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June 08, 2006

It's not happening here, but it's happening now

Amnesty International has launched a bold, creative, and challenging outdoor advertising campaign. It places real life horrific events on a transaprent clear background, so the terrible event looks like it's happening in a safe, familiar area. It's very effective, and it , for me at least, breaks through the tendency to forget that entire world is not as comfortable as our existence.

Check it out, I think you'll be impressed.

Posted by jason on June 8, 2006 02:00 PM


Wow, it's powerful. My comments are weak compared to just seeing it for yourself...

Posted by: jessica on June 8, 2006 10:13 PM

That add campaign reminds me of Sarah Mclachlan's new music video for her song, World on Fire. It is an amazing video, and you guys should check it out.

Posted by: Jessica on June 9, 2006 01:13 AM

It really makes you stop and think doesn't it? Wow...

You know its funny you show this because while the magnitude of what is going on, on this site is no where near the same it is a human interest piece and I think people should hear about it. So I will share it with you all.

I start by asking this question...Have you ever left something in a taxi or in a hotel rooom or just left something somewhere and you wish the person who found it would turn it in? I know I have and any time I find anything like that I always turn it in...it's not mine and I shouldn't treat it as such. We this is the story behind the website I will post. This guys friend left her T-Mobile Sidekick in a taxi and someone just stole it. They were able to find out who the person was based on how the sidekick works and they got in touch with the person and they refused to return it.

This is sad what ever happened to helping our fellow man? I know you are probably saying ok after the ads you just saw how do you like to a stupid $300 phone? Its not the price of the phone that this got me thinking about the ads just made me think about how we treat what goes on in the world. We just shrug everything off and let things that happen right in front of our eyes go unmentioned. I think this is because living the lie that everything is always ok is easier then admitting we are wrong and we sometimes do not value our fellow man. Humanity has gone out the window unfortunately. All those ads show are the attrocities that happen everyday that we ignore. It really is sad. Anyway I hope I haven't bored you all too much with my ranting.

I'm going to leave with this one last comment. I remember the movie post that you put up asking for movie suggestions. I don't know if anyone suggested it but with all this in mind I recommend "Pay it Forward" that movie will really make you think and hopefully change the way a few people treat their fellow man. Check it out. Anyway here is the website I have been ranting about:

If you want check it out.

Posted by: Jagang on June 9, 2006 10:03 AM

brilliant ad campaign.

what's our reaction, if not war?

sanctions? food dumps? international political pressure?


Posted by: jd on June 9, 2006 11:07 PM

JD, just curious, do you feel like you have to have all the answers to protest?

Posted by: Ian on June 10, 2006 12:20 AM

JD -- I think it depends on the sitatuation. In the case of children being forced into Militia, it would be political pressure on the US to put pressure on those countries to address the crisis. In the case of our own country torturing prisoners, it would be political pressure on our own leaders (I think Bush's below freezing approval ratings will show future leaders that if they want to stay in office they shouldn't approve of such tactics). Those are just 2 examples that are highlighted in this ad campaigns. Mostly I say the first step is awareness though, and these ads do an excellent job of creating that.

Posted by: jason on June 10, 2006 12:28 PM

What a relief that you and others are beginning to sound like you are in the 60s again. I didn't think I'd see it come around again, but I'm so glad people are beginning to be concerned for the world instead of only having fun. Thanks!

Posted by: lynn on June 10, 2006 09:58 PM


HA! No. I don't think I have all the answers. However, as a near pacifist, I am very eager to find/discuss the solutions. To be brutally honest, I have little to no faith in government/political endeavors - tho I still think they must be tried/advocated. Maybe I often just don't have the wisdom to realize what they are, without strong-arming...

Jason -

I think you're very right, re. our torture of prisoners. I'm more skeptical, however, re. international politics and how much of a solution political pressure is. And how good is that pressure if we don't have the clout of the military and/or sanctions? Maybe I don't get the full picture.

If nothing else, I heartily agree that the ads excel at raising awareness. They're riveting. I am a firm believer in giving of our time and money to these issues (and others). I've tried to implement that into my own life (or at least begin to)- as I know you have as well.

My questions are not always meant to challenge, but simply to brainstorm about what the solutions are. I don't want to just complain, but do my part to find solutions. Iraq is a mess- so what next? Children are dying in the Sudan- do we go to war there? Welcome refugees? Alaska is being threatened by drilling - do we keep depending on Middle Eastern oil instead? ... you get my point.

Thanks for highlighting these issues - they're well worth the time of us all. Perhaps even more importantly, we can pray (if you're the praying kind). The injustices and needs of the world give each of us the chance to put whatever faith we have into works (without which any beliefs we have are "meaningless").


Posted by: jd on June 10, 2006 11:59 PM

This is a great ad campaign. I'd much rather see these ads at bus stations than an ad for Bebe or Cars. Awareness must be active because media is fickle. On the news one week, we're hearing daily about travesties in Darfur; the next two weeks we're hearing almost exclusively about France's employment laws. Then it's Iran's nuclear program. But the things we stop hearing about don't necessarily stop.

