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Where We’ve Traveled and

Where We’re Headed

January 2008 through July 2009

High Road’s Start-up

The day he left office, January 7, 2008, Anderson filed incorporation
papers for what would become High Road for Human Rights Education
Project 1 and High Road for Human Rights Advocacy Project. 2 Since that

day, High Road has been working non-stop, building the infrastructure
necessary for mass communication and mass mobilization that will lead to
major changes in human rights policies and practices.

Areas of Focus

High Road identified four

human rights areas on which to focus:
genocide, human trafficking, climate
change, and torture. Recently, a fifth
area of focus, state-sanctioned killing
under the guise of the death penalty,
was added to the High Road agenda.
The work of High Road has been
intense and far-reaching, laying the
groundwork for an aggressive,
effective citizens’ lobby of informed,
well-prepared people in local
communities throughout the nation.

And Enthusiastic Response

Founder Rocky Anderson has made numerous presentations about the

mission and strategies of High Road for Human Rights around the United
States and Canada. 3 At High Road receptions, the response by those in

attendance has been enthusiastic and supportive. At every event, people

have volunteered to help form local chapters. High Road has formed
fourteen chapters around the country and, with sufficient funding and
staffing, can mobilize members and create 30 or more active chapters
operating around the country by the end of 2009.

Recognizing Climate Change
As a Threat to Human Rights

On behalf of High Road, Anderson has presented in several cities

throughout the United States on the urgency of taking effective action to
reverse the trend toward irreversible and catastrophic climate change. At the
core of High Road’s approach to climate change is a commitment to treating
the potential catastrophe posed by global warming as a major human rights
threat. The presentations include a call for leadership, the implementation of
concrete solutions, and vigorous advocacy by all who are concerned about
the future of our planet and its inhabitants. 4

Combating Torture
and Upholding the Rule of Law
High Road for Human
Rights has been instrumental in
pushing for hearings by the
House Judiciary Committee on
torture, other abuses of power,
and the undermining of the rule
of law. Anderson drafted a
letter to Congressman John
Conyers, Chair of the Judiciary
Committee, and obtained the
signatures of such notables as
George McGovern, Noam
Chomsky, Harry Belafonte,
Jonathan Kozol, and Daniel
Ellsberg. (The letter, to which
thousands of others have added
their signatures, is posted at a
web site set up by High Road, . That web site has had over 1,186,000 hits.)

Reflecting the power of grassroots mobilization, the letter led to two

meetings with Chairman Conyers and several other members of Congress 5

and to extensive correspondence and conversations between High Road and

members of the staffs of Congressman Conyers’s office and the Judiciary

Following those meetings, the

House Judiciary Committee held a
six-hour hearing on July 25, 2008
regarding abuses of executive power.
Anderson testified at that hearing,
along with Elizabeth Holzman,
Frederick A. O. Schwartz, Bob Barr,
Vincent Bugliosi, Dennis Kucinich,
Bruce Fein, and others. 6

At that hearing, Anderson proposed several concrete steps to be taken
in order to reverse the undermining of the rule of law, to provide for
accountability, and to provide for safeguards against future abuses of
power. 7
D6F Congress is now close to proceeding with many of the


High Road for Human Rights sponsored and organized a rally for
Truth and Accountability on Torture on May 28, 2008. Of several other such
rallies held throughout the nation, the High Road Rally was the only one to
generate coverage by the news media.

Effective Mass Communication
and Mass Mobilization
High Road has conveyed its mission and strategy for grassroots
mobilization through a robust web site 8 with informative, up-to-date

content, including three compelling multi-media pieces developed by High

Road. In addition, High Road has shown its multi-media piece, “Torture
and the Rule of Law,” in numerous venues. 9 It was featured in an email to

over 6,000 people, with very positive response. The email generated over
20,000 hits on the High Road web site in three days, proving the
effectiveness of powerful, high-quality mass communication 10 9F

With the help of a student volunteer coordinator, dozens of local high

school volunteers have helped with High Road events. Interns and other
volunteers have also helped with everything from putting on receptions to
entering computer data.

Boards and Advisory Committee

High Road for Human Rights Education Project and High Road for Human
Rights Advocacy Project have built remarkable Boards of Directors. 11 Also,
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an extraordinary Advisory Committee has been formed, including Yoko

Ono, Elie Weisel, Bill McKibben, Lester Brown, Mark Hertsgaard, Winnie
Singh, Ed Mazria, Gus Speth, Mimi Kennedy, Paul Rogat Loeb, Terry
Tempest Williams, Ben Cohen, Daniel Ellsberg, Ross Gelbspan, Susan Joy
Hassol, Hillary Brown, and Sheila Watt-Cloutier.

