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Avaaz the online activist network that is targeting Rupert Murdoch's bid

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Snoutport Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:26 PM
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Source: Guardian UK

If you had been on the Strand in London on the day that the high court was considering how to proceed with scores of civil actions against the News of the World for its phone-hacking escapades, you would have seen a peculiar sight. About 30 people were gathered on the steps of the court, the palms of their hands painted red, bearing banners that read: "Murdoch's men caught red-handed."

On the same day, outside a Sainsbury's store in Godalming, Surrey, where the culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, was holding his weekly constituency surgery, another group of 25 people had gathered. They were leafleting shoppers about the News of the World scandal and calling on the government to delay approval of Rupert Murdoch's bid to takeover BSkyB until a full public inquiry could be held.

Both events were the work of one of the most successful of a new breed of internet campaigner, in this case a global activism network called Avaaz, which means voice in Urdu and several other languages. It put out an alert to its half a million UK members calling for activists to attend the two stunts, with impressive results.

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This article MADE MY DAY!
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Snoutport Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:40 AM
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1. Looking for more links for this group
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Snoutport Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:10 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. wiki page link
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:40 AM
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3. An international MoveOn
I sign all their petitions, whether related to US events or not. After you sign, your name appears on the scroll, along with your country's flag. In a few seconds, you see names and flags from all over the world. Never fails to cheer me up a bit.
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Snoutport Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. I'd never heard of them until now!
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goodnews Donating Member (207 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:46 PM
Response to Original message
5. K&R: Here is some information on Avaaz

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia is an international civic organization established in January 2007<1> that promotes activism on issues such as climate change, human rights, and religious conflicts.<2> Its stated mission is to "ensure that the views and values of the world's people inform global decision-making." The organization operates in thirteen languages, and claims to have more than six million members in 193 countries.<3>

Etymology and origin

The name Avaaz (Persian: آواز ;)(Devanagari:आवाज ) was derived from the Persian/Hindi/Urdu/Punjabi/Marathi word for 'voice'. was co-founded by ResPublica, an American community of public sector professionals dedicated to promoting good governance, civic virtue and deliberative democracy, and, an American non-profit progressive public policy advocacy group and political action committee. The organization was also supported by Service Employees International Union, a founding partner, and Avaaz's individual co-founders include Executive Director Ricken Patel (a Canadian citizen living in New York),<4> Virginia congressman Tom Perriello, Australian progressive entrepreneur David Madden, Jeremy Heimans (co-founders of, Andrea Woodhouse, Tom Pravda, and MoveOn Executive Director Eli Pariser.<5>

In 2008, Canadian minister John Baird labeled Avaaz a "shadowy foreign organization" tied to billionaire activist George Soros.<6> Other conservative Canadians, such as Ezra Levant, <7> have identified Soros as an indirect supporter through MoveOn.<8><9> Avaaz states the campaign in question was "exclusively run and funded by Canadians, and has been fully reviewed and registered as a legitimate third party by Elections Canada."<10>


Avaaz is managed by a team of campaigners working from Switzerland, Brazil, the United States, Argentina, and the United Kingdom. They communicate with members via email, and employ campaigning tactics including online public petitions, videos, and email-your-leader tools.

Purpose, a for-profit company, states on its web site that "Purpose creates 21st century movements. We look for ways that movements can help solve major global problems. To do this, we work with some of the most exciting players in the new green and social economy to help them get to scale faster and some of the world's biggest brands to mobilize their consumers for significant social impact," and goes on to say that its principals co-founded Avaaz.<11>

At the 2007 G8 conference, protested against the "U.S. administration 'wrecking tactics' and failure to agree to specific, binding global goals" when it came to the mitigation of global warming. At the event, presented a petition signed by 355,000 people from 193 countries that supported its position.<12><13> Avaaz is also a co-organizer of the Global Day of Action for Burma along with Burma Campaign UK and Amnesty International. It has registered more than 750,000 signatures to a petition to the Chinese President Hu Jintao and the UN Security Council, urging them to "oppose a violent crackdown on the demonstrators" and "support genuine reconciliation and democracy".<14> Avaaz delivered this petition to UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown on October 15, 2007.<15><16>

