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Activism Guide

    July 19, 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. 

    July 19, 2018

    Share your story of human rights activism! 

    July 11, 2018

    An appeal for action from Maude Barlow, Alex Neve and Grand Chief Stewart Phillip from Witness for the Peace 

    In just a few days, a B.C. court will begin hearings on one of the most important legal challenges of our time.

    The court case — initiated by the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations — may be British Columbia’s best hope for stopping the massively destructive and wasteful Site C dam.

    A vital, irreplaceable cultural and ecological landscape is at stake. But the legal challenge to Site C is about more than the fate of the Peace River Valley. Fundamental issues of human rights and reconciliation are also at stake.

    The federal and provincial governments have already admitted that they deliberately ignored their Treaty rights obligations when they decided to flood the Peace Valley. Such blatant disregard for the rights of Indigenous peoples has no place in any country genuinely committed to reconciliation.

    July 03, 2018

    Regina member Nathan Bauche descibes how he became involved in Amnesty International through letter-writing. 

    On June 24th, 2003 I sat down to write my first Amnesty International appeal letter. It was addressed to the Canadian government about the reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. I received a reply to this letter from the Minister for International Cooperation at the time.

    I had been acquainted with the movement earlier that spring in an education class. Our professor had invited the community AI group to speak to us. Through skits and discussion they explained Amnesty’s mission and role. During the presentation, I realized how easy it was to make a difference simply by writing a letter.

    Afterwards I became heavy involved with AI. I joined the university’s Amnesty chapter, volunteered at many events, attended the Human Rights College in 2005, served on Amnesty Group 91’s board, and participated in twelve annual Write For Rights events.

    June 18, 2018

    Taner Kiliç, Amnesty International Turkey's Honourary Chair, has spent more than a year in prison. Taner’s trial, and that of 10 other human rights defenders, resumes in Istanbul on June 21st. 

    In June 2017, Taner Kiliç was charged and jailed as part of a crackdown on human rights defenders. Taner has done nothing wrong and never should have been arrested. 

    Taner is our friend and colleague. We will not give up until he is free. 

    Join our call to #FreeTaner and demand his immediate and unconditional release. Here's how: 

    1. TAKE ACTION NOW

    Sign and share our action demanding that Taner be released immediately and unconditionally.

    >>SIGN NOW

    2. SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR TANER

    Make a sign with a message calling for Turkey to #FreeTaner. Include a message about where you are from. 

    June 15, 2018
    A table with food

    1. Learn more about refugee sponsorship

    Thousands of refugees are in urgent need of Canadian sponsors. Click here to learn more about refugee sponsorship and how you can help.

     

    2. Add a 'World Refugee Day' frame Facebook profile picture

    Add a link to this blog or our Operation Sponsor Surge page to your photo caption. Click here to add the 'World Refugee Day' frame to your Facebook profile picture.

     

    3. Donate needed items

    June 13, 2018

    West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations have been forced to launch a court case to protect the Peace River Valley from the destructive Site C dam and uphold their Treaty Rights. By pledging to be a “Witness for the Peace”,  you are letting  the government know that you want them to uphold their Treaty obligations and that you care about  what they argue in court on behalf of the "public interest". Site C Tabling  Resources Included.

    June 13, 2018

    Summer is finally here and the season brings the perfect opportunity to get active with Amnesty in your community!

    From local community fairs and music festivals to speaking tours and Pride parades, there are countless opportunities for Amnesty supporters to spread the word and build support for our work for human rights through tabling. 

    To get you started, we've prepared a tabling toolbox with all the resources you'll need to get active this summer. Make sure you have all the tools you need, and then take action on the important issues below. 

    >>> Check out our tabling toolbox

    Show Your Human Rights Pride

    June 08, 2018

    By Jasmiha Ganeshanathan & Kishanaha Piratheepan, on behalf of the GTA Youth Leaders

    On May 26th, 2018 Youth Leaders of Amnesty International in the GTA put together their 2nd Youth Café and it was a fantastic event!

    This year’s Cafe incorporated learning and actions on three key human rights issues: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women of Canada, Refugees and Water Defenders. We made the event unique by using participatory discussions and games as tools for learning and sharing information. One of the highlights of the day was the creation of a solidarity banner for water defenders in Guatemala that all participants got to paint ( and is now with our partners in Guatemala). We got inspired by youth author Stephanie Woodworth who talked about water and her experience growing up in a small rural community and were moved by the words of spoken word artist Frishta ‘Fresh’ Bastan.

    June 04, 2018

    Erlendy Cuero, pictured above testifying to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, knows only too well how dangerous it is to speak up for human rights in Colombia. Her brother Bernardo (left), equally vocal in defending the rights of much-targeted Afro-Colombians, was gunned down last June. As Erlendy pressed for the perpetrators to be brought to justice, she received death threats.  Deadly violence is ever present. In April, gunmen shot and killed two of Bernardo's sons.

