22 August 2006

on amnesty international and collaborative relationships

so i received a request from the lefty math prof to publicize a rally in nashville on august 30th...

seems harmless enough, right??? whoa nelly - not so fast there ... before amnesty international can promote outside events or collaborate with other organizations we have to ask some basic questions...like

  • what are the stated goals of the event
  • is it a partisan event (or can it be viewed as such)
  • is there a goal behind the event such as supporting initiative x or calling for a boycott of company y

...and the like - and the answers to such questions then have to be referenced against amnesty international's mission and posture as an organization...and the key thing to remember, the thing that makes amnesty international so effective is this (straight from the international headquarters website):

Amnesty International is independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion. It does not support or oppose any government or political system, nor does it support or oppose the views of the victims whose rights it seeks to protect. It is concerned solely with the impartial protection of human rights.

so the rally that the lefty math prof is referencing is at a fundraising dinner for u.s. senate candidate bob corker featuring the president george w. bush...

so what can amnesty international do???

well, these events can be dicey...amnesty takes no position on political parties, individual candidates, particular governments, or ideologies (e.g. neo-conservativism)...so as amnesty members (e.g. holding amnesty banners) we can not protest against "the president"...

but we can organize and educate around specific administration or government policies that result in human rights violations...we can distribute literature regarding illegal detentions, extraordinary rendition, torture and mistreatment, violence against women that inevitably occurs in war situations, and a host of other violations that occur in any country whether a result of internal or external actors...

so can amnesty members participate in this rally as amnesty members??? taking the banner would not be acceptable but distributing literature on human rights issues and violation, obtaining signatures on petitions, getting letters or postcards signed regarding specific issues (e.g. genocide in darfur) bare all acceptable actions to take at such an event...

what event???

August 30,
3:30pm-7:30pm
Rally Against US Government policies that result in human rights violations

George Bush will be speaking at a $1200 per plate fundraiser dinner for Bob Corker. The doors open at 3:30, but the function will begin at 4:30. It's at the Loews Vanderbilt ..

be there but be clear why you are there...

peace out <3

2 comments:

girl said...

good post! i just ran into a situation where there was a request from a student at MTSU for our Amnesty Chapter to do a counter-protest at an anti-immigration rally being held on campus. As Amnesty leaders or reps, we all gotta know when to where the Amnesty hat and when to be an individual. yr post cleared up some confusion on that dichotomy.
thanks!

girl said...

grammar error: "where" should be "wear" on my post; who ever said I finished fourth grade is not telling the truth.