Saturday, June 10, 2006

Make it viral

We are in a unique position. Unlike the totalitarian regimes that we normally associate with human rights abuse, the Coalition countries and their European co-conspirators are democracies. This means that, rather than having to target the regimes themselves, we can effect change through public opinion. If there is enough of a groundswell against torture, particularly in the USA, vote-conscious politicians will have no choice but to take notice. That's why actions that target public opinion, like blogs, like Torture Awareness Month, make sense.

Get the story here.

This position is both a blessing and a curse. While supporting human rights can be as simple as correcting a friends misconceptions, our targets are diffuse. We must be clever about it. If you had few resources, but an important message, how would you go about making sure that your message spread?

From Cool LOking ads, who has other ads from the campaign. See Iran, Zimbabwe, and Myanmar (Burma).

The effect we could have could be very profound. What would happen if everyone became familiar with Den's Den's work documenting torture flights, or were deluged daily with the acerbic wit of The Crazy Bird? Would it still be possible to deny that torture was systemic if everyone read what Scott Horton reads?[1]

This blogroll belongs to all of you. What can you personally do to spread the word? Leave ideas in the comments. In the meantime, let's start with this action (via the no2torture email group).

Next Tuesday (13 June), 27 religious leaders from across the religious spectrum, including Nobel laureates Pres. Jimmy Carter and Elie Weisel, are joining together in an advertisement on the op-ed page of the New York Times, calling for the elimination of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment as part of U.S. policy.

You can help amplify the effect of this unprecedented action. Here's what you can do:

  • Blog about it
  • Tell two other people you know about the ad.
  • Take this ad to your house of worship/fellowship this coming weekend and encourage individuals there to endorse the NRCAT "Torture is a Moral Issue" statement.
  • Place this ad in your fellowship's newsletter
  • Put this ad in your regional religious body's newsletter or journal, asking religious leaders in your denomination or faith group to also endorse the ad for that printing.
  • Raise the money to place a copy of this ad in your local newspaper.
  • Send notice of this ad to your congregation's listserve, with the link to the ad (, suggesting that members of the congregation make arrangements for wide re-broadcast to religious and secular groups.
  • Donate funds to NRCAT to keep this campaign moving ahead.

Send a message saying what you did to

[1]: The blogroll has now reached the size where I cannot visit every blog regularly. Please, don't be shy- add yourself in the comments.


Blogger Rurikid said...

Those are neat graphics which have a strong impact - I will ask the blog-owner if I may download them and then have them freely hosted on my ImageShack account so as to post them in my blog Le Thé Chez Vierotchka.

The blogroll is getting so large that it seems to be slowing down the loading of my above-mentioned blog (which is fairly graphic heavy to begin with), which in turn slows down my traffic. I hope I find a way to fix that.


Rurikid (aka Vierotchka)

4:46 PM  
Blogger elendil said...

Hrm. That slow-down is a bit of a worry. Thanks for letting me know.

8:21 PM  
Blogger elendil said...

rurikid, I just visited your site and my browser ground to a halt. I like it when people have the blogroll on their site, but it's not obligatory. Perhaps, with all the stuff you have, you might have to remove it and just have the "Join Us!" link.

8:48 PM  
Blogger Rurikid said...

Thanks for your suggestion, elendil - Ive done just that, and it is now working much better. I hope I won't be removed from the blogroll as a result...

I intend to keep your logo and links on my blog permanently, because I'm not against torture only during June. I hope you'll keep the blogroll alive permanently too - we should be kept permanently aware of the horrendous abuses of torture world-wide.

3:38 AM  
Blogger elendil said...

rurikid, of course you won't be removed. All that's required is to talk about torture and link to the Torture Awareness Month site.

1:47 PM  
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12:27 AM  

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