Human Rights Advocacy: 9 Ways to Stay Safe While Protesting

When there’s a threat to the peaceful coexistence of a community, protests are inevitable. That’s because the ability of societies to thrive lies in the participation of its members. Hence, like Mahatma Gandhi said, “Silence becomes cowardice when the occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.”

Advocacy within the Law

Contrary to what certain people believe, protests and advocacy can be within the law. Protests are mostly never orchestrated to be violent. There are often oppositions, and one thing leads to another. Peaceful public demonstrations are part of the ways to achieve that. With the rate of injustice and breach of societal and environmental rules, protests are now even more prevalent.

Things to Know

Marches are organized for various causes, from climate change and gay rights to racist killings by police officers. There are several things each individual should know about advocacy. One of the essential elements is that every citizen should have an awareness of their rights. It enables people to understand when those rights are violated and the appropriate course of action to take.

Staying Safe

With the increased number of protests in recent times, everyone must know how to ensure their safety while protesting. It would be best if you took specific measures even before you leave your home to prepare yourself for whatever situation(s) you might encounter. Below are some vital steps to take.

1.   Go with Someone

We always advise that when going for a protest, you don’t go alone. Instead, go with a friend or a group of people you know who are interested in the same cause. This arrangement helps you to keep track of each other so that nobody goes unaccounted. You should stick together, but if not, determine a rendezvous point for when you’re ready to leave.

2.   Plan Your Routes

Depending on whether you’re going with your friend or group, or meeting them at the demonstration venue, you should plan your routes. Some major roads or streets may be closed off, and you might have to find alternative ways. Hence, this should be done early. Make plans both for arriving and for leaving and make sure everyone is in the loop.

3.   Dress Smartly

In addition to dressing suitably for the weather conditions, you should ensure that you are comfortable in whatever you wear. You should be able to move freely and run where necessary, so sneakers are the recommended footwear. Don’t wear any excessive jewelry, or, if possible, don’t accessorize. Also, if you have long hair, endeavor to pack it into a bun or any other composed style.

4.   Try to Stay Reachable

You must make sure to charge your phone before you leave home. There must be an open line of connection between you and whoever you’re going with, especially if you aren’t going to be together at the protest. Besides, it would help if you let at least one person who isn’t going to be there know where you are.

5.   Have Your Care Kit

This personal care kit is necessary for a number of reasons, which include the preservation of your health. It should consist of a bottle of water or two, some energy snacks, and possibly a first aid kit. If you have a medical condition such as asthma or diabetes, make sure to pack your inhaler or insulin pen and any other medications you might need.

6.   Have Your Identification

It’s essential to have a means of identification on you. An ID is necessary so that if anything happens or things get physical, and the police come, you’d have a way to identify yourself. People underestimate the importance of this because they’re thinking about not carrying too many personal effects.

7.   Be Orderly

Orderliness is necessary to prevent the outbreak of a fight even amongst people on the same side. You must be calm and courteous, endeavor not to shout out curses or abuses to people on the opposite side. Although, if something happens to make people run, don’t stay still to avoid being pushed down and trampled on. Do your best to keep social distancing rules as well.

8.   Wear a Mask and Goggles

Going for a protest, coupled with the ongoing pandemic, you must protect your nose and mouth. Most people recommend the N95 masks, but if you don’t have that, you can wear a regular one. You also have to carry a bandanna, which you can quickly wet to cover your nose if they throw tear gas. Also, goggles are essential to protect your eyes, and a shatterproof brand would be best.

9.   Carry Your Permit

This step is perhaps one of the most important if you’re organizing a protest. You must have written to the authorities in charge and gotten a permit. If you don’t do that, then the demonstration would be illegal, and everyone involved could get arrested. The police could imply that if you don’t produce it upon request. Stay safe.

Human Rights Awareness: 5 Basic Rights of Every American Citizen

The norms and moral principles used to describe human behavior standards are known as human rights. International and municipal law recognize and protect human rights as legal and natural rights of humans.

Often understood as fundamental, inalienable rights, every individual is entitled to the rights simply for being human beings. Despite your location, age, language, ethnic origin, ethnicity, religion, or any other status, you’re entitled to human rights inherently as a human being.

Human rights are universal, hence applicable all the time and everywhere. Furthermore, they’re egalitarian, meaning each right is similar for everyone.

