For Immediate Release--- AMHERST MA, AUGUST 27, 2010.
THE LOCAL CHAPTER OF AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL WILL HOLD ITS ANNUAL TAG SALE ON SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 9 AM TO 2 PM, ON THE AMHERST TOWN COMMON.
Starting at 11 am during the tag sale on the Common, the Amherst area chapter, called Group 128-AIUSA, will pause for a short interval to anticipate and acclaim the approaching Amnesty anniversaries, the 50th of Amnesty International and the 20th of Group 128, both occurring in early 2011. State Senator Stan Rosenberg and state Representative Ellen Story will join us and say a few words to commemorate the occasion. US Representative John Olver, and the Chairman of the Amherst Human Rights Commission, Winslow Reynolds, have also been invited. The anniversary in 2011 of Group 128 actually can be regarded its 33rd because its forerunner existed since spring of 1978 as a handful of townspeople and students assembled to bring public awareness to human rights abuses and prisoners of conscience. The group grew, was then assisted by Amnesty's New England coordinator, and officially became an AIUSA affiliate in 1991, with many of the original 1978 participants as charter members. The current coordinator of Group 128, Mohamed Elgadi, now a US citizen and resident of Amherst, was himself a prisoner in Sudan where he endured torture at the hands of that repressive regime, which is still in power. He attests to the effectiveness of Amnesty's actions, remarking that it was after AI brought attention to his and others' situation in Sudan in 1992 that there was amelioration of their ordeal, and he suggests that their eventual release may in large part be due to AI. The Amnesty International website (www.amnestyusa.org) likewise reports that the work of AI had the effect of moderating severe treatment, and even bringing about a just resolution, in a number of cases. Every other Saturday from May to November, Group 128-AIUSA has a table on Amherst Common to collect signatures on petitions opposing human rights abuses, death penalties, state terrorism tactics, and supporting prisoners of conscience--among a long list: Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar, Karim Amer of Egypt, Birtukan Mideksa of Ethiopia--and to ask for letters to be composed and sent as encouragement to these prisoners seeking justice. When a passerby comments occasionally that these petitions have no effect, Group 128 volunteers often point to the specific experience of Mohamed Elgadi. The next Saturday table days are September 4 and 18, 11 am to 1 pm. Anyone wishing to donate items for the sale, or to learn about the work of Group 128-AIUSA, can contact coordinator, Mohamed Elgadi, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our AI-Group 128 is part of more than 2.2 million supporters, activists and volunteers in over 150 countries, with complete independence from government, corporate or national interests, and who work to protect human rights worldwide.
Amnesty International vision is of a world in which every person - regardless of race, religion, gender, or ethnicity - enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards.
Our Amherst-based Chapter started in 1978 and is known for its bi-weekly Information Table @ the Amherst Farmers Market from May to November.