Films and Rallies
High Road for Human Rights has presented documentary screenings
and panel discussions with public television station KUED and Salt Lake
City Film Center. 12 In addition, High Road for Human Rights Advocacy
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Project was the proud sponsor and organizer of a well-attended Peace and
Human Rights rally on May 28, 2008 (see ,

a web site created by High Road.) and a rally for truth and accountability for
torture on June 25, 2009.

The Grassroots
High Road Chapters in Action
Carmel, CA Salt Lake City, UT
Los Angeles, CA Utah County, UT
San Francisco, CA Brigham Young University, UT
Washington, DC Park City, UT
Tampa Bay, FL Seattle University, WA
Boise, ID University of Washington, WA
New York City, NY Casper, WY
Portland, OR

Community and Public Events

All over the country, High Road for Human Rights chapter leaders are
taking the initiative to make certain that High Road’s grassroots strategies
are implemented.

Chapter members are constantly working to increase High Road’s

membership base, guiding chapter members to engage in grassroots actions
on a sustained basis, being creative in maintaining enthusiasm and
fundraising, and keeping up good communication with and reports of
progress to the national headquarters.

Capitol Climate Change Demonstration

On March 2, 2009 thousands of people joined in a multi-generational act of
civil disobedience at the Capitol Power Plant — a plant that powers
Congress with dirty energy and symbolizes a past that cannot be our future.

Power Shift ‘09

In the middle of our new administration's first 100 days, Power Shift 09
brought 10,000 young people to Washington to hold our elected officials
accountable for rebuilding our economy and reclaiming our future through
bold climate and clean energy policy. Members of High Road for Human
Right joined with over 10,000 young people from all over the country and
converged on Washington D.C. to take a message of bold, comprehensive
and immediate federal climate action to Capitol Hill.

Rocky's Lesson
Public Forum Letter - May 18, 2009

When I learned that former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson would be
speaking to my high school English class, I was enthralled. He did not come to
explain his controversial politics but to talk about High Road for Human Rights, a
nonprofit group that he helped found that is dedicated to stopping genocide.

As Rocky lectured about pressuring elected officials in Washington, D.C., on

matters of genocide, I couldn't believe my ears. Why would we need to pressure
our Jim Mathesons and Orrin Hatches? Is the idea of stopping genocide
controversial? When a mass of humans cry out in a foreign tongue and on a
distant continent is it not the same emotion that we may feel here in our own

Is it because the dollar figure to stop the atrocity has too many zeros behind it?
Could it be that we just don't care? History shows that politicians certainly don't.
By staying silent we are at best lazy and at worst accessories to murder.

Thousands are dying for nothing. Does anyone care?

Scott Johnson

# # #

National Action

Throughout the first six weeks of 2009, High Road for Human Rights
collected the signatures of over 7,300 concerned citizens who added their
names to the call for an end to torture and restoration of the rule of law. On
February 18, 2009, High Road sent those letters to every member of
Congress and to President Obama.

News and New Media Outlets that have covered High Road’s actions:
Washington Post Democracy for New Hampshire
MSNBC Antemedius
Rachael Maddow Show Liberally Critical Thinking
USA Today Noosoop
The Nation American Chronicle
The Salt Lake Tribune David Swanson
My DD Democratic Underground
Daily Kos
The People's Campaign for the In the Course of Events
Constitution Ragingbull

High Road’s Literature

Yoko Ono

Rwandan Genocide

The Right People

Introduction Brochure

Strong Collaborations

High Road has developed collaborations with several outstanding
organizations. KUED and the Salt Lake City Film Center are terrific
partners and provide excellent examples of the potential for similar
collaborations in communities with High Road chapters throughout the

Anderson has worked with Human Rights Watch on a proposed op-ed

piece calling for human rights to be a major criterion and concern for the
International Olympic Committee. He also worked with Human Rights First
in drafting a proposed op-ed piece about the record of human rights abuses
by China as it prepared for the Summer Olympic Games in 2008. Anderson
worked with representatives of several national organizations to organize a
demand for congressional hearings on abuses of executive power and he
recently agreed, after an invitation by Bruce Fein, to serve on the founding
Board of First Branch Institute, which will focus on rule of law and balance
of power issues.

