Avaaz in their words are ‘a global web movement to bring people-powered politics to decision-making everywhere’.
Avaaz comes from the Persian word for ‘voice’ or ‘song’ and was founded in 2007 in the spirit of other such burgeoning social media at the time most notably Facebook and Twitter.
And in the spirit of the disconnect between those governing and those governed – and not just in Dictatorships but alas in Democratic nations and the spectre of Croney Capitalism with the mainstream media fused with its governments and global corporate interests – with most of the mainstream hard working populace left out in the cold.
Avaaz is an attempt to bring the often unheard voices of peoples of all countries together to persuade our often remote and unlistening global leaders to a particular cause.Identifying causes which are universal, shared across cultures and nations, is no easy task and in the television program Hard Talk on the BBC 24 channel Stephen Sackur addressed these and other issues very forcefully.
The program also addressed the politics of the organization – broadly liberal. This is not an issue for me – the world is diverse and we are not going to agree on all things – but if we believe in an issue then campaign for it – if you don’t like the particular cause espoused then you do not have to sign your name against it. Further similar petitioning organizations are likely to be set up from a conservative outlook and agenda – it is all about peaceful if passionate persuasion of a particular cause.
I have taken part in a few myself recently – a petition against Rupert Murdoch and his move to increase ownership of BSkyB and hence control over the UK Media and another petition against the appalling practice of corrective rape in South Africa (raping gay women to cure them of their ‘lesbianism’).
Another campaign to the UN Security council to protect the Libyan people protesting against the Government Dictatorship from violent reprisals may have been influential in the decision to impose a No Fly zone over the country on March 19.
It is heartening to be reminded that there is so much that unites rather than divides us and that those who share our values come from every country of the world, from every culture, from every class.