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Thursday 18 December  
Scene from the film Budrus

The State We're In - Taking a Stand

On air: 18 August 2012 2:00 (Photo: Aisha Mershani)

More about:

The State We're In, 18 August 2012. You see a tense situation developing. It looks bad, but you’re not sure. When do you take a stand? Today’s guests all have their own stories about taking a stand: from Nigeria, the US, Russia, Palestine and Kenya.

Comment on this show or listen to previous shows.

Listen to 'Taking a Stand'

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Ayo Omotade
Ayo Omotade
Can I help? - listen in new player

Ayo Omotade was excited to be flying to Nigeria in 2008 for his brother’s wedding. But when he got on board at Heathrow, he heard security personnel subduing a man. The man was screaming that he couldn’t breathe.

So he asked airline staff several times if he could help. Security then arrested him, and he was later put on trial for trying to incite a riot. He was acquitted, but the experience has shaken his faith in people.

More - Training film for G4S guards undertaking deportations – The Guardian.

Ayed Morrar
Ayed Morrar
Olives, not bullets - listen in new player

Ayed Morrar lives in the West Bank village of Budrus.

When he heard that Israeli tanks were going to demolish the olive groves to build a security fence and totally isolate the town, he helped lead protests – peaceful protests.

He tells host Jonathan Groubert how their non-violent approach won the day.



Trailer for the documentary Budrus.

Marianne Thieme
Marianne Thieme
The Party for the Animals - listen in new player

Jonathan speaks with Marianne Thieme, Dutch Member of Parliament for the Party for the Animals, the world’s only serving political party whose constituency is not human.

Read Marianne's blog here.




Katia Kapovich
Katia Kapovich
Stealing air - listen in new player

Russian poet Katia Kapovich believes that poetry is about the forbidden, that it thrives on "stealing air", and challenging convention.

She tells Jonathan about her brushes with Russian police... and why she likes to be photographed while smoking cigarettes.




Sarah Abonyo
Sarah Abonyo
Sarah’s dilemma - listen in new player

Sarah Abonyo had a best friend in high school, the one person in the world she could confide anything in. Or so she thought.

Other kids were made strange faces whenever her friend passed by. They told Sarah that her friend smelled bad. That left Sarah in a dilemma.

Either say nothing and watch her friend get ridiculed. Or tell her friend and risk losing the friendship.


Anonymous 18 September 2014 - 9:44am

You did not divert from the topic even once which I have not seen in many other writers and and . This topic has always been one of my favorite subjects to read aboutI am always using read it till end. I liked the way you wrote it, are i am always using.

ViVian 14 August 2014 - 5:48am
Eva Sairan 20 August 2012 - 12:33pm / Canada

Having listened to your Aug. 18, 2012 broadcast about Ayed Morrar from the West Bank village of Budrus, I could not help wondering how you Dutch would react if one of your neighbours was to build a "security wall" against you inside your borders, instead of their own territory, and doing so destroy the only source of living which your farmers have. I doubt very much that a few rocks would be the only mode of defence against the perpetrators. Yet, somehow, you did not fail to repeatedly justify this human rights violation against a totally defenceless population whose only weapons against one of the world's most militarily powerful aggressor are rocks.

user avatar
Greg Kelly 23 August 2012 - 10:31am

Thanks, Eva, for your direct feedback. But just to clarify: the production crew of TSWI is a mix of people from North America, Australia and the Netherlands. And the interview in no way justified Israel's interventions. It was simply a conversation about one man's successful and non-violent efforts to block the security fence from destroying the olive groves of his village.

Mary Finelli 18 August 2012 - 9:54pm / U.S.A.

Thank you very much for this program: Taking a Stand. It is indeed very inspiring. I especially appreciate learning of the accomplishments of The Party for the Animals and the work of Marianne Thieme. Helping other people often has a self-interest component to it, even if indirectly, but those who help animals do so out of sheer compassion and a true sense of justice and fairness. Animals are the world's most abused, exploited and neglected residents. They have no political voice or power except for the people who speak on their behalf. The world would be a much better place with more people like Ms. Thieme. More power to her - and to the animals!!

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