Humanists for Social Justice and Environmental Action supports Human Rights, Social and Economic Justice, Environmental Activism and Planetary Ethics in North America & Globally, with particular reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other Human Rights UN treaties and conventions listed above.


SIGN: G8 Petition, Train 3.5 million healthworkers by 2015.

Tell the G8 to give hands-on support for mothers and children living in poverty

For women giving birth and children struggling to survive, 3.5 million healthworkers could make the difference between life and death. On 25 June, G8 leaders will meet to sign on to a new maternal and child health initiative to help the 8.8 million children and 300,000 women who still die each year from preventable illness, childbirth and pregnancy. In many places these deaths could be prevented simply by giving these women the support of a trained community healthworker.

Dear Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada As part of a comprehensive plan to save mothers, infants and children, please ensure the G8 commits to training an additional 3.5 million healthcare workers by 2015 at the upcoming G8 meeting in Canada.


Sign: Care2 - End the blockade of Gaza

Care2: End the Blockade of GazaHi

On May 31, Israeli armed forces raided an aid flotilla bound for Gaza intent on delivering supplies, including toys, used clothes and some wheelchairs. The botched interception resulted in nine activists dead and ten soldiers injured. Tell the U.N. Security Council you support their investigation into the raid

While Israel has a right to protect its citizens, the blockade goes punishes Gaza's entire population by restricting the entry of food, medical supplies, educational equipment and building materials. It doesn't have to be this way. A new strategy that protects the rights of everyone needs to be found. Tell the U.N. Security Council you support a independent, credible and transparent investigation.

Speak the F**k up! - Antonia Zerbisias

This Magazine and co-host a panel discussion on the G8/G20’s agenda on global maternal health. Antonia Zerbisias reflects on the feminist movement in Canada and Prime Minister Harper's attack on it. GREAT PIECE - includes Stephen Lewis and Michelle Lansberg's reaction to Harper, examination of the transfer of maternal health development money to Bible Translation services in Saskatchewan - among other astonishing revelations.

GO: People's Summit Launch June 18 , 7pm @ The Carlu

People's Summit Launch
Jun 18, 2010, 7:00pm - 10:00pm
The Carlu - 444 Yonge St.

Hosted by Mary Walsh

Maude Barlow, National Chairperson, The Council of Canadians
Victor Baez, General Secretary, Trade Union Confederation of the Americas, Brazil
Jessica Yee, Executive Director of the Native Youth Sexual Health Network
Lorena Aquilar, Global Gender Advisor, International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Costa Rica
Robert Lovelace, Ardoch Algonquin First Nation
Ambet Yuson, Secretary General of the Building and Woodworkers Union, Philippines
Dorothy Ngoma, member of the W8 and Executive Director of the National
Organization of Nurses and Midwives, Malawi

Music by Sara Marlowe and Eternia
After party at the Ram and the Rye, 55 Gould St., with Lillian Allan and Ron Hawkins


Bristol-Myers Factory closure could leave 7,000 babies without ARVs

Factory closure could leave 7,000 babies without ARVs

THIS NEWS ITEM IS BEGINNING TO CIRCULATE - It's now on Alertnet as well. The letter is below, if you wish to circulate it to other ngos. Mary

NAIROBI, 9 June 2010 (PlusNews) - Civil society activists are protesting the closure of a factory that produces the only UN World Health Organization-pre-qualified version of a life-prolonging antiretroviral (ARV) drug for infants.

Pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), which owns the French factory that produces didanosine, a second-line ARV for babies weighing less than 10kg, will shut down the plant in June 2010, stopping production of the drug until at least February 2011, when regulatory approval of a new United States-based manufacturing site is expected.

"Closing this factory means that 4,000–7,000 babies currently enrolled in treatment plans in developing countries through UNITAID [a funding mechanism for HIV treatment] could be left without the medicines they need," said the authors of a letter to BMS chief executive officer Lamberto Andreotti.

Didanosine is the last therapeutic option for these babies, and without it they could die ... there is likely to be a shortage of about 15,000 packs of didanosine 25mg across all UNITAID beneficiary countries between now and when production is expected to resume in April 2011," the letter, published in The Lancet, read. UNITAID, the main buyer of didanosine for distribution to developing nations, issued a statement urging BMS to take all measures to ensure the continued supply of didanosine 25mg and 50mg during the transition of its manufacturing site, so as to avoid interrupting treatment of the children whose lives depend on it.

BMS said unforeseen demand had put a strain on the supply of didanosine, but they had taken steps to ensure uninterrupted supply of the drug until the US factory opened. The product would become available immediately upon regulatory approval of the US site. However, UNITAID spokeswoman Daniela Bagozzi told IRIN/PlusNews that the Clinton Health Access Initiative, through which UNITAID distributes the medication, reported that existing stocks would last only until December 2010, and that regulatory approval of the new BMS site was unlikely to be received before April 2011, extending the period of likely shortages.



