Take action

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As a blog devoted to “campaigning for U.S. compliance with international norms,” the Compliance Campaign hopes that the information and analysis it provides helps to inspire a general grassroots movement for a United States that respects its international obligations in all sorts of areas, including non-aggression principles, human rights, arms control and non-proliferation, election-related commitments, and anti-corruption commitments.

The U.S. has a long way to go before it can be considered a responsible member of the international community, much less the “champion of human rights” and “the indispensable leader” that it fancies itself as. In fact, it could be said that with its indefinite detention and torture policies, its endless war on terror and drone warfare, its domestic problems such as mass incarceration and rigged elections, its support for dictators around the world and its bullying of other nations, the USA is indeed the world’s pre-eminent rogue state.

While other nations clearly have more troubling records in respecting certain aspects of international norms — such as North Korea’s slave labor camps or Uganda’s treatment of homosexuals or election-rigging in Belarus — one would be hard-pressed to find another country in the world that flouts international obligations as routinely and comprehensively as the United States. What other nation on earth for example has recently traveled half-way across the planet to invade another country based on utter fabrications, as the U.S. did a decade ago in Iraq? What other country sends unmanned aerial drones across the borders of sovereign nations against their stated wishes and kills countless innocent civilians? None.

With such wide-ranging violations of international norms, no single organization truly covers all the bases when it comes to pressuring the United States government to live up to its international commitments. Instead, there are a plethora of groups and grassroots campaigns that deal with various facets of these issues. To join this multi-issue campaign for U.S. compliance with international norms, the following resources — broken down by category — could be useful. If you have an action-oriented organization you would to see linked to here, please email compliancecampaign [at] gmail.com.

General campaigns

Avaaz

Avaaz—meaning “voice” in several European, Middle Eastern and Asian languages—launched in 2007 with a simple democratic mission: organize citizens of all nations to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want.

CREDO Action

CREDO is a social change organization that supports activism and funds progressive nonprofits. Our mobile telephone company, CREDO Mobile, generates revenue to support progressive nonprofits and our our activism arm, CREDO Action. CREDO Action, powered by CREDO Mobile customers, helps channel the power of its 3.3 million members to fight for progressive change.

RootsAction

RootsAction is an online initiative dedicated to galvanizing Americans who are committed to economic fairness, equal rights, civil liberties, environmental protection — and defunding endless wars.

Antiwar, arms control and foreign policy

ANSWER Coalition

The A.N.S.W.E.R. (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition formed on September 14, 2001. It is a coalition of hundreds of organizations and prominent individuals and scores of organizing centers in cities and towns across the country. Its national steering committee represents major national organizations that have campaigned against U.S. intervention in Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Asia, and organizations that have campaigned for civil rights and for social and economic justice for working and poor people inside the United States.

CODEPINK

CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end U.S. funded wars and occupations, to challenge militarism globally, and to redirect our resources into health care, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities.

Control Arms

Control Arms is a global civil society alliance campaigning for a bulletproof Arms Trade Treaty.

Courage to Resist

Courage to Resist is motivated by a “people power” strategy that we believe can weaken the pillars that maintain war and occupation in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. By supporting GI resistance, counter-recruitment, and draft resistance, we hope to diminish the number of troops available for unjust war and occupation.

Iraq Veterans Against the War

Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) was founded by Iraq war veterans in July 2004 at the annual convention of Veterans for Peace (VFP) in Boston to give a voice to the large number of active duty service people and veterans who are against this war, but are under various pressures to remain silent.

Just Foreign Policy

Just Foreign Policy is an independent and non-partisan membership organization dedicated to reforming U.S. foreign policy by mobilizing and organizing the broad majority of Americans who want a foreign policy based on diplomacy, law and cooperation.

Peace Action

Peace Action is the nation’s largest grassroots peace network, with chapters and affiliates in states across the country.

US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is the largest and most diverse coalition working to change U.S. policy toward Palestine/Israel to support human rights, international law, and equality.

