina (Chad) is a lawyer who brought former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré to justice and ensured accountability for the crimes committed. She has also been engaged on a wide range of human rights issues concerning Chad today. With her commitment to justice as a prerequisite for reconciliation and her dedication to intervene from the grassroots level up to international jurisdiction, she has made a crucial contribution to promoting respect for human rights in Africa.

“The rights of human beings continue to be violated because the perpetrators of the most atrocious acts enjoy total impunity” - Jacqueline Moudeina

radical Thomas Sankara (Burkina Faso) was a captain, Marxist revolutionary, pan-Africanist theorist, and President of Burkina Faso from 1983 to 1987. Viewed by supporters as a charismatic and iconic figure of revolution, Sankara seized power in a 1983 popularly supported coup at the age of 33, with the goal of eliminating corruption and the dominance of the former French colonial power.

He immediately launched one of the most ambitious programs for social and economic change ever attempted on the African continent. During his leadership, he intiated the vaccination of 2.5 million children against meningitis, yellow fever and measles in a matter of weeks. He initiated a nation-wide literacy campaign, increasing the literacy rate from 13% in 1983 to 73% in 1987. He planted over 10 million trees to prevent desertification He appointed females to high governmental positions, encouraged them to work, recruited them into the military, and granted pregnancy leave during education. He outlawed female genital mutilation, forced marriages and polygamy in support of Women’s rights. He sold off the government fleet of Mercedes cars and made the Renault 5 (the cheapest car sold in Burkina Faso at that time) the official service car of the ministers. He reduced the salaries of all public servants, including his own, and forbade the use of government chauffeurs and 1st class airline tickets. He redistributed land from the feudal landlords and gave it directly to the peasants. Wheat production rose in three years from 1700 kg per hectare to 3800 kg per hectare, making the country food self-sufficient. In Ouagadougou, Sankara converted the army’s provisioning store into a state-owned supermarket open to everyone (the first supermarket in the country). As President, he lowered his salary to $450 a month and limited his possessions to a car, four bikes, three guitars, a fridge and a broken freezer. When asked why he didn’t want his portrait hung in public places, as was the norm for other African leaders, Sankara replied “There are seven million Thomas Sankaras.” An accomplished guitarist, he wrote the new national anthem himself.

“We have to work at decolonizing our mentality and achieving happiness within the limits of sacrifice we should be willing to make. We have to recondition our people to accept themselves as they are, to not be ashamed of their real situation, to be satisfied with it, to glory in it, even” - Thomas Sankara

radical Nasrin Sotoudeh (Iran) is a fearless human rights defender and lawyer advocating for the rule of law and the rights of political prisoners, opposition activists, women and children in the face of Iran’s repressive regime. She stood up against Iran’s repressive regime, providing legal representation to those persecuted by authorities. Sotoudeh has also been fighting against the death penalty, particularly in the case of children sentenced to death, which contravenes international human rights law. She has organised out-of-court activities to save death row adolescents, several of which were successful. Sotoudeh's insistence on the rule of law and unrelenting fight against oppression have made her a symbol of the struggle for justice in Iran.

radical Tutu Alicante (Equatorial Guinea) is a human rights lawyer, and expert on authoritarianism, resource revenue transparency, and global kleptocracy. Alicante works daily to promote freedom of information, dignity, and transparency.

Tutu is the founder and executive director of EG Justice, an organization that focuses on human rights, anti-corruption, and rule of law initiatives in Equatorial Guinea, home to one of the world’s longest-ruling dictatorships. EG Justice often works with young, creative activists who use social media, theatre, comedy, hip hop, and other avenues to push back against one of the most oppressive dictatorships in the world.

Tutu is a co-founder the pro- democracy and anti-corruption platforms Equatorial Guinea is Ours and Open Central Africa. He was an expert witness in 2019 in the groundbreaking case that convicted the Equatoguinean Vice President of embezzling and laundering public funds, which then confiscated all his ill-gotten assets and returned them to the public from whom they were stolen, for the benefit of Equatoguineans. Tutu now lives in self- imposed exile in the United States, continuing his courageous, outspoken advocacy for Equatoguinean justice

“Find what truly motivates you, commit to fighting to right what you see as an untenable injustice and volunteer or work for organizations that focus on that issue. Never give up.” - Tutu Alicante

radical Winefreda Geonzon (Philippines) (1941-1990) was a lawyer who confronted the many injustices and abuses of the legal system during the Marcos regime’s military rule. People, including young children, were jailed without charge or trial; often they were imprisoned beyond their term, tortured and brutalised, or simply forgotten. In response, Geonzon set up the Free Legal Assistance Volunteers Association (FREELAVA), a legal aid office for victims of human rights violations, prisoners who could not afford lawyers and people whose cases had implications for social justice.

