Sunday, January 30, 2011

Our Chapter Sponsors Thomas Paine Day

Martha and Irwin Spiegelman, our active members were among the core group planned this event.
Here is the flyer of Thomas Paine Day
[[Robert Meeropol is the principal speaker on Saturday afternoon, January 29, as part of the annual Thomas Paine birthday observance at Jones Library, Amherst. His topic is "WikiLeaks, the Espionage Act of 1917, and the Trial of the Rosenbergs ." Meeropol, founder and executive director of the Rosenberg Fund for Children, is an attorney and a political and social activist. The younger of the two sons of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, he was six years old in 1953 when they were executed. He is author of a memoir, An Execution in the Family, One Son's Journey. The Thomas Paine event, on the anniversary of his birth in 1737, is the 17th annual Paine Day held in Amherst . It is organized by the local branch of Thomas Paine Friends, Inc., a non-profit organization that promotes recognition of the great author-patriot-humanitarian, whose enduring pamphlet, Common Sense, called for independence and democratic government. The program starts at 1 pm with the first hour remembering Thomas Paine as probably the first whistle-blower in America for his role in the Silas Deane Affair, in 1779.

At 2 pm , Bill Newman, advocate with ACLU of Massachusetts and radio host, will introduce Robert Meeropol, and following the talk there will be open discussion. Musical selections by Sarah McKee and Tom Neilson, plus birthday cake, will round off the afternoon. Besides Thomas Paine Friends, co-sponsors are American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, Amherst Democratic Town Committee, Amnesty International-Group 128 and the local chapters of Women In Black and the Green-Rainbow Party. Admission is free and all are welcome. ]]
The event was well attended (standing only) and our Chapter had information table on the side...

thanks to our young member Ismail for helping to set up the table...

From 2010 Blog

These are some glimpses of our events and activities in 2010, for more detailed info refer to our old Blog:

Thanks to all who made the Fundraiser Tag Sale a successful event that netted us over $500 in 5 hours! This is a good net revenue especially in this difficult economic time... Again like in last year's Tag Sale, books sold very good (thanks for the good titles our dear member Nigel and others picked @ the Amherst Book Recycling Ctr). The low price strategy attracted more students, major customers at any Tag sale in the begining of the school year.... Petitions/information table was another success and donation put in the Stamps jar was over $3... We forgot this year to have Greeting Cards available on the table to write and mail to our POC, Karim Amer (sorry Karim, we hope to send you one when you are free, soon Inshalla!). Thanks to our elected State legislators, Rep Ellen Story and Senator Stan Rosenberg for continuing to show their commitment to human rights and support to Amnesty International. Both legislators gave powerful speech and saluted Amnesty International on its 50th Anniversary, and the 32 anniversary of the local chapter

Amnesty Chant by Yosra & Kassandra Holyoke High School, MA Sign-up @ the Amnesty desk (clap, clap, clap, clap, clap) And if you do we will handle the rest (clap x5) Free some prisoners because it's right (clap x5) And if you do it will make their lives (clap x5)

Ester, Ismail, and Cylvanna during one of the Group-128 activities in downtown Amherst. In the last meeting of the Chapter, the Chilean-American member Ester Orellana, updated the group on the hunger strike of the Mapuche political prisoners in Chile. "Since the 12th July 31 Mapuche political prisoners have been on hunger strike in the Chilean prisons of Concepcion, Temuco, Valdivia, Angol and Lebu. The political prisoners are demanding the right to a fair legal process, the application of an objective and impartial system of justice and, in particular, the abolition of the anti-terrorist law." For more information on this urgent case see this link

Our Summer Events.. After our longer-than-usual 'hypernation' we woke up and quickly took back our usual spot in downtown Amherst @ the Farmers market and our famous banner took its usual place in the Center of Amherst. Clipboards and petitions travelled around the market's customers and the 'word of human rights floated around' as we say... We will be having 2 events each month until Dec 10... we had 2 successful tabling events in June and one. so far, in July... Come a join our campaign on behalf of many human rights defenders... come and sign petition to free the courageous Burmese Aung San Suu Kyi , and the Ethiopian opposition leader Birtukan Mideksa.

Birtukan and Aung were both released at the end of last year 2010

New URL for our Chapter

Due to difficulty to access the account of the previous weblog of this Chapter a new URL was created ...www. is our new URL address
Pls take note and share this within network of activists

I have strong suspicion that this development has to do with the Sudanese regime's recent crackdown on human rights activists especially those reporting violations of the regime.

mohamed elgadi