Saturday, December 31, 2011

Defend human rights

Dear Dwijendra,

Today is December 31st, the last day to make a tax-deductible gift to Amnesty International in 2011. If you donate today, your gift will be tripled by a generous donor.

Throughout this month, you've heard stories of human rights defenders whose lives have been forever changed by Amnesty International. You've heard about people whose families have been ripped apart by unjust systems that Amnesty is working to fix. And you've heard from Grammy-winning artist Sting, whose commitment to human rights has taken him all over the globe.

Your donation will help us start 2012 with a strong footing, able to tackle human rights abuses around the world.

Stand with Amnesty today. Donate now.


Curt Goering
Chief Operating Officer and Acting Executive Director, Amnesty International USA

Amnesty International USA
The most important gift you'll make this year.

Dear Dwijendra,

I know there are many demands on your time this season.

Amid the bustle of December, I'm asking you to make the most important gift I can think of -- a year end donation to the life-saving work of Amnesty International.

Donate today and your tax-deductible gift will be tripled by a generous donor.

Amnesty International relies on your support to meet the greatest human rights challenges of our time. Here are the top 3 reasons to donate to Amnesty:
  1. Our advocacy works. Amnesty's 3 million members make a real impact -- freeing prisoners of conscience, changing laws, and successfully advocating for advancements in human rights.
  2. We are independent of government or corporate interests, so we are free to work on the issues that matter most.
  3. We are global. We have a grassroots presence in more than 150 countries, and we send our researchers to all corners of the globe.
Fuel this inspiring movement. If you make a gift before December 31st, it will be tripled by a generous donor.

Become a member today.

Your support at this time of year is critical. It gives us the voice we need to speak out against human rights abuses like sexual violence, wrongful imprisonment, torture, and executions.

Become a member today.

Donate now.
In Solidarity,
Curt Goering

Shine a light on human rights.


Amnesty candleBecome a monthly donor in December to receive a 50th anniversary Amnesty candle. This 4oz tea infusion scented candle was handmade by a woman refugee rebuilding her life.

Triple your impact

Do you want to increase your impact? All donations made before December 31 will be tripled by a generous donor.*
*Up to $400,000
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(c) 2011 Amnesty International USA | 5 Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10001 | 212.807.8400  

We won!
Molly again, with huge news: 
Verizon just announced that it's not going to charge customers a fee to pay our bills online
Two nights ago, I started a petition on telling Verizon that it can't nickel and dime customers like me with new fees. Within hours, more than 130,000 of us signed the petition. (Thanks, by the way -- you're amazing!)
It took months of hard work to get Bank of America to drop its $5 debit card fee, but Verizon backed down in less than 24 hours. Turns out people like you and me are getting more powerful by the day
Congrats, and happy New Year!
- Molly

P.S. The team asked me to remind you that it's super easy to change something in your community. You can start your own petition in about 2 minutes -- just click here. (Seriously, you should do it. Do it!) 

Last chance to double your impact for rainforests

Rainforest Action Network
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Dear Dwijendra,

“Our people were given rights to this land by our ancestors. It is our duty to protect those rights and this land so it can be passed on to our children. Do you understand?”
Pak Datuk is a village elder on the tropical island of Sumatra in Indonesia. This summer, he stood before a group of fellow community members gathered to plan the reclamation of their ancestral land.

For these last few hours of 2011, every single donation to Rainforest Action Network will be matched dollar for dollar so you can DOUBLE your impact for Indigenous rights in Indonesia.

Pak Datuk’s community understood what he said all too well. Their rainforest gardens once overflowed with cassava, banana, chile, durian, jack fruit, rubber trees, and vegetables of all shapes and sizes. Tragically, where the wealthy ecosystem of the Melayu people once thrived, there is now a sterile sea of wood pulp plantations, crudely dug canals, and dry, exposed earth as far as the eye can see.