By the end of the 1980s, almost 30 groups were involved in FREELAVA’s work, carrying out a triangular programme of crime prevention, free legal assistance and rehabilitation.

" In our work we see the beauty of reconciliation rather than direct confrontation " - Winefreda Geonzon

radical Nadia Murad grew up in the village of Kojo in northern Iraq. She is a member of the Yazidi minority. The Yazidi religion is a mixture of Islam, Christianity and ancient Iranian religions.

In 2014, militants from the Islamic State (IS) conquered Kojo and massacred several hundred men and elderly women. The IS claimed that the Yazidi were devil worshippers who had to be exterminated. Twenty-one-year-old Nadia Murad and other young women were abducted and held as sex slaves and threatened execution unless she converted to the IS version of Islam. After some months, Nadia Murad managed to escape, fled across borders and in 2015 arrived in Germany, where she chose to tell the international community what she had suffered. Hoping that her voice would result in her abusers being brought to justice for their crimes. Murad then founded Nadia's Initiative, an organization dedicated to "helping women and children victimized by genocides, mass atrocities, and human trafficking to heal and rebuild their lives and communities". and to persuade governments and international organizations to support the sustainable re-development of the Yazidi homeland, as well as survivors of sexual violence globally. Nadia was also a driving force behind the drafting and passing of UN Security Council Resolution 2379, which established the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD).

“I want to be the last girl in the world with a story like mine”

radical Loujain AlHathloul (Saudi Arabia) is a women's rights activist, who became one of the leaders in the Saudi Women’s Rights movement, reshaping the process of mass collective consciousness-raising and developing a fully articulated understanding of women’s varying social positions. She was a main voice in the movements “Together We Stand to End Male Guardianship of Women” and “Women Demand the Overthrow of Guardianship” raising awareness online and sharing information. She conducted a “driving campaign” where she and other advocates took pictures of themselves driving in the streets of Saudi Arabia in defiance of the driving ban. As part of a working group, she established a shelter for women escaping domestic violence that not only provided a place to go but helped them integrate back into society.

"We have to all realise that criticising some phenomena in our home country does not equate to hating it, wishing evil upon it nor is it an attempt to shake its balance, it's the total opposite. I remain very optimistic about a bright future for my country and its citizens." - Loujain AlHathloul

radical Memory Banda (Malawi) is a children's rights activist who has drawn international attention for her work in opposition to child marriage. Memory championed a succesful national campaign that culminated in landmark legislation that outlawed child marriage. Memory works with girl leaders to ensure that village chiefs ban child marriage, end sexual initiation practices, enable girls to finish school and live safe from violence in a country where more than half of girls are married as children.

“For me, it’s the connection and combination of little ideas from people all over the world, bringing those little ideas into something collective and then, once we have put it as a collective effort, then it’s gonna turn it into something bigger than us." - Memory Banda

radical Argelia Laya (Venezula) is regarded as one of the most important leaders in Venezuela. She was an Afro-Latina political activist, teacher, guerrilla soldier, communist militant and prominent politician, who fought tirelessly for women’s rights and fought to eradicate gender, ethnic, and able-bodied discrimination in her country. Born in a cocoa hacienda in Rio Chico, Laya’s mother instilled activism from a young age and encouraged her to protect her rights as a woman and person of African descent. Laya advocated for educational equality, inclusivity for girls who became pregnant while in school, and the right to a safe pregnancy. Laya was one of the first Venezuelan women to openly speak of a woman’s right to have children outside of wedlock or obtain an abortion. Despite peaceful protest and non-violent ethos, Laya faced repeated physical assaults for her efforts. During the 1960’s, Laya became a member of the communist guerrilla movement FALN where she traversed mountainsides under the name of Comandanta Jacinta. Before her death, she served as the president of MAS, Venezuela’s social-democratic political party.

radical Ján Benčík (Slovakia) (born 29 July 1948 in Bratislava) is a Slovak civic activist, blogger and member of the National Council of the Slovak Republic. his writing has had a real impact in contributing to overall change and has made a significant contribution to a more open and tolerant society. Since 2012, Benčík has been monitoring and uncovering Slovak extremists, neo-Nazis, conspirators, as well as mercenaries fighting in the conflict in eastern Ukraine on the side of pro-Russian separatists. He has written extensive public writings on this subject. His work has continuously encouraged the collective need to connect together across generations and stand against hate.