It's easy to become overwhelmed. What can I do to help these people? What can we as a nation do? But I don't think it's up to the average person to engineer comprehensive solutions for world problems. There are organizations like Amnesty and Unicef and others that have large visions for helping the helpless. Every little bit that you and I do helps, whether it's donation, prayer, or spreading awareness. I don't feel the need to dedicate my life to a specific cause. But I'd like to ask myself, what one thing can I do?

It's easy to find people who need help. It's also easy to find ways to help them. This ad campaign highlights Amnesty International. Try Google for more.

Posted by: Mike on June 11, 2006 12:08 AM

Mike, you bring up a good point. You don't need to be a fanatic about something and dedicate your life to a cause to make a difference in this world.

All you need to do is ONE THING to make a difference. Spread awareness, write to your reps, just do something to back your convictions.

For example... who on Earth does not think that is is wrong for children to be killed in war? What have you done about the fact that it is happening every day? Having convictions is a great thing, but without action, they are completely meaningless.

So, you don't have to quit your job and join some hippie peace group to make a difference in this world. Just start to look for things that you can do in your day to day life to back up what you believe.

Posted by: Collin-Band Member on June 11, 2006 12:30 AM

Collin -

Well said!

BTW, just read this article on the Sudan and thought I'd pass it on, given prior interest in Invisible Children and the like:


Would you guys support peace-keeping troops there? How much military presence? Do you agree with a Hotel Rwanda approach and that international forces should step in? Or does Africa need to address her own problems?

I plan on writing to an old friend who lives in Chad and asking his perspective. After graduating from college, he returned to his village to start digging wells to bring fresh water to his people and their neighbors for the first time. He's done a lot of work in and around the Sudan - if I manage to get in contact with him again, I'll let you know his perspective.

BTW, my earlier comments about doubting political pressure is not meant to simply piss and moan - I simply wonder. It's something well worth doing and I heartily reccommend writing to your representatives, etc. to let them know that we care about more than the "high prices of gas" in America.

Posted by: jd on June 11, 2006 01:02 AM

Great idea, guys, about the one thing we can each do to raise awareness/help others...Could people give ideas or tell us the one thing they do to accomplish that? I would love to hear what people are doing!

Posted by: Jessica on June 11, 2006 01:05 AM

I'm sorry, I can't talk about fixing the evils of the world at the moment. I'm too broken up hearing that the gay penguins split up.


Posted by: Heartbroken on June 11, 2006 10:55 AM

Its awesome to see you guys talking about all these issues and problems today and for all who come across the site to see.
just by this you guys are helping by sperading the message to even check out these sites and groups all advocating for different places but for one change and thats for things in general to become better.
Yea Mike has an awesome point about even if you do one tiny thing it WILL help. I was talking to one of the people from Invisible Children (i think it was even one of the filmmakers but some important guy) and he told me how without even small donations or letters of support or even sending gifts of support to those who are working for it, that they could never have made it where they are NEVER.
Sometimes it can be incredibly hard because I know some believe "Well what's a dollar gonna make a difference" or "I dont even have money or anything." Well even without money, someone can write letters or join a peaceful protest like the one for Sudan in Washington DC. And aldo even a dollar makes alot of difference
KEEP SUPPORTING EVERYONE! ^_^ this makes me so happy to see people realizing whats going on!

Posted by: Poncho on June 12, 2006 07:40 PM

hehe im pretty bad at typing

and another thing someone can do is something I did which was make like a scrapbook of human right violations and the recent genocides and everything and at the end I wrote
"If this book should happen to be broken and messed up from previous people reading it's words and pictures, please still pass it on but first sign this page and your location showing you read what was inside... the last person to sign it would be extremely grateful if you sent it back to me at
Rebecca Centeno
(blah blah my address and phone)
Thank you"

And it sounds like it would never work but it did! and it actually was even sent somewhere in Massachussetts! ^_^

Posted by: Poncho on June 12, 2006 07:46 PM

Let's just remember that hooded prisoners accused of terrorist activities (i.e. plotting to kill us) don't belong in the same category as children being starved by their governments.

Posted by: Anonymous on June 12, 2006 10:12 PM

hooded prisoners accused of anything are still innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. the vast majority of those tortured at Abu Ghraib were released and found innocent of charges against them.

it's wrong. very wrong. all these things are wrong.

Posted by: jason on June 13, 2006 01:14 AM

Posted by: Anonymous on June 13, 2006 05:35 PM

hurting people bad, not hurting people good... hey, so now can i get in on this affirmation orgy (well done, good point, well written, great idea)? come on, i need approval....

Posted by: always the antagonist on June 13, 2006 08:30 PM

ha ha, yes--good job on putting that together. Now, could we have a new post sometime soon? thanks.

Posted by: jessica on June 14, 2006 12:07 AM

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