Initial Funding
With generous and crucial seed funding by Barbara and Norm Tanner,
funding through ICLEI by Rockefeller Brothers Fund, honoraria paid for
some of Anderson’s presentations, and contributions by over 160 individuals
and companies (including Kühl Clothing, which is adding drop tags with the
High Road name, logo, and web site address to every piece of clothing it
sells around the world), High Road for Human Rights has been able to meet
all financial requirements for the first 1 ½ years of operations. Major
expenses have included fees for attorneys, graphics artists, and accountants;
office equipment (some of which was donated); payroll for staff and
contractors (a grant writer and web designer/multi-media producer); and

Immediate Potential

High Road for Human Rights now has the potential, within weeks, to utilize
the infrastructure built during the past eighteen months to strengthen existing
chapters and to build new ones. With the hiring of a National Chapter
Director to coordinate the grassroots education and advocacy efforts
between the national office and the chapters, High Road now has enormous
potential to expand its membership base.

July 2009 Through 2010
Capacity to Bring About Change
With sufficient funding, High Road for Human Rights is poised to make an
enormous difference in US policies and practices as they impact human
rights around the world. As has already been proven, High Road has
enormous capacity to raise consciousness and motivate people to take
effective action toward change.

Filling an Essential Human Rights

Grassroots Function
Excellent field work and reporting on human rights abuses is provided by
outstanding organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights
Watch. Human Rights First, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Center
for Constitutional Rights provide excellent educational materials and engage
in crucial litigation to vindicate fundamental human rights. Complementing
their efforts, High Road for Human Rights provides unique, essential,
sustained grassroots strategies and mass mobilization that, for far too long,
have been missing. 13

With sufficient resources, High Road for Human Rights will continue
to build chapters and a strong, broad-based membership throughout the
country. Those chapters and members will be focused on the same issues
and the same concrete solutions, utilizing many of the same grassroots
strategies. With full implementation of High Road’s strategy, no one in
Congress or the White House will ever again be able to say “the people back
home don’t care.” They will finally face effective pressure to take specific
actions to prevent or stop mass atrocities.

The High Road Strategic Plan calls for at least 50 chapters across the
country and membership of at least 5,000 people by the end of 2010. High
Road will provide members and others with presentation materials
(brochures, summaries of research, films, multi-media presentations
developed by High Road, and FAQ sheets) so that consciousness can be
raised in local communities and people can be organized to advocate
vigorously and effectively for solutions.

For the first time, members of Congress from across the country will
be confronted at every meeting they attend in their home states by
constituents who will demand that specific actions be taken to protect human
rights. 14 In the best democratic traditions, there will be phone and letter
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writing campaigns, 15 letting elected officials know that if they do not act to
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stop human rights abuses, their inaction will result in political costs. 16 No
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longer will elected officials be able to turn a blind eye to mass atrocities with
the assumption that no one cares and that inaction will be tolerated.

Local reporters and editorial boards will frequently hear from local
residents about inaccurate or insufficient reporting about human rights
issues. Faith and civic organizations, as well as school classes, will hear
from local residents about human rights challenges and the responsibility
each person has to speak out.

There will be public service announcements, more informative news

articles and programs, more participation on radio and television talk shows,
greater involvement by young people, greater discussion during political
campaigns about human rights issues, and informative films that will help
raise awareness and motivate people to take effective action.

All of that and more will be coordinated and organized by High Road
for Human Rights, in every community where a chapter is organized and
nationwide through High Road’s proven mass communications strategy.

It is that exercise of our democracy that has been missing – and it is

what High Road for Human Rights will offer to make certain that the
promise of “Never Again” is finally kept.

Please support this vital effort, through your financial support and
your commitment to citizen activism. Join us on the High Road toward a
more peaceful, safe, and just world.

