• Press Release

Ending Gun Violence is a Focus of Amnesty International USA’s 54th Annual General Meeting in Chicago

February 25, 2019

Activists Protest Chicago Police Department, Rahm Emanuel
CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 31: Demonstrators calling for an end to gun violence and the resignation of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel march through downtown on December 31, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The shooting deaths by police of a 19-year-old college student Quintonio LeGrier and his 55-year-old neighbor Bettie Jones and a recently released video showing the shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke have sparked dozens of protests in the city. Yesterday Emanuel announced several changes that would take place in the police department with the hope of preventing future incidents. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Members of Amnesty International USA from around the country and human rights activists from around the world will meet in Chicago from March 1-4 for its Annual General Meeting (AGM) to confront some of the most pressing human rights challenges ahead.

This year includes a focus on gun violence, which AIUSA declared to be a human rights crisis in the country in a September report examining how all aspects of life in the United States have been compromised in some way by the unfettered access to guns, with no attempts at meaningful national regulation.

“The ability to go about your daily life in security and dignity, free from fear, is at the very heart of human rights,” said Margaret Huang, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA. “No one’s human rights can be considered secure as long as our leaders fail to do anything about gun violence. We know that the people of Chicago know this all too well. We’re proud to host our annual gathering here to bring activists from around the city and around the country together to lift up human rights both at home and abroad.”

The meeting will begin on Friday, March 1 at 2:30pm with an action at City Hall focusing on gun violence prevention. Speakers will include the Secretary-General of Amnesty International, Kumi Naidoo, as well as the Executive Director of LiveFree Chicago, Ciera Bates.

A panel on Saturday, March 2 at 10am will give attendees the opportunity to learn more about gun violence and come together to take action, participate in workshops, and hear from experts. Speakers include the Executive Director of Amnesty International USA Margaret Huang, Co-Founder of the March For Our Lives movement and alumnus of Parkland, Florida high school Marjory Stoneman Douglas Brendan Duff, Executive Director of the YMCA of Metro Chicago’s Youth Safety and Violence Prevention programs Chico Tillmon, and representatives from Good Kids Mad City. Both the Friday action and the Saturday panel are open to press who RSVP to [email protected]

Other events at the Annual General Meeting include workshops on sexual and reproductive rights, healthcare as a human right, building bridges with people in support of refugees and asylum seekers, how to win state and local human rights campaigns, and campaign opportunities to stop U.S arms sales that are contributing to crises.

For more information please contact [email protected].