Thursday, January 31, 2013

Police killed our roommate
Our new roommate Paulie accidentally walked into the wrong house, and a police officer recklessly killed him. Help us take the officer who shot him off the streets.
Sign Our Petition
When our roommate and close friend Paulie was killed by Officer Heimsness, he was just trying to come home. Paulie had moved in only a few days before, and in the dark he mistook the nearly identical house two doors down for ours. Our neighbor recognized him and tried to make sure he made it home safely. His wife, unsure of what was going on, decided to call the police as a precaution. Paulie never made it home.
Officer Heimsness shot Paulie even though he was unarmed and, according to eyewitness accounts, backing away with his hands up.
We're devastated that Paulie is dead. Then we found out that Officer Heimsness has a dangerous pattern of taking violent force too far. We don't feel safe with Heimsness or other officers with records like his on the streets, so we started a petition demanding that the Madison Police Chief take Officer Heimsness off the streets and review the department's policy on use of force. 
Paulie was one of our best friends. When he decided to move back to Madison after 8 years in New York, we were thrilled. Paulie was your go-to guy for lending a helping hand or repairing broken stuff: your car, your computer, your heart. He played music with our daughter and read to her.
Officer Heimsness ran onto the scene without identifying himself as a police officer, with his gun already drawn. Despite years of training in non-lethal tactics, he shot Paulie three times in the chest. His backup officer, by contrast, had just arrived with her Taser -- not a gun -- drawn.
Heimsness' record of allegedly using excessive force stretches back to 2001. He's apparently even gone so far as to beat one man into a bloody pulp. We don't trust someone with this record of poor judgment to patrol the streets of Madison.
Police most effectively keep neighborhoods safe when they have the trust of those they protect. Thanks to Heimsness' reckless actions, that trust has been seriously eroded. Megan O'Malley, our neighbor who called the police that night, told one reporter, "I feel terrible I called the police. I wouldn't call them again."
Thanks for your help,
Nathan and Amelia Royko Maurer

Friday, January 18, 2013

Tell Dr. Oz to stop promoting palm oil

Rainforest Action Network
Ask Dr. Oz to withdraw his support for palm oil
Did you make any New Year’s resolutions this year? Perhaps to exercise more or eat better? If so, make sure you don’t listen to Dr. Oz’s advice.

Dr. Oz, a respected public figure and TV personality who advocates healthy living to the American public, recently encouraged viewers of The Dr. Oz Show to give red palm oil a try for its "incomparable, powerful nutritional virtues.” You and I both know that what Dr. Oz failed to mention is that palm oil is a leading cause of rainforest destruction and orangutan extinction.

Join us in calling on Dr. Oz to stop promoting destructive palm oil. Millions of consumers could unwittingly contribute to the demise of tropical rainforests and all the fragile species that depend on them if Dr. Oz doesn’t tell his viewers the full story.

The rapid destruction of endangered rainforests in Indonesia and Malaysia is a direct result of our food decisions here in North America. Global demand for manufactured foods with long shelf lives, such as cookies, cereals, crackers and chips, has increased demand for palm oil. This spike in demand, in turn, has increased expansion of palm plantations into the rainforests of Indonesia, causing widespread destruction of our planet's most culturally and biologically diverse forests.

Today, just under half of Indonesia's original forest cover remains. The world's leading orangutan scientist, Ian Singleton, estimates that orangutans will be extinct in our lifetime if unchecked palm oil expansion isn't halted right now.

Please email Dr. Oz and ask him to issue a correction of his ill-advised support for palm oil.

For the forests,
Ashley Schaeffer
Rainforest Agribusiness Campaigner

Rainforest Action Network
425 Bush Street, 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94108 USA
Phone: (415) 398-4404   Fax: (415) 398-2732

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Jailed: Single mom, punk rocker, defender of free speech

Amnesty International
Pussy Riot member has a temporary chance at freedom and reunion with her 5-year-old son.
Her son is just 5 years old and she hasn't held him for months. This is Maria "Masha" Alekhina's sentence for staging mere seconds of a protest song in Moscow's main Orthodox cathedral and for being a member of Russian punk group, Pussy Riot. However, tomorrow's court ruling could dramatically change Masha's situation.

