Within two weeks, more than 60,000 Vietnamese Americans, with the support of human-rights advocates from across the country, have voiced their concern to President Obama, calling on his administration to not expand trade with communist
“With this petition drive, we would like to demonstrate our community’s ability for self-mobilization around a common cause,” said Truce Ho, president of SBTN, who officially launched the petition drive on Feb 8.
The online petition drive makes use of the White House’s “We The People” website. The petition must collect 25,000 endorsements within 30 days for the administration to issue an official response. By the fourth day, the petition had already surpassed that threshold.
“Following the recent reforms in Burma, Viet Nam has become the worst violator of human rights in Southeast Asia; the U.S. and the world should shine the spotlight on its increasingly repressive regime,” said Nguyen Dinah Thing, executive director of BPSOS.
SBTN, as well as BPSOS and many Vietnamese American community organizations, have set up stations in multiple cities across the country to assist community members faced with difficulties using the Internet. Hundreds of bilingual college students and young professionals have signed up to volunteer at these stations.
A delegation of some 200 Vietnamese Americans is being formed with representatives from all 50 states to present a hard copy of the petition to the White House on March 5. On the following day, twice that number will meet with members of Congress or their staff to support the Vietnam Human Rights Act.
All American citizens who want to sign the online petition should go to https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions and open a free account. Then, sign the petition at https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/petition/stop-expanding-trade-vietnam-expense-human-rights/53PQRDZH