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Middle Eastern kings and princes are about to force up to 48,000 people in Tanzania from their land to make way for corporate-sponsored big game hunting. But Tanzanian President Kikwete has shown before that he will stop deals like this when they generate negative press coverage. Click to deliver a media blitz that will push President Kikwete to stop the landgrab and save these Maasai.
At any moment, a big-game hunting corporation could sign a deal which would force up to 48,000 members of Africa’s famous Maasai tribe from their land to make way for wealthy Middle Eastern kings and princes to hunt lions and leopards. Experts say the Tanzanian President’s approval of the deal may be imminent, but if we act now, we can stop this sell-off of the Serengeti.
The last time this same corporation pushed the Maasai off their land to make way for rich hunters, people were beaten by the police, their homes were burnt to a cinder and their livestock died of starvation. But when a press controversy followed, Tanzanian President Kikwete reversed course and returned the Maasai to their land. This time, there hasn’t been a big press controversy yet, but we can change that and force Kikwete to stop the deal if we join our voices now.
If 150,000 of us sign, media outlets in Tanzania and around the world will be blitzed so President Kikwete gets the message to rethink this deadly deal. Sign the petition now and send to everyone:
The Maasai are semi-nomadic herders who have lived in Tanzania and Kenya for centuries, playing a critical role in preserving the delicate ecosystem. But to royal families from the United Arab Emirates, they’re an obstacle to luxurious animal shooting sprees. A deal to evict the Maasai to make way for rich foreign hunters is as bad for wildlife as it is for the communities it would destroy. While President Kikwete is talking to favoured local elites to sell them on the deal as good for development, the vast majority of people just want to keep the land that they know the President can take by decree.
President Kikwete knows that this deal would be controversial with Tanzania’s tourists — a critical source of national income — and is therefore trying to keep it from the public eye. In 2009, a similar royal landgrab in the area executed by the same corporation that is swooping in this time generated global media coverage that helped to roll it back. If we can generate the same level of attention, we know the pressure can work.
A petition signed by thousands can force all the major global media bureaus in East Africa and Tanzania to blow up this controversial deal. Sign now to call on Kikwete to kill the deal:
Representatives from the Maasai community today urgently appealed to Avaaz to raise the global alarm call and save their land. Time and again, the incredible response from this amazing community turns seemingly lost causes into legacies that last a lifetime. Lets protect the Maasai and save the animals for tourists that want to shoot them with camera lenses, rather than lethal weapons!
With hope and determination,
Sam, Meredith, Luis, Aldine, Diego, Ricken and the rest of the Avaaz team
For More Information:
The Guardian: “Tourism is a curse to us” http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/06/masai-tribesman-tanzania-tourism
News Internationalist Magazine: “Hunted down” http://www.newint.org/columns/currents/2009/12/01/tanzania/
Society for Threatened People: Briefing on the eviction of the Loliondo Maasai http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/session12/TZ/STP-SocietyThreatenedPeople-eng.pdf
FEMACT: Report by 16 human rights investigators & media on violence in Loliondo http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/advocacy/58956/print
Voices of Loliondo: Short film from Loliondo on impact of eviction on Maasai http://vimeo.com/35311385
The White House
Since its launch in September, the It’s On Us campaign has rapidly expanded to reach hundreds of thousands of students on college campuses across the country. It’s On Us is a cultural movement aimed at fundamentally shifting the way we think about sexual assault. In addition to a celebrity PSA with almost 4 million views, the campaign has generated more than 100,000 pledge signatures from people committing to be a part of the solution.
On Monday, It’s On Us launched its first Week of Action to engage thousands of students in the conversation about how to end campus sexual assault. Partner organizations and hundreds of school leaders joined together to hold over 200 events in 38 states across the country.
Here’s what we’ve been up to:
The week kicked off with the release of a new PSA encouraging bystander intervention. Snapchat sent a special PSA to more than 250,000 student users via the app, and offered special It’s On Us picture filters to help spread awareness. Xbox also featured the PSA on the game console’s dashboard, and SB Nation not only released two original PSAs with athlete spokespeople, but also created custom content for each of their individual partner sites.
Student leaders across hundreds of college campuses held events ranging from pledge drives at athletic events to panel discussions with college administrators and experts in the field. At the University of Texas at Dallas, the student government, sororities and fraternities, and other student stakeholders came together to launch their Week of Action. The It’s On Us logo and branding were incorporated into their homecoming festivities, and student leaders were featured in “We Are UT Dallas,” a one-minute video highlighting UT Dallas’s participation in the campaign.
On Monday, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign hosted an “It’s On The Quad” pledge drive and photo booth. Throughout the week, they will distribute 500 It’s On Us t-shirts to students who take the pledge.
More than 50 colleges and universities have also created their own PSAs, including MIT, University of Arizona, Ohio State University, and even the staff and faculty at the U.S. Naval Academy.
Throughout the Week of Action, thousands of young people have stepped up and turned their pledge into action — and there will be more opportunities to engage with the It’s On Us campaign beyond this week. Over the coming months, we will work with our partners on college campuses and in communities to continue to engage students across the country.
It’s on us to realize we all have a role to play in preventing sexual assault, and we must challenge each other to do everything we can to make our college campuses safer.
Office of Public Engagement
The White House
Here in Washington, we know how to lead — our state has been at the forefront of the progressive movement for generations.
Now more than ever, we need renewed leadership on climate change and a clean energy future for our state. That is why I am honored to welcome former Vice President Al Gore — one of the foremost leaders in the world on these issues — back to Washington state.
I hope you can join Al Gore and me on Thursday, December 4 for a luncheon to show your support for my campaign and this critical work! Starting December 12, I am prohibited by law from raising money until the legislature is out of session in 2015, so your help now is crucial.
Very truly yours,