The rights expect the rule of law and empathy from every individual and imposes an obligation on everyone to respect each other’s human rights. With the exception of a due process on particular scenarios, nobody’s human right should be taken away.

For instance, human rights comprise of freedom from torture, unlawful imprisonment, and execution.

Benefits of Human Rights

Human rights ensure that everyone has access to basic human needs such as food, medication, clothes, water, and shelter. As a result, every individual develops a baseline for dignity.

However, not everyone worldwide has access to basic necessities and rights. Therefore, activists use human rights to fight for the basic needs of those without access.

Apart from helping people access basic needs, other benefits of human rights include:

  • Offers protection to vulnerable members in the society from abuse
  • Promotes freedom of expression and speech
  • Allows you to freely practice your religion
  • Promotes equal job opportunities for everyone
  • Gives you the freedom to love whomever you want
  • Offers protection to the environment

Here’re five basic human rights of every American citizen you should know:

5 Human Rights Every Citizen Should Know

1. The right to education and freedom of expression

Every individual has the right to basic and tertiary education, including adult basic education. It teaches literacy and builds a foundation for career and independence in the future.

Everyone has the right to speak, write or print whatever they want as part of freedom of expression. However, it’s important to never violate another person’s right with your freedom of expression.

You must also never break the law through your speech or written material.

2. The right to food, healthcare, social services, and water

Every human has the right to enough water, food, and social security services. You have the right to access healthcare services, including reproductive health care whenever you’re sick or a need arises.

You also need the right to social assistance if you’re unable to support yourself or have dependents.

3. The right to freedom and security

This right states that nobody can be imprisoned without a good reason. You must undergo trial before detainment. You must not be tortured, maltreated or punished in a cruel, degrading or inhuman way.

Every human being has the right not to be subjected to violence from private or public sources.

And, if you’re a detained, arrested or accused person, you have the right to a lawyer and representation before a judge in a court of law. Furthermore, you can’t be forced to make a confession or speak against your will or without the presence of a lawyer.

Even as a prisoner, you have the right to live under proper prison conditions and receive visitors, including members of your family.

As part of health security, you have the right to invest in an emergency healthcare solution to eliminate any chance of falling victim to preventable health conditions. Great Call gives you access to 24/7 urgent care and safety from your smartphone.

On the other hand, Lifelock would offer you protection from identity theft. It supports address variations to protect your identity from fraudsters online.

4. The right to personal privacy

Nobody, including the government is allowed to search your property or house, or seize anything that belongs to you without following the law and the right legal channels. This is for the reason that you have the right to personal privacy.

Additionally, due to your right to personal privacy, the government isn’t allowed to infringe on your communication. Whether you communicate through phone calls or emails, the government isn’t allowed to tap or eavesdrop on your conversations or messages.

5. The right to freedom of association

Whom do you want to relate with? You have the right to associate with anyone you want, and so is everyone else.

Everyone has the right to associate with a political party, trade union, club, religious domination, business fraternity, sports clubs, or any other association they want.

6 Ways to Advocate for Human Rights within the Law

Matters of human rights advocacy rub the shoulders of the government of the day in a wrong way. At times, they violate them willingly to test the waters. In case they succeed without any hindrances, that’s a typical dictatorial type of leadership.

In democratic governance, human rights advocacy groups have all the freedom to raise their voices against any acts that violate human rights. Some turn violent. It takes a strong heart to become a human rights advocate. The heroes in the fight against human rights had the following similar personalities.

  • Excellent negotiation skills
  • Great project managers
  • The best storytellers
  • A proper grasp of the law

As a human rights advocate, there are various ways to ensure you drive a point home- the authorities. It’s not a day’s work; it needs research, needs assessment, and empowerment to get the best route; to have your voice is heard. Who can be a human rights advocate?

  • Lawyers
  • Educationists
  • Environmental conservationists
  • Politicians
  • Civil society organization leaders

In most cases, the non-profit making organizations take the leading role as human rights watch firms. They stand a better chance since they are non-partisan.

They purely serve the interest of the citizens. The reasons why they are the best people to fight for the rights of the common man is

  • No conflict of interest
  • Non-partisan
  • The humanitarian nature of their work
  • Ability to effectively use the corridors of justice
  • Sit in policy meetings as interested parties
  1. Capacity-building among stakeholders

An empowered workforce in human rights advocacy translates to a professional impact on issues of the fight for human rights. Training, seminars, and conferences held on such matters equip participants with the right knowledge to face the concerned parties with all the facts within the law.