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has approved High Road for Human Rights Education Project
for status as a public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (“the Code”). The
IRS has advised the Education Project that contributions to it “are deductible under section 170 of the
Code.” Also, the IRS has advised that the Education Project is “qualified to receive tax deductible
bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under section 2055, 2106, or 2522 of the Code.”
High Road for Human Rights Advocacy Project has been approved by the Internal Revenue Service
for status under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to the Advocacy
Project are not deductible for federal income tax purposes.
Those presentations have been offered at receptions at the offices of High Road in Salt Lake City; at
Columbia Institute conferences in Vancouver, BC and Huntsville, Ontario; before civic organizations
like the Exchange Club and Rotary Club; in Carmel and San Francisco, California at events hosted by
Board member Karen Osborne; in New York City at Steinway Hall; in Washington, D.C. at a reception
hosted by Barbara Koeppel; and at campus venues in Laramie and Casper, Wyoming. He also
presented the “intellectual hors d’ouevre,” “Breaking the Cycle of Complacency” (which can be
viewed on High Road’s web site), at a University of Utah College of Humanities-sponsored
Humanities Happy Hour.
Anderson has been recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in climate protection. His
record as Mayor of Salt Lake City, where he reduced greenhouse gas emissions in municipal operations
by 31% in four years, has often been cited as an example of what cities and other governmental entities
everywhere can accomplish in combating global warming. For his leadership on climate change,
Anderson received the Climate Protection Award from the EPA, the Distinguished Service Award from
the Sierra Club, the Respect the Earth Planet Defender Award, and the World Leadership Award for
environmental programs from the World Leadership Forum. Anderson presented in conjunction with
the United Nations Climate Change Conferences in New Delhi, Buenos Aires, and Bali. He consulted
in London with the assistants to heads of state in preparation for the 2005 G8 Conference, at which
climate change was one of only two major agenda items. He founded and co-hosted Sundance
Summit: A Mayors’ Gathering on Climate Protection and has presented for several years at numerous
conferences throughout the US, as well as in Australia, Canada, and Sweden. Anderson was named by
Business Week as one of the top twenty activists in the world on climate change
( ) and served on the Newsweek

Global Environmental Leadership Advisory Committee. He is a vigorous advocate of treating climate

change within a human rights framework, emphasizing the catastrophic impacts – past, present, and
future – of climate change on hundreds of millions of people, including some of the most vulnerable
people in the world.

As Executive Director of High Road, Anderson’s work on climate change has included
presentations at the following events:
• The 8th National Conference on Science, Policy and the Environment (National Council for
Science and the Environment) “Climate Change: Science and Solutions” (Washington, D.C.,
January 18, 2008)
• “Green Your Scene” Environmental Symposium (Ketchum, Idaho, March 11, 2008)
• Earthday: Green Apple Festival (Washington, D.C., April 20, 2008)
• Surdna Foundation Board of Directors (on behalf of ICLEI) (New York, New York, May 12,
• Keynote Address at the 2008 ICLEI Local Action Summit (Albuquerque, New Mexico, May
15, 2008)
• Keynote Address at the 2008 Southwest Land Trust Conference (Park City, Utah, May 16,
• Online video presentation for ICLEI, “Climate Change and Local Leadership”
• Park City Rotary Club (Park City, Utah, June 3, 2008)
• Keynote Address, “Combating Climate Change: A Human Rights Imperative,” International
Human Rights Funders Group (New York City, July 21, 2008)
• Tampa League of Cities, “Local Government Solutions to Global Climate Change” (Tampa,
Florida, August 14, 2008)
• Member, Resource Team, Mayors’ Institute on Climate Change, Regional Plan Association
(New York City, September 3-5, 2008)
• Keynote Address, “Combating Climate Change: A Leadership Imperative” (New York City,
September 4, 2008)
• Natrona County Commission Workshop on Climate Change (Casper, Wyoming, September 11,
• “Climate Change in Carbon Central,” University of Wyoming (Casper, Wyoming, September
11, 2008)
• The Green Summit, University of Nevada at Reno (Reno, Nevada, September 20, 2008)
• “Combating Climate Change: A Human Rights Imperative,” Winter Conference for Activists,
Healthy Planet Mobilization Committee (Salt Lake City, Utah, February 14, 2009)
• Keynote Address at Power Shift ’09 (Washington, D.C., February 27, 2009) (a video of the
address is at )

• Presentation to 50 Chinese Mayors or Deputy Mayors at a training session organized by Joint

US-China Cooperation on Clean Energy (JUCCCE) (See ) (Beijing, China, May 5, 2009)

