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Activism Guide

    January 18, 2018

    There are countless opportunities to get involved with Amnesty International. This guide is your resource for the latest campaigns and actions. 

    Learn about upcomng events and new actions you can take to get involved. 

    January 18, 2018

    If you’re a reader, a book lover, and take an interest in human rights, then Amnesty International has a book club for you! Launched in 2014, the Amnesty International Book Club engages readers, libraries and book clubs in reading beyond the book.

    What does that mean? Our book club not only features excellent literature, but we produce great discussion guides which provide background information and an action readers can take to protect human rights. Awareness plus action makes this a different kind of book club.

    Did we mention that it’s all free?  The Book Club has more than 6,500 members from coast to coast to coast, and ages range from people in their teens to some in their nineties. Everyone is welcome to join!

    Here`s how you can get involved: 

    January 18, 2018

    Israel has occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, for 50 years. 

    Join us in calling on the Canadian government to ban illegal Israeli settlement goods from entering our markets, and to stop companies based in Canada operating in settlements or trading in their goods. Help put an end to the cycle of violations suffered by Palestinians living under Israel's occupation. 

    Learn how you can get involved and look out for upcoming actions online. 

    1. LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR CAMPAIGN 

    Read our latest blog about the campaign to mark 50 years of Israeli occuapation of the West Bank. 

    >>> Read the blog now 

    2. COLLECT PETITION SIGNATURES 

    Gather signatures in your community on our petition calling on the Canadian government to ban Israeli settlement goods.

    >>> Download the petition 

    January 18, 2018

     

    By Ian Heide, Business and Human Rights Coordinator

    Amnesty International is calling on the Governments of Nigeria, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands to launch investigations into the role of Shell Oil regarding the horrific crimes committed in Ogoniland by the Nigerian military during the 1990s. In 1995, nine men from Ogoniland were executed. The executions of the Ogoni Nine, after an unfair trial, were the culmination of a much broader crackdown on the Ogoni people by the Nigerian military government. Amnesty`s latest report focuses on widespread human rights violations including unlawful killings, torture, rape and the destruction of homes and property, carried out by the military in the years leading up to the executions in 1995.

    Amnesty International has reviewed thousands of pages of internal company documents and witness statements in order to reach this conclusion. The evidence shows that Shell repeatedly encouraged the Nigerian military to deal with community protests, even when they knew it would lead to massive human rights violations.

    January 17, 2018

    The Canadian government has just announced the creation of a human rights ombudsperson. This will help position Canada as a global leader in business and human rights.

    For several years, Amnesty International Canada and the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability have been working hard to convince the Canadian government that a human rights ombudsperson is urgently needed. The creation of A Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise will help ensure that our country is finally “Open for Justice”. 

    >>> Learn more about the announcement here. 

    Now is the time to celebrate!

    1. SHARE THE GOOD NEWS 

    Spread the good news on social media by sharing our Facebook or Twitter posts. 

    January 16, 2018

    Have a Heart Day is an annual appeal for all First Nations kinds to have the opportunity to have a healthy and safe childhood. Lead by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, Have a Heart Day calls on the federal government to end the widespread and systemic underfunding of basic services that First Nations children and families need and deserve, from safe, quality schools to culturally-appropriate family supports and services.

    Individual actions and community events take place on and around February 14th (Valentines Day). Last year at least 70 Have a Heart Day events were held across Canada and more than 6500 Valentines cards and messages were sent to Parliamentarians to show that Canadians care about fairness and justice for First Nations children.

    Amnesty International is proud that our members have supported this appeal each year through events and individual letter-writing. Here's how you can get involved.

    January 15, 2018
    A Mexican immigration officer prepares to deport a child and his mother to Guatemala  Photo credit: Jose CABEZAS/AFP/Getty Images

    Mexico is on the front lines of a massive refugee crisis, a crisis effectively hidden by our mass media’s single-minded focus on the plight of refugees seeking safe haven in Europe.

    Huge numbers of people are fleeing across the southern border from Guatemala into Mexico because they fear for their lives amidst skyrocketing violence in Guatemala, and neighbouring El Salvador and Honduras, countries with some of the highest murder rates on the planet. 

    Mexico has laws and systems to protect refugees in Mexico. Yet Mexican authorities are constantly failing to comply with their legal obligations. Instead, they are sending endangered people back to life-threatening situations.  

