- Speak up for love, not hate
Many of us share a sneaking feeling right now that some leaders are taking Europe in completely the wrong direction. Along with powerful media, some politicians in Europe are busy spreading hate and fear, cracking down on peaceful activists, and pointing fingers at minority groups for everything that’s going wrong in our societies.
The only way to protect ourselves and our communities from hate, discrimination, racism and sexism, is to stand up and speak out for what we believe in. And the European elections in May give us a unique opportunity to do just that.
- Create a climate for change
The recent #SchoolStrike4Climate movement started by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg has demonstrated that younger people are much more committed to taking radical action to save our planet than the leaders who represent them.
Politicians need to urgently face the fact Europe is one of the world’s worst polluters and start protecting people, and our planet, now. The EU has the resources and the responsibility to lead decisive global action to avoid climate catastrophe.
Now is the time to show support for the global climate protests by calling on your candidates in the European elections to commit to tackling climate change.
- Fight for your freedoms
In societies that are genuinely free and fair, people can protest peacefully, join groups and get organised on issues they believe in.
But some politicians in Europe are working to steal those freedoms.
In France, Greece, Italy and the UK people are being targeted and prosecuted simply for helping those forced to flee from war, poverty and persecution. Hungary’s government has even made this a crime. In Poland, women have faced violence from far-right groups, just for peacefully protesting against hatred, and the government introduced laws which threaten the independence of the courts.
Politicians who use bully tactics want us to be silent, because our silence gives them power. We can all challenge this by raising our voices for human rights with candidates.
The European Parliament can challenge governments that threaten our freedoms – yet another good reason to speak up!
- Stand up for equality
It might seem obvious that we are all born equal, with the same rights. Yet we all know that many of us, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, Roma people, Muslims and people belonging to other racial, ethnic or religious minorities still face discrimination and attacks.
Sexual violence against women is also shockingly widespread; and the gender pay gap means women in the EU earn 16% less than men per hour.
By speaking up, you can let the people seeking election know they should commit to using their 5 years in the European Parliament to make Europe a more equal, tolerant and respectful place to live.
- Raise your voice and #TurnItUp
The rights we enjoy today only exist because people have fought for them. If you want to be free to be yourself, speak your mind without fear, love whoever you want, and live in a society that leaves no one behind, then now is the time to speak up for what you believe in.
Speaking out on social media, writing to or meeting your candidates really can make a difference.
Candidates in elections care what you think. By raising our voices, we can call on them to commit to protect everyone’s rights and stick to their promises.
Join the conversation at #TurnItUp
Note that Amnesty International is not encouraging people to vote for or against any candidates, parties or groups in this election. Also, in Ireland, Amnesty International is not calling on people to vote, due to the constraints of Ireland’s Electoral Act’s ‘third party’ provisions as potentially applying to NGOs.