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HEAL

HEAL’S MISSION STATEMENT

HEAL is an egalitarian network of activists self-empowered to plan events, create change, and make the world a better place for all life.  Our goals include the liberation of humans, nonhuman animals, and the earth!  We work in cooperation with like-minded organizations that put compassion in action!

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HEAL understands that everything is connected.   What disturbs us at HEAL is that there is so much misanthropy in our society.  Many of us narcissistically forgive and excuse our own wrongs while viciously and cruelly condemning and dehumanizing our fellow human beings.  Those who are living in abject poverty, homeless, jobless, and destitute are equal to those with great economic wealth, multiple residences, CEO positions, and luxurious abundance.  Some would argue that "property is theft".  There are cultures around the world who do not have systems of ownership.  We are not one of those cultures.  The wealthy anarchist who buys his/her way "above the law" is balanced by the impoverished, enslaved, and oppressed individual.  The wealthy anarchist purchases absolute freedom from social responsibility at the ultimate expense of the poor and oppressed.  We, in the middle, wish for the wealth, power, and freedom from social responsibility of the wealthy anarchist.  And, we in the middle, fear (and therefore hate) the impoverished, enslaved, and oppressed.  

 

The ethical response living in these times is to desire economic and social equality and justice.  There is nearly infinite data showing the links between wealth and slavery (see Corporate America and Asia/Juarez, Mexico/etc.--or Corporate America and U.S. prisons--or Wal-Mart, etc.), slavery and poverty (see "The Shadow of Slavery" by Pete Daniel), and, therefore, wealth and poverty.  We must love humanity.  We must love freedom.  We must love equality.  We must fight for social and economic justice!  If we do not take action for freedom and equality, we are nothing more than hypocrites.  

 

You may have noticed that HEAL focuses its energy on Teen Liberty and Prison Reform.  We believe that children and teens are the most vulnerable people in our society.  Because of their vulnerability, they are subjected to unthinkable abuses, cruelty, and oppression.  Their words often fall on deaf ears and their pain is usually dismissed by adult authorities who have been socialized to disbelieve, distrust, and abuse the very people (children and teens) most in need of protection and sanctuary.  Instead of working to improve our society and the lives of the people, we punish our most sensitive, vulnerable, and abused citizens for not being automatons or apathetic, hard, and delusional like the rest of us.  People learn what they live and live what they learn.

 

We must HEAL our society!  We must cultivate compassion, understanding, love, and social responsibility in ourselves, in our families, in our communities, in our countries, and in our world.  As Mahatma Gandhi said, "We must be the change we wish to see in the world".

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HEAL Human Rights News HEAL Teen Liberty News HEAL Prison Reform News Dangers of Peer Pressure Society
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Crazy Horse Memorial Fundamental Human Rights Blog Spot Learn the Truth About Homelessness in America! "No Peace, No Work:  The MayDay Longshoremen Strike!"
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human rights ACTION ALERTS

Action Alerts are in order of Priority with Newest/Priority Alerts First

Special Note:  HEAL is posting most new human rights action alerts we support on our twitter feed.   To best keep updated on general human rights action alerts, follow us on Twitter.

 

Stand Up for Student Workers!--Last week, you heard about 73 undergraduate student workers being fired without cause or transparency. There was no student input or say in the matter.  Today the fight continues, and students need your support – will you sign this petition?
 

 

 

Take Action Against Torture!--Today, as Congress returns from Thanksgiving break, Senators are poised to take a vote on bringing back torture.  An amendment filed by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) would effectively revive so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques”, overruling the Executive Order issued by President Obama on his second day in office that banned the use of torture and shut down the CIA’s secret interrogation program.  As the retired admirals and generals who stood with President Obama on that historic day have made clear, torture undermines our national credibility, hinders our ability to effectively fight terrorism, and betrays our core values. And as the interrogators we at Human Rights First have worked with over the years know, torture is counterproductive in interrogations.  In addition, the defense bill this year contains several alarming provisions related to detainee policy, including ones that would undermine our federal courts. Fortunately, an amendment filed by Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) would strip these troublesome provisions from the legislation.  Votes on these amendments could take place as early as today.  Tell your Senators to support the Udall amendment #1107 and oppose the Ayotte amendment #1068. Take action on this pressing issue now!

