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July 24th, 2015

Indigenous lands and culture are not for sale!

type:Petition, Protest
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

The US government is about to let a giant international mining company dig up a beautiful stretch of national forest held sacred by the Apache tribe.

Too many of our governments have a shameful history of abusing indigenous peoples. But when US lawmakers with links to mining interests used devious tactics to grant permission for the mine, the Apache fought back. It’s starting to work — right now Congress is considering whether to stop the project.
Apache leaders will meet lawmakers in hours. If enough of us back their courageous call today, our mass of voices can build their strength to save their heritage, and send a message to governments around the world that indigenous lands and culture are not for sale.

Sign the petition and help saving the Oak Flat!
July 21st, 2015
type:Donation, Project, Volunteering
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

The need to remember often competes with the equally strong pressure to forget. Even with the best of intentions, erasing the past can prevent new generations from learning critical lessons while forever compromising opportunities to build a peaceful future.

Without safe spaces to remember and preserve these memories, the stories of elderly survivors of atrocity can vanish when they pass away; societies that have overcome conflicts may never seek justice for fear of re-opening old wounds; and the families of the disappeared may never find answers.

But these memories belong to us all. Their stories are our stories and their history is our history. This is why the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, a global network of historic sites, museums, and memory initiatives connecting past struggles to today’s movements for human rights and social justice, exists.

Support the work of Sites of Consience by donating, volunteering or organizing an event in your local community.
July 20th, 2015
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Commemorative culture is an unpopular term in Serbia: According to the feminist and anti-militarist network Women in Black Belgrade (Zene u crnom Beograd), Serbian society has still not dealt enough with its recent national history including military violence and state organized war crimes during the Balkan Wars.

Women in Black is a world-wide network of women committed to peace with justice and actively opposed to injustice, war, militarism and other forms of violence. From the beginning of their work in October 1991, Women in Black Belgrade have made visible non-violent resistance to militarism, war, sexism and nationalism by organizing around 700 peaceful public actions on the streets and squares of the Serbian Capital and beyond, built a women's network of solidarity in a male-dominated culture, organized peace education and demanded demilitarisation and disarmament.

A permanent confrontation with the past is a great focus of Women in Black Belgrade: They were one of the first and loudest groups in Serbia commemorating the 20th anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica, committed by Serbian paramilitary groups in July 1995 in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica. They demand a public debate about Serbia's responsability in this and many more cases.

Support this great collective of brave women fighting for a different perspective! Help them to establish a commemorative culture in Serbian society and provoke necessary public debates around violence and war!
July 17th, 2015
type:Donation, Volunteering
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

During the Balkans conflict of 1992-1995, the Bosnian town of Srebrenica was declared a "UN Safe Area" in 1993, under the watch of the United Nations Protection Force.

In July 1995, General Ratko Mladić and his Serbian paramilitary units overran and captured the town, despite its designation as an area “free from any armed attack or any other hostile act”.

In the days following Srebrenica’s fall, more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were systematically massacred and buried in mass graves. Thousands of women, children and elderly people were forcibly deported and a large number of women were raped. It was the greatest atrocity on European soil since the Second World War (!).

The International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia ruled that the mass execution of Bosniak men and boys in Srebrenica constituted genocide.

Remembering Srebrenica is an initiative with the aim to encourage everyone in society to learn about the consequences of hate and discrimination. They organize events commemorating the genocide of Srebrenica by working with local organisations in different cities and towns throughout the United Kingdom.

Support this more than necessary project by donating, volunteering or organizing a memorial event and help future generations to be informed and fight against blind, racially motivated violence!
July 09th, 2015
type:Crowd Funding, Donation, Project
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

The shoe is one of the most environmentally damaging items we wear due the raw materials used and intensity of manufacturing processes. According to an MIT study, a typical shoe has a carbon footprint of 30 pounds of CO2. 25 billion shoes are sold in the world per year - the carbon footprint of the global shoe industry is close to that of the entire country of Italy!

So UNDO Labs created a product to "undo" the damage of the shoe industry. How do they achieve that? A shoe is meaningless without its laces. So why not buy a pair of undo laces? UNDO Labs offsets the carbon footprint of a pair of shoes by purchasing carbon offset credits from a wind energy, solar energy or reforestation project on the customer's behalf. They do this by going through 3rd party carbon offset vendors. If everyone in the world had an UNDO Lace for every shoe they owned, the carbon footprint of the entire shoe industry would be offset!

Help the creators of UNDO laces in reducing the environmental damage on or planet through the shoe industry and be part of a smart project promoting sustainability and environmental responsability - one shoe at a time.
Shell fighter
July 08th, 2015
type:NGO, Petition, Protest
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Shell have spent 3 years trying to get the green light to drill in the Arctic. Obama gave them the go-ahead, but with constant scrutiny and pressure from millions of people across the world, regulators have been forced to finally address Shell's incompetence: This week the news broke that US regulators have slashed Shell’s potential for drilling by half. Greenpeace's three year long campaign has shown the world that Shell cannot be trusted with the Arctic.

