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An Open Letter to George Clooney

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An open letter to George Clooney

Post by Katiedot on Thu Jan 30 2014, 10:07

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An Open Letter to George Clooney

Posted: 01/29/2014

Dear Mr. Clooney,

Some stories more compelling than others. We find ourselves following certain news events, helping one cause, but not another. Is it only that these stories seem to touch our lives directly? How do you choose whom to help?

Sometimes it feels like the story chooses us. When the documentary film A Whisper to a Roar was released, I met and interviewed the director/producer Ben Moses. The film focuses on five countries struggling for democracy -- Egypt, Malaysia, Ukraine, Venezuela and Zimbabwe. While the film and the stories about democracy are compelling, I found myself very intrigued, wondering what my new friend Ben was going to do next because he has a knack for being in the right, challenging place at the right, challenging time. I'd like to introduce you to Ben because he's found his next project and we need some help.

You recognized the Ukrainian desire for democracy in the video you posted back in December. Thank you for lending your voice to that struggle. Andriy Shevchenko is one of the outspoken journalists highlighted in Whisper. Andriy has gone on to become an active Member of Parliament. He remains clear in his commitment to bring a working democracy to Ukraine. Ben's new project, Desperately Seeking Democracy, will bring Andriy to America to travel and talk to politicians, ordinary citizens and maybe even movie stars committed to social justice to learn from our wisdom and experience what it takes to make a true democracy work.

Ben's original plan to bring Andriy here to learn about democracy has taken on a new urgency as the situation in Ukraine worsens. The film will bring attention to the critical struggle for democracy in this part of the world.

After a recent trip to Poland for a screening of Whisper, Ben planned to head back to Ukraine to visit friends. The trip ended up coinciding with the beginnings of the current protests in Kiev. Here's part of a dispatch he sent back home from early December:

So I arrive Sunday morning to between 800,000 and 1.6 million people in the streets of Kiev calling for [Yanukovych's] ouster (According to my news channel friends, this is the internal government estimate! Of course, the government is telling the press "maybe 20,000").
Andriy is one of the central characters in it, so as soon as I check into the hotel it's, "Come on, Ben, let's go!" And now, my little camera rolling, I'm following him and his friends around in Independence Square and behind the scenes as they try to take down a government.

While the Orange Revolution in Ukraine led to a democratic government, the practice of democracy isn't coming easy. As of this writing, at least seven protestors are dead, people in and around Maidan have been targeted via text, students' names have been collected and they may face expulsion from university, tension and violence between the police and protestors is increasing daily. Mr. Yanukovych seems unlikely to step down or agree to snap elections as the protestors are calling for. The opposition is made up of at least three different factions, some of who are deemed extremist. The threat is that the country will explode into violent revolution or civil war. What does democracy look like in the face of this kind of turmoil? And how does one achieve it?
Ben has taken a good, long look at politics in many countries, but never lost sight of what's going on here in the US. Our own story is currently marked by strife and polarization. One benefit of bringing Andriy to this country is that Americans will have the chance to see our compelling story through the eyes of another.

Nicholas Kristof wrote, "A revolution isn't an event, but a process." How will this process in Ukraine look in ten years' time? Ben's newest project will give us a record of both Ukraine and US democracy to study. Will you help? Ben needs a narrator for the voiceover. Perhaps someone to meet with Andriy when he arrives in America to start his search for answers. You would, of course, excel in either of these roles. With your involvement, the film will not only bring needed attention to Ukraine, but to the process of democracy in America.

There are so many stories, so many conflicts that need our attention. I understand that you can't fix every country's chaos by lending your famous voice, but if you've read this far, I'll ask for a little more of your time. What follows comes from one of Ben's friends in Ukraine. We can share this bit of news with you, but can't publish a name. It's too dangerous. Please know that this friend has been quite involved in the peaceful end of the protests.

This night, I stayed on the Maidan. It was snowing and freezing. They didn't let us in a building, neither as civil activists nor press -- despite the fact that they should according to the law.
One student near me was arrested. He is a peaceful 22 years old poet, student. They arrested him near Maidan and without any evidence. He is accused of mass civil disorder. He is in prospect of 12 years imprisonment. Now he is held in detention for 2 months.

Ben, what`s going on with this country?

Two weeks ago I bought 150 meters of blue-yellow stripe and gave it to people on the streets. I wanted them feel united, show their support to protests. Today I can be imprisoned and beaten for that. Each of us can.

Two people were killed this morning. The policemen I talked to at night are sure they are fighting for laws and order.

My ancestors died for Ukraine and today it can be divided because of international political games.

I have no tears, I have to do everything I can and it's not enough.

