March 6, 2012: Engage Your Kids in Fighting Big Tobacco! – A Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids PDF Print E-mail


* From The Kick Butts Day Team:

Are you a parent, teacher, work with youth or have kids in your life?

Then you should know about Kick Butts Day, our annual event where youth across the country stand up, speak out and seize control against Big Tobacco. The 17th annual Kick Butts Day is Wednesday, March 21st.

We want YOU to be involved!

Parents, teachers, youth group leaders and public health advocates put on events across the country each year. We have several quick activities that can be put together easily in time for Kick Butts Day on Wednesday, March 21st. Your Kick Butts Day event can engage youth and help prevent kids in your community from becoming Big Tobacco's “replacement smokers.” Plus -- who doesn't like a fun, educational activity?

Help teach the kids in your life about the perils of tobacco use and engage them in a cause that you're passionate about, and which affects our lives every day -- whether it's noticing colorful advertisements at a local convenience store or seeing a friend or family member with a tobacco related illness. Prevent the kids in your life from becoming one of the 1,000 youth a day who try their first cigarette by involving them in Kick Butts Day.

You can find out more on


* “Today, alcohol and tobacco are available, and people spend considerably more on these very unsatisfactory euphories, pseudo-stimulants and sedatives than they are ready to spend on the education of their children. Or consider the barbiturates and the tranquilizers. In the United States, these drugs can be obtained only on a doctor’s prescription. But the demand of the American public for something that will make life in an urban-industrial environment a little more tolerable is so great, that doctors are now writing prescriptions for the various tranquilizers at the rate of forty-eight millions a year. Moreover, a majority of these prescriptions are refilled. A hundred doses of happiness are not enough: send to the drugstore for another bottle – and, when that is finished, for another. … There can be no doubt that, if tranquilizers could be bought as easily and cheaply as aspirin, they would be consumed, not by the millions, as they are at present, but by the scores and hundreds of billions. And a good, cheap stimulant would be almost as popular.”

[Aldous Leonard Huxley, English writer, satirist (1958)]


Kind regards,

TST Team


March 2, 2012: (!) ACTA - Time for Us to Win PDF Print E-mail


- With hope and determination, from Alex, Pascal, Laura, Alice, Ricken, Dalia, Diego and the whole Avaaz team:

Dear friends across Europe,

In days, the European Commission will try a last ditch attempt to revive ACTA. But if we intervene now, this global attack on Internet freedom will collapse.

We are so close to winning -- our 2.4 million strong petition has stunned politicians across Europe and halted the censors. Now the European Commission is on the back foot and hoping the Court of Justice will give ACTA the greenlight, by presenting a very narrow legal question that is sure to receive a positive answer.

But if we all raise our voices now, we can ensure the Court looks at all the legal impacts of ACTA, and releases an opinion that tells the truth about ACTA's attack on our rights. Sign the urgent petition to European Commission President José Manuel Barroso to call on the Court to tell the whole truth:

The European Commission spent five years negotiating ACTA in secret with corporations, but in the last five weeks we've blown the ACTA debate into the open. Now the Commission is fighting to keep ACTA alive by getting the blessing of the EU’s highest court. The Commission, well-versed in bureaucratic dodges, may only present the court with a narrow question, preventing it from assessing ACTA's impacts on our freedom of expression, privacy and democracy.

We’ve forced governments in Poland, Germany, Bulgaria and other countries to freeze ratification. And now, if we win this battle in the European Commission, we can stop ACTA for good. If the EU does not ratify, ACTA will never become a global agreement and negotiators will have to go back to the drawing board to produce a treaty that stops genuine abuses, but protects our rights.

Let's urgently call on the Commission and Court to give ACTA a full and fair hearing, and make sure the whole truth about this threat to our fundamental freedoms is revealed. Sign now and send this to everyone:

Millions of us joined together to fight for Internet freedom and stop the US censorship laws. We won, but now this threat is back on a global scale with ACTA. We've done what no one thought we could and stopped the treaty's march to ratification. Let's finish what we started and beat back ACTA, for good!  

PS. Check out the media coverage of our 2.4 million strong petition delivery to the European Parliament on Tuesday -- we caused quite a stir!

Activists present anti-ACTA petition to EU (Associated Press)

Anti ACTA petition hits European Parliament (The Inquirer)

ACTA opponents present 2 million petition to EU (Washington Post)

More Information:

ACTA approval stalled by European commission (Guardian):

EU suspends ACTA ratification (Euractiv):

EU To Refer ACTA To Top Court (Wall St Journal):

FAQ on Commission Referral of ACTA to the CJEU (Access Now):

ACTA: EU court to rule on anti-piracy agreement (BBC)

What makes ACTA so controversial (EDRI):


Kind regards,

TST Team


February 26, 2012: (!) Help Stop Current Commercial Assault on School Kids PDF Print E-mail


* From The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC):

-- [Students] refer to themselves as the Chick-fil-A bus, for example. It’s a little identity for them.” - Timothy Wysong, Transportation Director, Eanes, Texas Independent School District --

Help us stop the latest commercial assault on school children.

Until now, most states prohibited school bus advertising - in fact, only nine states allow it. But faced with unprecedented budget shortfalls, many states and school districts are considering what was once unthinkable: selling ads on the outside and interiors of school buses. Around the country, long-standing laws protecting students from school bus ads may be overturned. If passed, new legislation would transform school buses from Rhode Island to Washington into traveling billboards for everything from fast food to violent and sexualized media.

