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December 07th, 2017

Act Now to Save the Sumatran Rhino

by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Being the rarest in the world is great if you are a stamp or coin, but if you are an animal, the distinction is far less sought after. Unfortunately, the Sumatran rhino, is just that, one of the rarest rhino species in the world. With fewer than 100 living in the wild.

The smallest of the rhino family – vocal and hairy – the pachyderm can only be found in a few spots of dense forest in Indonesia, Malaysia and possibly even Myanmar. And just like their African cousins, their hard growth horns – despite being significantly smaller than those of their western counterparts – have been their downfall. They are used in Chinese medicine and as ornamental dagger handles in the Middle east.

As of mid 2017, conservation groups have been in agreement as to what needs to be done to save them from certain extinction. A full-blown concerted effort to increase captive-breeding efforts, but despite being one of the nation’s iconic creatures, the government seems to be dragging its feet to help get the ball rolling.

Conservationists have cited various reasons why efforts have stalled including red tape, nonsensical arbitrary decisions and territorial squabbling. Even the most basic measures to protect the species like on-the-ground protection from rangers, have been frustrated. Yet all the while the chance that the rhino will disappear becomes more and more likely.

If theses beautiful creatures are to be saved, government, not just conservationists must act and help assist in any plans that could bring them back from the edge of extinction. However, six months after the decision was made to implement a capture and captive breeding program, the government has not lifted a finger.
It is imperative the Indonesian government acts now to assist conservationist in their effort to save the Sumatran rhino. Any more delays puts their future in jeopardy.

Please sign the petition and tell Indonesian President Joko „Jokowi“ Widodo to take action now and help in the efforts to implement the rhino’s last chance at survival – the captive-breeding program.
December 02nd, 2017
type:NGO, Petition, Protest
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

The U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) recently proposed formation of an “International Wildlife Conservation Council” to promote the hunting of iconic wildlife species overseas, including species listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), and make it easier to bring grisly trophies back to the U.S. Adding insult to injury is the proposed makeup of the council. DOI is stacking the deck with trophy hunting lobbyists and representatives of the gun and ammunition industry.

The U.S. already imports thousands of trophies annually from animals threatened with extinction. In fact, the U.S. accounts for 71% of the global imports of threatened species like lions, giraffes, and elephants. The U.S. government should focus on improving habitat conservation, preventing poaching, and reducing human-wildlife conflict for these species – not promoting a cruel and inhumane practice disguised as conservation!

DOI is asking for public comments for only a few more days, so the time is NOW to tell them to make key changes to the council’s mandate to ensure that individual animals are valued and true conservation is prioritized.

Sign the prepared template email of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to send a quick note to Interior Secretary Zinke, demand a ban to trophy hunting and help iconic wildlife species, including lions, elephants and giraffes.
November 28th, 2017
type:Donation, NGO, Petition
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Many refugees in Germany have close relatives left behind in their countries of origin, in neighboring states or on the Balkan route. In many cases it is just too dangerous for women and children to follow up, often the financial resources are just enough for the escape of only one person. While those arriving in Germany sometimes wait for years for a decision in their asylum procedure, their families often wait under the most difficult and dangerous circumstances.

However, with the "Asylum Package II" the possibility for a family reunification for subsidiary protected persons was suspended for two years; their situation has become even more hopeless - because now, also refugees from Syria only receive subsidiary protection. In plain language, this means a separation for years for many families: In addition to the duration of the asylum procedure and the tightening of laws, the waiting period for a visa application in the German embassies of the neighboring Syrian countries takes many months.

The German Bundestag must finally act on these points! The protection and value of marriage and family is anchored in the German constitution. It must also be fully valid for refugees and their families. Therefore the German association PRO ASYL e.V. demands an end to the suspension of family reunification for subsidiary protected persons and an advancement of visa procedures for their family members who are entitled to follow-up.

Support the work of PRO ASYL e.V. by signing their petition, donation and/or spreading their articles in your circles!
Reza Shahabi_solidarity
November 24th, 2017
type:Petition, Protest
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

In Iran, trade unionists are subjected to continued persecution by the authorities. Their trade union rights and civil liberties are denied and trade union leaders are detained for reasons connected with their activities in defence of the interests of workers.

The Education International and the International Transport Workers' Federation are particularly concerned about the fate of two of them: Reza Shahabi and Esmail Abdi.

Reza Shahabi, treasurer of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, was under medical leave of absence after suffering severe forms of ill treatment while in detention. He was denied an extension to his medical leave and is now back in prison. Furthermore, his detention was extended by 968 days as a result of his absence. Reza Shahabi has joined a hunger strike on August 9th this year to protest against the inhumane detention conditions in Iranian prisons.

