The outcome rests on whose voices are heard most clearly in the final hours: the pro-whaling lobby -- or the world's people?
We've signed the petitions -- now it's time to mount a massive final push to make our voices heard, and protect the whales. Avaaz has scoped out a giant billboard outside of Morocco's Agadir airport, a front-page advertisement in the newspapers given to attendees, street posters to line the walkways, and hand-bills to pass to delegates. From the moment they step off the plane in Agadir until they cast their deciding votes, delegates will be constantly reminded that the world won't accept legal whale slaughter.
Click here to see the impossible-to-ignore billboard, and donate to fuel this campaign... even $5 or $10 or euros makes a difference:
Thanks to the outcry of 650,000 Avaaz members, along with partners everywhere, many governments have pledged to oppose the proposal. Each time the Avaaz whale petition added 100,000 signatures, it was sent again to the IWC and key governments -- and some, like New Zealand, thanked all of us who had signed on.
But pressure from the other side has been relentless -- and now other governments, especially in Europe and Latin America, may abstain... or even support the proposal. The vote could go either way.
Citizen pressure is our best hope. After all, it was an explosive worldwide social movement in the 1980s that led to the commercial whaling ban we're now trying to protect. When the International Whaling Commission meets in Morocco this June 22, let's make sure the world's voices are there to greet them:
After the global ban was first implemented on commercial whaling, the number of whales killed each year plummeted from 38,000 per year to just a couple of thousand. It's a testament to the power of humanity to move forward. As we move to confront the other crises of the modern age, let's cherish this legacy of progress -- by joining together now to protect our majestic and intelligent neighbors on this fragile planet.
Ben, Ben M, Maria Paz, Benjamin, David, Graziela, Iain, Luis, Ricken, and the whole Avaaz team
P.S.: Despite the ban, Japan, Norway, and Iceland have continued whaling -- and are now pushing to make the IWC proposal as lenient as possible. Expecting permission to catch more whales than ever, Japan is reportedly planning to buy its largest whaling ship yet. Click here to fund an advertising blitz and campaign at the IWC meeting to oppose commercial whaling.
"IWC whaling proposal 'offensive'", New Zealand Herald:
"Conservationists condemn 'peace plan' allowing for limited whaling", Guardian:
The other side: IWC Chairman defends whaling proposal
Know someone who hasn't signed the petition? Send them this link: