Blog Action Day was founded in 2007 by Collis and Cyan Ta’eed, from Envato in Australia, as a way for the people they met within the wider blog community to work together on a special project they all cared about.
Each year a special topic is chosen, and bloggers from all across the globe unite for one day to spread the word, inform, educate and inspire their readers to recognize the issue and support the bloggers’ cause.
This year bloggers from over 130 countries are writing or have written their entries for today calling attention to their fellow bloggers, journalists, and activists who have been silenced, killed, tortured, and censored for raising their voices, speaking out, opposing or supporting causes they believe in. Their thoughts, words and actions have been opposed by governments, religious groups, political terrorists , and other groups and factions that disagree with these bloggers. They are silenced and/or punished for making their voices heard.
I’m just a blogger. I write an opinionated blog filled with my personal thoughts, ideas, plans and goals, and my experiences with life. I write this blog, under no censorship, other than my own self-imposed censorship. (I can’t tell you everything about me, you’d be bored in no time).
The only threats I face for my blogging actions–no one leaves a comment or “attaboy” for what I write; no one reads what I write; someone leaves me a SPAM comment or someone leaves an opposing view as a comment.
On August 5th, 2015; I wrote an entry wishing my daughter a Happy 29th birthday. Just two days later on August 7th, in Bangladesh; blogger Niloy Neel was hacked to death in his apartment in Dhaka by a group of attackers claiming permission from Allah to perform this murderous deed because Niloy wrote blog articles critical of extremist Islāmic factions and their actions. (such as murders in the name of Allah) Niloy’s murder was the fourth of its kind this year in that country.
Blog Action Day 2015 has the theme of #RaiseYourVoice. From their website they explain why they chose this theme.
We have the power to create the world we want to see when we raise our voice to promote positive change and expose unjust actions. However, those who speak out are often under attack. This Blog Action Day we will celebrate those heroes who raise their voice when faced with censorship, threats and even violence. We will raise our voices to defend their right to raise theirs. We will overcome silence with our words and actions. We will share their stories. We will fight for those whose voice has been silenced.
As I researched and tried to gather information for today’s entry I was stalled by the amount of articles online and in past news stories that speak of instances of people raising their voices and being attacked, killed, beaten or imprisoned for expressing free speech that I take for granted in the United States.
I may complain about FOX news or conservative talk radio or I may grow tired of entertainment and “fluff” being passed off as “news” and I may be angered by media reporting on the “non-news” of the day, while other news goes un-reported. But, all this occurs with freedom to form those opinions, to discuss, to dissent, to argue.
If you do an Internet search for phrases such as “journalist jailed” “journalist imprisoned” “blogger jailed”, you’ll find articles that sicken you as a Human Being. Currently, a blogger in Saudi Arabia is facing punishment of 7 years in jail and 1000 lashes to be performed in several series in public.
I do not write blog entries that would cause me concern for my life, or worry for my family’s safety. I raise my voice from time to time to tell my readers an opinion I have on some issue or cause. When I do; I hope for comments and “shares” on Facebook or Twitter. I hope that another blogger may link to my article and I am overjoyed when somebody leaves a comment that tells me I’m totally “out of my gourd” for writing such drivel.
Today I raise my voice in support of those fellow bloggers that do not have that luxury or privilege. I hope that tomorrow when I yell at Bill O’Reilly or Rush Limbaugh on my radio–I hope I remember that I still have that right and others are much less fortunate.