Esmail Abdi, a leader of the Tehran Teacher Trade Association sentenced to six years in jail on bogus charges, was transferred to hospital as a consequence of his 38 days of hunger strike in protest of the continued repression of teachers and the lack of judicial independence in Iran. He was returned to Evin Prison two days later. Esmail Abdi was briefly released on bail in June only to be rearrested on July 27th.

Sign the letter of Education International and the International Transport Workers' Federation and help them urging the Iranian authorities to permanently release Esmail Abdi and Reza Shahabi!

Credits: Ritzy Living Wage
oury jalloh
November 20th, 2017
type:Petition, Project, Protest
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Oury Jalloh's name can be found on many walls in Germany - mostly with the title next to it: "It was murder!" The case of Oury Jalloh occured in 2005, when his burnt body was found in the cell of a police station in Dessau, Germany. According to the police officers who had detained the man from Sierra Leone, Jalloh set himself on fire and could not be safed on time. According to a new survey led by the prosecution it is more likely that Jalloh was killed since experts on fire safety, medicine and chemistry all came to the conclusion that Jalloh's death was caused by a third party.

The irregularities in the official account have led to 12 years of campaigning (!) by the Break the Silence initiative, which has financed investigations and successfully pressured prosecutors to keep the case open. Though new documents are now to be added, the case is about to be closed, since it was handed over to a different prosecution department which declares it as sufficiently "clarified".

Mouctar Ouldadah Bah, a close friend of Oury Jalloh, fights since more than ten years for an in-depth investigation and a resumption of the case. With the impending closing of it, he is asking for support and started a petition on Feel encouraged to support the family members and friends of Oury Jalloh, set a clear sign against institutional racism and sign and spread the petition against the closing of his case!
November 16th, 2017
type:Project, Protest, Volunteering
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

On 11th of November, the Polish Indenpendence Day, Fascists and other far-right extremists assembled in Warsaw for a march that has become one of the largest gatherings in Europe for white supremacists. In July this year Poland's Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro initiated a critical juridical reform, giving him the right to dismiss and exchange members of the country’s highest court without any further consultations or consent. Poland is spiraling down into facism on all levels.

NIGDY WIECEJ, meaning 'NEVER AGAIN’, is Poland’s leading anti-racist organization. Their mission is to promote multicultural understanding and to contribute to the development of a democratic civil society in Poland and in the broader region of Central and Eastern Europe. Poland's oldest and most organised Anti-racism organisation had existed as an informal group since 1992 and was officially registered in 1996. The association is particularly concerned with the problem of education against racial and ethnic prejudices among the young.

'NEVER AGAIN' closely monitors racism and discrimination on the ground. Through its national network of voluntary correspondents and regular grass-roots contacts with various minority communities, the association has built the most extensive register of racist incidents and other xenophobic crimes committed in Poland, the so called 'Brown Book'. NEVER AGAIN' has provided expertise to institutions such as the Parliamentary Committee on Ethnic Minorities as well as consulted and influenced legislation on issues of racism and xenophobia. Among others, it successfully campaigned for a ban on racist and neo-nazi activities to be included in Poland’s Constitution. It has consulted the National Action Plan against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance and many other key documents. 'NEVER AGAIN' has cooperated with international organizations, including the Council of Europe, the United Nations, the European Union, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Support the work of the 'NEVER AGAIN' association, spread their news and contents through your preferred channels and participate in their actions against racism and xenophobia!
November 10th, 2017
type:Donation, NGO
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Resentments and xenophobic attitudes towards Roma and Sinti are present in Europe for centuries. Many Roma who have come as a result of the Balkan Wars to Germany as refugees, undergo multiple discrimination because they are Roma, Muslims and have applied for asylum in Germany.
Increased numbers of immigrants of Roma and other groups from Eastern Europe, whose stereotypical representation in the media, as well as deep-rooted resentment against the minority, reinforce the devaluation experiences of Roma. Discrimination determine the everyday lives of people at school, in relation to the neighborhood, with housing, at work, with authorities etc.

But also in their countries of origin, Sinti and Roma are targets of rassistic assaults, pogroms, structural discrimination. The range of discrimination ranging from social exclusion, visible on discrimination in education, the labor market market access, with housing and health care, to excessive and racist violence. A total of about 10 to 12 million Roma live in Europe.

The anti-racism policy of the EU is not or only partially implemented in some European countries. This passivity of governments endorses extremist violence against the minority. Extremists, neo-Nazis and neo-fascist groups in Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria and Slovakia have repeatedly attack Roma in public spaces and even in their private homes. The acts of violence against Roma are not limited to these four countries. Attacks were also recorded in France, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Romania and Serbia.

