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Source: (consider it) Thread: Avaaz pros and cons?
Mili

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One of my friends posted an Avaaz campaign to Facebook where people could register their disapproval of Donald Trump. I was about to sign, but decided I better find out who Avaaz were first. They sound like they have great ideals and intentions, and some great campaigns, however from the small amount of research I have done, some of their campaigns have led to unforeseen circumstances. For example they provided communications technology to people in Syria to help with the uprising there, which has since led to the terrible civil war and Islamic extremism in many areas of that country.

As Christians or otherwise concerned world citizens do you think Avaaz is on balance a good idea or could it just cause further chaos in the world? Here is a link to the Avaaz website about page

Members can pick and choose what campaigns they support, as with so many members, not everyone will agree on worthy causes. However if you support one campaign are you complicit in the results of other campaigns too?

Posts: 1002 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Galloping Granny
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I’ve been a dedicated supporter of Avaaz while members grew in numbers to more than 40,000,000; they have recorded some remarkable achievements
Their first action in Syria was to produce a meticulously documented dossier of instances of torture carried out by the State, listing members of the establishment, army officers and others, giving names, rank, address and details of the offence etc. Each listing had to be supported by three witnesses, of which one could be a family member and one an imam or priest.
There was no ISIS at that stage, just an attempt to make public what Assad’s regime was doing to his own people. And unfortunately there was insufficient international response, so the regime carries on and the terrorists have joined in with devastating results.
I don’t suppose the instigators of that effort imagined what the eventual disaster would be. But the website lists many other projects that have had brilliant outcomes.

GG

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The Kingdom of Heaven is spread upon the earth, and men do not see it. Gospel of Thomas, 113

Posts: 2599 | From: Matarangi | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged
Mili

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Yes, I really like the idea. I would be happy to support smaller projects with clear and achievable goals. But I think I'd be scared to help on a bigger political campaign where consequences are unclear and aims of various participants may differ. I wouldn't want my name connected with that necessarily.

It's good to hear from an 'insider'. I suppose even in a democracy we vote for the party we prefer, even though we may not support all their policies and may even disagree strongly with some decisions the party makes when in power. Do you think this is comparable, particularly for people in non-democratic systems of government or where democracy is only paid lip service to?

Posts: 1002 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Enoch
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Mili, I share your caution but I'm not sure why. I think it's a sort of feeling that they support quite a lot of things I agree with, but that even if they didn't say so, they would expect one to join in supporting causes one doesn't agree with.

It's a bit like the way I lost the feeling of instinctive support I used to have for Amnesty International when they added to their 'core business' of political freedom v oppression, second degree issues that are really a bit of a first world luxury compared with that one.


A few months ago I signed a petition run on a site by 38 Degrees (I think they might be UK only). It was something I felt strongly about. However, almost instantly I started getting invitations to sign petitions about things I knew nothing about, had no legitimate interest in, and often were very local to areas elsewhere in the country. It diminishes the value of any petition if most of the signatures appear to have been whipped up and haven't any obvious reason to care about the subject matter.

I also have reservations as to whether governments take any notice of petitions. I suspect the average politician sees the name of the organisation that is running the petition, thinks, 'not them again' and feels an arrogant smidgeon of conceit as they ignore it - the Rehoboam reflex.

I now rarely sign any petitions except UK parliamentary ones, as if enough people sign those, there has to be a debate - even though the result is often pretty predictable.

By the way, I have signed the parliamentary one about the invitation given to Donald Trump. Over 1½ million of us have now.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

Posts: 7233 | From: Bristol UK(was European Green Capital 2015, now Ljubljana) | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged
Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
I suspect the average politician sees the name of the organisation that is running the petition, thinks, 'not them again' and feels an arrogant smidgeon of conceit as they ignore it - the Rehoboam reflex.

I think this is true. I remember a local councillor telling me that he and his colleagues, in general, were unimpressed by petitions, unimpressed by those template letters which you print out and send to your MP adding only your name at the bottom, but would respond favourably to a letter you've composed yourself even if it isn't particularly well written.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

Posts: 7101 | From: Liverpool, UK | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Hilda of Whitby
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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
I suspect the average politician sees the name of the organisation that is running the petition, thinks, 'not them again' and feels an arrogant smidgeon of conceit as they ignore it - the Rehoboam reflex.

I think this is true. I remember a local councillor telling me that he and his colleagues, in general, were unimpressed by petitions, unimpressed by those template letters which you print out and send to your MP adding only your name at the bottom, but would respond favourably to a letter you've composed yourself even if it isn't particularly well written.
This is definitely true here. I worked on Capitol Hill for many years. Online petitions and template letters are equivalent to clicking the "Like" button, in my opinion--they take zero effort and it shows.

Calling a legislator's office, writing actual snail-mail or e-mail letters to legislators (not just a cut and paste of a template letter) are the way to go--it shows that a person cares enough about an issue to get off their ass and take the time to put together a phone call or letter using their own words. You learn pretty quickly when communications are templates and when they are actually written by a constituent.

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"Born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad."

Posts: 410 | From: Nickel City | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Galloping Granny
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Mili, I share your caution but I'm not sure why. I think it's a sort of feeling that they support quite a lot of things I agree with, but that even if they didn't say so, they would expect one to join in supporting causes one doesn't agree with.

Not so – there is no pressure to subscribe to any particular appeal.

I've sometimes wondered why a particular issue turns up in my emailer and others don't – but I've been quite happy about those that have reached me.

There may be a 'Not them again!' response in some circumstances, but a million or so supporters have obviously swayed the voting in a number of occasions.

GG

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The Kingdom of Heaven is spread upon the earth, and men do not see it. Gospel of Thomas, 113

Posts: 2599 | From: Matarangi | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged
wabale
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quote:
Originally posted by Galloping Granny:

There may be a 'Not them again!' response in some circumstances, but a million or so supporters have obviously swayed the voting in a number of occasions.

Yes, and some MP's, especially when they are of the party in power, really don't like petitions for the simple reason they feel challenged. When some years ago a friend of mine talked face to face with our MP, with a thoroughly researched scheme for receiving a handful of refugee families into our area, he was singularly unreceptive and unsympathetic.
38 Degrees has been very effective over a number of issues, and has done things like negotiating cheap green deals with energy companies. The brilliant thing about AVAAZ is that it addresses global issues which can affect people in countries other than the one where the issue has arisen.

Posts: 55 | From: Essex, United Kingdom | Registered: Jan 2017  |  IP: Logged
Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
I suspect the average politician sees the name of the organisation that is running the petition, thinks, 'not them again' and feels an arrogant smidgeon of conceit as they ignore it - the Rehoboam reflex.

I think this is true. I remember a local councillor telling me that he and his colleagues, in general, were unimpressed by petitions, unimpressed by those template letters which you print out and send to your MP adding only your name at the bottom, but would respond favourably to a letter you've composed yourself even if it isn't particularly well written.
The guideline I have heard is that if an MP gets half-a-dozen independent letters over a few weeks on a given same topic they are very likely to follow it up, even if it is only to pass it on to the local councillors with a warning that "this is one to watch".

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

Posts: 23893 | From: Newport, Wales | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged


 
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