"First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me."
In 2006, with Martin Niemoller's poem in mind, I raised this question at the time we were drawing attention to Death Camps for Children in Ukraine:
"When finally, the truth is out, I ask them to return here and answer me - Why did you do and say nothing? "
In the dialogue, you will also find a link to the article on the BBC Community Action Network which no longer exists. The internet archive does however, revealing that this story was removed for violating the network's terms.
As the archive page illustrates, International Affairs and Development Aid are valid discussion categories
The closure of the Action Network and what will follow it, is the subject of this blog from David Wilcox who said:
"This may be yet another example of how centralised initiatives to support campaigning and democracy will have to adapt to the new publishing and campaign power of individuals on the Net, and in social networks."
Perhaps the first question to ask, something the BBC would not respond to at the time, is how? Why did the BBC censor a human rights activist?
Another part of the story was the abortion of healthy foetuses for the stem cell trade which came to light later that year when BBC News reported on Hospital no 6 in Kharkiv where we networked locally with Maidan civic activists who'd published our 'Death Camps' story. It was they who would pay tribute to Terry Hallman's efforts on his death and reveal a letter to US Government which refers to the stem cell issue.
It was a story that many did not want to hear and some wanted nobody to hear. Yet 6 years later the BBC would broadcast a 90 minute documentary on' Ukraine's Forgotten Children'. It would claim nobody had spoken out on the issue, yet featured the Kalinovka orphanage of which one Albert Pavlov had said "It's not possible to keep silent" sending ripples through Ukraine's media.
Community activism it seems, the focus of the original BBC Community Action Network, has been displaced by the video production industry, who create profit from publicising a social problem while airbrushing activism out of the picture. It was just one part of the problem of leveraging support:
The day we become silent about things that matter.