Amnesty International Turns 50
by Larry Cox (AIUSA Executive Director)
May 28 is a day that changed the human rights movement forever. Fifty years ago one person – Peter Benenson – outraged by injustices he read about in the paper, asked others to unite with him in common action.
He knew we could use our activism to achieve extraordinary things. He created Amnesty International.
Change did not happen overnight.
It took many conversations, many letters. Friends spoke to family members, the message spread, and one by one we secured the release of tens of thousands of people. People imprisoned for their beliefs or their way of life.
As activists lobbied governments, and researchers interviewed survivors, we demanded accountability for previously untouchable leaders. One by one each person who took action changed laws and changed lives.
50 years on, our work is not done – but we are more determined than ever to protect human rights. 50 years has shown that one by one we can. We have.
So today, we thank you for your work to defend human rights. Will you celebrate our birthday today?
In honor of 50 years of hard work and meaningful change, wish Amnesty a happy birthday today on Facebook, Twitter, and to your friends and family at home.