AVAAZ HITS 15 MILLION!!
Our amazing people-powered community has just hit 15 million people
-- the largest online political movement ever! Size matters, but spirit matters more, and ours is on fire.
Every week, bit by bit, we're coming together to build the world we want, bringing the legitimacy of massive citizen petitions, matched with smart citizen lobbying/messages/phone calls and a media-savvy delivery of our voices directly to decision-makers.
Here are a few examples...
THE US TRIES TO KILL ONLINE FREEDOM. WE FIGHT BACK -- AND WIN!
Late last year, the US Congress began debating a set of bills (SOPA and PIPA) to tackle online piracy.
But the devil was in the details and, if passed, the bills would have allowed US officials to censor access to any website around the world
, including sites like WikiLeaks, YouTube, and even Avaaz!
Along with groups and activists all across the US, we collected millions of signatures against censorship and delivered them in an hour-long meeting with top White House officials. Following our massive campaign,
Obama pledged to veto the bill if it came to his desk and Congress eventually shelved it. This bill was backed by some of the world’s most powerful corporations, but people power won
NEARLY 3 MILLION OF US TAKE THE FIGHT TO SAVE THE INTERNET TO EUROPE -- AND WIN, AGAIN!!
Right in the middle of SOPA/PIPA fight in the US, a small number of rich countries and large corporations were secretly putting the final touches on a treaty (ACTA) that would give powerful corporations almost free rein to control and censor the Internet. The EU had already signed, but still needed Parliamentary ratification.
That was before Avaaz members swung into action
over 2.8 million Avaaz members signed a petition to the European Parliament, demanding lawmakers reject ACTA
. The petition was delivered directly to decision-makers in Brussels and just last month the law was overwhelmingly defeated -- a major win for civil liberties and a free internet.
Our petition was a lightning-rod for Internet-lovers around the world and created massive surge felt throughout Brussels -- Marietje Schaake, a member of the EU Parliament said:
“The Avaaz anti-ACTA petition was very impressive. By showing how big the opposition was, the campaign persuaded MEPs to look into ACTA in detail, because they knew they’d be held accountable.”
But hundreds of thousands of us flooded the Environment Minister with messages in favour of the proposal
INCREDIBLE VICTORY FOR OUR OCEANS
Australia has just created
the largest marine protected area in the world -- and Avaaz members had a huge hand in this incredible win for the oceans
and the thousands of delicate species that live in them. When Australia opened up a public consultation on the proposed Coral Sea Marine Reserve earlier this year, some commercial fishing and mining companies lobbied tooth and nail against the plan.
-- giving the Australian government a crystal clear public mandate to protect this underwater treasure from mining, oil and gas development!
A GLOBAL MEGAPHONE TO SYRIAN PEOPLE
The world has watched in horror this year as the crisis in Syria has worsened, and the Assad regime has continued to crack down with ruthless brutality on its own citizens. Throughout the conflict,
our community has acted as an essential watchdog, connecting the world’s media to Syrian activists and to witnesses able to report on the government’s atrocities
. Together, we have also as acted as a crucial life support system -- tens of thousands of us have donated to deliver food aid to refugees and provide humanitarian and medical aid to citizens under siege by their own government.
Avaaz has also played a crucial role in drawing attention to some of the key external actors fueling the bloodbath, like the Russian state arms company Rosoboronexport
, which has continued to deliver arms to the regime even as the UN, journalists and the world’s human rights organizations reported on Assad’s increased savagery. Our campaign asking the US and India to drop contracts with this Russian company made
in the US and India, and helped drive the media cycle to shine a light on the role Russian weapons play in the conflict. Just this week, the Russian government announced an end to the sale of new weapons to Syria!
PEOPLE POWER AND THE DECLINE OF THE MURDOCH MAFIA
Hundreds of thousands of members signed petitions, made phone calls and sent messages to key decision makers in US, UK and Australia to win back our independent media
. We found out from internal News Corp emails that “the key” for Jeremy Hunt -- Murdoch’s personal UK Culture Minister -- was “to find a way to weaken Avaaz campaign's arguments.”
Now, after months of sustained public pressure from the Avaaz community News Corp is in full damage control mode, splitting its newspaper and broadcasting wings to protect its lucrative TV industry by insulating it from their toxic newspaper trade -- and we’ll continue to
pile on the pressure and push this fight for media independence in the US and Australia
THE WORLD TO DILMA: VETO THE AMAZON CHAINSAW MASSACRE!