Call on Russian officials to free Pussy Riot member Masha Alekhina!

Within hours, the hearing taking place in the women's prison where Masha is being held, will determine whether she will be released because she is a single mother to a small child. If released, Masha's sentence would be postponed until her son turns 14. While the reunion of Masha and her son would certainly be welcomed, an unconditional release is what she should be granted. Until then, we will continue to demand to justice.

Let's not forget that Masha, and fellow Pussy Riot member Nadezhda "Nadya" Tolokonnikova -- who is also still being detained in a different women's prison -- should have never been prosecuted in the first place! 

A legitimate peaceful protest -- which is what Pussy Riot's impromptu punk performance was-- should not be a criminal offense, and certainly not punishable by time served away from family and in the harshest of conditions.

Speak out for the women of Pussy Riot -- we want free speech and freedom right now!

The support base for these women stretches far and wide. We've seen Madonna perform to a sold-out show in Moscow with the words "Pussy Riot" written in bold letters across her back. We've seen Sting, Roger Waters and Matt Cameron of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam add themselves to our Free Pussy Riot map, among many other artists and musicians. We've also read the extraordinary messages of support to the women of Pussy Riot that have flooded in from all around the world from people like you, our incredible supporters:
"I think of you often and hope governments around the world will soon wake up to the fact that suppressing people's thoughts and actions are not in anyone's best interests." -- Robert Hasselbrink from Colorado

"Your courage and conviction are shining lights in a dark world..." -- Nancy King from New Mexico

"Stay strong and know that people are doing good work to help you." -- Tony Howard from Texas

"As a woman, I'm very proud of you, your strength, your fight...Hold on girls." -- Marie Ocana from France
Tomorrow's court date presents a window of opportunity. Unfortunately, Masha's chance at freedom would only be temporary right now, but our fight for justice will be relentless.

Take a stand for free speech and reunite a mother with her son. Help free Pussy Riot!

In Solidarity,

Samir Goswami
Director, Individuals and Communities at Risk Program
Amnesty International USA

Temporary freedom? 

Within 24 hours a court will decide if Pussy Riot member Masha Alekhina will be reunited with her 5-year-old son and her sentence postponed.

Take Action

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Take Action Donate

© 2012 Amnesty International USA | 5 Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10001 | 212.807.8400

Friday, January 11, 2013

The NRA wants to make a "meaningful contribution" to prevent gun violence? Here's one idea.

Amnesty International
The NRA wants to make a "meaningful contribution" to prevent gun violence? Here's one idea.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) wants to make a "meaningful contribution" to prevent gun violence? 

Here's one idea: the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The United Nations is preparing to finalize the treaty, which would help stem the flow of weapons to human rights abusers. And world leaders will negotiate and vote on it in March.

We can all agree, children -- no matter where they live -- must be kept safe from gun related violence.

Unfortunately, in so many places around the world, that is not happening as a result of the unregulated global arms trade. There are tens of thousands of children forcibly recruited right now by governments’ armed forces and by non-state armed groups who are often armed with weapons irresponsibly traded by governments and private corporations. Children are also part of the 26 million people who have been displaced by armed conflict fueled by guns.

Despite being the largest exporter of small arms and conventional weapons, the U.S. has not been a leader in the effort to establish this treaty due to a campaign of misinformation and lies – orchestrated by the NRA—to force the U.S. government to oppose and weaken the ATT1.

Tell the NRA to stop its campaign of lies about the ATT and stop interfering in U.S. foreign policy.

The NRA has asserted that the ATT would infringe on the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the right to bear arms. But, in fact, the ATT will have no bearing on domestic gun ownership2, as it deals exclusively with the flow of weapons between – not within – countries.

