American Civil Liberties Union
One of the real crucial aspects of human rights is that you don’t have to be a lawyer to engage in it, you don’t have to have a graduate degree. The most effective human rights leaders around the world are racial and religious minorities, women, disabled people, kids—affected communities. If you look at Egypt, who led that revolution? It wasn’t lawyers. Lawyers have a role to play, we have a role to play in any social movement, but it was the people, the people that make the change. Mahatma Gandhi was a lawyer, but you don’t end colonialism in India through the British legal system. You need a movement and lawyers play an important supporting role in that movement, but the movement has to lead and the people have to lead. Nelson Mandela: a lawyer in South Africa, but you don’t end apartheid in South Africa through the South African legal system. It’s not going to happen, you need a movement. He played an important role in getting some of his comrades out of jail and many of our colleagues do that work, but it's the movement, the Occupy Wall Street if you will, the grassroots movements… The allies in that struggle try not to drive that bus, but to be collaborative in that process.