Every year in December, Pittsburghers write hundreds of letters on behalf people whose human rights are violated and in support of activists who defend those rights.
This year, the COVID-19 pandemic does not allow us to host an in-person letter-writing event. However, our fight for human rights is needed as much as ever. So we are not giving up but just changing the modus operandi: You will write your letters at home, we will provide all the info, and there will be two communal online events, to learn about the cases and support each other in our letter writing goals. Follow these links:
Write for Human Rights materials and background information
Kick-off: Thursday, December 10, 7pm
Report and celebrate: Tuesday, December 15, 7pm
Although we are physically distant at the moment, we are more united than ever. We may be stuck inside, but we can continue advocating for human rights.
Millions of people are already suffering from the catastrophic effects of extreme disasters exacerbated by climate change – from prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa to devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific. And its effects will continue to grow and worsen over time, creating ruin for current and future generations. This is why the failure of governments to act on climate change in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence may well be the biggest inter-generational human rights violation in history.
Human rights are intimately linked with climate change because of its devastating effect on not just the environment but our own wellbeing. In addition to threatening our very existence, climate change is having harmful impacts on our rights to life, health, food, water, housing and livelihoods.
Amnesty is calling for governments to:
- Do everything they can to help stop the global temperature rising by more than 1.5°C.
- Reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 at the latest. Richer countries should do this faster. By 2030, global emissions must be half as much as they were in 2010.
- Stop using fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) as quickly as possible.
- Make sure that climate action is done in a way that does not violate anyone’s human rights, and reduces rather than increases inequality
- Make sure everyone, in particularly those affected by climate change or the transition to a fossil-free economy, is properly informed about what is happening and is able to participate in decisions about their futures.
- Work together to fairly share the burden of climate change – richer countries must help others.
Join Amnesty International Pittsburgh (group 39) and many other inspiring Pittsburgh rights groups and community leaders on Monday, December 9, 2018, 6-9pm for at Calvary Episcopal Church our annual Write-for-Rights event.
This year marks the 33rd annual gathering in Pittsburgh! During the event you can contribute to writing between 500 and 1000 letters on important human rights cases of our time. The focus this year is on young people: Young people suffering from abuse of human rights, and young people taking the lead in defending those rights and needing our support!
Stop in and stay as long as you can. Write letters. Talk to other activists. Check out information tables about local groups working in Pittsburgh on local, national and international issues. Fortify yourself with the free refreshments.
Candlelight Ceremony and City Council Proclamation at 7:30 pm.
On September 3, five members of Group 39 met with local staff at Senator Toomey’s office in Pittsburgh. The group presented two requests:
- They aksed Senator Toomey to raise the case of the group’s focus case with the authorities in Saudi Arabia. This case, newly adopted by us this summer, is about two prisoners of conscience, Drs. Mohammed al-Qahtani and Abdullah al-Hamid, who were co-founderes of the Saudi human rights organization ACPRA. Both men were convicted to long prison sentences of 10 and 11 years, respectively, in unfair trials. Their fate is symptomatic for the worsening human rights situation in Saudi Arabia overall.
- Additionally, they asked Senator Toomey to support Senate Bill 42, which would implement universal background checks on all gun sales in the U.S. In particular, group members emphasized the need to cover sales at gun shows and private sales, as well as a maximum waiting period of at least three days for the background check to be completed.