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Avaaz Takes Up Anti-Extremist Election Effort In Italy

An international group of Internet social activists are using the power of a world-wide network to prevent extremist right-wingers from taking control of the Italian government.The group, called Avaaz, has two million members in Italy. It is leveraging these numbers to launch an Italian election campaign. The effort is in response to technicalities in the Italian election process that may allow a small group of right wingers to take over — despite having tiny support among rank-and-file Italian citizens.Some 62% of Italian say they will not vote for the Lega Nord party or another right-wing group, the Brothers of Italy.

Yet, these forces stand a decent chance of assuming power by splintering moderate parties and taking advantage of Italy’s peculiar “first past the post” voting system.But if Avaaz can do what it does best – rally millions of people and raise their voices in unison – they stand a good chance of beating back an extremist power grab in Italy.Avaaz is an online social activist network founded in the United States in 2007. It has since grown to be the world’s largest online social activist organization, according to The Guardian. In the past 10 years it has built a powerful global network approaching 50 million members.

Avaaz takes on a wide array of issues, from environmental activism, developing educational programs for disadvantaged people, helping the poor, bringing aide to refugees of war — and so much more.Avaaz raises money via a grassroots model. It accepts only small donations from millions of ordinary people. It takes no major corporate cash. The organization is designed to be a tool for empowering average people who otherwise have no connections, influence or access to political/social power.The name Avaaz means “voice,” taken from Sanskrit. That’s what it does – gives voice to average ordinary people who just want to make our planet a better place to live.