Veterans for Peace

Veterans For Peace is a global organization of Military Veterans and allies whose collective efforts are to build a culture of peace by using our experiences and lifting our voices. We inform the public of the true causes of war and the enormous costs of wars, with an obligation to heal the wounds of wars.

War Resisters League

The United States’ oldest secular pacifist organization, the War Resisters League has been resisting war at home and war abroad since 1923.

Human rights

American Civil Liberties Union

The ACLU is our nation’s guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.

Amnesty International

Amnesty International works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied. Currently the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization, we investigate and expose abuses, educate and mobilize the public, and help transform societies to create a safer, more just world.

Bill of Rights Defense Committee

The Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC) is a national non-profit, non-partisan organization working to restore the rule of law and our constitutional rights and liberties. We aim to make police and intelligence agencies accountable to we, the people whom they serve.

Bradley Manning Support Network

The Bradley Manning Support Network works to raise money for Bradley Manning’s legal defense, to educate the public about his case, and to organize actions that demonstrate the public support that exists for Bradley Manning.

Center for Constitutional Rights

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.

Close Guantanamo

Close Guantanamo is a group of lawyers, journalists, retired military personnel and concerned individuals who believe that Guantánamo undermines America’s values and harms its national security, and must be closed without further delay.

Human Rights First

Human Rights First is an independent advocacy and action organization that challenges America to live up to its ideals. We believe American leadership is essential in the struggle for human rights so we press the U.S. government and private companies to respect human rights and the rule of law.

Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch is one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. By focusing international attention where human rights are violated, we give voice to the oppressed and hold oppressors accountable for their crimes.

Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. Through advocacy and outreach to targeted constituencies, The Leadership Conference works toward the goal of a more open and just society – an America as good as its ideals.

Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign

The Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign is committed to uniting the poor as the leadership base for a broad movement to abolish poverty everywhere and forever. We work to accomplish this aim through the promotion of economic human rights, named in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as Articles 23, 25, and 26.

Sentencing Project

Established in 1986, The Sentencing Project works for a fair and effective U.S. criminal justice system by promoting reforms in sentencing policy, addressing unjust racial disparities and practices, and advocating for alternatives to incarceration.

Solitary Watch

Solitary Watch is a collaboration between journalists and law students aimed at serving as a centralized and comprehensive source of information on the use and abuse of solitary confinement in the United States.

Southern Center for Human Rights

The Southern Center for Human Rights provides representation to people facing the death penalty, challenges human rights violations in prisons and jails, and advocates for reforms in the criminal justice system in the South.

Election-related commitments

Center for Voting and Democracy (FairVote)

FairVote is a nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is a catalyst for reforming our elections to respect every vote and every voice in order to increase voter turnout, meaningful ballot choices and fair representation. As the national organization most focused on fundamental structural reform of American elections, we act as a traditional think tank through careful research, innovative analysis, effective educational resources and timely conferences, but also creatively engage with leading reformers, thought leaders and the media to turn new ideas into widely accepted policy options.

Common Cause

Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest. Today, Common Cause is one of the most active, effective, and respected nonprofit organizations working for political change in America.

Demos

Demos is a public policy organization working for an America where we all have an equal say in our democracy and an equal chance in our economy.

Election Protection Coalition

The nonpartisan Election Protection coalition was formed to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process.

Fair Elections Network

The Fair Elections Legal Network (FELN) is a national, nonpartisan advocacy organization whose mission is to remove barriers to registration and voting for traditionally underrepresented constituencies and improve overall election administration through administrative, legal, and legislative reform as well as provide legal and technical assistance to voter mobilization organizations.

League of Women Voters

The League has been fighting for equal access to the polls for more than 90 years. Nationwide, we register voters, provide nonpartisan election information, including written statements directly from the candidates and live debates, and fight for elections systems that are free, fair and accessible.