The advantage of these capacity building seminars involves all parties, including the government entities. As much as people agree to disagree, in the end, everyone must fulfill their mandate. It’s the best way to give a chance to the disadvantaged people- women, disabled, and discriminated groups, among others- to air their practical views on how they feel their rights are being violated. You get to have tailored solutions on the best way to handle them at the governance level.

  1. Active lobbying

Lobbying is the best strategy to gain popularity, especially when you have to use elections to win a case. It puts pressure on the government to amend bills, restructure policies, and to some extent, change the laws to suit the relevant people. In some countries, people go as far as giving out bribes is the order of the day to ensure the motion goes through or not depending on the side of the concerned parties. The main activities involved in lobbying are

  • Public participation
  • Retreats for legislators
  • In-house committees
  1. Provision of human rights services

What happens when you have helpless citizens who have their human rights violated? It’s the work of the human rights advocacy to offer the services. Since it is a non-profit organization, the services are mostly free of charge; in case of any legal fees, then it’s at a subsidized rate.

 It’s within the law to stand in for a citizen or apply as an interested party in a legal case that touches on human rights. Once the government agencies notice your interest in court cases, they have no option but to do what is right. They understand the cost implications that come with such kind of legal battles.

  1. Raising awareness through education

Education is power; an empowered nation reduces the burden on advocacy work. It shifts strength to the citizens. They can differentiate the wrong and the right in their human rights fight.

Moreover, they know the legal channels to follow to get justice for whatever case they put before a judge. Social media and traditional mainstream media are the main ways to disseminate information to the public throughout the nation and the world.  

  1. Legal enforcement

The three arms of government – executive, legislative, and the judiciary- are independent bodies that oversee the work of the other. When one challenge of communication fails, more options are still available.

The court is a” friend” to human rights advocacy groups. They interpret the law which protects the rights of men and women.

When there is a standstill between an advocacy group and the legislative arm of government, the only savior is the legal enforcement agency- the judiciary. In as much as the executive uses a dictatorial form of leadership to instill some policies and laws, the judiciary is available to cushion the citizens against such selfish acts.

  1. Public demonstration

When all manner of avenues fails, a public demonstration is always the last resort. It’s within the bylaws to hold a public rally as long as you notify the government and follow the due procedures.

It’s an activity that takes place any time of the year, whether its winter or summer. Do human rights matters know about the weather? It can’t be postponed. You only need to put on the best clothing to suit the day.

The passion for fighting for human rights issues overlooks all the prevailing weather conditions. It’s not a walk in the park, you walk long distances, and you play cat-and-mouse games with the law enforcement officers.

Your relief is when you have your voice heard. At the end of the day, you have to take a hot shower to warm your body using the heater for the cold climates or humidifiers for the warm climates.

A tankless water heater is an essential appliance to install for your home. It’s the best relaxing strategy after the long battle on the streets trying to make a point on the human rights challenges you want to be addressed in the respective legislative arms of government.

If you are passionate about human rights advocacy, you have many options for fighting for it within the law. Lawmakers knew too well the resistance that comes with this kind of work. It explains why the many clauses within the constitution to ensure citizens or human rights watch do their job without any restrictions.

Fight for your Right: Everlasting GOP Stoppers

There are some basic human rights that every country has it as a law. However, there are some cases where we have emerging issues such that you have no option but just to fight for them since the lawmakers feel that they do not need to make sense. When we fight for our rights it is called freedom of expression. If anything you are supposed to hold a peaceful demonstration in which you are supposed to have full security. There are many ways in which you can fight for your rights.

When you fight for the interest of the majority then you need to involve them in the fight. If you have been aggravated about an issue then this is the starting point. Form a group and chat the best way to make sure the authorities hear you. With this then you can involve everlasting GOP stoppers just for you to get the attention of the audience. You will notice that there are people who will join the fight once they notice that it is for a noble cause. This is a fight that has no timeline on when it will start or finish.

Get Some Funding?

Depending on the severity of the campaign; you may run short of finances and you may need to have some funds to make posters buy the pop stoppers among others. There are many civil society organizations that may come through for you. This is also important especially when you have to attend conferences and seminars just to make the point home to the lawmakers.