“I spent forty-one years of my life in a disgusting totalitarian regime. I have no appetite for those who are trying to impose further totalitarianism” - Ján Benčík radical Juliana Dogbadzi (Ghana) is a human rights activist who fights against the Trokosi, a slave-like practice that still exists today in the West African countries of Ghana, Togo and Benin. Juliana Dogbadzi was held for 17 years in a temple complex in Ghana that practiced Trkosi, and was physically, mentally and sexually abused until she escaped at the age of 23. Today she lives with her husband and three children. She only learned to read and write as an adult.The name Trokosi is derived from tro (deity or fetish) and kosi (slave). Girls between the ages of five and ten are given to priests to ward off the misfortune and anger of the gods from the family. These girls, called trokosi, have to serve the priest, work hard and are sexually exploited. Although the Trokosi practice has been officially banned in Ghana since 1998, it is estimated that there are still about 5,000 girls affected in rural areas. The slave-like attitude of young girls is deeply rooted in the identity and culture of the Ewe population of Ghana. Together with the organisation ‘International Needs Ghana’, Juliana Dogbadzi speaks to priests and those affected and encourages them to abandon the Trokosi practice. Since 1998 Juliana has been able to contribute to the liberation of around 1,000 Trokosi from 15 different temple complexes.

“I had to find a way to free myself and free the other women” - Juliana Dogbadzi

radical Yoslyn Sigrah (Federated States of Micronesia) is a women’s rights activist and lawyer. Yoslyn Sigrah has dedicated her life’s work to the recognition of women’s and children’s rights in the Federated States of Micronesia.

A longtime advocate for gender issues in Micronesia, Yoslyn has taken on violence against women and girls. She was instrumental in the passing of the Family Protection Act in Kosrae in 2014, a law that criminalizes domestic violence.

Speaking at the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in Geneva, she raised the plight of Micronesian women.

“Domestic violence is about violence; whether the violence is within the home or outside the home, any violence is wrong.” -Yoslyn Sigrah

radical Svetlana Gannushkina (Russia – west ) is one of the most accomplished leaders of the human rights movement in Russia today. Through the organisation that she founded and heads – the Civic Assistance Committee – she has provided free legal support, humanitarian aid and education to over 50,000 migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons since 1990.

Gannushkina’s personal courage and successful advocacy in the Russian courts and the European Court of Human Rights has prevented the forced repatriation of migrants from Russia to Central Asian countries where they would have almost certainly been subject to imprisonment and torture. As a member of the Russian Presidential Human Rights Council from 2002-2012, Gannushkina successfully advocated for the law on refugees to be amended, allowing over two million persons to be granted Russian citizenship.

Passionate about the transformative power of education, Gannushkina has brought repeated challenges to the Russian Supreme Court to grant all children in Russia, including migrants and refugees, the right to attend public schools. She has been outspoken in drawing public attention to human rights violations in the conflict regions, notably the Caucasus.

"The world is diverse, and that this is what makes it beautiful. "

radical Alexei Navalny (Russia) is the leader of Russian opposition, lawyer, and the founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation which exposes and fights corruption in the Russian government.

He became known for his anti-corruption investigations against state corporations and senior officials. He ran for office to advocate reforms against corruption in Russia, and against president Vladimir Putin. Over the years he has led nationwide protests against the authorities

“I've been reading this little book. It's called the Russian constitution. And it says that the only source of power in Russia is the people.” - Alexei Navalny

radical Pavel Sulyandziga (Russia - East) is of the Udege people, born in Primorsky Kray, the easternmost region of what is now the Russian Federation; his home region is the Bikin River valley. Over the years, he has remained one of the most outspoken indigenous rights activists in the Russian Federation. During the late 1980s, Sulyandziga successfully mobilized his village of Krasny Yar and defeated the administration's plans to harvest timber from a Soviet-Korean joint venture led by Hyundai. Also Sulyanziga and the Udege people made possible a law that protected their territory and made it a national park. So everything the government wants to do in their territory has to be done in consultation with the Udege. He is now the president of the International Indigenous Fund for Development and Solidarity (“Batani”) based in Maine, USA, where he received political asylum.