NAACP

The NAACP, along with our half-million adult and youth members throughout the United States, are frontline advocates committed to raising awareness for political, educational, social and economic equality of minority group citizens in the electoral process. With approximately 2,200 adult branches, youth councils, and college chapters in 49 states, 5 countries and the District of Columbia, the NAACP is actively engaged in increasing the African American responsiveness of citizens to be fully engaged in the democratic process.

Project Vote

Project Vote is a national nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) that works to empower, educate, and mobilize low-income, minority, youth, and other marginalized and under-represented voters.

Anti-corruption initiatives

Anti-Corruption Act

The Anti-Corruption Act was crafted by former Federal Election Commission chairman Trevor Potter in consultation with dozens of strategists, democracy reform leaders and constitutional attorneys from across the political spectrum.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in government and public life by targeting government officials who sacrifice the common good to special interests.

Public Citizen

Public Citizen serves as the people’s voice in the nation’s capital. Since our founding in 1971, we have delved into an array of areas, but our work on each issue shares an overarching goal: To ensure that all citizens are represented in the halls of power.

Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street is a people-powered movement that began on September 17, 2011 in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District, and has spread to over 100 cities in the United States and actions in over 1,500 cities globally. #ows is fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations.

Represent.Us

Represent.Us is a fresh campaign to support the American Anti-Corruption Act: a law that would overhaul campaign finance, impose strict lobbying and conflict of interest laws, and end secret political money.

Strengthening international law

Coalition for the International Criminal Court

The Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) includes 2,500 civil society organizations in 150 different countries working in partnership to strengthen international cooperation with the ICC; ensure that the Court is fair, effective and independent; make justice both visible and universal; and advance stronger national laws that deliver justice to victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Cluster Munition Coalition

The Cluster Munition Coalition is an international civil society campaign working to eradicate cluster munitions, prevent further casualties from these weapons and put an end for all time to the suffering they cause. The Coalition works through its members to change the policy and practice of governments and organisations towards these aims and raise awareness of the problem amongst the public.

Control Arms Campaign

Control Arms is a coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and individuals campaigning for a “bulletproof” Arms Trade Treaty to end the human suffering caused by the irresponsible arms trade. A “bulletproof“ treaty means an international, legally-binding agreement that will stop transfers of conventional arms and ammunition that fuel conflict, systemic armed violence, poverty and serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.

International Campaign to Ban Landmines

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) is a global network in over 100 countries that works for a world free of antipersonnel landmines, where landmine survivors can lead fulfilling lives.

International Committee of the Red Cross

The work of the ICRC is based on the Geneva Conventions of 1949, their Additional Protocols, its Statutes – and those of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – and the resolutions of the International Conferences of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

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2 responses to “Take action”

  1. Lisa Dawson says :

    Delighted to find resources here that I’d never come across previously. And your AWESOME featured image with the Gandhi quote hit home (my tweet on this: http://bit.ly/16QlceU). Thanks for this post.

    –Lisa

  2. нако минчев says :

    Practical measures need to be undertaken for the investigations into CIA secret prisons in Europe
    Nako MINCHEV*

