About Our Group
In the spring of 1979, Local Group 178 was formed. Based in Irvine, California, but drawing support from all over Orange County, it was one of the first groups in the area. Since that time, people of all ages and from all backgrounds have come together the last week of every month to work on issues of Human Rights violations around the world, principally by writing polite but firm letters to those in a position of power and influence.
In addition to working on specific cases assigned by Amnesty International London Headquarters, the group participates in actions that focus attention on particular human rights problems or problem areas. We have guest speakers and show documentaries relating to Human Rights issues.
Since its formation our group has worked on twelve prisoners of conscience: Tunisia, Zaire, Malaysia, Uruguay, Namibia, USSR, Nepal, Benin, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, South Korea and China. One of our most recent action files was the case of Rebiya Kadeer, a Chinese woman of the Uyghur ethnic group who was finally released by the Chinese government in 2005. Currently we are working on the case of Dr. Michel Sa’adey who was “disappeared” in Syria (abducted and never seen by his family since).
We also organize fund-raisers, table at events, participate in demonstrations and vigils, and work with other organizations to raise human rights awareness.
Campaigns and Actions
There are many campaigns and geographical focus areas (aka regional action networks) listed at the AIUSA website and if you have a special interest in one of those campaigns, discuss it with us. Currently our group is a member of the West Africa Regional Action Network covering countries from Mauritania to the Central African Republic, and everything in between.