Atheists postpone protests after Bangladeshi disaster


Several atheist protests planned for Thursday (April 25) outside Bangladeshi embassies and consulates were postponed in the wake of Wednesday’s building collapse that killed at least 244 people in that country’s capital, Dhaka.

A coalition of secularist advocacy groups originally planned to rally in London and several cities in the U.S. and Canada over the arrests of four atheist bloggers who were charged with blasphemy in the officially Muslim nation.

Some of the protests were postponed until May 2 after Bangladesh declared Thursday a day of mourning for the victims of Wednesday’s collapse.

Thursday’s rallies in Washington D.C., New York and Columbia, Mo. were scheduled to go on as planned, but rallies in London, Ottawa, Calgary, Toronto and Dhaka were pushed back until May 2.

The U.S. groups — led by American Atheists and the Secular Coalition for America — decided to continue with protests as originally planned, while the International Humanist and Ethical Union, the U.S. and Canadian branches of the Center for Inquiry, and the British Humanist Association decided to postpone.

Written By: Kimberly Winston
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  1. “Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work.[1] “

    Not comfortable with mis-use of words; the people do the work voluntarily and compete for it; they’d be outraged if their livelihoods were taken. See it from their perspective. Corruption is the guilty party here.

    God/Jebus- is this a trick question? :-)

  2. Nodhimmi – they do the work voluntarily? Volunteering is where you do something that you don’t have to. Work is not an option – they work or they starve (or beg). They have no choice and are thus open to exploitation – that’s the source of the corruption that you state as the guilty party.- where did you think the corruption came from?

    • In reply to #4 by Hariseldonsays:

      Nodhimmi – they do the work voluntarily? Volunteering is where you do something that you don’t have to. Work is not an option – they work or they starve (or beg). They have no choice and are thus open to exploitation – that’s the source of the corruption.

      There is still some protection offered by the existance of competition: if one employer treats them too poorly, that employer will tend to have very high turnover as the employees will quit to seek out and accept better offers as soon as one is found. This will eventually force the employer to match the competition or the employer will fail to find enough willing employees. Look at china, for example, where factory wages have been increasing at almost 10% per year for almost 30 years. Slaves never had this option to quit to work somewhere better, so it really does a disservice to the victims of real slavery to equivocate the two.

      The main reason these workers have no good options is because of the lack of economic development and lack of productivity. If you know of some magical way a country can skip the sweatshop phase of economic development and right into something much better, we’re all ears. Things won’t get better until the country is capable of producing much more GDP per hour of labor.

      • In reply to #5 by Axulus:

        In reply to #4 by Hariseldonsays:

        Unless of course there is below full employment : under those conditions workers don’t have other options: they work till they drop or they starve, they can look for other jobs but there will always be others, and there’s no profitablility in changing for the companies that own them. In fact this can often start a race to the bottom, to find the minimum amount you can pay someone for them to be able to continue existing (you can find this starting to happen in the developed world as it happens).

        The main positive changes in the western world were brought about by trade unionism and the threat of full scale revolt if the owning classes didn’t make concessions. The changes in 1945 in the UK reflect this (as the armies started to come home, the idea of 3 million working class people who now knew how to use weaponry and wanting a better life than before the war may have made the rulers a little nervous)

        And china’s hardly a good example of rising living standards. While wages have increased (mostly mandated by the state anyway) many other things, such as basic healthcare provision, have decreased, which has actually resulted in a much lower rate of rising standards than you might think. What’s more the capitalist wage rises can only really be maintained during a period of upswing. Under a downswing the ruling classes start to pull back as much as possible. China’s been trying to force continued growth, and has been trying a lot of the tricks that have bought time in the past, but ultimately they will only buy time

        And bangladesh has been a sweatshop country for over 30 years and has barely reached £16 a month, I think it’s safe to say competition hasn’t been that effective. Rant over.

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