Slavery: Isn’t It Time We Banned It?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 20:37 | Filed in Life, Politics

It was only two posts ago that I was saying Slavery was a jolly bad thing which was never technically legal in England, and that slave trading was made illegal 200 years ago. It’s instructive to look back at the working conditions people experienced in the past, so here’s some stuff fruit pickers had to put up with:

…working 17 hour days — starting at 04:30 and finishing as late as 21:00 in the summer.

Alona Tirzite

A sixteen and a half hour day?? And that’s before you consider the housing:

“We lived six to eight people in one caravan, with not much space — about half a metre at the end of the bedAlona Tirzite

Bad enough for you? Or would you rather they were dehumanised too?

“I was known by a number and not my name, as we all were.”

“We had to put a sticker with our number on all the trays we packed and that is what the suprervisors called us … I was known as 137.”

“We weren’t allowed to talk to each other, either.”

Alona Tirzite

How does that make you feel? It makes me feel like I want to actually hit the people responsible, to make them go through the same degrading and inhumane conditions.

Aren’t you glad the world has moved on? You are?

Ah, well. You may be a little disappointed then. These quotes weren’t taken from a Nineteenth century cotton plantation, or from a 20th Century concentration camp in Nazi Germany, they were taken from a woman in Lincolnshire, in the 21st Century.

Before we start apologising for things that happened 200 years ago that we can’t change, don’t you think we should look to the things that we ought to be changing today? Because as far as I’m concerned, while we allow this sort of thing to continue, we’re not entitled to call ourselves a civilised society.

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