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Activism Guide

    April 23, 2018

    In the midst of a global crackdown on LGBTI rights, your action is needed more than ever this Pride season to help ensure the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people in Canada and around the world are respected, protected, and fulfilled.

    Pride festivals are held in communities large and small across Canada from May through September, and Pride season unofficially starts on May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT). The Pride movement traces its origins to a riot at New York City’s Stonewall Inn in response to years of police harassment, raids, and violence against members of the LGBTI community. Pride remains a call to action to ensure that LGBTI people can live free from violence and discrimination.

    Take action with Amnesty at Pride festivals across Canada this summer.

    April 19, 2018

    On August 4, 2014, a section of the Mount Polley copper mine tailing pond blew out, releasing 25 million cubic metres of mine tailings and waste water into pristine Quesnel Lake in central British Columbia. As a result, parts of the crystal clear lake filled with thick, grey mining sludge and Hazeltine Creek was destroyed. Mine tailings, which contain arsenic, cadmium, mercury and selenium, cannot be safely removed and currently sit at the bottom of Quesnel Lake and along Hazeltine Creek. 

    April 10, 2018
    Don't Let Children Grow Up in Jail

    Kids and their parents are stuck in what are known as “baby jails.” Their so-called crime? Fleeing violence and dreaming of safety in the United States.

    Every year, tens of thousands of people come to the U.S. southern border seeking safety. They are trying to escape horrific violence and persecution, and going there to ask for asylum, a form of protection recognized under U.S. and international law.

    The Problem

    April 03, 2018
    Urgent Action workshop participants participate in an exercise to get to now one another and the structure of the network

    By Maitri Gupta, Urgent Action member in the GTA.

    The Urgent Action Network (UAN) personifies the famous saying the pen is mightier than the sword. It connects a global community of human rights defenders that have, over the years, used their words in letters to protect individuals from human rights violations. In Canada alone, the UA Network writes thousand of letters a year, and I am proud to have joined this community recently. As a Canadian, I have a voice that can be heard. Writing personal letters allows me to convey my message with more effort and therefore, sincerity. Writing to authorities is a powerful tool for accountability. Each time I write, the stories of the people that I am trying to help become more memorable. This is what truly motivated me to take that additional step outside of just signing petitions that I would often forget I had even seen. 

    March 20, 2018

    It’s time to tell Twitter to end online violence and abuse against women now

    Every day, women face violent threats, sexism, racism and more on Twitter. This abuse is flooding Twitter, forcing women out of public conversations - and at times, driving them off the platform. The abuse can be more intense for women of colour, women with disabilities; lesbian, bisexual, trans women, and non-binary people.

    March 07, 2018
      This month, the land and water defenders of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), have requested visible support from around the world. Why now?

    This month marks two years since gunmen burst into the home of COPINH leader Berta Cáceres (below) and shot her to death. Prior to the deadly attack, Berta had reported receiving death threats from powerful people connected to a controversial hydro-electric project called Agua Zarca whose construction she was campaigning to stop because of its destructive impacts on the rights of indigenous communities and the environment.

    For the past two years, amidst an official investigation that seemed intent on a cover-up, members of COPINH and Berta’s family, like her daughter Bertita (below), have courageously sought justice. 

    February 12, 2018
    Feminist Wikipedia Takeover - International Women's Day

    fem·i·nism (feməˌnizəm/) The belief that women, transgender, and gender non-binary individuals should have the same rights, powers, privileges, and opportunities as men. 

    Feminist Wikipedia Takeover: An action marking International Women's Day 2018 in Canada to promote gender equality in the free, online, open source dictionary Wikipedia by populating it with bias-free profiles on the contributions of women, transgender, and gender non-binary human rights defenders in Canada.

    Join the Feminist Wikipedia Takeover! 

    One of Amnesty International's goals is a world where people of every gender identity and expression have the same rights, powers, privileges, and opportunities. In the digital age we're living in gender inequality manifests itself online, including in the open source encyclopedia Wikipedia. Wikipedia has acknowledged and is working to address gender inequality in its platform:

    February 05, 2018
    Free Ahed Tamimi

    17-year-old Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi has been called the ‘Rosa Parks of Palestine’. For years, she and her family have bravely stood up against the Israeli occupation of their land. But she now faces up to 10 years in prison over an altercation with Israeli soldiers.

    We need you to take action to call for the release of Ahed Tamimi. Here is how you can get involved:

    1. TAKE ACTION NOW

    Sign and share our action demanding that Ahed be released immediately and unconditionally

    >>SIGN NOW

    2. Organize in your community

    Organise a demonstration in your community or in a public space of relevance. Get your message across - maybe you could consider making a banner, a placard or photo-boards to amplify your messages? Coming together to create a banner, for example, can be a great way to engage people with have different skills and interests in participating in your action.

    February 01, 2018

    After spending almost 8 months in jail on unjust charges, an Istanbul court ordered that Amnesty Turkey Chair Taner Kiliç be released on bail on January 31st. In unprecedented flip flop later that day the court overturned its decision and Taner was re-arrested and returned to detention as his friends, family and colleagues waited for him to be released. This is a cruel and disgraceful move by the Turkish government. Their continued crackdown on human rights defenders in Turkey is an affront to justice.

    We need you to take action to help free Taner. Here is how you can get involved:

    1. TAKE ACTION NOW

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

    >>SIGN NOW

    2. Organize in your community

    Organise a protest outside the Turkish Consulate in your community or another public space; and share on social media using the hashtag #FreeTaner

    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 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, women, transgender, and non-binary people 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?

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