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The Darfur Olympics is launched today, a week-long protest to keep the spotlight on the people of Darfur during the Beijing Games.
Violence and destruction are raging in the Darfur region of western Sudan. Since February 2003, government-sponsored militias known as the Janjaweed have conducted a calculated campaign of slaughter, rape, starvation and displacement in Darfur. Experts estimate that roughly 200,000 people have died due to violence, starvation and disease. More than 2.5 million people have been displaced from their homes and over 200,000 have fled across the border to Chad.
No country has done more to support the regime in Khartoum than the People’s Republic of China: no country has offered more diplomatic support, nor done more to provide money to buy the weaponry that fuels the engine of genocidal destruction. And no country has done more to insulate Khartoum from economic pressure or human rights accountability.
The people behind the Darfur Olympics created an alternative opening ceremony, a one-minute celebration of Darfurian children.
And, every day for the first week of the Games (August 8 to 15) they will show a new webcast report by Mia Farrow from a Darfurian refugee camp.
ECPAT UK has just launched a new campaign called No Haven for Travelling Sex Offenders. It was triggered by the acquittal in India of two British nationals, Duncan Grant and Allan Waters, on appeal of their 2006 convictions of sexually abusing children in a shelter Grant managed. ECPAT UK is disappointed in this verdict and believe that more cooperation between the UK and Indian authorities is essential to combating child sex tourism.
You’ll find all the information on their brand new Facebook group page.
Or you can directly go to http://voiceyourviews.net/eactivist/vyv.v?v=2121:561:15550 and send an e-mail to the UK Home Secretary who has the power to change the way the UK cooperates with countries where sex tourists go to abuse children. It doesn’t matter which country you are based in, everyone can send an e-mail.
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Last weeks there was a new kind of viral campaign running on chat channels like MSN Messenger. Many Chinese chatters use the heart symbol to show their support for China and the Olympic games. It was also a protest against the western propaganda about the violation of human rights.
Chinese chatters where ask to put ‘ China’ before there chatname
Amnesty International (together with the Dutch free card agency Boomerang) is now calling chatters to react on this by placing ‘ China & Human Rights’ before their chatname.
This action can be seen as a new and positive approach in the battle about human rights in China.
The Billboard Liberation Front doesn’t make art. Instead, they co-opt one of the most popular advertising mediums to make ironic, and usually critical statements. They turn the advertiser’s message against itself. The resulting implosion can range from humorous to disturbingly revealing - even sometimes achieving both at once.
Greenpeace has built a spoof site to take on Kleenex from Kimberly-Clark, the largest tissue maker in the world.
The “Kleer-cut®” site, as Greenpeace USA call it, is a duplicate of Kleenex’s current “Let it Out” campaign.
Kimberly-Clark produces more than 4 million tons of tissue products annually and generates billions of dollars of annual sales from 150 countries around the globe. Kimberly-Clark also produces an extensive line of commercial tissue products that its sells to institutions like universities, schools, governments and businesses.
As the biggest tissue manufacturer on the planet, Kimberly-Clark has the resources to shift towards sustainability. Unfortunately, according to Greenpeace, they have chosen greenwashing over sustainability and business as usual over real change.
- Stop purchasing wood fiber from endangered forests.
- Dramatically increase the recycled content of their products, including Kleenex tissues.
- Only buy virgin fiber that is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified.
On friday March 28 young creatives will work overtime for the good cause in four Dutch cities: Den Haag, Rotterdam, Groningen en Arnhem.
Young creatives from different diciplines like designers, photographers, illustrators and writers will work 8 hours for free together with ngo’s and other do-gooders.
For organisations it’s a great opportunity to provides a free concept, for creatives it is the change to enrich their portfolio.
The creatives are assisted by experience counsellors and will solve questions like “how do we involve local population in our project” or “we want a new house style”.
On March 19, the Granny Peace Brigade met in the rain in front of the military recruiting station in Times Square New York to mark the 5th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, “knitting ‘stump socks’ for amputee veterans, baby blankets and other items for Iraqi families.”
As Granny Peace Brigade says: “Every stitch will be a symbol of our determination to end this war, restoring our nation’s priorities to constructive action, responsibility and caring for all”.
This week Amy Winehouse, Helena Bonham Carter and Sade appeared naked in the British magazine Easy Living.
Amy Winehouse is pictured wearing nothing but a guitar and two pieces of black duct tape over her nipples, taken to raise awareness about breast cancer among young women.
