Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Fighting the Good Fight

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Fighting the Good Fight

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Fighting the good fight

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An editorial from the St. John's Telegram, published Dec. 7:

It may seems strange to mix activism into a memorial for a great leader, but when that leader is Nelson Mandela -- an activist for his entire life -- it seems only proper.

Mandela died Thursday at the age of 95, a long life for a man who suffered the rigours of 27 years in prison, a man who fought the evils of apartheid until the fight was won.

Others have written far more eloquently about the man and his career, and that writing continues. The best of it comes from the people who knew him -- there are plenty of others who are essentially preparing Mandela for a sort of sainthood, but those who knew him draw a much more honest picture of a complicated man who fought great odds and lesser personal demons.

His was a life of a great man -- but also very much a human being.

But here's another thought for today: Brian

Mulroney was a strong opponent of apartheid, and he and Canada's UN ambassador at the time, Stephen Lewis, took that fight even to such legendary political figures as then-U.S. president Ronald Reagan and British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. Canadian anti-apartheid groups did even more.

"We regard you as one of our great friends because of the solid support we have received from you and Canada over the years," Mulroney heard from?Mandela in a phone call after the ANC leader's release from prison.

Mandela went further, speaking of the "great Canadian people" in Ottawa in June 1990, telling Parliament, "They have proved themselves not only to be steadfast friends of our struggling people but great defenders of human rights and the idea of democracy itself. …

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