Half a Century of Hope
April 3, 2011 1:01 PM   Subscribe

Amnesty International is 50 years old this year. It was started in 1961 by a British Lawyer, Peter Beneson
and in 1977 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Here are some of the 50 years of Posters and the latest Amnesty Report 2010
The Secret Policemans's Ball was a long running charity event to support Amnesty. Featuring some of Britains' best comedians and Musicians.
Remember the Secret Policeman's Ball 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9;
posted by adamvasco (12 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Amnesty International - Don't Forget
posted by adamvasco at 1:05 PM on April 3, 2011

Celebratory water-boarding for all!
posted by blue_beetle at 1:39 PM on April 3, 2011

Amnesty jumped the shark for me with the ex-gratia payments of £533,103 and £132,490 to Irene Kahn and Kate Gilmore.
posted by Lezzles at 2:12 PM on April 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

Too bad we live in a world that needs Amnesty International.

( I listen to Won't Get Fooled Again from the '79 show at least a couple of times a week. Pete Townsend was just getting a handle on solo acoustic work and his performance just rocks. Plus he adds a superb little addition to the lyrics: " ... for I know that the hypnotized never lie, do you?")
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:10 PM on April 3, 2011

Pete Townsend was just getting a handle on solo acoustic work and his performance just rocks.

You're not wrong. His performance of Drowned from the same show is one of my favourite bits of live music ever, and made perfect by his little spin-the-guitar flourish at the end.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:33 PM on April 3, 2011

Lezzles, that's £530,000 to Irene Khan and £320,000 Kate Gilmore. (The £132,490 number was Khan's annual salary.)
posted by ryanrs at 7:21 PM on April 3, 2011

Amnesty jumped the shark for me with the ex-gratia payments of £533,103 and £132,490 to Irene Kahn and Kate Gilmore.

Jesus. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
posted by lalochezia at 10:21 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

Paying off Khan was 'least-worst option' according to Amnesty's IEC chair.
posted by adamvasco at 12:17 AM on April 4, 2011

they loves them some libya. (original report in Private-eye but not available online)

"It transpires that in June 2010 Amnesty monitors paid a visit to Libya facilitated by Saif, and subsequently reported: “there is no doubt that the climate of fear and repression that prevailed in Libya for more than three decades is subsiding gradually”

Saif = Saif Gaddafi.
posted by marienbad at 2:09 AM on April 4, 2011

How did a committed reformer who had risked a good deal to challenge his father do such an abrupt headstand in the course of a few days?
The third part of the speech is where he did the turnabout. That's the part where he said, "If that happens, if there is a civil war, then I am a Qaddafi. I will stand with my family; I will stand with the government, with the regime; and I will stand with it to the death."
posted by adamvasco at 2:28 AM on April 4, 2011

that's £530,000 to Irene Khan and £320,000 Kate Gilmore.

You're right, of course.
posted by Lezzles at 4:25 AM on April 4, 2011

I have seriously mixed feelings about Amnesty. I was a member for donkey’s years and in Amnesty clubs at school and University. I guess down the years I’ve given them a fair bit of money but nothing since 2006 or so.

This interview is instructive. At 34 I’m probably too young to sound all old-farty about Amnesty’s letter writing heyday but that’s the organisation I grew up with. As I perceive it, it seems to be trying to transform its self into an advocacy and awareness-raising organisation but this is a seriously crowded space and it doesn’t seem to be doing well in differentiating itself from a chasing pack, a pack which seems to be be leaving it far behind. Liberty – a fraction AI’s size – has a much larger media profile and exercises much greater influence on policy making than Amnesty.

Amnesty relies far, far too heavily on outsourced face to face fundraising, certainly in central London. When quizzed, fundraisers have no idea about Amnesty’s history, mission or position on issues other than those on which they’ve got a script to speak to. This does huge damage to their reputation and, anecdotally, I know a few progressively minded people who’ve declined to support the organisation as the students they have asking for commuters’ bank details (in return for the minimum wage) are not doing the organisation justice and they are worried this might not just be the fundraising department.

Their new HQ in Hoxton is truly something to behold. I understand that Amnesty bought it outright, at the top of the market for a colossal sum. Truly a dick move. I’m told their old HQ on Roseberry Avenue was very dilapidated but surely there was a halfway house somewhere short of some of the most expensive, desirable real estate in the country? Couldn’t supporters’ money have been used better?

Finally, more in sadness than anger, where the hell is Kate Allen? Over the past decade there has been a sustained assault on human rights in this country and we’ve heard narry a peep from her. While Shami C was all over the place denouncing detention without charge to take just one example, where was Allen?

Oh, and finally: an interesting letter re Khan and her half a million quid.
posted by dmt at 8:25 AM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

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