5 big things that happened on Change.org this week
It’s been another busy week of petitions being started, signed, and shared via Change.org. But in case you missed them, here are five of the big moments that made the news, got people talking and caught our eye.
1. Richard Ratcliffe, a birthday party and the Iranian Embassy
Richard Ratcliffe, campaigning to free his wife Nazanin from jail in Iran, held a birthday party for his two-year-old daughter Gabriella (who is also trapped in the country) outside the Iranian Embassy on Friday.
There was tea, cake, presents and cards – and a big thank you from Richard to the 750,000 people who have signed his petition at Change.org/FreeNazanin.
Speaking outside the Embassy, Richard told Change.org: ‘Tomorrow is Gabriella’s birthday and so today we came to have a picnic for her outside the Iranian Embassy in London. Some of the 750,000 people who signed the petition on Change.org came to celebrate with us as well as friends and family and our MP Tulip Siddiq.
‘We tried to deliver a birthday card for Gabriella but the Iranian authorities wouldn’t accept it so we left it on the doorstep. I miss her very much and more than anything else I would like for us all to be back together as a family.’
Richard was also on BBC TV this week, explaining the latest on his case to Victoria Derbyshire. He was also joined by Kamran Foroughi, whose father Kamal has been in prison in Iran for more than five years, and whose petition can be found here. The campaign continues – sign at Change.org/FreeNazanin to hear all of the latest from Richard.
2. Renters march on Parliament
Vicky Spratt – the journalist calling for an end to “rip-off” letting agents fees – took her campaign to Parliament today, meeting MPs and members of the Lords who are backing her petition.
Speaking outside the Commons from nearby College Green, Vicky said: ‘Today has been an important step in our journey. We’ve been outside Parliament with Baroness Grender Olly Grender who is a Lib Dem Peer. She’s put forward a private members bill to increase renters rights. This support is so important for the campaign and means we are one step closer to getting unfair letting fees banned.’
Find out what’s happening next in her struggle for renters’ rights here.
3. The voter registration deadline is extended
This week the voter registration deadline was extended following a technical glitch that stopped some people registering ahead of the EU referendum.
Members of the public took to Change.org to start petitions calling for more time for people to register – a call which was heeded by the government.
Writing on his petition, Sunny Hundal said: “This is the biggest decision facing the British people for over a generation. Every person who wants to vote should be given the opportunity, not denied it.
4. Stanford Rape Case Causes Outrage
More than one million people have signed a petition calling for US Court Judge Aaron Persky to be removed from his judicial position after he sentenced a student to six months for sexually assaulting a woman outside a party.
Brock Turner, 20, was convicted of three felony sexual assault counts on an unconscious woman for the January 2015 attack.
Speaking about his sentencing decision, Judge Persky said he believed Turner would not be a danger to others, claiming that ‘a prison sentence would have a severe impact on him’.
Writing on her petition, Maria Ruiz said: “Despite a unanimous guilty verdict, three felony convictions, the objections of 250 Stanford students, Jeff Rosen the district attorney for Santa Clara, as well as the deputy district attorney who likened Turner to “a predator searching for prey” Judge Persky allowed the lenient sentence suggested by the probation department.
For more on this campaign, go to change.org/stanfordassault
5. David Haye continues fight for Ali Knighthood
Sky News reports that David Haye is continuing continue his campaign to grant Muhammad Ali an Honorary Knighthood in the wake of the heavyweight great’s death
Ali died last Friday at the age of 74, four months after two-weight champion Haye started his campaign on change.org to mark Ali’s contribution to boxing in the UK.
So far the petition has attracted more than 25,000 signatures and Haye has called for a change in the law to allow a posthumous knighthood for the global boxing icon.