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.


Presentations/Receptions 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, www.restoreruleoflaw.com . 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 Committee.

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 Congress is now close to proceeding with many of the recommendations.

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
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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, 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.
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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 Project was the proud sponsor and organizer of a well-attended Peace and Human Rights rally on May 28, 2008 (see www.peaceandhumanrights.com , a web site created by High Road.) and a rally for truth and accountability for torture on June 25, 2009.
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The Grassroots
High Road Chapters in Action
Carmel, CA Los Angeles, CA San Francisco, CA Washington, DC Tampa Bay, FL Boise, ID New York City, NY Portland, OR Salt Lake City, UT Utah County, UT Brigham Young University, UT Park City, UT Seattle University, WA University of Washington, WA Casper, WY

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 land? 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 MSNBC Rachael Maddow Show USA Today The Nation The Salt Lake Tribune My DD Daily Kos The People's Campaign for the Constitution Democracy for New Hampshire Antemedius Liberally Critical Thinking Noosoop American Chronicle David Swanson Democratic Underground treehugger.com In the Course of Events Ragingbull Democrats.com

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 country. 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 printing/mailing.

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 writing campaigns, 15 letting elected officials know that if they do not act to stop human rights abuses, their inaction will result in political costs. 16 No 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.
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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 ( http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_50/b3963417.htm ) 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, 2008)

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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, 2008) 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, 2008) “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 http://highroadforhumanrights.org/media/travel2.htm ) Presentation to 50 Chinese Mayors or Deputy Mayors at a training session organized by Joint US-China Cooperation on Clean Energy (JUCCCE) (See http://highroadforhumanrights.org/media/travel2.htm ) (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 site.

A listing of Board members, along with biographical sketches, can be found on the High Road web site.

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.”
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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 wetfingered 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.