I often get asked by Avaazers, “what happens after I sign a petition?” And the truth is, a HECK of a lot! Every Avaaz campaign springs from a massive global mandate, and then zeroes in on the best way for our voices to win. Here’s just two of our victories from the last few weeks:
Remember when 2 million of us came together to stop the flogging of a 15-year old rape victim in the Maldives? Her sentence has been quashed! Here’s what our team did to win:
Ahmed Shaheed, former Foreign Minister of the Maldives said “The Avaaz contribution was the spearhead of the campaign to overturn the flogging sentence; a petition signed by millions, a country visit, a public opinion survey, and persistent follow-up all proved irresistible.”
Another example: Remember how almost 2 million of us rallied to stop the Maasai tribe in Tanzania from being kicked off their land for a hunting reserve? Last week, the Prime Minister announced they could stay! The petition provided a powerful basis for what the team did next:
The victory belongs to the Maasai people, but our community helped them win by making this a global issue the government could no longer ignore. This hopefully ends a 20 year land battle!!
Of course, our community does a LOT more than petitions. Last week, we raised a $1 million challenge grant in a few days to donor governments to put Syrian refugee kids in school. At a UN meeting, I was able to put a cheque on the table and issue the challenge on behalf of over 40,000 Avaaz donors. UN Education Envoy Gordon Brown, who chaired the meeting, called our community’s effort a “magnificent and impactful intervention” in getting other governments to give!
And often it’s not the Avaaz team but our community that does the direct lobbying. For example in Brazil, we’re inches away from winning a massive fight to end the shady practice of ‘secret voting’ in the Congress. Our huge push helped win the vote in the lower house and right now, Senators’ telephones are ringing off the hook as Avaaz members across Brazil use our online calling tool to directly tell them to stop this corruption — experts say a win is likely in days!
It’s this unique magic mix between a gigantic and spirited community of citizens able to speak out, donate, and lobby, and a small team of top notch advocates able to take smart, strategic actions at the highest level with democratic legitimacy, that makes our campaigns increasingly unstoppable.
If we keep believing in each other, and growing in size and in commitment, there’s no limit to the good we can do in the world. Thank you so much for the honour and the joy to be part of and serve this community. It’s something truly precious we have here — let’s keep building Avaaz.
With love and appreciation,
Ricken and the team
PS — You might not know that Avaaz is different from just about every other global organization in that we are 100% funded and guided by our community. Every campaign we run is first polled and tested to a random sample (you might think of it as a jury) of our community, that tells us exactly how the whole the community will react. I may be the CEO, but you’re my boss. If you don’t like something (and I don’t mean 51% like it, but 81% like it) then our team go back to the drawing board and come up with a better option for you. We have never, ever, broken this rule. So at the end of the day, it is your wisdom, the collective wisdom of our community, matched with the smartest suggestions the team hears from you and come up with ourselves and from our partners and experts, that determines what we do every single day.
When you add to that the fact that 100% of our funding comes from small online donations (we strictly refuse any donations from corporations, governments, foundations, and even individual donations over 5000 Euros), I think Avaaz may be one of the purest organisational expressions of people-powered change in the world today. Make that an organisation served by a beautiful team of wonderfully talented and deeply committed people that I wish I could introduce you all to, and we’ve got a kind of magic that can build the world we dream of.
PPS — If you want to chip in to help keep it all going, click here: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/october_reportback_a/?biEWLbb&v=29788
Shot by a harpoon that explodes inside of your body. Dragged backwards until you drown in your own blood. This isn’t a medieval torture scene; this is the fate of hunted whales.
It’s sickening that it still happens, but we’re so close to ending commercial whaling once and for all.
Please donate now and help us raise $25,000 by October 3 to end this terrible slaughter. We need just 15donors from Washington to make this happen.
1 800 722 6995
Now, the urgency to step up our pressure immediately is clear. With your help we’ll use every method possible to protect whales, push the Obama administration to impose trade sanctions on Iceland, and press for reforms in the International Whaling Commission to stop the whale hunt. Yet, we simply can’t do this without you.
Three countries: Iceland, Norway, and Japan, are flouting international agreements to kill whales for profit, even while some species are near extinction. Iceland continues to kill fin whales even though no one is eating them. Whaling has been rampant for so long that many species of whales may never recover.
These whales need our help now. Please make an urgent donation by our midnight October 3 deadline to save these whales and protect our planet. Just 15 gifts from Washington will ensure that we reach our goal to raise $25,000 by Monday.
The tides are turning, and the countries that perpetrate these atrocities must be stopped.
How? Together we are able to expose these practices on an international scale like few others. Our efforts – including investigative research, activists on the ground, demonstrations, videos, and more – draw the attention of millions, rally public pressure, and force governments and organizations to act.
We know from recent victories that our vision is achievable, but the broad scale of our battle takes significant financial resources. None of us can end whaling on our own, but together, people power makes incredible things possible.
Please make a donation to help stop the slaughter of remaining whales today. 1 800 722 6995
Together, we can end the senseless killings once and for all.
Thank you for all you do,
P.S. We need just 15 supporters from Washington to reach our goal. Please make your donation to save whales by midnight October 3 on our secure website or by calling 1-800-722-6995. Thank you!
Kristján Loftsson will be deciding any day now whether or not his company will be killing endangered fin whales this year.
Because of Loftsson’s flaunting of the international moratorium on commercial whaling and thanks to pressure from tens of thousands of Greenpeace supporters, President Obama’s Commerce Secretary recently declared that Iceland is undermining the effectiveness of the International Whaling Commission (IWC).
This ruling was an important first step and clears the way for President Obama to end fin whaling in Iceland by imposing strong economic sanctions. This is our chance to end the Icelandic fin whale hunt for good.
You’ve already gotten the Commerce Secretary to act, now keep the momentum going and get the President to follow his lead. Our goal is to send 15,000 messages to the President in the next 48 hours. I know we can do it.
Help keep Mr. Loftsson’s whaling fleet off the ocean by sending a message to the President today urging him to impose strong economic sanctions on Iceland for its illegal whaling. There isn’t much time.
President Obama has an amazing opportunity here to stand up and be a champion for the whales. Together we can make sure he takes it.
Iceland has been doing this for years and it’s clear that they aren’t going to stop until the rest of the world shows some leadership and makes them stop. That’s precisely what the President can do right now by following the recommendations of his Commerce Secretary and imposing strong economic sanctions on Iceland — and more specifically on Loftsson’s company that also sells fish products in the US — if they continue their illegal fin whale hunt.
Fin whales are already listed as endangered. The population can’t stand one more of these hunts. It needs to stop now.
Take action today and help save endangered fin whales.
For the whales,
Greenpeace Oceans Campaigner
P.S. Economic sanctions against Iceland will do more than just stop their illegal fin whale hunt. They will send a message to the other whaling countries that the U.S. is serious about enforcing international law to save the whales. Make sure the President does the right thing by taking action today.