The Melayu are struggling to reclaim this stolen land, to replant their forest gardens and to raise their children by the same riverside they grew up by. It is their right. Their greatest obstacle? A decades-long land dispute with infamous rainforest destroyer Asia Pulp & Paper (APP).

This summer, Pak Datuk asked RAN’s forest team to bring his story to North America and convince APP’s corporate customers to stop buying from the company until it respects his people’s ancestral land rights.

By making a tax-deductible donation to Rainforest Action Network, you can make sure that Asia Pulp & Paper and other corporations standing in the way of Indigenous rights in Indonesia will be confronted head on.

RAN has successfully challenged nine of the biggest children’s book publishers in the U.S. to commit to protecting Indonesia’s rainforests. We are currently in serious negotiations with The Walt Disney Company—the biggest children’s book and magazine publisher in the world—to pass a groundbreaking paper policy that protects rainforests and respects Indigenous rights.

Sadly, Pak Datuk's story is all too common in Indonesia. Over 80 percent of this tropical archipelago was once covered by lush rainforest. Today, less than half that forest cover remains, and unchecked industrial deforestation continues to displace local communities and ravage once-pristine ecosystems.

That’s why RAN is in this fight. That’s also why, until midnight tonight, a small, determined group of donors is willing to match your year-end donation dollar for dollar. Indonesia’s rainforests and forest communities need us NOW.

With your support today, RAN will continue to stand with the best defenders of the rainforest—the communities who’ve lived in and stewarded the forests for countless generations—to transform the corporations that threaten their livelihoods, culture and survival.

Make a donation to RAN before midnight tonight and double your impact for Indigenous rights in the rainforests of Indonesia.

Thank you for all that you do to stand with Indigenous communities around the world.
Rebecca Tarbotton
Have a wonderful New Year!
Rebecca Tarbotton
Executive Director

Rainforest Action Network
221 Pine Street, 5th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104 USA
Phone: (415) 398-4404   Fax: (415) 398-2732

Friday, December 30, 2011

Really, Verizon?
Tell Verizon: Drop the new fee for paying bills online
Sign the Petition
Hey - it's Molly! Remember when together we beat Bank of America -- and the whole banking industry backed away from charging us just for using our debit cards?
Well, it’s time to get the band back together. Verizon just announced a new fee for paying your bills online. Really. Even though paying via internet is fully automated. 
It’s not just about the money (though if you’re like me, you don’t have extra cash to be sending to a giant phone company in order to pay your own bills). It’s that Verizon thinks it can do anything to its customers, and that we’re powerless to stop it. (Spoiler alert: We’re not.)
By the way, I found out that a recent report says Verizon paid zero federal income tax from 2008-2010, and actually got almost a billion dollars in rebates from taxpayers. So they definitely shouldn't be nickel and diming us. 
We can win this. And, if we do, we’ll save a lot of money for millions of people, many of whom are like me - not exactly swimming in a billion dollars of rebates. 
But we’ll also prove again that times are changing. People like us have real power when we organize together! Lots of people will see this petition, and maybe some of them will start their own, realizing that they can change something in their own community. 
First things first, though. Let’s stop Verizon from charging us a fee to send them money. Click here to sign my petition. 
Thanks! And happy new year!
- Molly Katchpole

