Thursday, May 26, 2011

End the War on Drugs! #Avaaz


In days, we could finally see the beginning of the end of the ‘war on drugs’. This expensive war has completely failed to curb the plague of drug addiction, while costing countless lives, devastating communities, and funneling trillions of dollars into violent organized crime networks.

Experts all agree that the most sensible policy is to regulate, but politicians are afraid to touch the issue. In days, a global commission including former heads of state and foreign policy chiefs of the UN, EU, US, Brazil, Mexico and more will break the taboo and publicly call for new approaches including decriminalization and regulation of drugs.

This could be a once-in-a-generation tipping-point moment -- if enough of us call for an end to this madness. Politicians say they understand that the war on drugs has failed, but claim the public isn't ready for an alternative. Let's show them we not only accept a sane and humane policy -- we demand it. Click below to sign the petition and share with everyone --if we reach 1 million voices, it will be personally delivered to world leaders by the global commission:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/end_the_war_on_drugs_a/?vl

For 50 years current drug policies have failed everyone, everywhere but public debate is stuck in the mud of fear and misinformation. Everyone, even the UN Office on Drugs and Crime which is responsible for enforcing this approach agrees -- deploying militaries and police to burn drug farms, hunting down traffickers, and imprisoning dealers and addicts – is an expensive mistake. And with massive human cost -- from Afghanistan, to Mexico, to the USA the illegal drug trade is destroying countries around the world, while addiction, overdose deaths, and HIV/AIDS infections continue to rise.

Meanwhile, countries with less-harsh enforcement -- like Switzerland, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Australia -- have not seen the explosion in drug use that proponents of the drug war have darkly predicted. Instead, they have seen significant reductions in drug-related crime, addiction and deaths, and are able to focus squarely on dismantling criminal empires.

Powerful lobbies still stand in the way of change, including military, law enforcement, and prison departments whose budgets are at stake. And politicians fear that voters will throw them out of office if they support alternative approaches, as they will appear weak on law and order. Many former drug Ministers and Heads of State have come out in favour of reform since leaving office, and polls show that citizens across the world know the current approach is a catastrophe. Momentum is gathering towards new improved policies, particularly in regions that are ravaged by the drug trade.

If we can create a worldwide outcry in the next few days to support the bold calls of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, we can overpower the stale excuses for the status quo. Our voices hold the key to change -- Sign the petition and spread the word:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/end_the_war_on_drugs_a/?vl

We have a chance to enter the closing chapter of this brutal 'war' that has destroyed millions of lives. Global public opinion will determine if this catastrophic policy is stopped or if politicians shy away from reform. Let's rally urgently to push our hesitating leaders from doubt and fear, over the edge, and into reason.

With hope and determination,

Alice, Laura, Ricken, Maria Paz, Shibayan and the whole Avaaz team

SOURCES:

Reports that show the war on drugs has failed:
http://idpc.net/publications/failure-regime-selected-publications

Reports that show alternative approaches of decriminalisation and regulation are working:
http://idpc.net/publications/alternative-strategies-selected-publications

General report on drug law reform in practice:
http://www.tni.org/report/legislative-innovation-drug-policy

The Global Comission on Drug Policy that will call on the UN to end the war on drugs
http://www.globalcommissionondrugs.org/Documents.aspx

Drug War by the Numbers
http://www.drugpolicy.org/facts/drug-war-numbers

Final Report of the Latin American Comission on Drugs and Democracy
http://www.drogasedemocracia.org/English/Destaques.asp?IdRegistro=8

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Urgent Notice

Dear hotel guests,

Having a private balcony and jacuzzi means that people cannot see you! But the other guests are not deaf! When you decide to have sex on your terrace they can still HEAR you! MORONS!

And yes it is inappropriate to do that in public even if you are married. There is a perfectly nice bed in your room for that reason. Use it instead of the outdoor furniture.


Kind Regards
Pissed of Receptionist

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Uganda Gay Death Penalty - #Avaaz

Uganda's anti-gay law has failed! It looked sure to pass last week, but after 1.6 million petition signatures delivered to Parliament, tens of thousands of phone calls to our own governments, hundreds of media stories about our campaign and a massive global outcry, Ugandan politicians dropped the bill!

It was down to the wire - religious extremists tried to push the bill through on Wednesday, and then convened an unprecedented emergency session of Parliament on Friday. But each time, within hours, we reacted. A huge congratulations to everyone who signed, called, forwarded and donated to this campaign - with our help, thousands of innocent people in Uganda's gay community do not wake up this morning facing execution for whom they chose to love.

Frank Mugisha, a courageous leader of the gay community in Uganda sent us this message:

"Brave Ugandan LGBT activists and millions of people around the world have stood together and faced down this horrendous anti-homosexuality bill.The support from the Avaaz global community has tipped the scales to prevent this Bill going forward. Global solidarity has made a huge difference"

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs' Office also wrote to Avaaz:

"Many thanks. As you know, thanks to a very large extent to the intensive lobbying and combined effort of you, other civil society representatives, EU and other governments, plus our delegation and embassies on the ground the Bill was not presented to the Parliament this morning."

This fight is not over. The extremists behind this bill could try again within just 18 months. But this is the second time we've helped defeat this bill, and we'll keep going until the hate-mongers give up.

Transforming the deeper causes of ignorance and hatred behind homophobia is an historic, long term struggle, one of the great causes of our generation. But Uganda has become a front line in that struggle, and a powerful symbol. The victory there echoes across many other places where hope is desperately needed, showing that kindness, love, tolerance and respect can defeat hatred and ignorance. Again, a huge thanks to all who made it happen.

With enormous gratitude and admiration for this amazing community,

Ricken, Emma, Iain, Alice, Giulia, Saloni and the whole Avaaz team.


Media highlights:
Anti-gay bill shelved:

Avaaz's response to the outcome in the Guardian:

Ugandan President did not back bill because of "criticism of human rights groups":

Anti-gay bill delayed amid outcry:

Uganda's "kill the gays" bill defeated:
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