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Activism Guide

    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.

    April 26, 2018

    Amnesty International is a global network made up of 7 million supporters, activists and volunteers, united by the commitment to freedom and human rights for all.

    But how did we get this big?

    One of most critical tactics for activists to help build our networks is to get the word out about who we are and what we do. This is where tabling comes in.
    Tabling is an important and essential tool for recruiting new members, gathering signatures and building support for your groups’ work. It is one of the simplest and most effective ways to increase the visibility of Amnesty International in your community or at your school.

    TABLING TOOLS!

    Practical Tabling Guide: 

    April 26, 2018

    "People shouldn’t have to go to court to claim their rights" – federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett, speaking at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, April 2018

    In the coming weeks, two governments that have repeatedly promised to uphold the rights of Indigenous peoples will be in court to defend a massively destructive resource development project that they approved without ever once considering whether it would violate Canada’s Treaty obligations to the affected First Nations.

    The West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations are asking the court to halt construction of the Site C dam which would flood more than 100 km of the Peace River Valley and its tributaries. 

    The environmental assessment of the project found that its impacts on First Nations cultural sites and way of life would be serve, permanent and irreversible. The United Nations’ top anti-racism body, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, has called for a halt to the project as a violation of the rights of Indigenous peoples.

    April 24, 2018
    join a movement of pocket protesters taking action for human rights

    Amnesty's new mobile app Amensty SOS is now available for download on both iPhone and Android devices. Download it now and join a global community of human rights activists taking urgent action to protect people and communities at risk - right from the palm of your hand.

    This summer, you can use the Amnesty SOS App as an activism tool for collecting signatures on the priority campaign actions your working on, or to raise awareness about the app as a simple and effective way to take action on urgent human rights cases to people.

    With the Amnesty SOS app, you'll be the first to hear about urgent human rights alerts and the first to take action to protect people in imminent danger.  You will also receive recent updates about Amnesty's critial work to protect human rights around the world.

    April 23, 2018

     

    More than 35,000 people are now reported disappeared in Mexico! It’s a staggering number that continues to climb every day.  

    One of the most notorious cases involves 43 students who were taken away by police in September 2014 and never seen again. The government’s “investigation” has failed to find the students, and is widely accused of covering up an extensive web of complicity involving authorities at all levels of the Mexican state.

    Hilda Legideño continues to search for her son Jorge Antonio, forcibly disappeared with other students of Ayotzinapa on September 26, 2014 Photo by Scott Brennan

    April 23, 2018

    As the space for civil society to peacefully advocate in support of human rights shrinks, being a human rights defender is getting increasingly dangerous. Women human rights defenders (WHRDs) are experiencing harassment and violence—both on and offline—because of what they’re advocating for AND because of their gender. The space for WHRDs to safely advocate for human rights, is getting even smaller. And the space for women of colour, Indigenous women, women with disabilities, and other marginalized women to advocate in support for human rights is even smaller still.

    April 23, 2018

    Whether you identify as LGBTI or as an ally, you can help bring Amnesty’s human rights message to a Pride festival near you this Summer. Pride is an excellent opportunity to show your solidarity with LGBTI communities in Canada and around the world, and take action towards creating a world where people of all sexual orientations and gender identities can live in dignity and safety.

    Here are just a few ways to get involved in Pride activities in your community this Summer.

    MARCH WITH AMNESTY IN YOUR LOCAL PRIDE PARADE

    Reach out to other Amnesty supporters in your community and organize a Pride marching contingent. Contact Amnesty’s LGBTI coordinators for information on swag to distribute, resources to use, and support in registering to march. To have maximum impact, try to have at least 5 people march with you.

    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:

    Pages

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