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World Conscience

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Take our anti-torture message home

New Action-

From Amnesty International USA:

Our campaign to stop U.S. acts of torture is gaining momentum. Over 40,000 people of conscience like you and I have declared that torture is NOT one of our values.

We've relentlessly spread our message of truth and accountability across Washington D.C.
  • We've demanded the President tell the truth about torture and be accountable for past acts.
  • We've insisted our leaders in Congress outlaw the practice of kidnapping people and sending them to countries like Syria, Jordan and Egypt where they are tortured.
  • We've plastered our anti-torture message on our billboard truck, which roved from the Capitol Hill steps to the White House lawn for 5 days.
Amnesty has never faltered in our defense of truth and justice. And we're not going to back down now. With your help, we're going to take our message to cities and towns all across the United States. We've learned from over 40 years of hands-on, grassroots experience that movements like these get started when people like you and me reach out to friends and neighbors - over dinner tables, in classrooms, and in offices from Washington D.C. to Hopewell Junction .

But we need you to help fund this fight. Here's the plan and how your gift will help:

1. We've created a web ad that illustrates how we are all connected to acts of torture. We plan to run this video on political web sites regardless of party lines. Torture is not partisan and we must reach as many people who won't stand for torture as possible.

2. Amnesty activists will spread our collective anti-torture message across the country by organizing anti-torture events, community forums and teach-ins. We'll go to houses of worship. We'll go to schools. We'll go to community centers. We'll be heard.

3. Amnesty International will continue to lobby Congress and demand that the outsourcing of torture be outlawed.

Click here and help us get our message out. Every donation - $15, $25, $50 - helps.

Last Chance! Join a party to help animals

New Action-

From The Humane Society of the United States:

That's why we'd like to invite you to attend a house
party on Sunday, February 26, to help raise much-needed
resources for our Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF), the
lobbying arm of The Humane Society of the United States. The
HSLF works exclusively to pass humane laws, and we have a bold
agenda to stop the needless suffering inflicted on countless
animals by factory farming.

Each year in the United States, billions of animals spend their
lives in overcrowded factory farms. Many of these animals suffer
from intensive confinement in cages or crates where they can
barely move for months on end. The HSLF has developed an
aggressive campaign to stop this massive cruelty -- and we need
your help.

Simply click here to sign up to attend a party on February 26:

Our latest Party Animals event is a national grassroots effort
with fun, informational parties planned in 42 states and the
District of Columbia. From coast to coast, party hosts are
opening up their homes to welcome concerned advocates just like
you. Click here to find a party in your community:

We We need your help to support this important work for farm
animals. At the party, you'll be able to participate in a
nationwide conference call at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time. Joining me
on the call will be U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-WV), U.S.
Representative Gary Ackerman (D-NY), and Grammy-nominated
musician and passionate animal advocate Moby. Sign up today to
join in:

Thank you for all you do on behalf of animals, and I hope you'll
attend a party in your community this Sunday, February 26, to
help farm animals.


Mike Markarian
Humane Society Legislative Fund

Relief efforts underway in the Philippines

New Action-

From Save The Children:

Save the Children is assisting children and families who have survived the February 17 mudslides in the province of Southern Leyte, the Philippines.

The death toll stands at 84, and 982 residents are still unaccounted for and feared dead in the village of Guinsaugon. Hundreds of additional families either lost their homes or have been evacuated from nearby villages following the disaster.

Save the Children staff members are working with other humanitarian organizations and government officials in providing basic necessities including food, water, and clothing at evacuation centers set up in nearby churches and schools. We will distribute emergency kits to thousands of individuals who have been evacuated that include soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, bottled water and other essential items.

“Continued rains pose a challenge to the relief efforts,” said Rudy von Bernuth, who heads Save the Children USA’s emergency response efforts, “but the distribution of essential items for children and families affected by this disaster continues. We also remain vigilant of the risk to neighboring villages, where further mudslides or floods are possible due to the very heavy rains.”

Evacuation centers are now housing over 2,100 individuals, about a third of whom are children. Save the Children is particularly concerned about ensuring the safety and well-being of these children and is preparing to provide special assistance to them by creating safe play areas, which offer activities that help children cope in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.

Conditions at the evacuation centers are difficult, with an inadequate number of latrines, no proper disposal of garbage and waste, inadequate supply of water for bathing and cleaning, and general overcrowding.

In addition, many schools in surrounding areas have closed or are being used as evacuation centers. Classes have been suspended, leaving even more children without a daily routine and sense of normalcy.

Please donate to support our relief efforts in the Philippines.

Who Will Speak for the Living?


From FaithfulAmerica.org:

With the press hyper-focused on the U.S. port sale to the Saudis, the Cheney shooting, and the Supreme Court Abortion Case (two of which are really important) it is easy to forget that as you read this, a genocide is raging in Darfur. The people of Darfur are a half a world away, but from the vantage point of your faith, they are as close as your next heartbeat.

Please do something - take a moment from your work. Glance out of your window, or close your eyes, and just for a moment, be mindful of these our brothers and sisters whom you have never met. Whatever you are doing at this moment - know that THEY are experiencing something far different. Many are living in terror, crying out for someone to listen, and burying their dead. They are trying to comfort their children, create a home as refugees under intolerable conditions, and simply get on with life. Their government has not simply failed them, it has organized a proxy militia to target them.

As tonight's news clamors for our attention, please take time to remember these who, at the moment, have no voice. President Bush, who more than a year ago declared the violence to be genocide, finally declared his intention to stop the Sudanese government from its brutal ethnic cleansing. The President has said "not on my watch" - and we need to press him to keep his recent commitment.

Here is how you can help. Our friends at the Save Darfur Coalition, in partnership with FaithfulAmerica and over 150 faith-based, advocacy, and humanitarian aid organizations, recently launched its Million Voices for Darfur campaign, an unprecedented effort to raise awareness of the genocide taking place in Darfur and promote the actions necessary to end it.

Go here to visit the Million Voices site and learn more: http://www.millionvoicesfordarfur.org

We are helping to generate one million hand-written and electronic postcards from Americans demanding a stronger and more effective U.S. response. Specifically, the campaign calls on the United States government to support a stronger multinational force to protect the civilians of Darfur.

Many of you responded through our February Ezine. If you have not yet signed the postcard, please do it now. With your help and our collective vigilance, we will NOT let the cries of those in Darful go unheard.

One more thing. Please visit www.faithfulamerica.org and post your prayers for our neighbors in Darfur. You can also find information on the crisis for use in your teaching, preaching, or reflection in our Briefing Room.

http://www.faithfulamerica.org/display_article.php?article_type=brief&article_id=37 (information appears courtesy of SaveDarfur.org)

Thank you, and blessings to you,

Vince Isner and your FaithfulAmerica.org Team

We're back!

Hopefully a bit cleaned up and with bigger and better things on the way.