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A time to pause and remember.

Anti-Slavery day, on October 18th, is a national day to raise awareness of the need to eradicate all forms of slavery, human trafficking and exploitation. Every year around Anti-Slavery Day, tens of thousands of people around the world take part in a Walk for Freedom. This powerful demonstration is organised by A21, an international charity engaged in the fight against modern-day slavery. One of our supporters shares her experience after joining us on a Walk for Freedom in Oxford.

Blog post : Louder than words

Silence. For my daughters and I silence is not a common occurrence when together. However, October 19, 2019 this silence was profound. Deliberate and striking. Not simply because of how it focussed our own thoughts and feelings, but because of the message it all but shouted to others.

As part of ASIOX (Anti Slavery Initiative Oxford), we gathered in Oxford centre on this Saturday afternoon, many of us wearing our A21 jumpers. We were here with a desire to continue in our support of those in Oxford, and around the world, who tirelessly strive to do something. To speak up for the millions of unique and precious individuals, forgotten and trapped in modern slavery.

We set off in single file, individuals, families, young and old. Silently holding up well hidden truths for others to read;

Every 30 seconds someone becomes a victim of human trafficking. 1% of victims are ever rescued.

Despite our numbers, just like those enslaved, we were often unnoticed in our silence until someone would really look and see….realising the silent train of people were not busy shoppers, but people asking them to notice, ‘listen’ and act.

We walked all over the city. Stopping at intervals to stand together in a group. Looking out at the people who passed. Curious, they looked and read our signs.

This annual, world-wide, ‘walk for freedom’ gave us the opportunity to ‘say’ something. Walking in silence for so long, with so many, was a new and unusual experience for us. But we were moved by the voice we were able to give to the voiceless, surprised that it shouted, in silence, to the masses.

I am grateful that the local work of ASIOX will continue to raise their voice and encourage us to stand for the powerless in our city. And I hope my daughters will not forget. I hope they will continue to stand in whatever way they can, for those who cannot. In this instance, it was our silence that spoke louder than words, calling out on behalf of those who long for their voice to be heard.

This post was written by Breeze Band.

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