 

 

 

Take Action to Protect Our Free Speech and Uncensored Speech Online!--Next week Congress is debating whether to give the government the power to turn off parts of the Internet. If that sounds like a terrible recipe for abuse of power, that's because it is.   If enacted, a new law would make it so a simple allegation of copyright infringement—with no review process—could lead to the shutdown of sites from YouTube to Wikipedia to MoveOn.org.1 Any website, foreign or U.S.-based, could be wiped out on suspicion and made unavailable to everyone in the world.  For example, if you (or Justin Bieber) wanted to post a video to YouTube of yourself singing a Beatles song, a record company could force the Department of Justice to shut down YouTube. Really.But as you may have guessed, Congress didn't come up with this tragically terrible idea on their own. Lobbyists representing Comcast, Pfizer, record and movie companies, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce3 have been pushing Democrats and Republicans to pass bills to allow this new kind of internet censorship. And they're close to getting their way.  But a small number of Democrats are standing strong and saying "No" to these powerful special interest groups. They need our help.  Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon is one of our champions. Next week he will start an historic filibuster of the Protect IP Act where he'll read the names of every person that signs a petition against Internet censorship.4 It's the perfect opportunity for 5 million Internet-connected progressives to visibly add their voice to a Senate debate. The more of us that sign, the stronger this effort to block this terrible law will be.  Click here to add your name and say NO to Internet Censorship.

 

 

Take Action to Save Our Democracy!--The movement to amend the U.S. Constitution to get corporate money out of elections is picking up some serious steam. Tens of thousands of activists across the country have already signed PFAW's petition calling for an amendment ... and on November 9, thousands of Americans attended one of more than 200 house parties nationwide -- organized by PFAW, Public Citizen, Move To Amend and other allies, and joined by Sen. Bernie Sanders -- to mobilize and plan for a day of action on the upcoming January 21st second anniversary of Citizens United v. FEC, the Supreme Court decision that unleashed unlimited corporate spending in our elections.  It's high time YOU got on board!  Please take a moment to add your name to the petition now and help restore Government By the PEOPLE!

 

 

 

Caught on Video (Above):  Prosecute Them!--University of California Davis police broke the law when they pepper sprayed nonviolent students. Tell the U.S. Department of Justice to prosecute those responsible.

 

Take Action to Protect Free Speech on the Internet!--Right now, Congress is debating a law that would give them the power to censor the world's Internet -- creating a blacklist that could target YouTube, WikiLeaks and even groups like Avaaz!  Under the new law, our government could force Internet providers to block any website on suspicion of violating copyright or trademark legislation, or even failing to sufficiently police their users' activities. And, because so much of the Internet's hosts and hardware are located here in the US, their blacklist would clamp down on the free web for all of us in America and millions across the world.   We only have days before the vote but we can help stop this -- champions in Congress want to preserve free speech and tell us that a global outcry would strengthen their hand. Let's urgently raise our voices from every corner of America and join Avaaz members across the world to build a massive call urging our decision makersto reject the bill and stop Internet censorship. Click below to sign and then forward as widely as possible -- our message will be delivered directly to key members of the US Congress ahead of the crucial vote:
http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_internet_us_a/?vl

 

Stop Darigold's Exploitation of Workers!--Dairy workers at the Ruby Ridge dairy, which provides milk for the Darigold label are going through hell and need your help. More than a third of them have been fired after they dared asked to have a union. They’re suing the dairy for wage and hour violations and even assault. According to workers, the dairy owner, supported by multi-million dollar loan from a major lender, carries a rifle in his truck and has threatened workers.  According to former employee Miguel Cuevas,  the owner told Cuevas, "This rifle is for those people with the union." While most farm workers aren’t in the urban occupy actions, the fight they are in is the same fight against corporate greed that has led to the occupy movement. They are part of the 99%.  Workers and UFW supporters have repeatedly tried to appeal to Darigold about the reported abuses workers who labor to produce their product face, but Darigold remains silent. At the most recent delegation, Darigold greeted folks with security guards instead of coming out to talk.  Worker Rafael Munoz shared this thought: "By not showing their face, they are showing us that they support the mistreatment of workers. We need the support now of the consumer so that our struggle will become even bigger. The more time that passes, the bigger this will become."  Help make this bigger. We've launched a petition drive. Please add your name to it. We’ll present the signatures to Darigold shortly after Thanksgiving.
 