In March 2008, Avaaz launched a global petition to Chinese President Hu Jintao on Tibet, calling for "restraint and respect for human rights" and the opening of "meaningful dialogue with the Dalai Lama."<17> This petition passed 1 million signatures in seven days, and has now reached more than 1.4 million signatures, making it among the largest and fastest-growing online petitions in history. The petition was delivered in protests and events at Chinese consulates and embassies around the world on March 31, 2008.<18>

The Avaaz video Stop the Clash of Civilizations, created with Agit-Pop Communications, won the YouTube 2007 Award in the "Political" category. It was, at one time, the all-time second most discussed video in the YouTube "News and Politics" section.<19><20> The video was also the winner of the 1st Annual DoGooderTV Non-Profit Video Awards<21> and the Popular Winner for Best Awareness-Raising Video in the 2007 Progressive Source Awards.<22>


As listed on the website, some past and current campaigns include:


On 21 September 2009, staged a 'global wake-up call' to press world leaders to take action on climate.<23>

On 12 December 2009, organized 3241 candle-lit vigils in 139 countries, again to press those attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 to reach a "Real Deal".<24>

In January 2009, was also running the following campaigns:
online petition against the 20082009 IsraelGaza conflict
online petition against violence, disease and hunger in Zimbabwe
ad campaign calling for a European peacekeeping force in war-torn Congo
online petition against the 2008 Mumbai attacks
online petition against the Anti-Homosexual Bill in Uganda


In March 2010, launched the petition Stand Up for Democracy! - stand with Baltasar Garzon (Baltasar Garzon is a Spanish judge).<25>

In May 2010 joined with 38 Degrees and Take Back Parliament to launch a campaign to reform the first-past-the-post electoral system.<26>

In June 2010, launched a petition calling for an investigation into the Israeli interception of a Gaza aid flotilla and the end of the Gaza blockade. It initially aimed to receive 200,000 signatories but this was met within 24 hours; a new target of 300,000 was again met within 24 hours, and a third was set at 500,000 signatories.<27> is active in campaigning to save Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani from imminent execution in Iran.<28>

Avaaz has also created an online petition to block the creation of Sun TV News Channel in Canada, which it fears will be like its equivalent south of the border, Fox News.<29> The petition has tens of thousands of signatures, including prominent Canadian activists such as Margaret Atwood.<30>

In September 2010 Avaaz launched an online petition against "a draconian and unconstitutional new secrecy Bill" and a Media Tribunal proposed by the African National Congress in South Africa that would muzzle the media and let security agencies operate without accountability. It added that the secrecy measures in the "Protection of Information" Bill and the "Media Appeals Tribunal" proposal threaten press freedom enshrined in the South African Constitution and will block the media from acting in the public interest to expose corruption and abuse of power.<31>

On December 8, 2010, Avaaz launched a gigantic petition supporting WikiLeaks. The primary aim was to stop the crackdown.<32>


Save the bees: an online petition launched in January 2011 to push the US and EU to join the ban of the neonicotinoid pesticides manufactured by Bayer which are highly toxic to honey bees.<33>

Stop conflict chocolate - a campaign to prevent civil war in the Ivory Coast by sending emails to 'leading companies' of the cocoa industry, asking them to stop dealing with Laurent Gbagbo.<34>

Solidarity with the people of Egypt: an online petition launched in January 2011 to express solidarity with the people of Egypt during the 2011 Egyptian protests, in which the Egyptian people sought to peacefully remove the dictatorial regime of President Hosni Mubarak, in order to establish democracy.<35>

Appeal to United Nations Security Council delegates, European Foreign Ministers, and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to impose specific actions to stop and prosecute the violence against civilians in the 2011 Libyan uprising.<36>

Petition to stop Rupert Murdoch gaining control over BSkyB or any more of the United Kingdom mass media.<37>

Appeal to Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Turkish government to help release Iman al-Obeidi and investigate her case.<38>

Campaign on behalf of the US army private, Bradley Manning, who is accused of leaking confidential material to Wikileaks. Avaaz describes Manning as subject to "brutal torture" in a US military prison.<39>

Petition to Prime Minister of India, in support of Anna Hazare, who started fasting to urge the government for strict law against corruption. <40>

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