Earlier this year the Brazilian Congress, swayed by powerful land interests,
passed a catastrophic forestry bill that would give loggers and farmers free rein to cut down huge swaths of the Amazon
. As part of a powerful partnership with Greenpeace, WWF, and Brazilian civil society, over two million of us called on Brazil’s President Dilma to reject the bill and save the Amazon.
Avaaz staff delivered our message in a dramatic day of high-level meetings with key Ministers and colorful demonstrations in the Brazilian capital
. Even though we didn’t defeat the whole bill in the end, Dilma vetoed part of the bill and ditched some of the most harmful parts of the Forest law.
AMAZING WIN: AVAAZ STANDS UP FOR EARTHQUAKE FAMILIES IN ITALY.
When Italy’s Parliament was dragging its feet responding to a devastating earthquake, the Avaaz community took a stand and helped catapult the issue into the headlines and onto the Parliamentary agenda.
190,000 of us signed a petition that was read in front of the Senate by a key MP and carried on a march through the heart of the earthquake zone that was all over the news
Then, just last week, the Senate voted to give 165 million Euros of party money to earthquake victims -- money that will help rebuild the homes and roads destroyed by the earthquake and ease the suffering of affected families!
10,000 NEW AVAAZ CAMPAIGNERS?
This year Avaaz launched
a new set of tools that empowers anyone anywhere to launch their own campaigns
. In just a few weeks, thousands of campaigns have taken off -- in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French and German, with more languages on the way! And in true Avaaz fashion, these new campaigns are grabbing the attention of decision makers and media, and already winning impressive victories: Avaaz members in Mexico
helped save a pristine bay from becoming a tourism mega-development, and members in Bulgaria scored a major conservation win for forests
. The best of these can even become global Avaaz campaigns, like the petition started by Baaba Maal -- award-winning Senegalese musician and Avaaz member -- to
rally urgent food aid to the famine-stricken Sahel region of Africa
. Have an idea for a campaign?
Launch it right now
OUR CALL TO END FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDIES GOES VIRAL
As we approached last month’s historic Rio+20 Earth Summit, Avaaz took
a laser focus to one of today’s greatest threats to our planet and our climate
: the one trillion taxpayer dollars given each year by our governments to Big Oil, Gas and Coal in subsidies.
Over one million of us signed the petition
Avaaz unleashed a series of campaigns targeting leaders of the G8, the G20 and finally the Rio Summit, hammering out message home again and again --
so that negotiators could never say the world’s people were not crystal clear about what we wanted them to do
to dump these wasteful taxpayer giveaways and we delivered it with hard-hitting full-page ad in the Financial Times on the key day of negotiations. Along with 350.org and other key partners we
unfurled massive “trillion dollar bills” on the beaches right outside the Rio+20 and the G20 meetings in front of the media, gaining coverage worldwide
Ultimately world leaders disappointed all of us as Rio+20 drew to a close with an agreement that failed to take strong action against fossil fuel subsidies. But in the process Avaaz members
helped move an issue from the political fringes and thrust it into the mainstream, building our movement and better positioning us for a win in the long run
THE WORLD STANDS WITH WOMEN IN HONDURAS
This Spring the Honduran Congress proposed an outrageous law that would
throw teenage girls in prison for using the morning-after pill, even after being raped
. The law would even threaten doctors with jail for prescribing the pill! Nearly 700,000 Avaaz members around the world cried out against this draconian bill, and
together with prominent local women’s rights groups we drew global media attention to the issue
The Avaaz team met personally with members of Congress, and on the eve of our action in Tegucigalpa the President of the Honduran Congress
told the press he would not pass the law
. The offensive piece of legislation hasn’t yet been killed for good, but now lawmakers in Honduras know the world is watching.
BRAZILIANS SLAM THE DOOR SHUT ON CORRUPTION
Earlier this year the Brazilian Supreme Court upheld the hard-won “clean record” anti-corruption law --
delivering the final blow against opponents of the law
The Ficha Limpa law
started as a bold proposal that banned any politician convicted of crimes like corruption and money laundering
from running for office. With nearly 25% of the Congress under investigation for corruption, most said it would never pass. But after Avaaz launched the largest online campaign in Brazilian history, helping to build a petition of over 2 million signatures, 500,000 online actions, and tens of thousands of phone calls, we won and it was signed into law!
Then, when opponents challenged the constitutionality of the law and took it all the way to the Supreme Court, 150,000 of us spoke out to save Ficha Limpa. The court decided in favor of Ficha Limpa, citing the massive public support for the law as a factor in their decision.
So the deal is sealed and Ficha Limpa is here to stay!
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