Amnesty International is a global human rights organization working on behalf of prisoners of conscience and other victims of human rights abuses around the world.   Amnesty’s vision is that every person should enjoy the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards.

Group 137 is a local chapter of Amnesty International USA located in San Diego, California.  We’ve been around for 50 years and continue to meet monthly to write letters on urgent actions and plan our events.

We also run the Human Rights Book Discussion meetup group.

To learn our meeting times and location, and a little about what our meetings are like, click here.



Saturday, June 22, 3 pm, Human Rights Book Discussion

Armenian genocideJoin us at the Meraki Cafe, 1735 Adams Ave, for a discussion of The Burning Tigris: the Armenian Genocide and America’s Response by Peter Balakian.  Now faded from memory in the shadow of the Holocaust, the Turkish slaughter of more than a million Armenians in 1915–1916 was a virtual template for the 20th-century horrors that followed, and much of what Balakian describes so powerfully is now chillingly familiar: inhuman brutality; mass deportations of helpless civilians (often in overcrowded railroad boxcars); headlines screaming of “systematic race extermination”; activists and intellectuals calling for intervention; and, most devastatingly, the lack of political will in the West to intervene to stop the slaughter.


Saturday, April 27, 3 pm Human Rights Book Discussion

KKK and Vietnamese fishermanJoin us at the Meraki Cafe, 1735 Adams Ave, to discuss The Fishermen and the Dragon: Fear, Greed, and a Fight for Justice on the Gulf Coast by Kirk W. Johnson, a gripping, twisting account of a small town set on fire by hatred, xenophobia, and ecological disaster—a story that weaves together corporate malfeasance, a battle over shrinking natural resources, a turning point in the modern white supremacist movement, and one woman’s relentless battle for environmental justice.


Saturday, Dec 2, 2023 3:00 pm Write for Rights – Holiday Card Action

W4R squareGroup 137 will be holding our annual Write for Rights/Holiday Card Action on Saturday, December 2nd at 3 pm at Mazara Trattoria, 2302 30th St (map), and we invite you to join us!  This event will be in lieu of our regularly-scheduled group meeting on the 2nd Saturday of the month, so there will be no other meeting in December.  As in past Write for Rights events, we plan to provide a piece of Mazara’s mega-delicious tiramisu to everyone who joins us for this important human rights action!  Look for us at the long table in the back room with the Amnesty sign.

Write for Rights is Amnesty’s global campaign in December in honor of Human Rights Day (December 10th). Every year thousands of human rights activists around the world take part in Write for Rights, sending solidarity cards of support to people who’ve had their basic human rights violated as well as writing letters to the authorities on their behalf.  Over the years Write for Rights has grown into the world’s biggest human rights event.

Virtual Meeting on the Torture Trade, Wed, Aug 23, 6 pm

199335_chinese_weighted_leg_cuffs548Join us for a virtual meeting and discussion titled “Regulating the Torture Trade” on Wednesday, August 23rd, at 6 pm. We are excited to welcome Nate Smith,  co-chair of Amnesty International USA’s Military, Security and Police Coordination Group, as our guest speaker for the event. Register for the event here and we’ll send Zoom info prior to the event.

The torture trade refers to the manufacture, marketing, and export of tools commonly used for torture, like restraints and high-voltage electro-shock weapons. Nate will discuss Amnesty’s efforts to stop the international trade of these ghastly devices.

Virtual meeting on restorative justice, Wed, July 26, 7 pm

Image with scalesJoin us for a virtual meeting on the topic of Restorative Justice with guest speakers Susan Swope, Mediator in the Juvenile Offender Mediation Program, San Mateo County Courts; and Terry McCaffrey, AIUSA Western Region Death Penalty Abolition Coordinator.  You can register here, and we’ll send Zoom info to you prior to the meeting.  While the US currently employs a system of Retributive Justice that focuses on punishment of offenders, Restorative Justice is a participatory process in which people affected by a particular offense, including the victims, offenders, and the community, come together to collectively resolve the situation.  While Amnesty International has not adopted restorative justice as a human rights campaign issue, and it is not codified as a human right under international law, some in the organization are beginning to look at the issue and how it might fit into a human rights agenda.  We hope you’ll join us to learn more about this intriguing topic!

Virtual meeting and discussion of Amnesty International report on Israeli apartheid, Wed, May 24, 6 pm

Amnesty apartheid imageAmnesty International Group 137 invites you to join us on Wednesday, May 24th at 6:00 pm Pacific Time for a virtual meeting and discussion of Amnesty International’s 2022 investigative report titled “Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians: Cruel system of domination and crime against humanity”.  We are excited to welcome Elizabeth Rghebi, Amnesty International USA Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, as our special guest speaker for the event.  You can register for the event here; we’ll send the Zoom link to all registrants prior to the event.  [Note that this meeting is in addition to our monthly in-person meeting at Mazara on Saturday, May 13 at 3 pm]

In-person meeting and Nowruz Action, Saturday, March 11, 3:00 pm, Mazara’s

Defending human rights taglineJoin Amnesty Group 137 for our regular monthly meeting this coming Saturday, March 11th, at 3 PM at Mazara Trattoria, 2032 30th (corner of 30th and Juniper) (map).  Look for us in the back room with an Amnesty International sign on our table.  This month we will participate in Amnesty’s annual Nowruz Action to mark the Iranian New Year and support prisoners in Iran by sending them Nowruz cards with messages of hope   The group will provide the Nowruz actions, cards, pens, envelopes, and stamps, so all you need to bring to the meeting are your compassion, dedication, and writing chops! However, if you would like to bring your own card(s) to use for the Nowruz messages, please make sure they do not depict people, alcohol, or gambling. We’ll again buy pizza for folks in attendance. Send questions to group137@amnestysd.org.

Wednesday, Feb 15, 6 pm: Virtual meeting on local and national responses to Iran crisis

imageJoin Amnesty International Group 137 for a virtual presentation and discussion on local and national responses to the ongoing human rights crisis in Iran.  Our guest speakers will be Elise Auerbach, Amnesty International USA Iran country specialist and San Diego resident Samar Sepehri, Iranian-American member of Group 137.  Register for the event here.  The Zoom info will be emailed to all registrants prior to the event.

Group meeting, Saturday, January 14, 3 pm, Mazara Trattoria (NOTE NEW WEEK OF MONTH AND NEW LOCATION)

Mazara outsideStarting in January, 2023, we will meet on the 2nd Saturday of each month at 3 pm at Mazara Trattoria, 2302 30th Street in South Park, so our January meeting will be on Saturday, January 14 at 3 pm.  A map of Mazara can be found here. As usual, we will be writing letters on behalf of victims of human rights abuses and discussing future events.  Look for us at the long table in the back room at Mazara Trattoria!

Saturday, Dec 17, 3 pm Write For Rights and Holiday Card Action

LogoGroup 137′s annual Write For Rights event will take place this coming Saturday, December 17th at 3 pm at Mazara Trattoria, 2302 30th St (map) at the corner of 30th and Juniper in South Park.  We’ll write letters to the authorities and non-religious holiday cards of encouragement to survivors in cases of government crackdowns on the freedom to peacefully protest.  And we’ll treat attendees to a special dessert and drinks, plus prizes!  Look for us at the long table in the  back.  Remember, write a letter, change a life!