    It is common knowledge that at end-January 2015 the global movement Amnesty International published a report, titled “Breaking the conspiracy of silence: USA’s European “partners in crime” must act after Senate torture report”, which throws further light upon the information gathered within the US Senate investigation into torture methods, applied by the Central Intelligence Agency, by referring to media reports on the way CIA-operated secret detention sites were run in Europe – in particular, on the territory of Lithuania, Poland and Romania. As a matter of fact, it was several years ago when it first became known that CIA tortured terror suspects not only in these countries but also on the territory of another EU Member State – namely, Great Britain. According to the Lawrence Wilkinson, former Chief of Staff to the US Secretary of State, after the terror attack of 11th September 2001 the CIA used the US military base on the island of Diego Garcia, located in the British Indian Ocean Territory, to conduct interrogations and torture terror suspects who had been abducted from various countries without any court order whatsoever.
    After the US Senate report got published, the European Parliament adopted a special resolution on 11th February 2015 in which it “expresses its deep condemnation of the gruesome interrogation practices that characterized these illegal counterterrorism operations; underlines the fundamental conclusion by the US Senate that the violent methods applied by the CIA failed to generate intelligence that prevented further terrorist attacks; recalls its absolute condemnation of torture”. The resolution also highlights the fact that “the climate of impunity regarding the CIA programme has enabled the continuation of fundamental rights violations, as further revealed by the mass surveillance programmes of the US National Security Agency and secret services of various EU Member States”. In this context, the US Government is called on “to investigate and prosecute the multiple human rights violations resulting from the CIA rendition and secret detention programmes, and to cooperate with all requests from EU Member States for information, extradition or effective remedies for victims in connection with the CIA programme”.
    The European Parliament also “reiterates its calls on Member States to investigate the allegations that there were secret prisons on their territory where people were held under the CIA programme, and to prosecute those involved in these operations, taking into account all the new evidence that has come to light”. At the same time it “expresses concerns regarding the obstacles encountered by national parliamentary and judicial investigations into some Member States’ involvement in the CIA programme, the abuse of state secrecy, and the undue classification of documents resulting in the termination of criminal proceedings and leading to de facto impunity of perpetrators of human rights violations”. Furthermore, the resolution “calls for the findings of existing inquiries relating to Member States’ involvement in the CIA programme, in particular the Chilcot inquiry, to be published without further delay”.
    Considering the above, we are unpleasantly impressed by the fact that the Council of Europe and its Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) have hitherto failed to demonstrate the due will to discuss the refusal of the governmental authorities in Vilnius, Warsaw and Bucharest to investigate the multiple occasions of human rights violations, ensuing from the agreement of these countries to host the establishment of CIA black sites on their territory. Such an attitude erodes the very foundations of the European Union, weakens the belief of European citizens that their fundamental rights are truly guaranteed, divests the EU of its moral authority and discredits its allegiance to the universal human values.
    The US Senate report and the one issued by Amnesty International, unequivocally point out that the above three EU Member States, as well as Great Britain, played a key role in the implementation of this CIA “operation” on the territory of the Old Continent. Without the help of these governments the USA would not have been in the position to detain and torture people for so many years, applying such inhumane methods as waterboarding and mock execution, sleep deprivation, use of coffin-sized confinement boxes or sexual threats.
    It is high time that Europe became aware of the fact that the time for paying lip service to the condemnation of these crimes or the attempts at their covering up is over for good. The governments of Lithuania, Poland and Romania can no longer hide behind the unconvincing “national security reasons” and “state secret” arguments, thus refusing to bring to light the entire truth about their role for the torture and abduction of people in their countries. Jozef Pinior, one of the legendary leaders of the Polish “Solidarity” trade union, member of the European Parliament in the period 2004 – 2009 and of the Parliamentary committee on secret CIA prisons in Europe, now a Polish senator, points out: “The information in Washington Post about the fact that Polish intelligence services received USD 15 million to “host” a secret CIA prison in the country compromises the entire Polish state which should elucidate this issue as quickly as possible. This unquestionably confirmed the grimmest hypothesis that under Leszek Miller Poland turned into a “banana republic” to the USA. Another deplorable fact is that our national services have contributed in no way whatsoever to the disclosure of this conspiracy. This is an extremely disgraceful situation. The Polish state, the judicial system and the Government should publish the investigation findings as soon as possible. Otherwise we are going to become Europe’s laughing stock. It turns out that we while we give lessons in democracy to countries like the Ukraine, we take money from the US to allow them to practice illicit torture of people on our territory”.
    In its turn the Bulgarian Government should state its official support for the appeal of Amnesty International and the European Parliament and urge the authorities in Vilnius, Bucharest and Warsaw to undertake an immediate and full investigation of this case and to prosecute those involved in the tortures. Let us be reminded that most of the victims of these malpractices are Muslims and in the context of surging anti-Islam mood after the terror attacks in Paris and Copenhagen it becomes even more important to find out the truth about the secret CIA “black sites” in Europe.
    * Human Rights Center, Sofia, Bulgaria

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