While I was writing one more man was killed.

I know this is a rather unconventional way to reach out to you. Thank you for all you've done in the past and I hope there's something in this project that touches you. Just writing to you this way brings more attention the struggle of the people in Ukraine.
I can be reached at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] to put you in touch with Ben directly. We'll send a copy of A Whisper to a Roar to your production office.

Katiedot
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Re: An Open Letter to George Clooney

Post by it's me on Thu Jan 30 2014, 10:11

Crying or Very sad all that so sad
in 2014 seems impossible to me such things still happen

but we have to face it

G has a loud voice
if he can he will

but I am sure he has so many other things to worry about

I hope he can be able to bear all that weight

 Hug1 

it's me
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Re: An Open Letter to George Clooney

Post by Joanna on Thu Jan 30 2014, 13:27

We who have freedom of speach and a calm life are so blessed and have so much to be thankful for don't we ?

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Re: An Open Letter to George Clooney

Post by Lighterside on Thu Jan 30 2014, 13:59

Joanna wrote:We who have freedom of speach and a calm life are so blessed and have so much to be thankful for don't we ?

Oh I completely agree!  We have so much and think so little about it, until we're inconvenienced (like in Atlanta, Georgia this past couple of days)...then everything is a tragedy! The trouble is we don't know real tragedy, like some of the "hot spots" politically around the world! We don't have to watch our children play in "death camps" or have to watch them playing in buildings that have been blown apart. That's just a part of daily life in some parts of the world.

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Re: An Open Letter to George Clooney

Post by mosaic on Thu Jan 30 2014, 14:28

From what I've been reading and viewing, there is a debate about the folks involved-- democracynow.org had a U.S. professor and a Ukraine citizen talking about this--

The professor was saying that the moderates have lost control of the uprising and the far right element has taken over.

The Ukraine guy disagreed with his assertions.

The U.S. media has not done a good job covering this (no surprise there).

I just hope that both sides (pro-Russia and pro-Europe) can compromise for a true democracy.

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Re: An Open Letter to George Clooney

Post by it's me on Thu Jan 30 2014, 15:29

well said
we all hope so

it's me
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Re: An Open Letter to George Clooney

Post by Carla97 on Thu Jan 30 2014, 22:57

Mosaic, I agree, good the last sentence, thats how I see it too.

But about reporting Ukraine...facts seem to be from uncyclopedia.

Democracy doesn´t mean revolutions one after another. The unfortunate part of democracy is that you don't always agree with the outcome.

So now we have Catherine Ashton visiting Kiev as "negotiator of EU´s foreign relations" telling maybe how to organize "democratic election"...irony is that she is a politician who never stood for election in her life.

Who wants what? Time to have a poll. No need to look far...her husband is head of Yougov (YOU (LON)). Good to keep this aspect in mind when reading the polls.

Also we seem to have forgotten the fact that current Ukrainian president was legally elected by EU, OSCE and western standards. No one uttered a word during or after the election, but only now. It is naive to think current lead is more corrupt than previous one, or the one before that, or the next one. And to their big surprise they are not "too big to jail". Bribery makes the horse run faster...

I do sincerely hope Moscow and Brussels find a way, instead of fighting and pushing for bilateral deals they might find trilateral more rewarding. Problem is that Putin at the moment has to be on good behavior because of...

Immediately after the games are over, he might resume taking the temperature of who ever he is not pleased with- I hope not... I dunno 

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An Open Letter to George Clooney

Post by Mazy on Fri Jan 31 2014, 00:04

Deborah Stambler
Freelance writer; poet
GET UPDATES FROM DEBORAH STAMBLER

An Open Letter to George Clooney
Posted: 01/29/2014 5:03 pm

Dear Mr. Clooney,
Some stories more compelling than others. We find ourselves following certain news events, helping one cause, but not another. Is it only that these stories seem to touch our lives directly? How do you choose whom to help?

Sometimes it feels like the story chooses us. When the documentary film A Whisper to a Roar was released, I met and interviewed the director/producer Ben Moses. The film focuses on five countries struggling for democracy -- Egypt, Malaysia, Ukraine, Venezuela and Zimbabwe. While the film and the stories about democracy are compelling, I found myself very intrigued, wondering what my new friend Ben was going to do next because he has a knack for being in the right,

challenging place at the right, challenging time. I'd like to introduce you to Ben because he's found his next project and we need some help.

You recognized the Ukrainian desire for democracy in the video you posted back in December. Thank you for lending your voice to that struggle. Andriy Shevchenko is one of the outspoken journalists highlighted in Whisper. Andriy has gone on to become an active Member of Parliament. He remains clear in his commitment to bring a working democracy to Ukraine. Ben's new project, Desperately Seeking Democracy, will bring Andriy to America to travel and talk to politicians, ordinary citizens and maybe even movie stars committed to social justice to learn from our wisdom and experience what it takes to make a true democracy work.