    Agents of the Mexican Immigration Service detain migrants in San Mateo, Chiapas Photo:ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images

    January 15, 2018

    Over the past year, femme folks around the world have posted online their personal stories of gender-based discrimination and violence, claiming their power by telling their stories in their own words. People have globally united against hatred and fear and in support of gender justice and equality through women’s marches. Discussions in feminist and social justice circles about how to create an inclusive, feminist future are now permeating everyday conversations in public, work places, and the corridors of political power.

    But not everyone has the privilege to safely share their story online. Not every survivor wants this burden placed upon them. And much work remains to create transformative societal, legislative, and judicial changes that address the multiple and intersecting root causes of gender inequality. How will Amnesty promote transformative change in support of gender equality on International Women's Day?

    January 15, 2018

    You probably already know that Canadian mining companies explore the world looking for gold, silver and other precious metals. But did you know that Canadian companies also regularly export big servings of human rights abuses alongside their mining projects?

    January 14, 2018

    Time after time, supporters of Amnesty Canada have faithfully raised their voices in countless creative ways to denounce acts of terror aimed at destroying the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó in north-western Colombia. Community leaders have told us all the messages of concern, like those written by activists in Vernon, have helped to save lives.

    Now the Peace Community is appealing for support again amidst dangerous new threats from armed paramilitaries, who often operate with the support or acquiescence of state security forces and authorities. On 29 December, five paramilitaries attacked and injured German Graciano Posso, the community’s legal representative. Other members of the community courageously managed to disarm and capture two of the assailants (pictured below), suffering injuries in the process, and hand them over to the National Prosecutor’s Office. Yet authorities later released the two.

    January 12, 2018

    By Tara Scurr and Kathy Price

    The 600 members of the Indigenous community of Cuninico in Peru’s Amazon region have a spiritual relationship with the Marañón river. They depend on it for drinking, washing and preparing food. Fish caught in the river is their main source of protein.

    Following an oil spill from a pipeline near a tributary of the river, women like Juana Otejón report that they and their children have suffered debilitating health problems including stomach pains, fever, pain urinating, skin problems and numerous miscarriages.

    In the Andean region of Espina, Indigenous communities are also facing a terrifying health crisis.

    Studies reveal alarming levels of lead, cadmium, arsenic and mercury in their bodies. Studies have also shown that their only sources of water have been contaminated with toxic metals.

    January 12, 2018
    Amnesty supporters in Vancouver for Write for Rights 2017

    On December 10, 2017 - International Human Rights Day - Amnesty International supporters in Canada and around the world took part in Amnesty's annual Write for Rights write-a-thon, the world's largest letter-writing event, now in 80 countries.

    From coast to coast across Canada more than 1,500 private and public Write for Rights events took place in support of human rights defenders! The global total is already at more than 1.9 million letters, with many, many more yet to be reported. 

    People took part in Write for Rights events of all kinds, indoors, outdoors, in homes, churches, community centres, pubs, cafes, at work, over lunch, over dinner or over coffee. Events were organised and attended by schools, universities, friends, family, community members, some were open to the public and some were more intimate settings. The one common thread connecting all of these events happening across every province in Canada and beyond - is the many letters that were written to authorities calling for justice and the many messages of solidarity that were sent to frontline human rights defenders.

    December 18, 2017
    Write for Rights event Toronto 2017

    By Sareema Husain

    #WriteForRights, Amnesty International’s biggest local event of the year, took over the Centre for Social Innovation Annex on December 10.

    Every year, people from more than 180 countries take part in the day-long marathon to write, tweet, email and sign petitions urging governments around the world to release prisoners of conscience and protect human rights defenders. Mary Macrae has been attending the event for years. “There’s always this question if it really works,” says Macrae. “It does.”

    December 12, 2017
    Yellow stakes expressing support for Treaty rights

    “The fundamental issue is First Nations in the region have entrenched constitutional rights. Not just the requirement for consultation and accommodation, which we always hear about when we’re talking about resource projects. But they have entrenched constitutional rights to practice hunting and fishing as before, And that’s going to be violated by this dam.” - John Horgan, May 8, 2014

    In announcing his government's decision to allow continued construction of a mega-project he once opposed, BC Premier John Horgan said that construction was already past "the point of no return." That's blatently false. Here's why:

    October 03, 2017

    Join Amnesty International in taking action for Rohingya refugees forced to flee their homes in Myanmar. 

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