I’ve been getting into online petitions recently. For those who don’t know, online petitions can be a great way of stimulating social change. I have two online petition websites I’m really into, which I’ll introduce later on.
I find a real sense of satisfaction when I see what’s going on with petitions nowadays. I think it’s a real way of us expressing our personal power. When we feel power, we lose our fear, and that really means something.
In a democracy, the people do have power — but with a proviso: no ONE person has much power. Really, organisation is what has power in a democracy. This can go both ways. People can come together to fight for what is good – or they can be brought together with greed or fear as their motivation.
Online petitions inspire me as I see how vast numbers of people come together for a positive cause. This is the sort of thing I’ve always wanted to see.
In a way, I kind of want to see something similar with my own site and the message I give. The only real power is in connectedness. No one can change the world alone, but they can bring people together.
So here are a few websites I thought were worth mentioning.
Avaaz dot org is an online petition site with a truly vast following. Of the two sites I’m going to introduce here I also feel it has the highest vibration, sponsoring causes which are really, really worthwhile for the genuine good of all. The energy of the site is not struggle, but true, healthy power. That is, personal power and not power-over-others, if you know what I mean.
Here are some recent petitions I’ve signed:
In South Africa 1/4 of women have been raped by the age of 18, due to a culture that tolerates rape as a normal thing. The worst of all though is the treatment which lesbians recieve, who are said to be able to be “corrected” with a raping. This petition demands more anti-rape legislation from the South Africa government.
Western Union is a company which makes billions from money transfers. The problem? These money transfers are from poor immegrants who want to support their families in the countries which they left. Western Union takes a cut of 20%, which is an absurd amount. This petition pressures Western Union to lower its rates.
This petition seems very important to me and asks for the governments of USA and Europe to ban the use of a pesticide which has been reasonably proven to be behind the decline of bees in our countries. As bees are the only things that pollinate many types of flower, the extinction of bees could mean the extinction of hundreds of thousands of plant species, including all of our fruit and vegetables (leaving only grains for our consumption). And extinction is not an impossibility given the trend currently, so as I said I think this petition is extremely interesting. I also believe it’s something that polititians are likely to find worth listening to.
The other online petition site I wanted to direct you to is Demand Progress dot org. The vibration feels a bit lower than Avaaz, being more of a “fighty struggly” energy, and it’s also USA-centric, but I’ve found some of its causes worthwhile all the same. Recent petitions have asked USA politians not to pass through a bill that would give the government power to turn off the internet at will, and asked for polititians not to censor Wikileaks. I seem to be able to sign despite being not from the USA.
Allout.org is a petition site focused on LGBT rights. It petitions against stuff like Uganda’s attempt to bring death penalty against gay people, for example. I think even for people who aren’t LGBT or officially “allies” the campaigns are important enough, and well enough focused, to be quite compelling.
So that was my selection of online petition websites. They are generally extremely quick to sign; if you make an account with Avaaz you can sign many petitions with a single click, so fast that you don’t even realise it’s over. I also love to tweet the petitions or email them to my friends. As I said, it really gives you a sense of power and self-dependence. Together, we really can change the world.