Connecting activists to Fight Injustice in Closed Societies
Large-scale movements are made possible by many small-scale actions. Change is possible when activists utilize their resources and uplift each other. By interconnecting with each other, we are able to create something bigger than ourselves. There needs to be a way for activists to directly connect with specific people for their specific needs.
Movements.org links human rights activists in closed societies with skilled professionals who can give them specialist help. The site is headquartered in New York but in its first month connected to activists in 92 countries including Russia, Iran, Syria and China, with a focus on the largest dictatorships. By connecting activists with lawyers, journalists, artists, techies, PRs, writers, translators and policy wonks, the site seeks to accelerate and amplify the impact and voice of human rights defenders: work the group describes as ‘crowdsourcing the fight for human rights’. Understandably, the privacy and security settings of the site have been a priority. But in order to vouchsafe the legitimacy of activists, users are reviewed and vetted, with a five-star ranking just as you’d have on Amazon. Activists can tap the group for contacts, advice, services or know-how. The Advancing Human Rights central team facilitates connections and moderates. It has already had some prominent successes: a Chicago law school professor is helping a Syrian activist seek asylum that could save his life; computer experts are helping a North Korean defector smuggle information out of the country, and a senior US official is helping a famous former Iranian political prisoner keep his radio station on air. If you are interested in giving your skills to support human rights defenders you can log on to the site yourself.
Sierra Briscoe - https://www.linkedin.com/in/sierrabriscoe/