urgent action network
sun 22 jan 2012

Last december I signed up for Amnesty International's Write for Rights. I took on two different cases and wrote a total of five letters: two letters of protest to government officials and three handmade notes of encouragement.

It felt good, trying to conquer evil with some letter writing. I wanted to continue, so I signed up for the Urgent Action Network.

It's a little bit different from the Write for Rights project. They get new cases every day, I don't know how many hundreds there are to choose from... whereas the Writeathon only focused on 15. When you join the Urgent Action Network, you can choose how often they send you email alerts. I signed up for one a week; they usually come at the end of the week and I have been working on them over the weekend.

The other difference is that the Network does not provide you with prepared sample letters that you can print out. The Urgent Action case sheet gives you information on the situation and tells you who to write and what to ask for, but the letter writing is all yours.

My first Urgent Action was actually an email petition that I just had to sign. But the next two actions were for snail mail letters of protest.

It does take a while to read through the case sheet and then figure out what I want to say in my letter. The letter is sent to several different people in the country's government, and a copy is sent to their embassy in Washington DC.

So, in the end I have a handful of letters to send out. And a sense of having done something good in the world.

decorated envelopes

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