All posts by brendanp

[petition] Israel-Palestine: Help end the nightmare

I’m against violence and the killing of civilians, especially children.

​I’ve just signed an important Avaaz campaign to stop fuelling the violence in Israel-Palestine. Join me in this call!

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/israel_palestine_this_is_how_it_ends_rb/?kyFAGdb

Via Avaas.org:

As a new round of violence kicks off in Israel-Palestine and more children are killed, it’s not enough just to call for another ceasefire. It’s time to take definitive non-violent action to end this decades long nightmare.

Our governments have failed — while they have talked peace and passed UN resolutions, they and our companies have continued to aid, trade and invest in the violence. The only way to stop this hellish cycle of Israel confiscating Palestinian lands, daily collective punishment of innocent Palestinian families, Hamas firing rockets, and Israel bombing Gaza is to make the economic cost of this conflict too high to bear.

We know it works — when EU countries issued guidelines not to fund the illegal Israeli settlements it caused an earthquake in the cabinet, and when citizens successfully persuaded a Dutch pension fund, PGGM, to withdraw, it created a political storm.

This may not feel like a direct way to stop the current killing, but history tells us that raising the financial cost of oppression can pave a path to peace. Click to call on 6 key banks, pension funds and businesses to pull out — If we all take smart action now and turn up the heat, they could withdraw, the Israeli economy will take a hit, and we can turn the calculation of the extremists politically profiting from this hell upside down:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/israel_palestine_this_is_how_it_ends_rb

In the last six weeks three Israeli teenagers were murdered in the West Bank, a Palestinian boy was burnt alive, an American kid was brutally beaten up by Israeli police, and now almost 100 Gazan kids have died in Israeli air strikes. This is not the “Middle East conflict”, it’s becoming a war on children. And we are becoming numb to this global shame.

The media makes out like this is an intractable conflict between two equal warring parties, but it is not. Palestinian extremists’ attacks on innocent civilians are never justified and Hamas’ anti-semitism is disgusting. But these extremists claim legitimacy by fighting the grotesque, decades-long oppression by the Israeli state. Israel currently occupies, colonises, bombs, raids, and controls the water, trade and the borders of a legally free nation that has been recognised by the United Nations. In Gaza, Israel has created the largest open-air prison in the world, and then blockaded it. Now as bombs fall, the families literally have no way to get out.

These are war crimes and we wouldn’t accept that anywhere else: why accept it in Palestine? Half a century ago Israel and its Arab neighbours went to war and Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza. Occupying territory after war happens all the time. But no military occupation should turn into a decades-long tyranny which only fuels and benefits extremists who use terror to target the innocent. And who suffers? The majority of loving families on both sides that just want freedom and peace.

To many, particularly in Europe and North America, calling for companies to withdraw investments from financing or taking part in Israel’s occupation of Palestine sounds completely biased. But this campaign is not anti-Israel — this is the most potent non-violent strategy to end the ritual violence, ensure Israelis’ security and achieve Palestinian freedom. Although Hamas deserves much pressure too, it is already under crippling sanctions and facing every kind of pressure. Israel’s power and wealth dwarfs Palestine, and if it refuses to end its illegal occupation, the world must act to make the cost unbearable.

Dutch pension fund ABP invests in Israeli banks that help fund the colonisation of Palestine. Massive banks like Barclays invest in suppliers of Israeli arms and other occupation businesses. Computer giant Hewlett-Packard supplies sophisticated surveillance to control the movement of Palestinians. And Caterpillar provides bulldozers that are used to demolish Palestinian homes and farms. If we can create the biggest global call ever to get these companies to pull out, we will show clearly that the world will no longer be complicit in this bloodshed. The Palestinian people are calling on the world to support this path and progressive Israelis support it too. Let’s join them:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/israel_palestine_this_is_how_it_ends_rb

Our community has worked to bring peace, hope, and change to some of the world’s toughest conflicts, and often that means taking difficult positions to address the root cause. For years our community has looked for a political solution to this nightmare, but with this new round of horror unfolding in Gaza, the time has come to turn to sanctions and disinvestment to finally help end the horror for Israelis and Palestinians.

With hope and determination,

Alice, Fadi, Ben, Laila, Anna, Ricken, Jo, Nell, Mais and the entire Avaaz team

[Take Action] TPP threatens to end free expression online as we know it

From openmedia.org

In by email today. Do your bit and get involved to support an open and free Internet where nobody else decides what you can and can’t see, read, do online. This is fundamental right that people have died to secure for you. Don’t let a bunch of greedy corporate backed politicians take it away. It’s easier to defend freedoms that to gain them back again…

Your OpenMedia team has just confirmed the location of a new ultra-secretive meeting to finalize the Trans Pacific Partnership’s (TPP) Internet censorship plan.

It’s taking place in just a few days in Ottawa, Canada.

In response: OpenMedia is launching a new easy-to-use Internet Voice tool that will get your voice directly to those behind the TPP’s Internet censorship plan. Add your voice now >>>

We’ve seen industry lobbyists and bureaucrats go to extreme lengths to keep their plans secret before.1 But this time really takes the cake.

We’ve kept on top of these TPP developments and we found out about the Ottawa meeting to finalize the censorship plans with just a few days left. We’re ready for them despite the short notice.

If signed, the TPP will mean the end of free expression online as we know it. It would force service providers to censor the Internet – removing content, and even blocking websites outright.2 The expense will be passed on to you.

Under pressure from over 3.1 million people around the world,3 key negotiators have agreed to meet with us.

What concern would you raise with a TPP decision-maker if they were standing in front of you? Internet censorship? Privacy? New Internet costs? Lack of democracy?

Those involved in TPP censorship plans will be meeting us soon and we want to have your comments in hand. We’ll make sure your voice is heard if you join in now.

Powerful interests are going to great lengths to keep secrets from you, so they can sign an agreement that gives outdated media conglomerates the power to control how you share, collaborate, and express yourself online.

They hope to finalize an agreement that will globalize Internet censorship in the coming days — This could be our last chance to reach them face-to-face. We hope you’ll take this opportunity.

Thank you for being a part of this — our tools and strategies are effective because of you.

Josh, Meghan, and Steve, on behalf of your OpenMedia team.

P.S., We’re a small and nimble team, but we’re going up against some big players. Donations from our supporters fuel our work and make a huge impact on our ability to win. Please, consider chipping in today.

 

Footnotes

[1] If the TPP is so wonderful, why keep it secret?. Source: iPolitics.

[2] Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). Source: WikiLeaks.

[3] Huge international campaign beams 3.1 million signature petition count on prominent buildings in Washington, D.C. Source: OpenMedia.org.