Friday, May 30, 2008

Action: My Christmas Wish? End Slavery

From December 25th, 2007

"None of us is truly free while others remain enslaved. --Archbishop Desmond Tutu

This Christmas people around the world celebrate. But take some time to think about the problems of the world. For example. Think about this.

27 Million People Live in Slavery.

Even today our fellow humans live enslaved. That's why I am a abolitionist. And despite being Jewish. I am making a Christmas wish and goal to end slavery. 2007 marks the 200 year anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in Britain so what a better year to make a commitment to end slavery? Thankfully we can take simple steps to help end slavery. Keep on reading to learn how.

Slavery is officially banned internationally by all countries, yet despite this there are more slaves , in the world today than ever before. In the four hundred years of the legal slave trade around 13 million people were shipped from Africa. Today there are an estimated 27 million slaves - people paid no money, locked away and controlled by violence.

-Amnesty International

I first read about the problem of slavery in detail just three days ago. A great independent magazine called NEED that covers humanitarian issues wrote a great article about it and I started learning more about it. So I don't claim to be a expert on this issue and I don't claim to have done a whole lot yet. But when I posted a call for people to do Free Rice we as a community did enough to feed a adult for a day. And hopefully this call to action will produce similar results. If you still don't know enough about this then use my good friend Google to look it up. Or check out this fact sheet from Free the Slaves.
Even in the US their is still slavery! Outraged? Alright. Now to action.

In honor of the 200 year anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade the movie The Amazing Grace was created. It also launched a campaign to do something about slavery called The Amazing Challenge. That campaign posted 10 easy ways to help end slavery.

1. Sign the Petition. Become an abolitionist by signing The Petition to End Modern Day Slavery. Click Here To Print a Petition. Take the petition to your school, church, family, friends, et al., and then send it to us (mailing address provided on petition)
2. See Amazing Grace. This film is a great introduction to the work of William Wilberforce, an original abolitionist. Learn how you can carry on his legacy.
3. Raise funds to free slaves. Use the tools on this website, such as Loose Change to Loosen Chains, to start your own fundraising campaign.
4. Educate yourself. Use the resources on the site to learn about the horrors of historical and modern day slavery.
5. Show solidarity. Buy The Amazing Change t-shirt and tell friends and family about your mission to abolish slavery.
6. Create a Clapham Circle. William Wilberforce was part of a group of friends and neighbors called the Clapham Circle. They met regularly to discuss ways to advance the cause of abolition. You can form your own Clapham Circle. Have weekly meetings with friends or neighbors in your community to discuss the issue of modern day slavery. Download tools from this website to facilitate your discussion.
7. Blog. Write about modern day slavery and The Amazing Change in our online community or on your MySpace, Xanga or Facebook profile. Include a link to our website so friends can learn how to get involved. Also blog about it at DailyKos. They rock. (I added that)
8. Ask others. Talk to leaders in your community, school or church about The Amazing Change. and encourage them to become involved.
9. Read More. Read books about modern day slavery like Not for Sale by David Batstone.
10. Volunteer. Pass on the legacy of William Wilberforce and donate your time to The Amazing Change by joining the street team, creating a Clapham Circle, or fundraising to free slaves.

Another great campaign called Not for Sale with the slogan "I am not for sale. You are not for sale. No one should be for sale." has some great ways to fight slavery. If you have some money to use for a good cause.Donate to Abolitionist Organizations or buy from the Freedom Store. If you want to join the movement they also have a good four step guide.

You need to become aware of how the modern slave trade works. Hold a study group to read and discuss our handbook, Not for Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade and How We Can Fight It; watch the movie Amazing Grace; watch Not For Sale: The documentary; review the student toolkit made by some students. We need to enact strategies to undercut both the supply and demand for slaves.

Publicly promote the campaign to end slavery and engage others in your community to discuss the issue. Interesting debates and conversations are sure to ensue. Place the Not for Sale logo in your Website, brochures or places were people ask you about it. Approach your friend, teacher, boss or pastor about joining the Not for Sale movement.

