Welcome to the January 30, 2015 edition of this Peace/Justice action email!
Due to other pressing projects, this will be a minimal newsletter edition. There is a single action – a follow-up action on Darfur. If you want to take other actions, I have included links to some of Amnesty International’s websites. In them you will find actions from LGBT issues, to issues of torture, denial of freedom, and so on.
Plus there is a huge “Thank you!” for the amazing response to the global Write-for-Rights campaign.
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DARFUR: 2015 STARTS WITH ATROCITIES
Sudan’s President Bashir has recently initiated yet another deadly campaign against the people of Darfur. Since the start of January, bombings and assault have displaced over 30,000 people with an unknown death toll (400,000 displaced in 2014). With description of “cleansing” entire areas such as parts of East Jebel Mara, this has repulsive echoes of the early days of the Darfur crisis (for fuller overall details of conditions of Darfur and Sudan see: Current Status [UntilAll]).
In addition, the U.N. is planning to further cut-back its forces, largely due to pressure from Sudan, even as violence has drastically increased.
A petition has been created to press the U.N. into more robust action. Tell the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Powers, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, to the new wave of bombings.
Tell UN Security Council to Protect People of Darfur
TAKE MORE HUMAN RIGHTS ACTION
While I have a list of other possible actions to take, I have not had time adequately to investigate them. Thus if you want to take other human rights actions, please go to any of the Amnesty International websites.
=== FOLLOW-UP TO PREVIOUS ISSUES ===
Amnesty Write-For-Rights Campaign Success
A big “Thank you” goes out to all who participated in Amnesty International’s annual international Write-For-Rights letter writing campaign in December! Over 3 million actions have been tallied so far – simply amazing!
UN Arms Trade Treaty Takes Effect
On December 24, 2014, the UN Arms Trade Treaty took effect, regulating the international trade in arms trade. This newsletter has advocated for this treaty, although its effect is tied to broad support, especially from the large arms exporters. Thus far, sixty-one nations have ratified it and thus are bound by it. Of the large arms exporters:
- Britain, France and Germany have signed and ratified it;
- Russia, China and Pakistan have not even signed it;
- The world’s largest exporter, the U.S., has signed it but is unlikely to ratify the treaty since it requires approval by its Senate, and the concerns of the National Rifle Association (NRA) hold sway.
In the January 2013 newsletter the concerns of the NRA were explored as honestly as possible, although in the April newsletter the overall logic regarding the treaty concerns was deemed to be “incredulous” (although I remain open to further dialogue).
Announcement of UN Treaty (Reuters)
Actual UN Treaty Text
Western Sahara: Nonviolent Women’s’ Resistance
This newsletter raised the issue of problems brewing in sub-Saharan Africa long before they became mainstream news. While many issues remain bleak, there are also signs of hope. The following article highlights a nonviolent women’s resistance movement:
Nonviolent Women’s Resistance in Western Sahara [openDemoracy]
=== ARTICLES OF INTEREST ===
Ten Wars to Watch for in 2015
Here is the annual list from International Crisis Group:
One Almond Requires One Gallon of Water
The following article combines two environmental sub-themes of this newsletter: (a) our disconnection between what we consume and the resources to produce it; (b) the growing issue of water. And please note that it is a separate question regarding how much of that gallon of water is left to use again.
Almonds, California and Water [Mother Jones]