Wednesday, July 28, 2010

United States Homeless Conned into Debt Slavery

I came across this video while reading the latest stories on human trafficking at the by Youngbee Dale. This is debt bondage slavery, no doubt about it and it's happening in the United States today.

Colorado: Homeless youths are exploited with labor. They sign up for a door to door sales job after viewing an advertisement offering a fancy job opportunity. But, many times, they end up being in debt bondage situation because their hotel costs or travel costs are coming out of their own salaries.


Teen Escapes Human Traffickers in New Mexico

APD: Teen Escapes Kidnappers

Police id a teen, who said she was kidnapped and forced to be a prostitute, is lucky to be alive Tuesday.
Police said the teen escaped from a home on the 10000 block of Sandy Creek, near Ghost Ranch. Authorities spent the night searching the home where she was being held hostage.

The SWAT team surrounded the home Tuesday night, catching neighbors off guard.

"I heard two flash bangs, then smoke and a bullhorn from there, warning him to come out," said neighbor Cole Palmer.

Police said an 18-year-old called at about noon Tuesday, saying she escaped that residence and needed help.

Monday, July 26, 2010

How I Started My Abolitionist Journey

One night my wife came across the website and we started browsing it together. We were awestruck to learn that slavery is still rampant worldwide, even in the United States. I started digging through their website for more information and I came across a video titled, "Imagine." This video didn't just grab me, it shook me. This was my call to action and I knew I had to join the fight.

Imagine from LOVE146 on Vimeo.

Watching "Imagine" was the turning point in my life where I became an abolitionist. I have two beautiful little girls and a baby boy. This video kept me up through the night thinking of my children and the suffering of child slaves around the world. I remember thinking, "If only I could free these children and adopt them as my own. Give them the protection and love all children deserve."

My mind continued to race with thoughts of early abolitionists to the civil rights movement and to tragic events such as the holocaust. How many people stood by while these atrocities occurred throughout history? A better question, how many people stood up to defend the rights of themselves and others?

Will I stand by or stand up?

What will you do?

The first step to ending slavery worldwide is awareness. Until a few weeks ago, I was not aware that there 27 million slaves worldwide. That's more slaves than any time in history, including the transatlantic slave trade. If I, an "educated" college graduate, business professional, youth church leader and father of three was not aware of the magnitude of modern slavery, then there must be thousands of others out there just like me that need to know.

To quote the Obama campaign, "Yes We Can!" And there's a plan to do so in the next 25 years. Professor Kevin Bales, abolitionist and President of Free the Slaves, gave this address at the TED Conference in February 2010. It's a basic synopsis of his book Ending Slavery, which I highly recommend.

So sit back, relax, maybe make some popcorn and take a listen to Kevin Bales explain how we can end slavery. Every Abolitionist should watch this.

Together we CAN end slavery. Together we WILL end slavery. Please visit my "Get Involved" page to learn more about ways YOU can make a difference.

**Be sure to checkout Ending Slavery from your local library, or you can order it online from the link below. By clicking the link below to buy the book, 6% of your order will be donated to support AbolitionistJB.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
- Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Thank You,
John Burger

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Vote for Freedom!

On this Independence Day, we need your help. We need your vote for freedom! It's nothing hard or too demanding, but with about 5 minutes of your time you can help make a difference in the fight against modern slavery. Here's how.

Chase Bank is donating $5 million to charities via Facebook. But people have to vote on the charities receiving the money by July 12th.

Most Voted Charity = $250,000 donation
2nd - 5th place = $100,000 donations
6th - 200th place = $20,000 donations

FREE GENERATION INTERNATIONAL, a charity group I have worked with and spoken about many times on this blog, is now in 212th place. They're only 50 votes behind to receive a much needed $20,000 donation.

1. Go vote for Free Generation International (AKA Exiht International)
2. Invite all of your friends on Facebook and Twitter to vote as well.

These two steps alone can assure an additional $20,000 will go towards the fight against human trafficking in Africa. Let's make it happen!


