Local Happenings - An Abolition Campaign and Progressive Advocacy Training

I've still been slacking bad! Only three posts in all of January! I have, however, a plan to reinvigorate this little blog (just for personal satisfaction, and to be prepared if I ever do gather an audience). I am going to write a weekly piece commenting on current events, to be published every Friday. This week I'll have a piece about the State of the Union Address on Tuesday, so check back in two days for that. I'm also going to have plenty to write about as this semester of activism kicks into gear. There are Amnesty International meetings every Thursday (at 5:00 pm at The Flying M) and Idaho Progressive Student Alliance meetings almost every Sunday (at 5:00 pm in the Alexander Room, upstairs in the Student Union Building). Not this weekend, but the next, I'll be attending the United Students Against Sweatshops conference in San Francisco, so I'll have that to write about also. I'm also volunteering more- regularly at Ten Thousand Villages, a fair trade imports store, and this Saturday night at the Snake River Alliance dinner. Some more major events for this spring:

  • Progressive Advocacy Training. The IPSA organizes this event every February. Progressive students from around the state will come together for workshops and actions on progressive issues. Some workshops this year: fair trade, amnesty international, coca-cola boycott, running for local office, understanding right to work, grant writing, and Idaho nuclear issues. The training will take place from February 17th through 20th. Email IPSA at idahoprogressives@mail.com for more information.
  • A Campaign for Death Penalty Abolition:
    In early December of last year the United States carried out the execution of Kenneth Boyd in North Carolina. But this was not just another execution. Boyd's execution marked the thousandth since the United States reinstated the use of the death penalty in 1976. Enough is enough. The United States is alone in the developed world as a nation that still practices this blatant abuse of human rights. Capital punishment is not a deterrent; is inherently racist; is the ultimate and irreversible denial of human rights; is not a reasonable administration of justice; has the very real possibility of killing innocent people; and is essentially murder by the state. Now is the time to speak out against this ongoing abuse of human rights. We cannot wait for another thousand executions to speak out. Amnesty International of Boise State University and Amnesty International of Boise High School are planning a campaign for abolition here in the Treasure Valley. We hope to spur debate of the issue in the community and reframe that debate in a manner which would reveal the practice as legitimized murder. Anyone is invited to join this crucial campaign for abolition. Come to Amnesty meetings to take part.
  • National Week of Student Action:
    Amnesty International of BSU is preparing for the National Week of Student Action to take place in early April. This year, we are putting our energy into saving women's lives by supporting the Treaty for the Rights of Women. This treaty seeks to end violence against women, ensure access to education and health care, provide equal protection under the law, and prevent other abuses of human rights. Basic human rights, right? Sadly, the United States still has not ratified this important treaty, even though more than 180 other countries around the globe already have. We will receive an NWSA action kit from Amnesty International USA in mid-February at which time the real organizing will begin. The week of action will consist of advocacy in the community to raise awareness and action aimed at urging the United States to ratify the treaty. Anyone is invited to assist us in participating in this week of action. We hope you can. Again, just come to the meetings to take part.

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