Ben's original plan to bring Andriy here to learn about democracy has taken on a new urgency as the situation in Ukraine worsens. The film will bring attention to the critical struggle for democracy in this part of the world.

After a recent trip to Poland for a screening of Whisper, Ben planned to head back to Ukraine to visit friends. The trip ended up coinciding with the beginnings of the current protests in Kiev. Here's part of a dispatch he sent back home from early December:
So I arrive Sunday morning to between 800,000 and 1.6 million people in the streets of Kiev calling for [Yanukovych's] ouster (According to my news channel friends, this is the internal government estimate! Of course, the government is telling the press "maybe 20,000").

Andriy is one of the central characters in it, so as soon as I check into the hotel it's, "Come on, Ben, let's go!" And now, my little camera rolling, I'm following him and his friends around in Independence Square and behind the scenes as they try to take down a government.

While the Orange Revolution in Ukraine led to a democratic government, the practice of democracy isn't coming easy. As of this writing, at least seven protestors are dead, people in and around Maidan have been targeted via text, students' names have been collected and they may face expulsion from university, tension and violence between the police and protestors is increasing daily. Mr. Yanukovych seems unlikely to step down or agree to snap elections as the protestors are calling for. The opposition is made up of at least three different factions, some of who are deemed extremist. The threat is that the country will explode into violent revolution or civil war. What does democracy look like in the face of this kind of turmoil? And how does one achieve it?

Ben has taken a good, long look at politics in many countries, but never lost sight of what's going on here in the US. Our own story is currently marked by strife and polarization. One benefit of bringing Andriy to this country is that Americans will have the chance to see our compelling story through the eyes of another.

Nicholas Kristof wrote, "A revolution isn't an event, but a process." How will this process in Ukraine look in ten years' time? Ben's newest project will give us a record of both Ukraine and US democracy to study. Will you help? Ben needs a narrator for the voiceover. Perhaps someone to meet with Andriy when he arrives in America to start his search for answers. You would, of course, excel in either of these roles. With your involvement, the film will not only bring needed attention to Ukraine, but to the process of democracy in America.

There are so many stories, so many conflicts that need our attention. I understand that you can't fix every country's chaos by lending your famous voice, but if you've read this far, I'll ask for a little more of your time. What follows comes from one of Ben's friends in Ukraine. We can share this bit of news with you, but can't publish a name. It's too dangerous. Please know that this friend has been quite involved in the peaceful end of the protests.

This night, I stayed on the Maidan. It was snowing and freezing. They didn't let us in a building, neither as civil activists nor press -- despite the fact that they should according to the law.

One student near me was arrested. He is a peaceful 22 years old poet, student. They arrested him near Maidan and without any evidence. He is accused of mass civil disorder. He is in prospect of 12 years imprisonment. Now he is held in detention for 2 months.

Ben, what`s going on with this country?
Two weeks ago I bought 150 meters of blue-yellow stripe and gave it to people on the streets. I wanted them feel united, show their support to protests. Today I can be imprisoned and beaten for that. Each of us can.

Two people were killed this morning. The policemen I talked to at night are sure they are fighting for laws and order.
My ancestors died for Ukraine and today it can be divided because of international political games.
I have no tears, I have to do everything I can and it's not enough.
While I was writing one more man was killed.

I know this is a rather unconventional way to reach out to you. Thank you for all you've done in the past and I hope there's something in this project that touches you. Just writing to you this way brings more attention the struggle of the people in Ukraine.

I can be reached at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] to put you in touch with Ben directly. We'll send a copy of A Whisper to a Roar to your production office.
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


Mazy
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Re: An Open Letter to George Clooney

Post by melbert on Fri Jan 31 2014, 02:00

Katie already posted this on:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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Re: An Open Letter to George Clooney

Post by Mazy on Fri Jan 31 2014, 02:25

melbert wrote:Katie already posted this on:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Thanks I just saw that maybe someone can delete it for me. I had just come back from getting the injections in my eye again and didn't see it. I will go to bed so I don't do any more damage.

Mazy
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Re: An Open Letter to George Clooney

Post by Katiedot on Fri Jan 31 2014, 02:26

No worries, I merged the two threads.

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Re: An Open Letter to George Clooney

Post by Mazy on Fri Jan 31 2014, 15:29

Katiedot wrote:No worries, I merged the two threads.

Thanks much Katie xxx

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Re: An Open Letter to George Clooney

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