In the realm of human right’s activism, there are few more overlooked than the founder of the Human Rights Foundation, Thor Halvorssen. Born in Venezuela on March 9, 1976, Thor started political advocacy at the age of 13 by organizing against South African apartheid. However, his real efforts into human rights began at age 18 when his father became a political prisoner. At the age of 23, Thor became involved in a campaign to prevent Lucent Technologies from buying products made with slave labor. This came after the discovery that several camps in China were using slave labor to make products.
Thor’s biggest contribution to human rights started in 2004 after his mother was shot and wounded by the Venezuelan security force. He announced the creation of the New York-based human rights organization, The Human Rights Foundation. Early on, the HRF was involved in several advocacy campaigns and some of those were in Thor’s country of origin, Venezuela. In 2007, They launched a campaign to free a prisoner named Francisco Usón. Thor also opposed human violations in Uganda, China, North Korea, and several others. Thor also managed to create a media firestorm when they exposed payments from foreign dictators to several U.S. celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, 50 Cent, and Hilary Swank.
However, Thor Halvorssen does not only engage in political and human rights activism in through his papers and the HRF; He is also a fairly accomplished producer. He is the producer of the 2006 film, Hammer & Tickle. The film was a documentary about jokes and humor were used in the Soviet Union as a form of exposing the truth of the Soviet regime as well as poke fun at it. He then went on to produce The Singing Revolution, a documentary about the people of Estonia seeking to escape soviet occupation.
Thor Halvorssen also produced The Sugar Babies. The 2007 film the decries the human rights issues in the in the Dominican Republic sugar industry. His new announcement for The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress shows a dedication to his film career and his political activism.
The more I read about this Thor Halvorssen guy, the more I like him. He is a real straight shooter. He even shoots straight when it comes to politics which is something rare to behold these days. Here’s an example.
As a young man in college at Pennsylvania University, his father was taken political prisoner in Venezuela. His crime? He was helping the Venezuelan government crack down on drug cartels. I guess he got too close to busting the wrong cartel. Anyways, the man was beaten in prison for nearly 72 days.
Thor helped free his father. You would think Thor hates socialism because the Venezuelan government that imprisoned his father was socialist, but you’d be wrong. He hates unilateral dictators because the leader of the socialist government of Venezuela had ultimate authority without checks and balances. That, Thor would later proclaim during a Fox News interview, is where human rights violations come from.
As an avowed capitalist, Thor would later work for The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. The right-leaning group fights for an individual’s choice to seek out the education that they want. But despite working for such a conservative group, Thor Halvorssen endorsed Bernie Sanders for the 2016 presidential election. This shocked many, but his reasoning was brilliant.
As someone who cares deeply about human rights, Thor Halvorssen stated that Bernie Sanders had the best human rights track record on either side of the aisle. His democratic socialist stances on many issues did not bother Thor even though he disagreed with many of his platforms. This caught Fox News by surprise.
During an explosive three-minute interview, Thor Halvorssen shocked Fox News. They brought him on believing that he was a right-winged human rights activist that hated socialism. It was the conservative news network’s opportunity to bash the position of Bernie Sanders, who was the democratic frontrunner at the time.
Instead, Thor turned the interview around by shocking the interviewer with the fact he donated the maximum amount to the Sanders campaign. He then schooled everyone in the studio on human rights and their importance in the presidential campaign click here.