This year, Amnesty International has been slowly emerging as a powerful voice for human rights at Trent. Amnesty International is an international organization focused on the exposure and prevention of human rights abuses and injustices around the world. For over 50 years Amnesty International has been fighting for human rights, and there are now over three million people involved in Amnesty from over 150 countries. This massive movement has touched the lives of tens of thousands of people through its campaigns and has played a contributing role in changing international human rights laws.
Last semester Amnesty at Trent participated in the Write for Rights campaign on campus. To signify International Human Rights Day on December 10, members of the Trent student body joined over 150,000 people worldwide to sign letters for human rights. Letters were addressed to various heads of state all over the world and contained demands for the end to human rights abuses in their countries.
President Goodluck Jonathan, the current President of Nigeria, received letters confronting him about the irresponsible and catastrophic actions of Shell Oil Company. Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, received letters insisting on the release of Iranian human rights activist, Narges Mohammadi, from prison. Stephen Harper received letters asserting the need for comprehensive government action to address violence against Indigenous women through collaboration with Indigenous women’s organizations (for more on this campaign check out Amnesty International’s work on Stolen Sisters). In total, over 250 letters were sent around the world from the Trent campus alone.
On Tuesday March 12, Amnesty at Trent, in conjuncture with OPIRG, will be showing the 2009 documentary Yes Men Fix the World in Sadleir House at 7:00 p.m. This film stars activists Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno, the Yes Men, who pose as CEOs or other representatives of large multination corporations, such as Dow Chemicals and ExxonMobil, to draw public awareness to what they view as dehumanizing acts. Free popcorn will be provided followed by a discussion period.
Also, on Friday March 8 in BL 103, Amnesty at Trent will be showing Hotel Rwanda, the powerful 2004 drama based on real life events during the Rwandan Genocide. Come out for an inspiring evening of film and discussion! The Peterborough division of Amnesty International Canada, Group 46, will be holding its annual fund-raising dinner on Sunday March 3 in support of Indigenous Peoples. The guest speaker will be Dr. Leanne Simpson, Michi Saagig writer, story teller, academic, and spoken word artist.
With Amnesty International there are a variety of volunteer opportunities that allow you to get involved in human rights activism! For more information on current campaigns, volunteer opportunities, or information on future events check out the Amnesty International website at http://www.amnesty.org/ or our Facebook page.
If you would like to become a member of Amnesty at Trent please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. And be sure to keep a look out for our fundraising bake sale happening on campus Friday March 15 outside of the OC cafeteria.