Amnesty International Letter-Writing Campaigns at UCM
Our Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga has been sponsoring letter-writing campaigns every two months since 2015 based on Amnesty International Canada advocacy cases. We try to write our letters in a respectful tone, and choose cases where there is some hope the letter might have an impact.
In April 2019, our congregation sent over 35 letters to Prime Minister Trudeau urging the federal government to honour commitments to clean up the effects of mercury pollution on the Wabigoon and English rivers near Grassy Narrow First Nations reserve and provide health care services to adversely affected residents. We also addressed letters to the Supreme Ayatollah of Iran urging him to release Nasrin Sotoudeh from a 35 year/178 lash sentence for her advocacy of Iranian women’s rights.
In February 2019, we sent almost 40 letters to the Mississauga Mayor and the Regional chairs of Peel and Halton advocating a ban on sales of single-use water bottles on municipal property, and we wrote to Provincial Environment Minister advocating the same ban for provincial parks and Ontario government properties. We will be doing another letter-writing in early June 2019 – please join in signing letters and petitions.
In 2018, our Amnesty committee sent letters on the following issues:
- Letters to the government of Ukraine to provide better protection to LGBTI advocates, and letters to Iran to pardon Atena Daemi, jailed for protesting the extensive use of capital punishment. (Dec.)
- Letters to the outgoing and incoming Mexican Presidents to investigate the disappearance of 43 teachers college students who opposed drug cartels. (Sept.)
- Writing to Crown Prince Mohamed bin-Salman to release 3 women detained for advocating women’s right to drive and to be free from male guardianship laws. (June)
- We wrote to the premier of Newfoundland advocating strong environmental hearings on the potential mercury pollution from the Muskrat Falls hydro project, and letters to the President of Colombia asking their government to give safe harbour to trans-border indigenous people (Yukpa Tribe) fleeing Venezuel (Apr.)
- Letters urging an end to defacto slavery in Mauretania, with personal letters to jailed anti-slavery advocates, and letters to the Indonesian government to better protect the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam from looting and discrimination.. (Feb.)
In 2017, we wrote letters on the Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh, evictions of Sengwer tribespeople from their homeland in Kenya Forest parks, promoting better Serbian protection of single male Syrian refugees, advocating for an ombudsman to ensure Canadian Mining companies respect human rights and indigenous property rights in Central and South America, and Canadian aboriginal issues such as Jordan’s Principle guarantees for First Nations children’s access to hospital services, better funding for First Nations primary schools, and for our federal government to sign the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
There was a strong history of advocacy of Amnesty International cases at UCM and UCSP (Unitarian Congregation of South Peel) by our elder member Ken Noble for many years, and we were inspired by his example to continue in his footsteps.
If you would like to join our Amnesty Group to help organize letter-writing or online campaigns or petitions, please contact John Rowell at email@example.com, or Kathy Stobie at firstname.lastname@example.org
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