The arrival of the Internet for the masses in the 1990s led to a determination by many to live their lives in a more positive and inclusive way which has been made possible by groups like Avaaz. The Avaaz group is one of the most influential in the world having won a series of battles based on the ideas and political awareness of its more than 47 million global members who engage in various forms of activism. Established in 2007, Avaaz has been seeking new ways of putting political pressure on leaders and groups who are engaged in works contrary to international law.
Expanding on the power of the Online realm to unite the world, Avaaz was created by a number of activist groups and individuals coming together to start a global movement which they believed had the power to change the world for the better. Among the founders of the movement are the U.S.-based MoveOn.com group and Res Publica who were joined by individuals including Ricken Patel and former Congressman Tom Perriello in forming one of the world’s largest activist groups.
As the desire to bring the political activism community back to its grassroots history by refusing donations from special interest groups and corporate entities intensifies Avaaz has operated in an ethical way since 2009. Much like a traditional PAC in the U.S., Avaaz refuses to accept donations of more than $5,000 per cycle from its members and refuses to accept donations from corporate groups who would like to influence the future direction of the group.
Along with its innovative approach to funding, Avaaz also brings a new way of sourcing the campaigns and causes it will back on a regular basis. Members of the activist groups have the chance to put forward their own options for fights the group should take on and looks to build on these by sampling the cause to a group of members. The desire to look outside the usual causes means Avaaz can have an effect on almost any aspect of political and humanitarian life across the world.
As corruption continued to increase in Brazil, Avaaz fought for the people. The Clean Record Law was proposed in 2010. This law would stop any politician with a criminal record from running for an office. When Avaaz was informed by one of the politicians being investigated for corruption the law would not pass, they gathered their forces. They began with a petition half a million people signed, began an advocacy campaign, and burned up the phone lines. The politicians continued to try to delay the bill but within a few hours calls were flooding the offices of Avaaz.
The fight lasted for months, but Avaaz had the support of the major media networks in the country. The Clean Record law did eventually pass, and the vote was nearly unanimous. Thousands of potentially corrupt politicians were prevented from running for office, and the situation was deemed a revolution. Academic studies, the leaders of civil society and the MP’s all enthusiastically acknowledged the important role played by the members of Avaaz. After Avaaz had been campaigning for fourteen months, it was declared unconstitutional for election candidates to accept corporate funding. The street protests and social media campaigns of Avaaz were an outstanding success.
In 2016, Avaaz took on Eduardo Cunha, considered one of the main sources of corruption. Despite numerous warnings he was too powerful, Avaaz would not back down. More than 1.3 million Avaaz members demanded Cunha be fired by the national Ethics Committee. The allies of Cunha rallied to block the vote, but Avaaz shamed the officials shielding him, and the most important voters were barraged with direct messages and phone calls. Eduardo Cunha was given no option other than to resign, and he was prevented from running again for eight years. A short time later, he was placed under arrest.
Due to the efforts of Avaaz, there is no doubt no politician should be allowed to perpetrate corruption on the people.
Avaaz is campaigning to break the grip of Monsanto on the world. They believe politics are being poisoned, the future of the planets food is in serious jeopardy, and one mega-company has been gradually taking control of the food supply on a global basis. They feel the only way to prevent this from happening is to expose and then break the grip of Monsanto.
Monsanto is a chemical giant and responsible for poisons including DDT and Agent Orange. The company is extremely profitable and Avaaz questions their business practices. They have developed seeds with genetic modifications designed to resist pesticides. Once the seeds have been patented farmers are prohibited from replanting and investigations are conducted by undercover agents. The farmers who have not complied are then sued.
Monsanto has spent millions making contributions to political campaigns lobbying officials of governments, and placing the bigwigs from Monsanto into high level government jobs. This helps weaken any regulations standing in the way of Monsanto pushing their goods throughout the world. Avaaz has had enough and their members have joined forces to protect the world. Flickr Photos.
The laws of the United States allow unlimited spending to influence policies and this means purchasing specific laws is possible. Biotech giants including Monsanto spent $45 million last year killing a ballot initiative allowing California to label GMO products. This was despite the 82 percent of Americans who made it clear they wanted to know which products were GM.
The Monsanto Protection Act was recently rammed through and blocked the courts from banning product sales that were not properly approved by the government. Avaaz is trying to take away Monsanto’s power to dominate the world and they are starting to see positive results. Whenever Avaaz become aware of corruption or desperate need in the world they take a stand.