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Anti-Muslim Whole Foods?
Whole Foods: Reinstate Glenn Mack Jr, harassed and fired for being Muslim
Sign the Petition
Everything changed for Glenn Mack Jr. when his supervisor at Whole Foods found out he's Muslim.
Glenn had been a rising star at Whole Foods, recruited to work in a prestigious Philadelphia store and even winning a special meeting with the company's CEO. But when his supervisor found out Glenn would be spending his vacation making pilgrimage to Mecca -- for which vacation time was approved months in advance without any questions -- his boss suddenly had a change of heart.
"You can choose. It's either your job or your religion," Glenn was told. He was subsequently demoted, harassed and wrongfully terminated in November.
Glenn's not bitter, though -- he honestly just wants his job back. So Moein Khawaja, who is working with Glenn to get Whole Foods to do right by him, started a petition on calling on Whole Foods to reinstate Glenn and create sensitivity training for all staff. Will you sign Moein's petition calling on Whole Foods to reinstate Glenn Mack, who was harassed and fired for being Muslim, and end religious discrimination in the company?
Whole Foods actually has a zero-tolerance discrimination policy and says on its website that "supporting team member happiness and excellence" is one of its seven core values. So the chronology of Glenn's mistreatment by the self-styled home for forward-thinking shoppers is like a slap in the face:
Glenn returned from his vacation demoted to part-time status and stripped of all his benefits -- even health care. He complained to HR, and got only harassment in response. When he would use his off-the-clock breaks for 5-minute prayers, he was heckled and suffered anti-Muslim comments to the point that he had to pray next to the dumpsters. When Glenn was finally fired, it was for absenteeism -- something he had not been approached about before.
Glenn's mistreatment completely clashes with what Whole Foods says it stands for.  He thinks that maybe that's why the company has basically chosen to ignore his harassment, perhaps hoping others will, too. But if customers tell Whole Foods that they won't stand for religious discrimination and that they want Glenn back on the job, the company will have to act.
Thanks for being a change-maker,
Amanda and the team
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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Holiday Wish for Appalachia
Dear Dwijendra,

As winter sets in and you begin to reflect on the past year, as well as the year to come, we hope you will continue your commitment to and the fight against mountaintop removal.
The upcoming 2012 elections mark a landmark opportunity to amplify the issue of mountaintop removal in the national political arena and demand that our elected officials take action once and for all to end the destruction in Appalachia. While we can not fight dollar for dollar with the coal industry's advertising campaigns this election year, our grassroots support is what will make our voices heard.
Can you make a contribution this holiday season?
We’ve accomplished so much this year. Together, with the support of allies across the county, we defeated all attempts in Congress to roll back regulations on strip mining in the Central Appalachia. In addition we celebrated the historic veto of the Spruce No.1 Mine in Logan County, WV, which stopped mining on one of the largest strip mines in the region.
Not only have we seen victories on the federal level, but we’ve had victories in our home communities. EPA officials met with citizens in eastern Kentucky, southern West Virginia, and southwest Virgina for Environmental Justice tours in areas where mountaintop removal coal mining is occurring. In Tennessee, selenium limits were put into permit requirements for the first time ever.
We’ve had an incredible year despite all odds, and in order to carry those successes into 2012, we need your support. Whether you're able to contribute $10, $25, $50 or more, every dollar of your special year-end contribution goes directly to groups working to end mountaintop removal coal mining.
Click here to make a tax-deductible contribution today
Thank you for such an incredible year and for doing everything you can to help end mountaintop removal coal mining.
For the Mountains,
Matt Wasson

You are receiving this message because you expressed an interest in ending mountaintop removal coal mining to one of the partner organizations of www.iLoveMountains.orgTo modify your subscription preferences, click here.

Easy, Free, and Time-Sensitive: Vote for us at Credo.

Can you take a minute to help us raise a substantial amount of money, just by voting?  It won’t cost you a dime.  Instead, you can simply vote for us on the Credo Action funding ballot, which will help direct millions of dollars in donations from this progressive phone company to groups including Free Speech For People, based on online votes like yours.  Last year, they distributed $2.7 million.

Even if you haven’t done anything with Credo before, you can still become eligible to vote, instantly, just by taking any of their current actions.  (Follow the link that says "New to Credo? click here".)  Once you’ve taken action, please be sure to go back and vote via the link above.  Select "Credo Action member" (you’ll become one by taking action there) from the drop-down menu, then vote for us by putting as many as possible of your 40 voting points toward Free Speech For People.  You’ll find us under the "Voting Rights & Participation" heading.

       Just click here to take action and vote.

