Justice For Sri Lanka On The Streets Of Chicago

By Apoorvaa Joshi, Amnesty International USA Intern

Yesterday a few Amnesty volunteers and I took to the streets of Chicago to collect petition signatures calling for justice for war crimes in Sri Lanka.  My fellow intern stopped a woman on the street to ask for her signature:

Intern: “Would you have a moment to sign a petition for war victims in Sri Lanka?  I’m from Amnesty International.”
Woman: “What is that?”
Intern: “Amnesty International is an international NGO that focuses on human –“
Woman: “No, the petition. What is it for?  Sri what?”
Intern: “Sri Lanka—we are asking Secretary Clinton to pressure the UN to launch an    investigation about the abuses that occurred during their 1626-year-long civil war.”
Woman: “I’ve never heard of it.  Did you just make that up?”
Intern: “No.  It’s a real place.  It’s off the coast of—“
“Is it in Africa?”

A few minutes later, the woman walked away having signed the petition, with educational materials in hand about Amnesty International, the situation in Sri Lanka, and where she can reach us for more information or to volunteer.