Anderson arranged for several people with influence to participate in those meetings, including
George McGovern, Daniel Ellsberg, Elisa Massimino (now the Executive Director of Human Rights
First), Hilary Shelton, Director of the Washington Bureau of NAACP, and Walter Fauntroy. He also
met with several people to solicit their assistance in pushing for hearings, including Michael Posner,
President of Human Rights First, Vincent Warren, Executive Director of Center for Constitutional
Rights, and Carroll Bogert, Associate Director of Human Rights Watch.
A video of Anderson’s testimony, as well as the written testimony he submitted to the House
Judiciary Committee, can be viewed on the HRHR web site.
The potential remedies suggested by Anderson at the House Judiciary Committee hearing were (1)
impeachment; (2) legislation precluding consideration of presidential signing statements in determining
statutory legislative history; (3) legislation providing that signing statements cannot serve as a defense
for a violation of the law; (4) pursuit by Congress of a declaratory judgment as to the effect of
presidential signing statements; (5) an assertion of Congress’s constitutional role in making war by
forbidding, through passage of a criminal statute with severe penalties, any attack against Iran, except
as permitted under the United Nations Charter, the Constitution, and explicit authorization by
Congress; (6) the authorization and designation of special prosecutors to investigate and prosecute
violations of the law by members of the administration; (7) legislation strictly limiting the application
of the State Secrets doctrine; (8) legislation providing for severe punishment for any government agent
who engages in or authorizes torture, or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment of any person being
detained, without exception; (9) a clarification by Congress as to the process that must be followed
before any US treaty obligations, including the Geneva Conventions, are violated or terminated by any
member of the Executive Branch; and (10) the appointment of a select committee, similar to the
Church and Ervin Committees, charged with investigating and disclosing to the American people the
abuses of power by the Bush administration and those who have worked in concert with it, and making
recommendations concerning reforms to prevent such misconduct in the future.
It was shown at the “Forum for Inquiring Minds” (Salt Lake City, September 14) and at receptions in
New York City and Washington, D.C. It was also shown at a high school in Casper, Wyoming, where
students indicated they had gained a very different viewpoint from the presentation.
The multi-media piece on Torture and the Rule of Law can now be viewed on the High Road web
A listing of Board members, along with biographical sketches, can be found on the High Road web
Those documentaries include films about the genocides in Rwanda and Cambodia, a film about civil
rights and the Chicago 7, and, along with Phil Donahue, the film “Body of War.”
Samantha Power described why the US failed to act to stop the genocide in Rwanda in 1994:

“[A]s was true with previous genocides, these U.S. officials were making potent political
calculations about what the U.S. public would abide. . . . [T]hey looked to op-ed pages of elite
journals, popular protest, and congressional noise to gauge public interest. No group or
groups in the United States made Clinton administration decisionmakers feel or fear that
they would pay a political price for doing nothing to save Rwandans.” “A Problem From
Hell” – America and the Age of Genocide (New York: Basic Books, 2002), pp. 373-74
(emphasis added).

“Although Human Rights Watch supplied exemplary intelligence to the U.S. government and
lobbied in one-on-one meetings, it lacked the grassroots base from which it might have
mobilized the crucial domestic pressure everyone agreed was missing.” Id. at 377
(emphasis added).

“The phones in congressional offices were not ringing.” Id. at 376.

Likewise, during the genocide in Bosnia, Congressman Frank McCloskey fought valiantly to achieve a
solution. However, he repeatedly heard from his congressional colleagues that the people back home
didn’t care. They weren’t hearing from their constituents, so they weren’t going to take any action. Id.
at 298-99.
Many people believe that if the right people are elected, effective and compassionate action will be
taken without anything else having to be done by their constituents. However, Jim Wallis makes it
clear that’s not how it works:
“[T]he members of Congress [are] the ones . . . who walk around town with their fingers held
high in the air, having just licked them and put them up to see which way the wind is
blowing. . . . Even the ones who want to make a difference will tell you they can’t without
public backing, and they don’t often find it. Many of us believe that by replacing one wet-
fingered politician with another, we can change our society. But it never really works, and
when it doesn’t we get disillusioned. We then get tempted to just grumble, withdraw, or give
up altogether on ever changing anything. But that’s where we make our mistake. The great
practitioners of real social change . . . understood something very important. They knew that
you don’t change a society by merely replacing one wet-fingered politician with another. You
change a society by changing the wind.” Jim Wallis, God’s Politics (San Francisco:
HarperSanFrancisco, 2005), pp. 21-22.
Commenting about the absence of a grassroots call for action to be taken to stop the genocide in
Rwanda, and the difference such a call would have made, Senator Paul Simon said, “If every member
of the House and Senate had received 100 letters from people back home saying we have to do
something about Rwanda, when the crisis was first developing, then I think the response would have
been different.” Power, supra, at 377.
“[T]he most realistic hope for combating [genocide] lies in the rest of us creating short-term political
costs for those who do nothing.” Samantha Power, “Raising the Cost of Genocide,” The New Killing
Fields: Massacre and the Politics of Intervention, (edited by Nicolaus Mills and Kira Brunner) (New
York: Basic Books, 2002), p. 73.

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