Start a Campaign

This is a war and you have to create awareness to people that this is the mission, objectives, and vision of the group. In this, there are many ways in which you can do this; you can take advantage of digital technology and even physical involvement when it comes to creating awareness of a particular issue. Start and email campaign and share it on various relevant social media platforms. You will notice that in just a simple email and social media posts, it has come to the attention of the relevant authorities. At one point, you will even find that you are now called to the round table to just talk and iron out issues before it escalates to demonstrations.

Organize a Peaceful Demonstration or a Walk or a Marathon

This is now what we call physical involvement in the fight for your rights. You have to go through all the procedures to make sure you have all the permits. Get the attention of the security officers in case there are people who would want to hit back and cause chaos. The more the people the better for you since you will now catch the attention of the relevant authorities.

In the fight for your right, it is a way in which you try and express your thoughts on what the lawmakers should do. It is the beginning of a long journey. It is from this that you will be called to a round table to discuss and finally be passed as law depending on the procedures of any country.

GOP Anxious To Screw The White Working Class That Elected Them

Earlier this month, white working class Americans provided the margin for GOP victory in the election and now, as those Republicans prepare to take office, the screwing of those working class Americans is about to begin.

A deal is in the works between house Republicans and aides of outgoing majority leader, Harry Reid for a tax package totaling $440 billion in breaks to businesses. The Republicans will legitimately call it a tax cut, but for millions of working people, it is anything but. The deal which focuses on renewing existing tax breaks, leaves out renewal of the Earned Income Tax Credit and the child tax credit for working families.

Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew labeled the measure a wrong move saying,

“An extender package that makes permanent expiring business provisions without addressing tax credits for working families is the wrong approach, at the expense of middle-class families.”  

The President has threatened a veto. Also left to expire by the bill are credits to develop wind power deemed unfair by the oil industry (which collect billions in subsidies of their own.)

The GOP has a long history of bait and switch when it comes to those working class voters going back to the Reagan years. Great headlines were made with the announcement of his 1981 tax cuts which saved billions for corporations and the very wealthy and even saved a few dollars for the working man or woman. Little attention was paid, however, when those tax cuts were followed for the next six years with increases in Social Security withholdings and a higher gasoline levy which left working class Americans paying a higher proportion of their incomes at the end of Reagan’s term than at the beginning of it.

Fortunately for the GOP, most of those voters never did the math at the time. They are hoping none of them do it now.

30 Ways To Know You Are A Liberal

YOU ARE A LIBERAL IF …

1. You are able to form your own opinion without the influence of television.

2. You are colorblind when it comes to race or national origin.

3. You are serious about recycling.

4. You believe a woman has the right to make her own medical decisions without government intrusion.

5. You believe education and health care should be subsidized for the common good.

6. You believe government is “of the people, for the people and by the people” and not just for corporations.

7. You believe in “Liberty and Justice FOR ALL”.

8. You believe in the separation of church and state.

9. You believe in, and have even read a book or two about science.

10. You believe people are more important than corporations.

11. You believe that affordable healthcare is a basic right – not a privilege (for the privileged).

12. You believe that the Bible and the Constitution are not interchangeable.

13. You can find Iraq on a map while understanding that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

14. You consider all the facts on issues instead of calling your grandparents and asking them what to think.

15. You do not believe corporations are people too, friend.

16. You don’t believe that being a woman is a “pre-existing condition”.

17. You have left a restaurant because Fox News was on the television.

18. You know how to read a map and understand there is a world outside our borders.

19. You know the difference between adhering to the Ten Commandments and merely preaching them when convenient.

20. You know the difference between fascism and communism.

21. You know what being socialist actually means.

22. You like books, not viewing them as merely being kindling.

23. You prefer to breathe non-cancer-causing air and drink non-toxic water.

24. You read food labels.

25. You registered Republican so you could vote for their weakest candidate in their primaries.

26. You remember that Reagan increased taxes on the rich.

27. You remember that Reagan strongly believed in the separation of church and state.

28. You think that sexual relations between two consenting adults is their personal and private business.

29. You try to live up to the ideals Jesus taught such as brotherly love, taking care of the sick, the elderly, the poor.

30. You understand that “trickle-down economics” is like a “pissing contest” in that nobody ever wins – everyone just ends up getting wet.

