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Activism Guide

    September 12, 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. 

    September 10, 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 a crucial moment to press for action.

    September 07, 2018

    More than 59,000 supporters of Amnesty Canada have raised their voices to demand justice in Honduras since beloved Indigenous rights defender Berta Caceres was gunned down in her home on March 2, 2016. The assassination was perpetrated less than a year after Berta was awarded the prestigious 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize for her courageous work challenging the Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam and its impact on the land and water so vital to the rights and survival of Lenca Indigenous communities. Berta had repeatedly denounced threats she said came from people connected to the dam project. Honduras is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to defend land, indigenous rights and the environment. 

    September 06, 2018

    September is a month of excitement in Canada as students begin a new school year.

    In Mexico, September 26 marks four years since police attacked a bus carrying 43 students from a rural college in Ayotzinapa who were studying to become teachers. Police took the students away. They were never seen again.

    Their forced disappearance remains the most notorious example of a massive, ongoing epidemic of disappearances in Mexico - more than 37,000 people who were taken away and "vanished" - amidst state corruption and collusion with organized crime. The official investigation has been so deeply flawed as to be accused of covering up the involvement of the military and powerful authorities.

    But now there is potential for truth, justice and finding the whereabouts of the students.

    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 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 May 2018, authorities in Saudi Arabia have arrested some of the country’s most prominent women human rights defenders. These courageous activists have peacefully advocated for the right of women to drive, an end to the male guardianship system, and for justice and equality. They have done nothing wrong, have not been charged with any crime, and should be released immediately and unconditionally. 

    We need you to take action online to support women human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia. 

    Saudi officials monitor social media and are sensitive to international pressure. This is why Amnesty International’s actions directly target the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Ottawa and official Saudi government social media feeds to:

    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.

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