There are millions of supporters who’ve built the campaign to save the Arctic. They believe in protecting the Arctic for generations to come and that an investment isn’t an investment if it destroys our planet. That’s why all of us have to do absolutely everything we can to keep Shell out of the Arctic for good. Are you in?

Then sign the petition and help Greenpeace to gain more publicity, increasing the pressure on Shell and showing their incompetence in the most public way possible!

Photo: Vincenzo Floramo/Greenpeace
June 30th, 2015
type:NGO, Petition, Protest
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

A new Arctic oil rush has begun. Reckless companies like Shell, Gazprom, Statoil, and Exxon want to invade the fragile Arctic, risking a devastating oil spill for only three years worth of oil.

The Arctic is home to incredible wildlife, from majestic polar bears to blubbery walruses and mysterious narwhals. But all Arctic species depend on sea ice to survive, and the ice is vanishing with terrifying speed. Amid global climate change it's warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. In the last 30 years 75% of the summer sea ice volume has disappeared.

Protecting the Arctic means protecting us all.

Act now to stop an oil spill in the Arctic before it starts and to protect the Arctic ecosystem before it's too late!
June 27th, 2015
type:Crowd Funding, Donation
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

The Rroma Information Center (RIC) e.V. was founded in August 2011 and provides a platform for Rroma activists to raise their voices and show the variety of perspectives on topics like politics, education, art and culture and contribute to the (self-)reflection of society.

To this date, the concerns of Rroma people are primarily represented out of non-Rroma perspective which is why keywords linked to Rroma people, such as "not integrated", "uneducated" and "unprofessional", are dominant in society and become self-fulfilling prophecies. The Rroma Information Center wants to oppose an independent and emancipated team of activists providing a quality information-platform and a safe space for Rroma people.

Currently the RIC staff mostly works with donated old furniture and computers. The devices often behave faultily, the furniture doesn't really fulfill the needs of daily working routine. Unfortunately an application for financial support has been rejected recently. The RIC decided therefor to start a crowdfunding campaign to purchase the urgently needed material.

Help the RIC to furnish their work space and pledge for a more efficient Rroma Information Center!

Credits: "The Beauties of Auschwitz" by Ceja Stojkas, artist of Rroma descent
Photo: Diego Castellano
Confederate flag
June 21st, 2015
type:Petition, Protest
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

The Confederate Flag still flies out of homes and cars, even on public squares and next to governmental monuments in the South of the United States. One can ask why, since the red flag with its cross out of blue "bars and stars" is a clear historical symbol for century-long racially motivated violence and hate. Hate against anyone who is not white, christian and heterosexual. Hate against the majority of this world basically, but especially against black people in the United States.

This flag represents the Confederate States of America during the US-American Civil War when the South was vehemently fighting to keep slavery as a means to maintain and enhance economic prosperity for white plantation owners. The Civil War was ended in 1865, slavery of black people was abandoned, the era of the Confederate Staes of America over.

On Wednesday nine people of a black community in Charleston were shot by a white male teenager in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church - the first independent black church in America for nearly two hundred years. The message of these killings is as clear as the message of the Confederate Flag: That black people are worth less than white people and thus have no right to live.

All people still flying, waving, posting, printing and distributing the Confederate Flag or claiming that it's simply a symbol of "Southern pride and heritage" may reconsider what this heritage actually means. This is the 21st century, your President is black, wake up and get rid off those symbols of hate!

Sign the petition adressed to the South Carolina State House, The South Carolina State Senate, and Governor Nikki Haley to remove the Confederate Flag from all governmental places.
June 19th, 2015
type:Crowd Funding, Donation, NGO, Petition, Project
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

100 elephants a day are dying - shot sometimes from helicopters, their faces cut off by machetes often while still alive - just to produce ivory trinkets. What's worse is that this savagery is managed by organised criminals who help fund some of the most dangerous terror groups in the world.

Killing elephants is serious business - as wild elephants die out, the price for stockpiles of ivory skyrockets. Now poachers are on a race to kill as many elephants as they can. The clock is against us and if the current rate of killing continues, in little more than a decade, there may be no wild elephants, only graves.

But now there’s reason to hope: China just announced it will phase out its ivory industry and there is legislation in eleven US states calling for a ban on ivory trading. It’s a tipping point moment in this fight for these majestic animals and we can make sure demand everywhere dries up by funding a flood of campaigns in the US, Thailand and Vietnam to kill the biggest ivory markets anywhere.

Pledge an amount for the avaaz-Team to fund their species-saving work and save our elephants!