A Message to President-Elect Trump from WITNESS

To the President-elect of the United States: We are watching you.

When you, Mr. Trump, and your team take office, rest assured that we and millions with us around the world will be watching your every move.

At WITNESS, that’s what we do.

For 25 years now, we’ve been working alongside communities and individuals who have experienced their (un)fair share of violence, discrimination, and restrictions on their freedom of expression. We’ve collaborated with poor and marginalized minorities to counter abusive practices that target them. Together, we’ve changed laws, policies, and behaviors by adding a powerful tool to the equation: video (a tool whose impact you know all too well after your “locker room talk” was broadcast to the world).

Your promise to violate the Constitution is nothing new for our global team, allies, and partners. We’ve cut our teeth in places where governments control the media, where dictators perpetrate gross abuses, and where those in power deny the wrongdoings of corporations. We know exactly how to support and stand with millions of ordinary citizens to break through barriers and create powerful counter-narratives.

Together, we have honed our skills to make violations of our precious rights and freedoms visible, even in the most hidden corners of the earth. Our mission is not only to enable anyone to shine a light on the wrongs of the world, we also work to ensure that when the truth is exposed, accountability follows.

In the United States, we will be doubling down on our efforts to ensure that hateful, oppressive acts are captured and countered. That means supporting millions across the U.S. to be effective witnesses for human rights. We will expand on our existing work with LGBTQ, immigrant, and minority communities to promote justice and equality.

At this very moment, our connected, global network is sharing valuable guidance and tips on how to use communication technologies for good, not for evil.

So here is the beauty in the midst of this otherwise ugly moment: there are millions, if not billions, of us who are ready to see it, film it, share it, and change it. From Cairo to Manila to New York, we are connected to each other in solidarity and joined by the fight for universal human rights.

And we won’t let you get in the way of that.

To a just future,

Yvette Alberdingk Thijm, Executive Director & the entire WITNESS Team



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