Seattle’s 60th UDHR Human Rights Day/Week Extravaganza

So, I’m going for the triathlon of Human Rights Day events this week as Seattle celebrates the 6Oth Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We have music (including 2 side bands of REM members), awards, a march and rally, and a write-a-thon (following the march). . .

First up, Seattle’s 60th Anniversary of the UDHR Concert at Neumos on the day itself, Weds. Dec. 10, doors at 7, tickets $15 at TicketsWest, benefiting Amnesty International, featuring The Minus 5, Tuatara (both featuring Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey of REM);Grammy-nominated Iraqi musician Rahim Alhaj, Barrett Martin and the Wayward Shamans (featuring Dave Carter, trumpet; and Aiko Shimada, vocals) and Thione Diope and his Senegalese Wolof Drummers.

Here’s a little preview.  First The Minus 5:

Rahim Alhaj:

Thione Diop:

Note: this clip is from Seattle and Thione Diop’s group performs the unheard of miracle of making Seattleites dance!

Our local Amnesty International group (AIUSA Group 4, Seattle) will be on hand collecting signatures on human rights petitions, handing out literature, selling t-shirts and we can even sign you up as a member!

Next up, the one event our group is not officially involved with, but certainly many of us attending, Seattle’s Human Rights Day, Thurs, Dec. 11, 7 – 9 pm at Town HallDr. Robert Bullard is the guest speaker (and will also be speaking on Weds. Dec. 10, 11:30 am – 1 pm at Seattle City Hall’s Bertha Landes Room), with awards Thurs. night going to Somali Community Services of Seattle, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, YWCA GirlsFirst and Michael Neguse.

Amnesty International Group 4, Seattle is a proud co-sponsor of Seattle’s March for Human Rights on Saturday, Dec. 13, starting at 1 pm at 7th & Pike near the Washington State Convention Center and ends with a rally at Westlake Plaza.

Featured speakers include representatives of Real Change and the Philippine-U.S. Solidarity Organization. Musicians include Jim Page and Blue Scholars.

Have I mentioned I’m the new Group Coordinator for Amnesty International Group 4 (4th group in the US, not Seattle)?  I had my hesitancy taking over such a hyperactive group, but Aaron Tovo, our former Group Coordinator was moving back to Minneapolis.  What could I do?

Due to our November meeting being delayed as the regular night would have been on election night, we had only 5 members there, including Aaron who was leaving.  So, after not much response posting to our listserv, I finally got a chance to ask our about 15 member gathering Tuesday night whether we should take part in the march (yes!) and Amnesty International’s Global Write-a-Thon (sometime between Dec. 4–15), certainly, I thought, not on the same day. . . which everyone else thought was just perfect, in fact, the only time for it.

So, following the march and rally, join our Seattle group for Amnesty International’s Global Write-a-Thon on December 13 from 3:30 – 5 pm at the Victrola Coffee at 310 E Pike St. We’ll provide case sheets and letter writing supplies. Also writing guidelines for those who are new to AI letter writing.

Our write-a-thon is the one time of year, for most of us, where we go old school and hand write our letters asking for the release of prisoners of conscience, ending human rights violations and bringing the perpetrators to justice. To date, 187,828 letters pledged, just on the Amnesty International USA website alone.  Amnesty International groups around the world are taking part.

After that, I think a nice long nap. . .zzzz

No, wait, we have the Seattle Human Rights Film Festival coming up Feb. 4 – 8. . .

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