The Red Cross of the Columbia Willamette, Salem Chapter The ARC was founded by Clara Barton Washington, D.C. on May 21, 1881. Barton first heard of the Swiss-inspired International Red Cross Movement while visiting Europe following the Civil War. Returning home, she campaigned for an American Red Cross society and for ratification of the Geneva Convention protecting the war-injured, which the United States ratified in 1882. Taken from: http://www.redcross.org/museum/history/brief.asp
The Founding Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement: • Humanity: The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield, endeavors, in its international and national capacity, to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. Its purpose is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for the human being. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, cooperation and lasting peace amongst all peoples.
The Founding Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement: • Impartiality: It makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. It endeavors to relieve the suffering of individuals, being guided solely by their needs, and to give priority to the most urgent cases of distress. 3. Neutrality: In order to continue to enjoy the confidence of all, the Movement may not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.
The Founding Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement: • Independence: The Movement is independent. The National Societies, while auxiliaries in the humanitarian services of their governments and subject to the laws of their respective countries, must always maintain their autonomy so that they may be able at all times to act in accordance with the principles of the Movement. 5. Voluntary service: It is a voluntary relief movement not prompted in any manner by desire for gain.
The Founding Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement: • Unity: There can be only one Red Cross or Red Crescent Society in any one country. It must be open to all. It must carry on its humanitarian work throughout its territory. 7. Universality: The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, in which all Societies have equal status and share equal responsibilities and duties in helping each other, is worldwide. http://www.redcross.org/services/intl/0,1082,0_169_,00.html
The ARC has been criticized for its support of the Department of Homeland Security’s Terror Alert system. • Local branches of the Red Cross offer suggestions to help families and community organizations prepare for emergencies. • The Salem Red Cross sells emergency relief kits to the public for $45-$50. • The ARC was also criticized for teaming with the Duracell company to create the “Together We Prepare Safe Families” campaign. This initiative instructed families to create disaster supply kits that included emergency batteries. The Duracell Corporation donated $500,000 for this effort. http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/un/unpan014279.htm http://redcross-salem.org/catalog/emergency_preparedness_kits_432643_products.htm
Former Secretary Ridge’s speech to the St. Louis ARC on May 21, 2004: “Homeland Security can not begin and end at the doors of our federal department building in Washington, D.C. Washington can be expected to lead, but we cannot, nor should not, micro-manage the protection of our country. Instead, it must be a priority in every city, every neighborhood, and every home across America.” “I’ve often said that for the homeland to be secure, our hometowns must be secure. So it follows that the Red Cross – dedicated to the protection of our communities for generations – is integral to this goal” http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/interapp/speech/speech_0175.xml
To those who view the Department of Homeland Security’s terror alert system as politically motivated, this alliance seems to come into conflict with the ARC's founding principles of impartiality and independence. • How does the Red Cross defend itself against this claim? How would you reassure someone who felt that their donations to a nongovernmental organization were being used to support US gov't programs?