Fast, Furious, and Flexible

Book | October 2006 | Download PDF

Foreword

Social movements, like people, die three times, or in three ways. Firstly, they die when they lose their soul, their spirit, their vision, and their vitality. Secondly, they die when their legal, physical, and institutional structure ceases to operate. And thirdly, social movements die a third death when no one remembers them, or their issues.

Health Action International (HAI) fortunately, is alive and well – it is full of vitality, its unique interactive structure is a model for global organising, and its issues capture the minds of all those who seek justice in health care around the globe.

This special collection of recollections, woven into a tapestry by Radha Holla, tells the remarkable story of a quarter century of health activism, speaking of the many dimensions of the journey – the people, the places and the passions, the vision, the victims and the victories, the initiatives and the ingenuity.

It also reminds us of the challenges we still face. An increasingly globalised world driven by violence, by deception, waste, and greed, compounded by misplaced priorities have made the global campaign for “Health For All” even more urgent and necessary.

The Triple challenges of economics, of equity, and of ecology make health issues probably the single most important issue both at the personal and global level. Remembering, recording, and sharing the story of the struggles of HAI will surely inspire us all to strive even harder in the coming years as we continue our journey toward health for all, now.

Anwar Fazal
Island of Penang, Malaysia
March 12, 2006

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