 

Stand Up Voting Rights!--If Charles and David Koch have their way, millions of eligible Americans won't be able to cast a vote in 2012.  In recent years, the billionaire political operatives have used their vast fortunes to finance the drafting, promoting and introduction of model bills restricting people's ability to vote, and so far legislatures in 38 states have introduced Koch Brothers-supported legislation. All told, this is the most aggressive and widespread attack on the right to vote since the voting rights restrictions that paved the way for segregation.  This week, Brave New Films debuts a new video shining the spotlight on the Koch Brothers and their role in the voting rights attacks. "Koch Brothers Exposed" is a call to action for all Americans concerned about protecting this most fundamental of rights.  Watch the video and then sign the Stand for Freedom pledge today to fight back:  http://action.naacp.org/voting-rights-video
 

 

Don't Let the Senate Obstruct Terrorism Investigations!--Tell Senators Harry Reid and Carl Levin to put America's safety first. Urge them to strip away dangerous provisions in the defense bill that perpetuate some of the country's worst mistakes in the fight against terrorism. Act now before they finalize language on the bill!

 

Sign Petition to Tax Wall Street!--The continuing instability in the world economy is at least partly due to the fact that financial markets are still out of control. Wall Street traders are reaping billions on short term speculation, while our economy remains stagnant. As an economist, I know that building a strong, sustainable economy depends on doing something about a bloated and unruly financial sector.   To help get markets back under control, one important policy tool is a targeted tax on Wall Street trading.1 Please join me in signing this petition to keep pressure on Congress to pass such a tax.  
http://www.civic.moveon.org/rebuildpetition/taxwallstreet/?id=32718-1229593-6aCik2x&t=2


 

Sign Petition to Save Tibetan Lives!--Days ago, Palden Choetso walked out of her nunnery, covered herself in petrol and set herself on fire while pleading for a 'free Tibet'. Minutes later she died. In the past month, nine monks and nuns have self-immolated to protest a growing Chinese crackdown on the peaceful Tibetan people.   These tragic acts are a desperate cry for help. Machine gun-toting Chinese security forces are beating and disappearing monks, laying siege to monasteries, and even killing elderly people defending them -- all in an effort to suppress Tibetan rights. China severely restricts access to the region. But if we can get key governments to send diplomats in and expose this growing brutality, we could save lives.  We have to act fast -- this horrific situation is spiraling out of control behind a censorship curtain. Over and over we have seen that when diplomats themselves bear witness to atrocities, they are motivated to act, and increase political pressure. Let’s answer Palden's tragic cry and build a massive petition to the six world leaders with the most influence in Beijing to send a mission to Tibet and speak out against the repression. Sign the urgent petition https://secure.avaaz.org/en/save_tibetan_lives/?vl

 

Take Action to Rein in Banks!--Tens of thousands of Americans have taken to the streets to demand accountability for the banks. But some members of the Obama administration—including members of his Cabinet—are pushing for a terrible deal to let the big banks off the hook for selling bad mortgages and then illegally foreclosing on homeowners—destroying the American Dream for millions of families.The president's top campaign advisors have said that he's going to run for re-election on his record of holding Wall Street accountable2—but that'll be impossible if his administration pushes for another giveaway for the Wall Street banks who crashed our economy. And that could happen any day now.Can you sign our petition to President Obama right now telling him that we need a full investigation into the banks' wrongdoing, not another "deal" that lets them off the hook?  Add my name to the petition to hold the banks accountable.

 

 

Take Action to Make Sure American Kids Don't Go Hungry!--In 2010, food stamps (now called SNAP — Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) lifted 1.7 million children out of poverty. That's more than any other program, and more than any year in history. Simply put, connecting kids with nutritious meals works.   But now the new federal "super committee" has been given the task of cutting $1.5 trillion from the federal budget — and SNAP and other critical anti-hunger and anti-poverty programs are on the table.   It's critical that we take action today. Please stand up and make sure Congress knows not to cut off kids when they need us most.

 

 

 

 

Take Action to End All Wars Immediately!--End ALL The Wars Immediately Action Page: http://www.peaceteam.net/action/pnum1084.php

 

 

 

Take a Stand Against Voter Suppression Efforts!--Citing false and exaggerated allegations of election fraud, many states have recently imposed new restrictions on voting that threaten to roll back the hard-won right of American citizens to participate in our Nation’s democratic processes.  Such restrictions could discourage or prevent thousands or even millions of eligible citizens from registering and voting, including minorities, low-income persons, senior citizens, voters with disabilities, and students.  The Lawyers’ Committee has joined with other civil rights leaders and groups to speak out against these unabashed efforts to suppress voting rights.  To combat these efforts, we have developed an Interactive Map of Shame that illustrates the extent to which states have recently enacted voting restrictions and have widely disseminated the Map to decision-makers, community activists, and the media.  Stand with us and speak out now against voter suppression efforts!