“The rights of my people and protecting the environment of my native lands have been significant to everything I’ve done.” - Pavel Sulyandziga

radical Anuradha Koirala ( Nepal ) is a social activist of who has been actively involved in saving trafficked girls, and has liberated over 12,000 girls from brothels. Anuradha Koirala is often called “Dijju ” which means sister as she founded a social organization named “Maiti Ghar ”. The organisation has been conducting a wide range of social services such as rescuing trafficked girls, apprehending traffickers, organizing social awareness program, women empowerment, training, and providing antiretroviral therapy to those affected by HIV. Due to her continues struggle, Nepal has recognized anti trafficking day, which falls on 5 September.

"Just imagine what would happen if your daughter was standing there. What would you do, how would you fight? So you have to join hands, you have to take each child as your daughter. Soon you will feel their sorrow and then you will feel the strength that comes out of you to protect them.” - Anuradha Koirala

radical Aloysius Toe (Liberia) During the civil war in 1989, Toe led the Movement for the Defense of Human Rights. He started over 100 human rights clubs, called attention to human rights abuses and promoted human rights education in Liberian schools. He also organized a network of 245 volunteers in rural communities to monitor and report human rights abuses. In 2001, he led non-violent protests against the politically-motivated murders of Liberian activists.

Aloysius Toe has been jailed twice. The first time was after he spoke out against atrocities committed by Taylor's son. After he was released, Toe went into hiding. However, soon after, soldiers raided his house and kidnapped his wife at gunpoint, leaving his small children alone in the house. Toe chose to turn himself in to protect his family. He was in jail for eight months before Taylor's regime collapsed and he was freed.

Despite the dangers he has faced, Toe has remained focused on his goals. Toe now directs an organization called the Foundation for Human Rights and Democracy (FOHRD). While most Liberian human rights organizations focus on civil liberties and freedoms, FOHRD focuses on social and economic rights. Some of their current projects are researching poverty and labor rights in Liberia. They also monitor corruption in Liberia's government by publishing "corruption journals" that expose corrupt politicians, and practicing street theater, where members of FOHRD act out the consequences of corruption on crowded sidewalks. Finally, FOHRD is involved in peacebuilding projects in rural areas.

Liberia's problems are complex and the country is a long way from establishing a stable peace. Lack of infrastructure, a large refugee population and extreme poverty could easily spark another violent conflict. However, despite these challenges, Toe remains focused and committed to his work.

"I came into this not for personal gains, but out of the conviction that it is a chosen mission, and that through my and others' efforts, tens of thousands of hopeless people can regain hope in life." Aloysius Toe

radical Tania Bruguera (Cuba). Despite having been arrested, detained, incarcerated, and interrogated countless times due to the radical and defiant nature of her work, Cuban artist Tania Bruguera continues to create challenging performative works, as well as arts education and community outreach programs that aim to teach others that, as she asserts, "artists have the right to be respected and protected when they dissent." She is a courageous galvanizer of contemporary political art, who combined new frameworks for participatory art with a hard-hitting activist approach making art that can at times be controversial but is always poignant, challenging, and historically informed. bringing in real-world context, even conflicts, into art spaces. Bruguera's aim in her work is to have "lived realities" confront the viewer and for familiar news images to "become real life experiences" for those who may not have had first-hand experiences of some situations - such as being corralled by riot control police.

When she got arrested by Cuban authorities before the start of a planned performance, the international art world banded together to condemn the arrest and demand her release. The media coverage in this particular case - as well as the conversations and controversies that her other works engendered - can also be considered part of the work, which Bruguera used to her advantage as a political artist.

Bruguera stands as an example of artistic integrity and the fight for freedom of expression, becoming a model for many younger artists in Cuba and the rest of the world. She is also heavily invested in education and pedagogy, which first started from her teaching art students but eventually expanded into artworks that function as social programs for marginalized communities - what she calls Useful Art.

In all of her work, there is a reckoning with the complex history of her national identity and the political conditions in Cuba, of the sites where she performs, and of the legacies of colonialism and slavery in the contemporary world.

“I think that power must be spoken to without fear, even with a certain arrogance.