The internet-based international campaigning organisation Avaaz can be fairly criticised, for instance for exaggerating its own role in the Syrian uprising. But, on balance, they’re on the side of the angels and deserve our backing when they’re under sustained attack from powerful and reactionary forces. Below we republish their appeal for support:
Right now, the Avaaz website is under massive attack. An expert is telling us that an attack this large is likely coming from a government or large corporation, with massive, simultaneous and sophisticated assaults from across the world to take down our site.
We were expecting this. Our people-powered campaigning has been fearless, and we’ve taken on the world’s worst actors head-on, in ways that genuinely hurt them – from the Syrian and Chinese regimes to Rupert Murdoch, Big Oil and organized crime. The Syrian dictatorship called our campaigner ‘the most dangerous man in the world’, and a UK inquiry recently revealed emails between Murdoch’s news corporation and top levels of government saying the Avaaz campaign against Murdoch was their biggest concern. Sometimes I lie awake at night wondering when these people are going to come after us.
And it’s begun. Because of top-notch security, our site is still up, but it’s not enough. We need to show these actors that when they attack Avaaz, they’re messing with people. And people-power can’t be intimidated or silenced, it only grows stronger. Click below to donate to an Avaaz defence fund to take our security to the next level, and show our attackers that whatever they throw at us only makes us stronger:
National authorities have been alerted to the attack. But we urgently need the defence fund to help us:
- rapidly build industrial-scale security so that no attack can stop us campaigning
- hire top hackers and technologists to manage our systems, defend us and test our defences
- increase the physical security of our most vulnerable staff in places like Lebanon and Russia
- take a range of other actions to improve our technology and security
Avaaz is a lightning rod that channels voices from across the world, from incredibly brave Tibetan, Russian and Syrian demonstrators risking everything for their freedom, to Bolivian indigenous communities saving their forest from being chopped in half. These people face intense danger, and repelling this attack is just another front in their and our struggle for democracy.
Millions of us have campaigned to keep corporations and governments from censoring and controlling the web. Now one of them is trying to censor us. So far, we’re still standing, and our amazing member-funded systems mean that we can run this appeal for support safely and securely. But our campaigning is under real threat. We need to act, and show that these tactics only make us stronger:
Avaaz can stand up to governments and corporations only because all of our strength, legitimacy, and funding comes from people, and people alone. We don’t accept money – any money – from governments, corporations, foundations, or even large individual donors. It’s extremely rare among large civil society organizations today, but 100% of our money comes from small online donations, and we don’t accept gifts over 5000 Euros from anyone. That’s why we’re independent, and that’s why we’re a threat to those who put power before people. Let’s keep being a threat.
With hope and determination,
Ricken and the whole Avaaz team.