A riverine community legal advocacy center can be used to promote social justice. In fact, one of the main reasons as to why we set up these advocacy centers is to promote social justice. But social justice means different things to different people. There are people who believe that the ultimate objective in the pursuit of social justice is to have a society where all people have access to equal opportunities. Then it would be up to the people to figure out what they are to do with the opportunities. There are other people who believe that the ultimate objective in the pursuit of social justice is to have a society where all people are equal. I disagree with this view. People can never be equal. Even if, for instance, you gave a group of people free access to credit cards (for them to spend the money as they wish), and you then requested for the credit card statements some time later, you’d be surprised by the findings. You’d encounter a situation where some of the people would have used the money sensibly, to advance themselves — even as others would have blatantly squandered the money. And this is in spite of the people having started from the same base. So people can never be equal. Social justice can, however, bring about a situation where people have access to equal opportunities — with the understanding that the people would subsequently use the opportunities in different ways.
Given those facts, a question does come up as to how a riverine community legal advocacy center can be used to promote social justice. And based on my experience running these sorts of legal advocacy centers, I have come to the conclusion that there are three main ways in which riverine community legal advocacy centers can be used to promote social justice. That is firstly by educating people about social justice. The second way is by mobilizing the people to fight for social justice, especially in situations where their self-interests are threatened. And the third way is by assisting the people if they happen to get in trouble while pursuing social justice (as they are almost certainly bound to).
Today’s blog post won’t be long, as I am still trying to find office space for the riverine community legal advocacy center I set up recently. But the topic of social justice and the role that riverine community legal advocacy centers can play in its promotion is one that I will be revisiting frequently in the future.