    Such atrocities were supposed to end with the signing of a peace agreement between the Colombian government and insurgents of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Yet since then, assassinations of community leaders have increased, not decreased. Every 11 days, someone in Colombia is killed for defending human rights. A frequent target are leaders of Indigenous, Afro-descendant and campesino communities seeking to defend their land rights in areas of economic interest. Colombian authorities are failing to protect them and allowing the perpetrators to get away with murder.

    Now is an important moment to press for action.

    June 01, 2018

    In the coming weeks, the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador will make a decision that could have profound consequences for the health and safety of Inuit people for generations to come.

    The Muskrat Falls dam is nearly complete but a crucial concern remains unaddressed. The best and most reliable studies of the downstream impacts of the dam warn that filling the reservoir will generate dangerous levels of methyl mercury which will then contaminate the fish and seals on which Inuit people on Lake Melville depend.

    Scientists from Harvard University have called for all vegetation and topsoil to be removed from the reservoir area - a recommendation that has been taken up by the majority of members of a provincial advisory body.

    There are outstanding questions about how this can be done. What is clear is that the province must not gamble with the lives of Inuit people. The ability of Inuit people to live off the fish and seals of Lake Melville must be protected. The Muskrat Falls dam must not be completed until these concerns have been properly addressed.

    May 31, 2018

    Since the 1990s, women in Saudi Arabia have been advocating for the right to drive cars. The driving ban was overturned last year, and women will finally be allowed to drive starting June 24, 2018.

    But just weeks before the ban is set to be lifted, Saudi authorities have detained—without charge—and held in communicado some of Saudi Arabia’s most prominent and outspoken women human rights defenders, including University of British Columbia graduate Loujain al-Hathloul. Arresting these activists will not silence peaceful activism in support of women’s rights in Saudi Arabia and it will not silence Amnesty International! 

    Join Amnesty International in acting quickly to secure the release of the women human rights defenders before they are charged with an offense. Saudi official monitor social media regularly, and that’s why we are using social media to call on King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to immediately and unconditionally release of all the women human rights defenders detained for their peaceful activism. #BeepForFreedom!

    May 26, 2018

    A group of Amnesty volunteers will deliver a big box of letters to Microsoft Canada's headquarters at the end of May.

    Help them fill the box with letters to Microsoft! Continue reading for more information. 

    Amnesty is concerned about the strong possibility that there is child labour in Microsoft’s supply chain. Amnesty researchers have discovered that cobalt, a metal used in the rechargeable batteries of portable electronics such as laptops, tablets and cell phones, is being mined by children and adults under hazardous condvolunitions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

    Amnesty researchers traced the cobalt supply chain and determined that the cobalt is very likely used in batteries in products sold by Microsoft, Samsung, Apple and others. We urged these companies, and others, to investigate their cobalt supply chains, publish the names of their smelters, and address any human rights issues, in accordance with international business and human rights guidelines.

    May 03, 2018

    As any journalist in attendance could tell you, during an era of fake news and fluff pieces (when covering a canine wedding is considered a top priority), it’s a tough time to be working in the field. But that’s part of what makes being at the Amnesty International Media Awards such a special experience. It’s truly awesome to celebrate professionals like Nathan VanderKlippe of the Globe and Mail, Margaret Evans, Stephanie Jenzer and Richard Devey of the CBC, Sally Armstrong and Peter Bregg of the United Church Observer, and Denise Ryan of the Vancouver Sun for the hard work they’ve done to expose human rights violations all over the globe – including right here in Canada.

    Ashley Hyshka is a student from Kwantlen Polytechnic University who stood amongst the celebrants this year as the winner of the Amnesty International Youth Media Award for her story, “No More Stolen Sisters”.

    Ashely told us:

    May 01, 2018

    Every May, people across Canada take action for mining justice.

    This year, we will continue to push for greater corporate accountability, while we celebrate some progress. 

    The Canadian government announced in January 2018 that Canada will be the first country in the world to have an independent Ombudsperson for responsible business enterprise.

    This means that people who have been harmed by the overseas activities of Canadian mining, oil, gas and garment companies will be able to submit their complaints to an independent ombudsperson for investigation. Effectively implemented, this could be a game-changer -however, the Ombudsperson office is not in place yet and some of the elements that will determine how the Ombudsperson’s office will operate have yet to be defined. Communities continue to experience human rights violations, even after mines are closed. 

    In order to be credible and effective, it is vital that the ombudsperson be free from political and corporate interference. It is also essential that the Ombudsperson be empowered to conduct effective investigations and gather evidence that may be in a company’s possession.

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