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Amnesty International Local Chapters Host Localpalooza for Human Rights

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Even if you dont' know exactly what Amnesty International does, chances are you jive with the organization's mission. Tempe and Arizona State University Amnesty International chapters are hoping to gain a little more exposure in the community when they host Localpalooza for Human Rights this Saturday, November 19 at The Sail Inn in Tempe.

The concert will not only feature music by five local artists -- The Ron Hoyos Band, Jason Gerardo, Captain Squeegee, Treasurefruit and Instant Hobo -- but it will also serve as an educational experience, with talks from Amnesty International members, and as a way for attendees to support human rights causes.

"AIT members have noticed -- with concern -- that many people in the community aren't familiar with Amnesty International's work, even though almost every American is supportive of the cause once they understand it," says Amnesty International Tempe coordinator Scott Henderson. "Simply put, AI fights for the principles found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is sort of an international version of the U.S. Bill of Rights. We hope to attract and interest community members who are not aware of these two local groups and the great work that is being done by them in our area."

People who go to the show will be able to show their support for human rights issues in China and Iran, by signing letters asking the Premier of China for the release of political prisoner Liu Xiaobo and the head of the judiciary of Iran for the release of two Iranian students imprisoned for exercising their right to freedom of expression. Attendees may also sign letters of support and encouragement for the prisoners.

In addition to proactively helping Amnesty International's cause through letter writing, proceeds from the $7 cover charge ($5 in advance) go to both the local chapters and to Amnesty International USA. The event will also feature a raffle for a Fender guitar, with raffle tickets costing $2.

While the event serves as a way to bring more awareness to Amnesty International's causes, the band members playing are already invested in the organization. Each band had to apply to play the show, and Treasurefruit singer/guitarist Anamieke Quinn says most of her band are already card-carrying members.

"Amnesty is protecting very basic and universal human rights, regardless of religion, politics or any other clouds of influence," Quinn says. "The organization has proven they can actually make changes and are doing it with a purity of purpose that is undebatable. They beat the odds every time through sheer heart and perseverance. We believe in their mission and want to be a part of it."

The show starts at 8 p.m., and more info may be found here.

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