Sign: Stop the Sellout of Whales

President Obama: Stop the Sellout of Whales - The Petition Site
Target: U.S. President Barack Obama
Sponsored by: International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)
Reports have surfaced of United States support for a plan to reopen commercial whaling after more than twenty years.

The deal could come this month and would undermine decades of hard-won protections for whales and permit Japan, Norway and Iceland to openly kill whales with explosive harpoons for profit and trade.

This is disturbing, if true. I don't usually post animal welfare alerts, as lots of people do this. But having just seen a wonderful presentation on Antarctica at a Humanist Society of New York meeting, we were all alarmed to hear of the industrial whaling (Russian and Japanese) in the southern oceans, outside of any jurisdiction or oversight.

Keep an eye out for the source of this reversal in policy.

see also: AVAAZ


Donate: German Jewish Organization sending Flotilla to Gaza

Juan Cole Informed Comment | the Middle East, History and Religion

"Now a German Jewish organization, Jewish Voice for Peace in the Middle East, is planning an aid flotilla to Gaza! Juan suggests: Please send them money"
(Hard to do, no paypal)
Ynet News: German Jewish group prepares flotilla to protest Israel's blockade on Gaza. 'Activists frightened, but not by Hamas,' member of organization says. Edith Lutz, a German Jewish member of the organization, said to Ynet the vessel is already anchored in Mediterranean waters, and that the organization had received many requests from Jews and non-Jews to take part in the flotilla.

"We began in Germany," she said, "but many have called us from England, Sweden and the US. There may also be another boat accompanying us, mainly carrying reporters."
Lutz explained that the Jewish flotilla aims to convey a message: Lift the siege.
"Two years ago I took part in the Free Gaza flotilla and wore a Magen David (Star of David), and the kids said, 'Look, she's Jewish,' and they all accepted me very well. When we met (Hamas leader) Ismail Haniyeh and they told him about me, he turned to me and said they have nothing against Jews or Israel, only against the occupation."

Kate Leitrer, herself Jewish, said there was great interest in joining. "Getting another boat means more expenses, and we're discussing this possibility," she said. "Because of limited space, there will be school equipment, candy, and mainly musical equipment, and there'll be musicians aboard who'll teach the children of Gaza. They need to see that Jews are not what how they are drawn in their eyes."

Juan Cole: There are over 250,000 Jews in contemporary Germany, and more Jews immigrated to Germany in 2005 than to Israel. Four-fifths of them are Russian Jews who prefer Berlin to Beersheva. And, there are some Israelis among them who have similar preferences... the Israeli government lobbied Germany in 2004 to restrict Jewish immigration.
See also a petition to Obama and Congress (for US and NON-US residents) at Jewish Voices for Peace.


WRITE: Bill C-300, Mining and human rights

Inter Pares has written extensively over the years about negative experiences of our counterparts around the world with mining and oil and gas companies – environmental damage, human rights abuses, poor labour practices. Especially in mining, Canadian corporations are major actors around the world.

Canada has a chance to become a world leader in corporate responsibility by passing a Private Member’s Bill (Bill C-300) that would create meaningful measures to encourage Canadian mining, oil and gas companies operating overseas to behave responsibly. The Bill is currently being reviewed by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development. Members of Parliament need to hear from the public now to ensure that the Bill is passed by the Committee and sent back to the House of Commons

Bill C-300 is a Private Member’s Bill introduced by Liberal MP John McKay on February 9, 2009. Bill C-300 implements a number of key recommendations from the March 2007 Final Report of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Roundtables. The recommendations reflected the consensus of a multi-stakeholder advisory group that had representatives from the mining, oil and gas industries as well as civil society groups, including MiningWatch Canada, a Canadian organization of which Inter Pares is a founding member.

Your letters and emails in support of Bill C-300 are urgently needed to ensure that Canadian mining companies live up to international human rights and labour standards and environmental best practices when they operate overseas, and that government financial and political support are not provided to companies that abuse human rights and the environment.

We are asking you to write an email – right now – to your MP to let him/her know that you support this proposed legislation and want them to vote in favour of it. We are providing a sample letter below that you can use – or better yet, read the background material and write your own message.

Asking for a meeting with your MP in the riding office in your community is an excellent way to make your voice heard, and has an even greater impact than a letter or email.


Dear (name of MP),
Re: Support for Bill C-300 on Corporate Accountability

I am writing to let you know that I strongly support Bill C-300, an Act respecting Corporate Accountability for the Activities of Mining, Oil and Gas Corporations in Developing Countries.

I am very concerned by regular reports that Canadian mining, oil and gas companies are involved in human rights and labour violations, and environmental degradation around the world, and by the fact that these companies often receive financial and political support from the Canadian Government. If we are supporting them, we have an obligation to ensure they behave responsibly. Many countries in which our extractive companies operate do not have strong legal or regulatory systems to hold them to account for human rights and environmental abuse.