Voting ends in just four days, on December 31st.

Thanks so much!

- John
John Bonifaz, Director

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

P.S.: Here again is a summary of all we’ve accomplished this year, from an email we sent you last week, pasted again below.

Dear Dwijendra -

What an incredible year we’ve had.

With the introduction of our People’s Rights Amendment in Congress and continued movement in the states, we are on the road to overruling the US Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC and to restoring democracy to the people.

A Constitutional Amendment abolishing corporate personhood will address a central problem at the core of virtually every challenge facing America today: corporations abusing the vast power of their practically limitless money, while ducking accountability by claiming Constitutional protections that properly belong only to us, the people.

We’ve made real progress toward enacting it, but we still have our work cut out for us in 2012.

       Can you help support this crucial work, with a gift of $10 right now?
Check out what we’ve been up to so far this year:
  • The bi-partisan People’s Rights Amendment was introduced in the U.S. Congress by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) on November 15th, marking the first time the U.S. Congress has the opportunity to debate the question of ending corporate personhood.  And, more than a dozen Members of Congress have already signed on as co-sponsors.
  • We drafted this Amendment, and adopted it with the support of 90% of our members who responded to our survey.
  • Nearly 1,000 business owners have signed their companies onto our campaign, in conjunction with our partner, the American Sustainable Business Council.  They’re calling for a level playing field for all businesses, instead of privileges for the biggest and best-connected.
  • The number of our grassroots supporters -- people like you -- has nearly doubled in the past year -- clear evidence of a real surge in support for our cause.
  • We’ve hired a national field director, Maram Abdelhamid, who’s been cris-crossing the country, diligently rallying & supporting citizen volunteers from coast to coast.
  • We’re building grassroots coalitions in targeted states to press for the passage of local resolutions calling on Congress to send to the states for ratification an Amendment to restore democracy to the people.
  • We’ve appeared repeatedly on national television and in online and print media throughout the country, promoting the People’s Rights Amendment and a return to that fundamental principle of government of, for, and by the people.
  • We’ve mobilized support from prominent lawyers and law professors across the country, including seven former state attorneys general and, most recently, Martha Coakley, the Attorney General of Massachusetts, who has become the first sitting attorney general in the nation to join the call for a Constitutional Amendment to reclaim our democracy.
  • Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has joined our call to revoke the Massey Energy coal company’s corporate charter, making clear that when a corporation abuses its charter, it loses the privilege to maintain it.
As you can see, our campaign to end corporate personhood and over-rule Citizens United is really starting to take off.  Help us take this momentum to the next level.

       Can you please make a gift of $10 to help restore American democracy?

Going into 2012, we want to:
  • Pass state and local resolutions in cities and towns across the country calling on Congress to pass an Amendment.
  • Grow our list of co-sponsors on the People’s Rights Amendment to 50, making it an Amendment that cannot be ignored.
  • Expand our growing coalition of Legal Advocates and Business Leaders for the People’s Rights Amendment.
  • Continue our work to revoke the charter of Massey Energy and make the connections to other corporate bad actors deserving of charter revocations.
To make the most of these opportunities, we really need your help, so we can afford to expand our dedicated and talented campaign team, build our base of support, and work in even more states to pass state and local resolutions, sending a strong message to Congress to act.

       Please make a gift of $10 today to help us move this campaign to the next level.

You can see how much we’re already accomplishing with your support, which we deeply appreciate.  And we’re just getting going.  With your help, we’ll move this campaign even further in the year ahead.

Thanks so much and Happy New Year!

- Alex, John, Jeff, Maram, Oske, Peter, Steve
The Free Speech For People Team
Wednesday, December 21, 2011

P.S.  In his foreword to the upcoming book Corporations Are Not People authored by our co-founder Jeff Clements, the veteran journalist Bill Moyers has said our People’s Rights Amendment “could be our best hope to save the ‘great American experiment.’”  Please help us move this Amendment forward in 2012!

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