Avaaz.Org is a massive online global activist network with over 35 million members worldwide. It targets issues surrounding human rights, the environment, political corruption, and more.
When Avaaz puts their focus on an important problem, no matter the location, people from around the world may add their voice in support of a positive solution. In short, Avaaz tries to “ensure that the views and values of the world’s people inform the decisions that affect us all.”
Avaaz Applies Pressure
With the backing of petitions signed by multitudes of concerned world citizens, Avaaz applies pressure on the appropriate leaders or decision-makers who can right a wrong. Tactics may include media campaigns, government lobbying, or the organization of location-based protests and events.
What Avaaz is doing is trying to unlock the secrets of the internet – of what makes one video of a cute kitten falling over go viral, but not another – and to bring those skills to bear not on Justin Bieber’s career or Lady Gaga’s album sales, but potential genocide, forced rape, species extinction.
Success Breeds Threat
No good deed goes unpunished. As if in testimony to their success, Avaaz staff members are being threatened.
The pressure on a few of my staff at Avaaz is reaching a breaking point: they’ve received death threats, had their computers and emails hacked, been threatened on television and radio, and one even had his car tampered with! Our campaigner Wissam was detained at the Cairo airport while delivering our call to stop Egypt’s largest mass execution in recent history, taken into a windowless room and interrogated for hours — drilled with chillingly well-informed questions about his personal life, travel, and work with Avaaz!
Ricken Patel, Avaaz Executive Director, says it’s time to boost security measures. That would include better encryption, standby legal counsel, and a safe location for staff members when under threat.
Avaaz in entirely funded by network members. If you feel the call, you may pledge a few dollars to help keep Avaaz staff members safe.