The Roma Anti-Discrimination Network (RAN) located in Göttingen/ Germany offers help to those who are or were discriminated in schools, government agencies, at work, in housing, in health care and in other places. RAN is based on an anti-discrimination network and supports the minority in their own interests on the spot. The organisation is monitoring cases of discrimination and violence against Roma and Sinti, publishes informations about reported cases and has established a legal fund for survivors of racistic attacks and discrimination for legal cases of dispute.

If you want to support this more than necessary project with a donation, you may donate into their legal fund. A donation helps affected Roma and Sinti in enforcing their rights and make a valuable contribution to the anti-discrimination work. The funds will cover the costs for translators, counseling processes, legal advice and other legal expenses.

In any case you can help RAN by spreading their news, share and like their contents, visit their events or report whitnessed cases of discrimination and racism against Roma and Sinti.
November 02nd, 2017
type:Education, NGO
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

The Center for Intersectional Justice is an independent nonprofit organisation based in Berlin dedicated to advancing equality and justice for all by combating intersecting forms of structural inequality and discrimination in Europe.

The members of CIJ bring a paradigmatic shift to anti-discrimination and equality policy at national and European levels and bridge the gap between scholarly research and policymaking on issues of systemic inequality and discrimination.
CIJ seeks to influence the public discourse and impact on policymaking through direct advocacy, research and policy advice, as well as publications on issues related to intersectional discriminations based on race, gender, class and all other systems of oppression which sustain inequality.
The global network of leading lawyers, academics, practitioners, writers, and journalists cover a wide array of policy areas, ranging from employment, education, migration and asylum, to health and the securitization of European states.

Support the Centre for Intersectional Justice by

  • following them on Twitter and tag policymakers and other influencers in your country
  • Like their Facebook Page and invite all your friends
  • Subscribe to their newsletter
October 20th, 2017
type:Donation, Education, NGO, Project, Volunteering
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Eighty per cent of rural African people depend on small family plots for their livelihood. Most farmers have less than one hectare of land and struggle to grow enough food to survive. This is why Farm Africa, an international charity organisation based in the UK, helps farmers to increase their harvests, build their incomes and sustain natural resources, partnering with governments and the private sector to find effective ways to fight poverty.

Farm Africa works closely with local communities, who actively participate in all the decisions about their work. Typically, their staff is from the local area, can speak the local languages and have a deep understanding of the local context. The organisation has 170 staff operating across the eastern African countries of Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. They work with different types of farmers in a range of regions, from dry rangelands to lush, diverse forests. Their situations may vary, but these small-scale farmers face increasing economic and environmental challenges.

Farm Africa promotes ‘climate-smart’ approaches so farmers can manage their natural resources sustainably, become more resilient to climate change and build long-term food security. Their mix of agricultural innovation and training in effective marketing skills equips farmers to grow and earn more. Through business training and setting up farmers' groups, they can get a higher price for their crops, and by learning how to process and store their produce they reduce waste and have more crop to sell.

Farm Africa's vision is of a prosperous rural Africa. Support them by donation, volunteering or help them in their fundraising campaigns!
October 02nd, 2017
type:Donation, Petition, Protest, Volunteering
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Białowieża Forest in eastern Poland is Europe's last primeval forest, a priceless shared heritage. Its trees are being cut to make plywood and pallets. The only thing standing between the trees and the harvesters is the power of people’s protest.

After taking power, the current Polish government approved intensive logging in protected parts of the Forest. The excuse is fighting an outbreak of bark beetle - an argument refuted by Polish and European scientists. In reality, the wood is being sold for profit. Only since the beginning of this year more than 50,000 trees were cut down, many of them over a 100 years old.

Just a few weeks ago, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) responded to the EU Commission’s legal complaint and ordered Poland to halt logging to prevent irreversible damage, before the Court issues its final judgement. But the Polish authorities have ignored all demands to save the Forest, voices of scientists and NGOs, protests, petitions, UNESCO’s demands and even the ECJ’s order, making Poland the first ever EU country to defy a decision of the Court.

Is there no power that can stop them?

On the ground, they’re called Defenders of the Forest. The people who stop harvesters, block the roads and disrupt the logging, sometimes with their own bodies. In doing so they save hundreds of trees from being lost. Now many face harassment, fines, court cases and physical violence. To keep going, they need to know they’re not alone - and to stay safe, they need visibility.

Help bringing more public attention to what is happening in the Białowieża Forest by sharing this article, sign the Open Letter of the Defenders of the Forest or donate money to them. With your help, you’re not just showing your solidarity - you’re becoming a Defender of the Forest yourself!