“If there is no judicial independence, everyone is put in jeopardy; if there is no free speech, every single life has lived in vain.” ~ Ai Weiwei
When I read this, I couldn’t help but hear echoes from other people who spoke up. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was the first that came to mind. That Lutheran minister and pacifist who spoke up against the Nazi regime. He spent much of the Second World War imprisoned in Germany, administering to his fellow prisoners and dissidents. Ultimately, he lost his life within weeks of the Allied forces liberating the prison where he was.
And then I heard the voice of another Lutheran pastor, Martin Niemöller, who became a pacifist and an opponent of the Nazis. His famous poem about not speaking up when they came for others (Socialists, Trade Unionists, Jews) reverberated in my mind.