Stand up with Amnesty and Write for Rights

Amnesty International is proof that the pen is still mightier than the sword

Dominique Gosling

Amnesty International is proof that the pen is still mightier than the sword.

Once a month the Campbell River branch meets to write letters to powerful people around the world on behalf of those who are not being heard.

Once a year they host a Write for Rights event where everyone can contribute to their letter writing campaigns. This year’s event will be at the library on Dec. 11 from 12:30 to 4 p.m.

On Tuesday  morning the group gathered to prepare the letters for the event. This year they are writing to free prisoners of conscience, those imprisoned for acting on their right to free speech, protect albino people and even call on the B.C. government to stop the construction of a dam in north eastern B.C.

“This is a huge thing done by a small group,” said Claire Hurston, a long time letter writer for Amnesty International.

Last year more than 3.5 million letters were written around the world on Write for Rights day. After the letters were sent on their behalf, prisoners were freed, strategies were adopted to prevent child marriage in Burkina Faso and laws were passed allowing same-sex couple to marry in Greece.

Kathy Cullen joined the Campbell River branch of Amnesty International.

Before joining she regularly went to CBC for her news, now she feels even more attached to world events because of Amnesty.

“You see more details through this,” she said.

The other members of the group, Murray Etty, Dominique Gosling, Phyllida Brochocka and Hunston have been involved with Amnesty for a long time before they even lived in Campbell River.

Though their letter might not be read, though it might be only one in a million, they are confident that it has more power going across someone’s desk than getting lost in an email inbox.

They also write cards to comfort those who have been imprisoned for crimes of conscience, which means they exercised their right to free speech and were imprisoned for it.

Gosling has lived all around the world.

“The issues ring a bell because I have seen them first-hand,” she said.

The group will also be accepting donations at the Write for Rights event to cover the cost of postage. The group spends around $15 a month on overseas postage.