We’re proud that CCFC members have been instrumental in defeating school bus ad legislation in most states where bills were proposed. But many bills have been reintroduced and are up for consideration in current legislative sessions. Please visit our School Bus Ad Action Center and help stop this commercial escalation. And if your state isn’t currently considering school bus ads, please forward this to friends and family living in states that are.

We at CCFC are enormously concerned about the financial plight of schools. But commercializing children’s education is not the answer.

- Advertising on school buses exploits a captive audience of students and undermines parents who wish to shield their children from commercial influences.

- It also undermines the educational process. Anything advertised on a school bus will have that school’s implicit endorsement - regardless of its potential harm to children.

- All of the proposed legislation would prohibit products such as alcohol and tobacco from being advertised, but junk food and other harmful products would still be allowed.

- And if schools refuse advertisers they deem inappropriate for their buses, they could be subject to costly First Amendment challenges.

Schools shouldn’t sell students out for any price, but it’s worth noting that allowing advertising on buses won’t even make a dent in schools’ deficits. In Colorado Springs, which has 29,000 students, school bus advertising only generates $40,000 annually. Last year, Sumner County, Tennessee earned $28,000 from bus advertising - in a district with an annual budget of $180 million. Plano, Texas and Ypsilanti, Michigan dumped their school bus ad programs when they did not generate enough revenue.

No child’s identity should be shaped by a branded school bus. So, please - stand up for commercial-free school buses and share this alert with family and friends.


* “Children are living, talking records of what we tell them every day.” And in due course, these living, talking records of television commercials will grow up, earn money and buy the products of industry. “Think,”, writes Mr. Clyde Miller (…), “Think of what it can mean to your firm in profits if you can condition a million or ten million children, who will grow up into adults trained to buy your product, as soldiers are trained in advance when they hear the trigger words, ‘Forward March!” Yes, just think of it! And at the same time remember that the dictators and the would-be dictators have been thinking about this sort of thing for years, and that millions, tens of millions, hundreds of millions of children are in process of growing up to buy the local despot’s ideological product and, like well-trained soldiers, to respond with appropriate behavior to trigger words implanted in those young minds by the despot’s propagandists. […] The scientific dictator of tomorrow will set up his whispering machines and subliminal projectors in schools and hospitals (children and the sick are highly suggestible) and in all public places where audiences can be given a preliminary softening up by suggestibility-increasing oratory or rituals.”

[Aldous Leonard Huxley, English writer, satirist (1958)]


Kind regards,

TST Team


February 23, 2012: (!) Tell World Leaders: Stop China from Sending North Korean Refugees to Their Deaths PDF Print E-mail


~ From Sarah and the team:

Moses Bak's* childhood friend faces imminent execution, but with your help, he can save her.

She and two dozen North Korean refugees in China are in a terrifying limbo -- the Chinese government wants to deport them back to North Korea, where the new "Supreme Leader" Kim Jong-Un is cracking down by shooting defectors on sight and vowing to kill "three generations" of their families.

Moses escaped the nightmare of surveillance, intimidation, human rights abuses and famine in North Korea -- he's a refugee now living in Seoul, South Korea. But a young woman he’s known since they were kids in North Korea is in the group currently being detained in China.

"We have cried our eyes out," Moses and his friends say, certain the young woman will be executed if she's returned to North Korea. Moses's only hope is that international pressure can save her -- he started a petition on calling on world leaders, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the EU's Catherine Ashton to do everything they can to stop China from deporting his friend and others back to North Korea.

Click here to sign Moses's petition telling world leaders to stop China from sending two dozen refugees back to North Korea, where they face imprisonment and execution.

North Korea's young leader, Kim Jong-Un, is ruthlessly cracking down to assert his new authority since his father, Kim Jong-Il, died. In December, Kim Jong-Un told border guards to shoot defectors on sight, rather than sending them to reeducation camps and decreed defectors' families would also be killed.

But one deadline for the deportation of these refugees has already passed, signaling that China knows it will have blood on its hands if it follows through. China may be bending to international pressure, but needs to hear more from other global leaders to release the refugees to South Korea.

Already, more than 30,000 people have signed Moses's petition. In November, 35,000 people signed a petition on asking Secretary Clinton to call for the release of political prisoners in Burma -- and she did. She also spoke out for women’s right to drive in Saudi Arabia after receiving a petition. If every person who cares about human rights signs Moses's petition, world leaders like Secretary Clinton will listen again.

Click here to sign North Korean refugee Moses Bak's petition calling on Secretary Clinton and other world leaders to stop China from sending two dozen defectors back to North Korea, where they will face imprisonment and execution.


Kind regards,

TST Team


February 2, 2012: (!) Stop ACTA PDF Print E-mail


Target: EU Leaders Who Support ACTA

Sponsored by: Concerned Citizens

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, was signed by the European Union and 22 of its member states recently. Eight countries, including the United States, signed this last fall.

Called "SOPA light", it is a global treaty that authorizes the policing of the internet and its users, and ultimately, the censorship of it. This would hurt the freedom of expression, civil and digital rights, fair use rights, and the right to privacy.

Strict penalties would be enforced, even prison sentences, for violating ACTA.

Please sign the petition and tell ACTA supporters to keep the internet free for everyone!


Kind regards,

TST Team


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