Avaaz, a U.S civic organization, is currently engaged in an online tussle with the manufacturer of the glyphosate-based herbicide, Monsanto Company. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide, is controversial. In fact, the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified the compound as “probably carcinogenic to humans’’ three years ago. And so the online campaigns are centered on the use of glyphosate-based herbicide. Avaaz is against the reintroduction of glyphosate-based agrochemicals in Europe while Monsanto is obviously supporting the use of the same. Only time will tell who emerges the winner of the online battle.
It is not the first time that Avaaz is hitting the headlines for supporting good causes. In fact, since the organization came to life in 2007, it has focused solely on addressing climate change, human rights, animal rights, and poverty among other pertinent issues. Avaaz leverages the technology especially the internet to pass across its messages. Its presence on the internet as an activist network, according to the Guardian, is not only large but also powerful.
Avaaz has evolved to reach a wider audience. The organization campaigns in over 17 languages, and according to its website, it has over 45 million members in 194 countries. Its membership keeps expanding by the day. People wishing to make their voice heard on issues of interest can just sign up to become members. What’s more, members can initiate campaigns and depending on the public interest in the matter, the organization’s specialists can recommend that a campaign is opened up for all members.
The founders of Avaaz including Res Publica, MoveOn.org, etc. share the same philosophy that the world deserves good governance, civic virtue, and deliberative democracy. They chose the name “Avaaz” because a transliteration of the Persian world “âvâz” which stands for “voice” or “song” results in similar words in many languages. Avaaz is the voice of the people.