I wrote this last year when the government were talking about ‘non-violent extremism’ laws. In the recent attacks on human rights I am posting it. It is a personal response, all views my own:
Dear Theresa May
Am I non-violently extreme
Because I hate what you say
And have the courage
To think and to dream
Of human (and animal) rights
Yet act peaceably despite rage?
I am persistent and peaceful
In my resistance to your reaping
Of the right to life, dignity, choice,
Freedom of faith, equality of race,
Right not to die in a prison’s keeping,
Right to a voice, right to be safe,
While you would see democracy sleeping.
Antonia Sara Zenkevitch
*Please note this was written when Theresa May was Home Sectretary, and I was an interfaith women’s worker fighting for the rights of women under threat of deportation at risk of their lives. So, she was not a favourite human. This is about specific, I believe dangerous legislation she was pushing through under the tagline of ‘securing a better future’. It’s sister poem, Securing a Bitter Future is controversial, even to me as a feminist, but on balance I feel, to make a fundamental moral exception because she is a woman would, in this case, be anti-feminist. If you knew what the women I worked with had to fight in part because of policies she pushed, I’m sure most of you would share my anger if not my assessment.