Suffocating smoke fills the night sky; sonic booms shake the black concrete streets while intense screams of men, women and children echo into the air like a blockbuster flick. But this isn’t a Michael Bay film. This a Monday night, August 18th, 2014, in Ferguson, and this is real life. This is my real life. The smoke that fills the air is tear gas, the sonic booms are from armored vehicles approaching protesters and executing gas bombs. The men, women and children are my friends and neighbors, residents of Saint Louis, Missouri, all of us in the streets for over a week demanding accountability.
A deep voice echoes from the PA on top of one of the armored cars: “please go back to your homes.” But THIS IS MY HOME. This is where I was born, fished with my grandpa in January-Wabash Park as a kid, graduated from Hazelwood East, wear my St. Louis Cardinals hat proudly. So when I’m being told to go home what exactly does that mean? SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
11 THOUSAND PEOPLE are victims of gun violence in the United States, each year. On January 29, 2013, fifteen year old Hadiya Pendleton became yet another tragic example of the human toll of gun violence. She died after being shot in the back in Vivian Gordon Harsh Park on Chicago’s South Side. Write a letter to President Obama to honor Hadiya’s memory and call for passage of the Youth PROMISE Act.
10 YEARS and a thousand lashes – the price of blogging for Saudi Arabian Activist Raif Badawi. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
In the days surrounding Human Rights Day on December 10, I will be writing letters to people around the world – most of whom I have never met. As my messages begin to arrive in places like Chicago, Brasilia, Tel Aviv and Beijing, they will be joined by hundreds and thousands more. Together, we will speak with one voice to demand justice, cry for change and inspire hope. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
By Rafi Hoq, Amnesty International USA Student Activist Coordinator for Georgia
This week, I’ve been reading the latest updates from student-led “umbrella movement” in Hong Kong with a deepened diligence, and continuing to follow the ongoing protests in Ferguson, Missouri with newfound excitement. Youth are leading the fight for human rights around the world, and I’m proud to be a part of it. I’ve spent just a few of my 20 years as an activist, but having recently returned to Atlanta after Ferguson’s Weekend of Resistance, solidarity means something entirely new to me. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
By Gerry Carolina, Northeast Regional representative for the National Youth Action Committee, and coordinator of Amnesty International, Mount Holyoke College
It’s been 2 months since the death of Michael Brown, and even in the face of heavy-handed tactics by the police, peaceful protesters continue to march.
The community of Ferguson has called for a Weekend of Resistance from October 10-13, and Amnesty International Mount Holyoke College is answering in solidarity. 7 of us are driving from Western Massachusetts to Missouri this week, and our mission is to mobilize students to action, raise awareness, and build bridges between our students and the community of Ferguson. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
It’s been over a month since Michael Brown’s death reignited a desperately needed national conversation about the importance of defending human rights at home just as strongly as we do abroad. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
By Aaron Tovo, Amnesty International USA volunteer leader and Area Coordinator (Minnesota)
I’m going to New York this weekend to make history and to make change. And I’m not the only one.
On Sunday, 100,000+ people are expected to gather in New York for the largest climate march in history. We are going to New York as heads of state from across the world prepare for the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
Residents and faith and community leaders discuss unrest in Ferguson following the shooting death of Michael Brown during a forum held at Christ the King UCC Church on August 14, 2014. ((Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
By Rachel O’Leary, Amnesty Interntional USA Acting Deputy Executive Director for Membership Mobilization
On August 9, Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year old, was shot dead by a six-year veteran of the Ferguson police force. The next day, the community organized protests condemning the actions of the police and demanding to know the name of the officer who shot and killed Michael. Those actions continue still, a week later.
The day after the shooting, I sent a text to my colleague at 3:30 AM. It read, “We need to go to Ferguson.” Later that week, I was on a plane, leading the Amnesty International USA human rights delegation to Ferguson, Missouri.
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It’s been one week since activists across the United States showed their support for torture survivors through rallies and our photo solidarity campaign.
But the fight is far from over. Demand justice for Chicago torture survivors. Call on the Chicago City Council to ensure reparations for police torture survivors by passing the Reparations Ordinance for the Chicago Police Torture Survivors.
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Nabeel Rajab carries the son of Abdul Aziz al-Abbar, a Bahraini man who died from his wounds on February 23 after he was shot during clashes between police and protesters (Photo Credit: Mohammed Al-Shaikh/AFP/Getty Images).
In the last 30 days, two unjustly imprisoned men walked free – thanks to you.
Your support as an Amnesty activist helped secure the release of prisoners of conscience Nabeel Rajab in Bahrain and Dhondup Wangchen in Tibet.
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