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"It is better to live for one day as a tiger, than to live for a thousand years as a sheep."
June 18, 2011 1:20 PM   Subscribe

Amnesty International, 50 Years: Standing Up For Freedom (Vimeo. YouTube.)

The making of: Vimeo / YouTube. More on the Director's website.

On May 28th, tens of thousands of people gathered in 58 countries to celebrate Amnesty International's 50th anniversary.

Official anniversary site.

Additional commercials and videos celebrating their anniversary:

* Projection: Vimeo / YouTube.

* Voices for Freedom: Vimeo / YouTube)

* Change Laws. Change Minds. Change Lives. (YouTube)

* Shine a Light on Human Rights (YouTube)

* What a Difference Freedom Makes (YouTube)

Previously on MeFi: Half a Century of Hope (YouTube)
posted by zarq (18 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
Found an additional, excellent short: "War Time" from 2009, while researching this post.

Also, in April of this year, Amnesty International released a video game for iOS: BulletProof. Trailer.
posted by zarq at 1:25 PM on June 18, 2011


Also, please be forewarned: some of the videos in this post may be disturbing for some viewers.
posted by zarq at 1:27 PM on June 18, 2011


Man, just think how sweet it would be to live for a thousand years as a tiger.
posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 1:37 PM on June 18, 2011


Sometimes, I think the USA needs it's own chapter of Amnesty International.
posted by Renoroc at 1:39 PM on June 18, 2011


I think the USA needs it's own chapter of Amnesty International.

Countries with AI sections (ie. chapters).

Top-5 most reported countries by AI:

1 Turkey
2 USSR and Russian Federation
3 People's Republic of China
4 United States
5 Israel (inc. West Bank and Gaza Strip)
posted by stbalbach at 1:56 PM on June 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thanks for the post; always good to be reminded that there are, in fact, people fighting the good fight.
posted by angrycat at 1:59 PM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


What a great collection of videos, Zarq. Some are hard to watch - I loved the 'shine a light' one ... poetic. Not too sure about that video game, though - pretty scary.
posted by Surfurrus at 3:55 PM on June 18, 2011


My favourite charity, and the only charitable organisation I actually bothered to join. Keep fighting, Amnesty.
posted by Decani at 5:17 PM on June 18, 2011


Great charity, one of the ones that gets my money and my time when I can. Thanks for the post zarq.
posted by arcticseal at 6:29 PM on June 18, 2011


I wonder if they'd imagine they'd still be fighting so many of the same fights so many years down the line. In the first world even.
posted by adamt at 6:53 PM on June 18, 2011


Surfurrus, angrycat and arctic seal, glad you liked it!
And yeah, I think I'd have trouble with the video game, too.
posted by zarq at 8:17 PM on June 18, 2011


Whenever I need a kick up the backside about how good our life really is I take a peak at Amnesty Internationals website and look at all of the nutters around the world and what inhumanity we can be capabale of.
posted by RichMackay at 9:06 PM on June 18, 2011


I've been involved with AI in some way for basically my entire life as a thinking individual. It's simultaneously one of the most depressing and inspiring organizations you could ever be a part of. There's euphoria when one of your cases is ends with justice, and despondency when the list of what's left comes out.

Here's to 50 more years. Better yet, here's to the day that we close up shop, knowing that the work is done.
posted by Winnemac at 10:28 PM on June 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sometimes, I think the USA needs it's own chapter of Amnesty International.

It has one.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:44 AM on June 19, 2011


I think Renoroc is referring to the fact of myriad injustices within the American legal system. If I am not mistaken amnestyusa.org although taking issue with cases involving the death penalty is mainly geared at political prisoners outside the country.
I am thinking specifically in the urgently needed case of some sort of Prison Reform.
posted by adamvasco at 9:37 AM on June 19, 2011


Demanding change in the Middle East and North Africa
posted by homunculus at 9:46 AM on June 19, 2011


AIUSA is definitely active on death penalty cases in the US, for example Troy Davis, but U.S. prison reform in general is not one of its top priorities. My impression (and full disclosure, I'm speaking as someone who briefly worked there) is that AIUSA would love to expand its work to a wider range of issues but due to finite funds and staff has chosen certain issues to prioritize. The classic AI work on prisoners of conscience (now called "Individuals at Risk") is still a bread-and-butter thing, but additionally there are major campaigns on the death penalty, war-on-terror related things (Guantanamo, torture, etc. - this campaign's is I think called Security with Human Rights?), and Demand Dignity, which is focused on poverty issues. Other issues will ebb and flow a bit, but those are currently the main ones. Human rights problems within the US are addressed by some campaigns more than others, but I think there is a general awareness that it's important in the U.S. to stand up to your own government and solve the problems in your own backyard in addition to finger-wagging at far-away lands.

Happy 50th!
posted by naoko at 9:57 AM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think Renoroc is referring to the fact of myriad injustices within the American legal system. If I am not mistaken amnestyusa.org although taking issue with cases involving the death penalty is mainly geared at political prisoners outside the country.

I swear I read somewhere once that that's part of the structure of Amnesty -- they're an international organization, and its members all face different political difficulties within each of their own countries - so they try not to ask members to take action on things in their own countries, in case a given member happens to be living within a country where that kind of action would get them into unnecessary trouble. (In other words, they wouldn't have asked any members in Myanmar to take any action on behalf of Aung San Suu Kyi, lest they get imprisoned as a result for being a "collaborator" or what have you.

(Mind you, I don't actually know whether this would have happened, but that's the best example I could think of on the fly.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:35 PM on June 20, 2011


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