Let's be clear about something. There is virtually no regulation of the international arms trade. Governments and groups known to commit atrocities and abuses can buy weapons traded on the open market and use them with impunity.

This must stop. The ATT could save hundreds of lives every day by establishing common global standards for how countries import, export and transfer conventional weapons.

By dropping its opposition to the ATT, the NRA has an opportunity to help keep guns out of the hands of those who routinely target children and others—saving countless lives around the world.

Tell the NRA to stop helping human rights abusers get weapons.

We've got their attention. Let's keep the pressure on.


Michelle Ringuette
Chief of Campaigns and Programs
Amnesty International USA
1. "National Rifle Association vows to fight arms trade treaty at U.N." Reuters, December 28, 2012.


A Deadly Gift from the Gun Lobby

Don't let the NRA help give war criminals, dictators and human rights abusers a free pass to get weapons. No more standing in the way of an Arms Trade Treaty that could help save millions of lives worldwide!

Take Action

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Take Action Donate

© 2013 Amnesty International USA | 5 Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10001 | 212.807.8400

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Year Sale: Amnesty Shirts Up to 50% Off

Amnesty Shirts
Dear Dwijendra,

SHOP FOR HUMANITY. SHOP WITH A PURPOSE.To celebrate the new year, we've cut prices of our favorite products! Shop now for amazing deals on human rights-friendly gifts! Visit our store.
2013 CALENDARS - $13.99 $6.99

Plan your 2013 with our calendar, including stunning images of people around the world. Now 50% off!
AMNESTY GOLD PIN - $9.95 $6.95

We love this little gold pin commemorating our 50th anniversary. Get yours today for 30% off.
CHIMES OF FREEDOM - $24.99 $21.00

Hear the songs of Bob Dylan covered by stellar and diverse group of artists across the generational and musical spectrum. This terrific album comes with 4 CDs with 73 tracks!

Over two-thirds of countries in the world have abolished the death penalty but the US is not one of them. Support our campaign to abolish the death penalty in the United States with our shirt, where a red star is symbolic of states that have not yet abolished the death penalty.

Wear an Amnesty polo shirt to casual Friday or out on movie night! Our soft polo shirts are made from organic cotton and women's fitted sizes are available too!
TIN CANDLE - $15.00 $8.00

Light a candle for good luck & prosperity. The soy candles are lightly scented and will refresh any room while the tin container will keep it safe and looking pretty. Each candle is made and poured with love by Burmese refugees relocated to the US. Warm up your house while supporting this community of resilient women!
AMNESTY KEY CHAIN - $9.95 $5.00

This unique keychain is sure to catch attention and spread awareness about Amnesty's human rights work! The ring is shaped into a tear drop and creates a secure circle for your keys.

Support grassroots movements in the Middle East/North Africa and everywhere with our popular "Let Thousands of Voices Bloom" t-shirt. The flowers symbolize the organic growth of peaceful and inspirational protests around the world.
LARGE SILK WALLET - $34.00 $24.00

Make way for our vibrant handmade Silk Wallet! In addition to its ample storage room and sturdy snap, the wallet is handmade on traditional back-strap looms in Cambodia.

Back by popular demand, the Free Bird necklace symbolizes Amnesty's vision for freedom. The pendant is hand-cut from brass and copper and hand-stamped with the word 'FREE', the strap is a 20" LEATHER CORD with lobster claw clasp.

We can't get enough of this adjustable ring! This beautiful, intricate ring is made of brass, copper, and silver colored wire by the Ana Art Group in Old Delhi, India. It is a family-owned business and employs members of the community to create beautiful jewelry from recycled metals.

Add some flair to your wardrobe with a clear conscience! This bracelet is handmade by women from Sustainable Development in India. The red beads are hand-strung on 20 brass-colored wires to create a lightweight bracelet that will surely spark conversation and compliments.

To download tracks from Chimes of Freedom, check out 

For any questions or inquiry about orders outside the US, please e-mail
Share on FacebookShare on Twitter
© 2012 Amnesty International USA | 5 Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10001 | 212.807.8400