Amy said: “I feel it’s so important that people understand breast cancer affects young people as well as older women.”
The photoshoot is done by photographer Carolyn Djangoly.
Last week, a secret recording emerged of a disturbing speech by USA Oklahoma Representative Sally Kern stating that homosexuality is a bigger threat to our nation than “terrorism or Islam.” Rep. Kern has refused to apologize for her remarks.
Hateful speech by elected officials must not be tolerated – especially when hate crimes based on religion and sexual orientation are on the rise.
Tell Oklahoma’s Governor, Speaker of the House, and Senate President Pro Tempore to publicly condemn Rep. Kern’s statements. Do it here.
The TAP Project is a remarkably simple way to raise money and awareness for the Worlds Water Crisis.
Beginning Sunday, March 16 through Saturday, March 22, restaurants in the USA will invite their customers to donate a minimum of $1 for the tap water they would normally get for free. For every dollar raised, one child will have clean drinking water for 40 days. Or 40 children for one day.
Something as simple as paying $1 for a glass of TAP water will literally change the lives of millions. The Tap Project is a grassroots initiative that was started in 2007. TAP Project helps UNICEF provide clean water to children around the world. Currently there is 1.1 billion people without access to clean water. TAP Project was launched in New York City last year and raised over $100,000. This year it has gone national and has close to 1,000 restaurants signed up.
Visit www.TapProject.org to learn more or look to see if there are any participating restaurants in your area.
This week a new platform is launched about Civil Marriage for Gay and Lesbian People in Ireland: MarriagEquality.
Marriage equality is about giving equal rights to marriage for lesbian and gay couples on the basis that lesbian and gay people and heterosexual people are equal in the law.
MarriagEquality grew out of an initiative introduced to support the case of Katherine Zappone and Ann Louise Gilligan to have their Canadian marriage recognised in Ireland. MarriagEquality argues that lesbians and gay men should have the right to marry, in a civil registry office, and gain the same legal rights associated with marriage for themselves and their families.
Dr. Katherine Zappone and Dr. Ann Louise Gilligan are both women and Irish citizens. They live in Ireland . Dr. Zappone is a public policy research consultant and member of the Human Rights Commission. Dr. Gilligan is an academic and works as a lecturer at St. Patrick’s College, Dublin. They have lived together as a de facto couple for 25 years, and are both salaried income earners and joint owners of a family home and one other property in Ireland.
In April, 2001 Katherine and Ann Louise decided to seek legal recognition of their life partnership. As at present, no such legal recognition existed in the country and there was little public debate about partnership rights for same-sex couples. With extensive research and legal advice they were considering taking a constitutional challenge against the Irish State.
The Fur Free Alliance is holding their sixth-annual Design Against Fur poster competition. And, for the first time their new International Flash Animation Contest.
The alliance invite students and teachers from around the world to participate in this contest with a conscience. Design a creative, compelling poster that delivers this year’s message that the wearing of fur is cruel and unnecessary. The contest is open to students of fashion, design, fine arts, advertising, marketing, graphic design multi-media, and all other disciplines in colleges around the world.
They want the modern world to embrace all animals and not victimize them by killing them to wear their skins. The alliance want you to help them make that happen. Your work will be evaluated by design and marketing experts, and potentially used in national and international campaigns to end the cruel fur trade. The winners will receive handy cash prizes. The competition will take place in two phases. Winners of the Regional Competitions will go forward to an International Competition. The Grand Prize Winner wins $2,500 US.
In November 2008, the regional winners’ posters will be part of a high-profile world-wide-web vote for The People’s Choice Award. The poster receiving the most votes wins $1,000 US.
Sweden, the most liberal country in the world, should ban all advertising that could be considered sexist, according to a government-commissioned report published last week.
In the report, special government rapporteur Eva-Maria Svensson suggested the creation of a law “banning advertising containing sexist content.”
Sexist advertising is defined in the report as any message distributed “with a commercial aim” that can be “construed as offensive to women or men.”
More at the Swedish thelocal.se.
Greenpeace UK is the best Environmental Website according to the BT Online Excellence Award. They are also listed in the overall top ten across all categories, alongside bbc.co.uk, Amazon and Google.
BT launched the Online Excellence Awards to recognise the websites that help make life easier and where you simply couldn’t live without. Thousands have nominated their favourites and voted for the list of sites that were shortlisted by the BT panel of expert judges in each category.
See all the winners here.
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