5 Things You Should Tell Conservatives About Obama And Jobs

The last couple of years, President Obama has put forward an agenda to expand opportunity for all Americans, so that everyone who works hard can get ahead.

That agenda starts with creating more new jobs by investing in American manufacturing, exports, energy and innovation.

Conservative are always going on about their FAKE 40+ jobs bills they claim to have passed, while accusing President Obama of doing nothing to expand employment opportunities.

WRONG – It’s just more conservative spin!

Here’s 5 things you should tell conservatives about Obama and jobs:

FIVE THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

1. Businesses have created more than 9.7 million private sector jobs in the past 52 months.

2. After nearly collapsing, the U.S. auto industry has added nearly 250,000 jobs — the fastest pace of job growth in more than a decade.

3. American manufacturers have added more than 500,000 jobs since January 2012, the strongest period of job growth since 1989. President Obama wants to boost that trend.

4. Since 2009, the Small Business Administration has helped distribute more than $93 billion in loans for 166,000 small businesses.

5. President Obama’s middle-class tax cuts, first signed into law in December 2010, are providing tax relief for 160 million workers to help jump start the economy. For the typical family, that’s $40 extra with each pay check.

UPDATED: Police Mole Helps Anonymous Confirm Darren Wilson Link To KKK

As promised, Anonymous claims to have assumed control of the @KuKluxKlanUSA Twitter account, posting a tweet late Tuesday revealing personal information about Frank Ancona, the Grand wizard of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan *TAKKK) and his alleged associates. The information, contained in two Pastebin documents contains the names, social security numbers, credit card and banking information, address, telephone number, social media accounts and any other detailed personal data Anonymous could obtain.

Although the grand jury failed to return an indictment against Officer Darren Wilson, hacktivist group Anonymous is vowing to continue their investigation, linking Wilson to the Ku Klux Klan.

As we reported last weekAnonymous has released evidence they claim links the Ku Klux Klan to the Ferguson police department and officer Darren Wilson as the country waited on pins and needles for the final decision of the Missouri grand jury investigating the shooting death of Michael Brown.

According to Anonymous, in the days leading up to the grand jury finding, the South East Missouri Chapter of the KKK known as TAKKKK distributed flyers in Ferguson, MO,  making lethal threats toward activists on the ground.

In response, several activists asked Anonymous to launch #OpKKK. Local Anons in the St Louis and Ferguson area then launched #HoodsOff as a way to identify Klan members who might try to embed themselves within the protester community. After identifying multiple members of TAKKKK, Anonymous discovered that 3 of the highest ranking members were present at a Darren Wilson rally in Imperial, MO, that had previously been rumored to be organized by the Klan.

Last Wednesday Anonymous received an email from an informant that read:

“This has gotten out of control. They want to kill me. And after you release this information, they will want to kill me. I am scared for my life right now. I am begging you to please do not release the information that I gave. I’m afraid that because the information I provided is so specific, that it will definitely be traced back to me, and I will be in danger. I am a long time supporter of Anonymous, and have trusted you with my identity. Now I feel my life is in your hands. I’m begging you please. I have a family to think of.”

This informant has been confirmed the the Anti-Media website to be “an employee with access to the St. Louis County Police Department.”

However, in light of the aforementioned email, Anonymous has decided to try and take another look at all the information they have received so far to see if there is any way they can connect all the dots since the information obtained from their police informant was detailed enough that it likely could lead to the exposure of that individual if released in its entirety to the general public.

We will keep you posted on information as this story develops.

Man Proudly “Open Carrying” New Pistol Is Robbed Of It At – Wait For It – Gunpoint

CBS affiliate KOIN 6 in Gresham Oregon is reporting that a man that was practicing “open carry” with a brand new handgun was robbed of it – at gunpoint.

The station reports that on October 4th the victim, William Coleman III, was displaying his brand-new Walther P22handgun to his cousin at about 2 A.M. when he was approached by another man wearing flip-flops and sweat pants, who asked for a cigarette. After displaying his own weapon in his waistband, he told Coleman;

“I like your gun. Give it to me.”

Coleman relinquished the weapon and the assailant fled on foot. In, you know, those flip-flops.

We would provide you with a description, but honestly we’re not trying to solve a crime, here. We’re just mocking some “open-carry” douchebag that got robbed at gunpoint. 🙂

You’re welcome.

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