The government of Turkey sure has been on a roll lately, purging itself of thousands of workers President Erdogan has deemed insufficiently loyal after an apparent attempted coup in 2016, and arresting and detaining many more private citizens, including 10 human rights workers at a meeting at a hotel near Istanbul about a month ago. Among these detainees is an Avaaz staff member named Özlem, and Avaaz helps you call for her release. Also among them is Idil Eser, head of Amnesty International's Turkish branch, and Amnesty International helps you call for her release as well. If you can put a face to Turkey's oppression, you make it that much harder for Turkey to oppress folks. If you can put a relatively prestigious face (like Ms. Eser's) on Turkey's reign of terror, you can certainly move the needle a bit. But if you can also put a relatively unknown face (like Özlem's) on it, you can remind good folks all over the world that folks like them get caught up in government oppression, too. We might also find it useful to remind President Trump (whose Administration has, surprisingly, condemned the arrests, instead of ignoring them) that the Big Stick of Bad PR can come his way if he gets ideas.
Meanwhile, the Trump Administration wants to open our coasts to offshore drilling again, apparently thinking we've all forgotten the Spillageddon in the Gulf a mere seven years ago, a spill that made British Petroleum look like the most heartless corporation in the world (in a contest that always has a lot of entrants!) and devastated the local economies of Louisiana and Florida for years to come. But, you know, some oil or gas CEO needs to gild the plumbing in his 19th vacation home, so to hell with what the people need! Naturally the Department of the Interior will only take comments on the offshore drilling plan for another six days, so Food and Water Watch helps you tell our government to protect our water and our livelihoods and stop new offshore drilling. No use arguing this is about "American energy independence" -- real American energy independence would begin with expanding renewable energy sources like solar and wind. Trouble is, that program would also grant us independence from oil and gas CEOs getting all the say about everything, and we can't have that in the greatest democratic experiment in Earth's history!
Finally, Media Matters helps you tell major corporations to stop advertising on Sean Hannity's Fox News show. While it's true that Mr. Hannity's program has morphed from a garden variety right-wing hackfest into a full-blown Trump TV operation, basically we should be encouraging corporate advertisers to run away from his program because of everything he's ever said. (OK, he hasn't been as bad on gays as other right-winger blowhards, but that's nothing to take to the Pearly Gates.) And just to review: the First Amendment protects you from your government; it does not protect you from your employer or from your advertisers, and it certainly does not protect you from activists, critics, or customers. I say this not just to pre-empt charges that a campaign targeting Mr. Hannity's advertisers somehow "oppresses" him, but to pre-empt corporate attempts to expand this "right" into a weapon they could wield against, say, a disgruntled customer's negative online review of their product, or even a customer's desire to buy a competitor's product, or no product. When our politicians constantly whine about the First Amendment when someone criticizes them, these things are not so hard to imagine.