Once slaves are emancipated, the important work of restoring their broken lives begins. Volunteer at an existing abolitionist organization in your area. We have also established a Freedom Store that sells goods – jewelry, soccer balls, handbags, apparel, et al. – that have been made by former slaves (

Connect with others who are standing up against slavery. Start discussions, post upcoming events, pictures and video. Sign up at The Campaign is planning a series of regional and national events that will link Abolitionists. In addition, the Campaign Website will feature the most creative and useful abolitionist practices that people and organizations are doing.

This site is mostly about politics but I at least like to think that we are all in politics to make a better world. And honestly how can we not do anything? How can we justify letting their be slaves in this world? Their is no justification for it and Free the Slaves has put forward a plan to end slavery. It is the least we can do. And I leave you with another extremely long action guide from another great organization. Free the Slaves.

We can all be heroes

When each of us hears about children in slavery, we want to do something right away. Lots of people want to start kicking in doors and bringing slaves to freedom and safety, and tackling slaveholders along the way. It’s only natural.

We can all make sure that happens, but we need to leave kicking in doors to the people who can do it best. Anti-slavery workers are like firefighters--they’re trained, they know the dangers and how to avoid them, and they know how to get slaves to freedom safely. Like firefighters, they often have to put their lives on the line. They also need to speak the same language as the slaves because freedom really starts in the mind.

Bringing people to sustainable freedom is the most effective action local anti-slavery workers can take to bring slavery to an end. They are uniquely suited for that job.

What is each of us uniquely suited to do?

Clone the liberators!

For people in North America and Europe, the very best way that we can get people out of slavery is to make sure anti-slavery workers have what they need to get the job done. What each of us may consider a small donation—say, the cost of a movie ticket each month—can bring freedom to hundreds of people and can literally make the difference between slavery and freedom.

The truth is that today there are not enough freedom workers to go around. There are slaves waiting for freedom because there aren’t enough trained liberators.
71 people rescued - Bal Vikas Ashram

Meet Akileesh, an anti-slavery worker in Northern India. Over a recent three-month period, Akileesh rescued 22 adults and children enslaved weaving carpets in Nepal, liberated dozens of children and adults who were slaves in stone quarries, and even stopped a child slave from being killed in a bizarre ritual sacrifice.

One worker, a few months, and over one hundred slaves freed.

Freedom isn’t free, but it can be a bargain

Akhilesh is a bargain; his monthly salary is about $150, and the cost of running his office, phone, and motorcycle only comes to another $100 per month. But what Akhilesh lacks is job security. Funding for his job and others is dependent on donations and grants that are gratefully received but tend to come and go. He knows his salary could dry up at any moment.

The most powerful and effective thing the average person can do to end slavery is to make sure that Akhilesh and other workers are on the job by making a regular, monthly donation.

Even $10 a month can make a huge difference. If enough people make regular monthly donations, then more and more workers like Akhilesh can be trained and go to work freeing slaves. Help us put a new generation of
Freedom workers like Akhilesh into the field. If you would like to make a monthly donation that will free slaves, click here.


Make your voice heard. Take 30 seconds to become a member of Free the Slaves. You’ll be alerted when your letter or phone call to an elected official or a CEO can make the most difference to fight slavery. You will also be the first to hear when it’s time to celebrate because more slaves have been freed.

Shop like you mean it. Everywhere you shop, tell the store manager that you do not want to buy slave-made goods, and ask what that business is doing to fight slavery. When enough consumers make it clear that they will vote with their purchases, businesses will listen and act.

Vote like you mean it. Write your elected officials a personal letter and tell them why ending slavery is a priority you. Tell them that you will be watching to make sure they are fighting slavery. Vote accordingly.

Refuse to retire on the backs of slaves. If you have a retirement fund, tell your 401(k) or 403(b) manager that you do not want to profit from slavery. Ask that they not invest your money in companies that refuse to take responsibility for the slavery in their supply chains.

All of us have our own special talents and skills. How can your skills and talents be used to end slavery forever? Your heart and your imagination will guide you, and Free the Slaves is here to help.

What is the cost of Freedom? Cheep enough. Give Freedom!

No comments: