The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Right Livelihood Award Foundation / 
PO Box 15072, 104 65 / 
Stockholm, Sweden / 
Phone: +46-8-702 03 40 Fax: +46-8-702 03 38 / 
press @, info @

'Alternative Nobel' Laureates Stress the Role of Independent Media and Women as Driving Forces for Peace


Recipients of the 2008 Right Livelihood Awards (often referred to as
the 'Alternative Nobel Prizes') spoke at a press conference in
Stockholm on Monday, December 8th, 9:30 CET.

The speeches they will give during the Ceremony in the evening the
same day stress the role of media as a sanctuary of dissent and the
need for protection of women in conflict regions, and the forces for
peace they can become when empowered.

Krishnammal Jagannathan (India): "I have been
blessed to be in the company of Mahathma Gandhi, Acharya Vinoba Bhave,
Shri Jeyaprakash Narayan and Shri. Shankar Rao Dev, to name some of the
people who molded my thinking in the right path, inspiring me to lead a
life dedicated toward the uplift of the landless poor, particularly
women. They were the role models, living a life of renunciation and
voluntary poverty, consuming less and less from the Mother Earth, much
before the climate change and the perils of consumption were ever
discussed or known to humanity."

Amy Goodman (USA): "As we confront critical issues
of the day, from global warming, global warring, and a global economic
meltdown, we need a media that holds those in power accountable. Our
job as journalists is to carry our pens, microphones and cameras,
giving a voice to those who have been forgotten, forsaken, and beaten
down by the powerful. The media can be a major force for peace, by
providing a forum for people to speak for themselves. Media can build
bridges between communities, rather than advocate the bombing of
bridges. The media should be a sanctuary of dissent."

Asha Hagi (Somalia): "This award comes at a very
precarious time for this nation, as each day for the past two years the
situation has continued to deteriorate. (...) This award demonstrates
the positive side of Somalia: that humanity still exists in the
desperation that Somalis face. There is courage within the fear. (...)
This award leaves a legacy that offers a different direction for my
nation, and for the children of Somalia."

Monika Hauser (Germany):
"Sexualized violence, everywhere and always, is the exertion of power
over the immediate victim. In war, the destructive potential of
sexualized violence is multiplied and can culminate at any moment in
triumphant displays of power over the other side. (...) The
non-recognition of rape as a form of torture and grave human rights
violation constitutes a continuation of the violent act."

For the full speeches, please go to

The four Laureates share a prize money of SEK 2 million.

91 candidates from 44 countries were proposed for the Right
Livelihood Awards this year, whereof 44 from developed and 47 from
"developing" countries.

More information on the 2008 Laureates can be found at:

The Right Livelihood Award was established in 1980 to "honour and support courageous people solving global problems". It has become widely known as the 'Alternative Nobel Prize' and there are now 182 Laureates from 72 countries.