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Looking for Facebook Fans...I mean "likes"

With the recent launch of our new AbolitionistJB Facebook page, we're looking for fans...I mean "likes"...that just sounds weird so we'll stick with fans. But before you fan/like us, feel free to take the following Facebook Self Quiz.


1. Do you have a Facebook account?
2. Will you "like" AbolitionistJB on Facebook?
3. How many friends do you have on Facebook?
4. Have you "liked" AbolitionistJB on Facebook?
5. How many frenemies do you have?
6. Do you "like" AbolitionistJB on Facebook?
7. Would your friends and frenemies "like" AbolitionistJB?
8. Have you "liked" AbolitionistJB on Facebook yet?
9. Will you invite your friends to "like" AbolitionistJB on Facebook?
10. How does it feel to "like" AbolitionistJB on Facebook?

Hopefully the subliminal (whispering in the background, "like AbolitionistJB on Facebook?") messages are sinking in.

There are a number of great abolitionist groups and conversations happening on Facebook right now. I really truly hope you will join the conversations and not only on the AbolitionistJB Facebook page, but on others like Not For Sale, IJM, Free the Children, Love 146 and more.

The social media abolitionist movement is brewing right now. I say let's help it brew. Let's stir the pot and make it grow. Only you can use your sphere of influence to make that happen.

Imagine if 200 people read this post and "liked" an abolitionist group on Facebook. Then they shared that with an average of 250 FB friends each. Of those 250 friends, 25 people also liked an abolitionist group on Facebook. They shared it with 250 FB friends as well... and so on and so forth...

I'm no math genius, but that's a lot of new abolitionists. Let's make it happen!


Friday, July 2, 2010

WHITE GOLD: The True Cost of Cotton

Do you know where your cotton comes from? Honestly, I don't either. But after reading these articles and watching these videos I will start asking.

Uzbekistan is the world's second largest cotton exporter. The state forces up to 1/3 of the people in their country to pick cotton by hand on state run cotton farms. Most of these are children. One of the videos shows a child talking about how their teacher told them to go pick cotton.

Uzbekistan will close down schools just so children can go pick cotton. Thy separate the kids from their families and force them to live in camps together during the picking season. Often they drink the irrigation water, which is not meant for drinking, because they have no other water source.

STEP 1: Watch the videos below
STEP 2: Read Tim Newman's article
STEP 3: Sign the petition to clothing maker Abercrombie & Fitch. Dozens of the top clothing retailers have already agreed to stop using Uzbek cotton, except for Abercrombie & Fitch. (See list below)
We need to work with retailers to let them know that slavery exists in their product chain and that it's important to us, as loyal customers, that they weed it out. (see previous article about how businesses can help combat slavery)
STEP 4: Ask your retailer where their cotton comes from. It might seem weird at first, but it's worth it.

Here is a list of companies that have made commitments to Stop Using Uzbek Cotton:

American Eagle Outfitters
Bed Bath & Beyond
C&A (statement)
Columbia Sportswear (statement)
Continental Clothing
Gap Inc. (statement; company perspective)
Hanesbrands Inc. (ILRF statement)
JC Penney
Kohl's (statement)
Levi Strauss & Co.
Limited Brands
LL Bean (blog)
Marks and Spencer
Nike (statement)
Phillips-Van Heusen Corp.
Tesco (statement; news coverage)
TJ Maxx
Walmart (statement; news coverage)
Walt Disney Co. (Statement)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Real Men DON'T BUY Girls!

Join Ashton Kutcher, Kaka and myself in telling the world that
"Real Men Don't Buy Girls!"

(Left- Ashton Kutcher , Right - Ricardo Kaka)

(Above - Me, AbolitionistJB)

Make a sign and take a picture. Doesn't matter if you're male or female. Post it on the web somewhere (twitpic, facebook, photobucket, blog, etc...) If you want add your pic to my blog, send me photos via the "CONTACT ME" link in the top left corner of this blog.

You're also invited to take the pledge to join Ashton Kutcher's "REAL MEN DON'T BUY GIRLS!" campaign on

Thanks for the pic @J_C2.
We appreciate your support and help in raising awareness.