The most important concern expressed about the Bill is that Canadian companies may no longer be competitive if held to standards. In mining countries, governments are becoming more aware of the huge liabilities that can come with irresponsible mining operations. Companies that have the backing of their government, demonstrated by their compliance with a law like C-300, will be viewed as good corporate citizens and have a competitive advantage.

I understand that some companies may threaten to leave Canada if C-300 is passed. But similar predictions happened with US legislation, and were not borne out. Being registered with a Canadian stock exchange results in very lucrative tax and other incentives to mining companies, which will not change if C-300 is passed. If companies are already complying with standards, C-300 it won’t affect them. The government has claimed that it will be overwhelmed with frivolous complaints, but this too is unfounded, since the bill has a simple and agile mechanism to deal with such complaints.

There is an urgent need for a stronger regulatory framework to hold Canadian mining, oil and gas companies accountable in Canada for human rights, labour, and environmental violations overseas. Bill C-300 is a small first step in this direction. It has garnered support from groups across the country and internationally, and it has my support as well.

I urge you to support Bill C-300. Please let me know how you will vote.
(find your MP from the links in the right columns)

Say NO to More of the World's Dirtiest Oil - The Petition Site

Say NO to More of the World's Dirtiest Oil - The Petition Site

Here's an interesting petition about the Tar Sands to OBAMA, rather than to HARPER. Both Canadians and Americans might want to sign this one...

Say NO to More of the World's Dirtiest Oil
Target: President Obama
Sponsored by: Friends of the Earth

The Obama administration has already catered to oil execs with its proposal to expand offshore drilling, and thus the chances for another catastrophic oil spill. Now, it's poised to make another decision in favor of Big Oil. Oil corporations have been lobbying hard for Obama to allow the construction of a new pipeline to bring more of the world's dirtiest oil into the United States.

It's hard to believe, but producing tar sands oil emits three times as much carbon pollution as producing conventional oil. Plus, its production destroys acres of Canada's Boreal Forest -- one of the few large, intact ecosystems left on earth.

The United States is the only market for this dirty oil. So if President Obama denies the permit, he can stop the expansion the tar sands industry. Obama's State Department is taking comments on the pipeline until June 16. Add your voice: Tell Obama to say no to more dirty tar sands oil.

News: Nothing to Kill or Die For

Great article about a panel on Humanist Activism held at the AHA convention this week.


SIGN: Tell EPA to Take away BP's billions in federal contracts


Here is an interesting way to approach BPs immunity from responsibility. US residents and others are signing this petition.

"BP continues to stonewall the American people about the growing Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf, even while the company is reaping millions of dollars in profits a day from its other federal leases.

The Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to bar BP from receiving U.S. government contracts. Suspension of BP contracts would mean the loss of billions of dollars and effectively stop the company from drilling in federally controlled oil fields both on and offshore.

Discretionary debarment is among the most serious actions EPA can take. EPA's own regulations allow the agency to ban BP from future contracts after considering "the frequency and pattern of the incidents, corporate attitude both before and after the incidents, changes in policies, procedures, and practices."

Prior to the current Gulf spill, EPA had linked BP to at least four instances of criminal misconduct, and BP has paid tens of millions in fines for environmental crimes. According to the public interest investigative journalists at Pro Publica, the EPA is considering re-evaluating BP and determining whether the company's actions leading up to and following the Deep Horizon spill are evidence of an institutional problem inside BP that would qualify for debarment action.

If BP is hit with discretionary debarment, the company would lose valuable contracts for selling fuel to the military and would be prohibited from obtaining or renewing drilling leases on federal land. EPA could also cancel BP's current federal leases. The impact on BP's bottom line could be in the billions of dollars.

Neither Congress, nor President Obama, nor Interior Secretary Salazar have taken steps to truly hold BP accountable. It's up to EPA to use the regulatory tools at its disposal to make BP pay"

and here is another Sign our petition to the Senate to eliminate the liability cap and hold BP completely responsible


Sign: Jewish Voices for Peace letter to Obama re Gaza incident

JVP: Tell Congress and Obama No Aid for Siege of Gaza or Attacks on Allies

If you are not a US Citizen, go here.

Israel's army shocked the world by invading a ship bound for Gaza with badly needed food, medical, and reconstruction aid and killing the international peace activists on board. Tell Congress and President Obama to condemn the immoral and illegal May 31 attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, demand a full and independent international investigation and the release of all detainees immediately, and withhold military aid to Israel until it abides by international law, including ending the siege of Gaza and the occupation of the West Bank including East Jerusalem.

Sign: Petition to investigate Israeli attack on Gaza Aid Ship

"Israel's deadly raid of the Gaza humanitarian flotilla has sparked worldwide outrage. This time, we can't accept mere words from our leaders. It's time for action.

This petition will be delivered to the UN and world leaders when it reaches 200,000 signatures

Petition to governments and international organizations:

We call for an immediate, independent investigation into the flotilla assault, full accountability for those responsible, and the lifting of the Gaza blockade".