 

 

Tell Congress to Work on Infrastructure NOW!--Tell your members of Congress: America is ready to get to work on our bridges, transit, rail, airports, highways, schools and the rest of our failing infrastructure:  http://act.aflcio.org/c/18/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=2895


 

Tell Department of Justice to Investigate Clarence Thomas' Unethical Behavior!--Efforts to hold Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas accountable for ethics violations just jumped to the next level.  A group of 20 House Democrats led by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) are now pushing for a Justice Department investigation into Justice Thomas' possible serious violations.   Please sign our petition supporting the call for an investigation now.

 

 

Drop All Charges on the "Occupy Wall Street" Arrestees!--SIGN THE ONLINE PETITION AT: http://bailoutpeople.org/dropchargesonoccupywallstarrestees.shtml 

 

 

 

Tell Congress to Take Action on Jobs Now!--Millions of people who are ready, willing and able to work are unemployed or underemployed. But instead of focusing on job creation, Congress is getting ready to take up unfair, job-offshoring trade deals.   With more than 25 million people desperately searching for full-time jobs, the last thing our leaders should focus on is these unfair trade deals. It's the wrong thing to do, and it's a huge distraction from our jobs crisis.  Tell Congress: Get moving on jobs, and drop these unfair trade deals:  http://act.aflcio.org/c/18/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=2917

 

Tell Department of Labor to Prevent Pay Discrimination!--As a fair pay advocate, you stood hand-in-hand with Lilly Ledbetter and Betty Dukes as they fought for fair pay against some of the largest employers in the United States. As courageous as they have been, women like them shouldn't have to go at it alone.  It's time that Lilly and Betty have some back-up. Take action today: Tell the Department of Labor to help protect women from pay discrimination.

 

 

 

Tell Congress to Pass "American Jobs Act" Now!--It's been over two weeks since President Obama proposed the American Jobs Act -- a plan made up of ideas that both parties have endorsed in the past and should be able to get behind now.  But Congress has yet to take any action on the bill. Take a moment now to remind Congress that families across the country need them to act quickly to rebuild our economy.  *Tell Congress not to let politics get in the way of creating jobs in our nation and urge them to act to pass the American Jobs Act now!  http://action.momsrising.org/go/1274?akid=2958.179534.9jFqq0&t=4

 

 

 

Tell Congress to Pass Warren Buffett's Rule!--The wealthiest Americans don't need further tax cuts and in many cases aren't even asking for them. Requiring that they pay their fair share is the only practical way forward. The Republican alternative is to drastically slash education, gut Medicare, let roads and bridges crumble, and privatize Social Security. That's not the America we believe in -- but many in the Republican leadership actually prefer those policies, which explains their refusal to act.  That's why they'll say "tax increase" over and over again, trying to muddy the waters and trick ordinary Americans into thinking the Buffett Rule will hurt them. And if we don't speak out right now, they just might get away with it.  If you stand with President Obama in this fight and want to see the Buffett Rule passed -- say you'll get his back now.

 

Tell your lawmakers to start fixing America's jobs crisis--and let them know you'll hold them accountable if they won't: http://act.aflcio.org/c/18/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=2813 .

 

 

Help Protect Workers' Rights!  Tell Congress to Oppose and Vote "NO" on HR 2587!--Please help us stop these attacks on workers-combined with a get-out-of-jail-free card for Boeing-now. Click here to take action: http://act.aflcio.org/c/18/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=2796

 


 

Tell Congress to Move Forward with the Healthy Families Act!--Take action and contact your members of Congress to urge them to move the Healthy Families Act forward here: http://action.momsrising.org/go/1166?akid=2919.179534.VfCZ3n&t=4
 

Take Action for Workers' Rights!--Great news! The NLRB--the independent agency responsible for enforcing labor law--has proposed new rules to start cleaning up the broken, loophole-ridden union election system that gives employers the opportunity to harass, intimidate and even fire workers trying to have a union at work. Right now, the NLRB is accepting public comments about the new rule. Can you let the NLRB members know workers are counting on them to help level the playing field?  Act now: Support the NLRB's commonsense rule to help level the playing field for workers:  http://act.aflcio.org/c/18/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=2676.

Tell Cook County to Stop Forcing Teens to Falsely Confess to Crimes!--Recent DNA testing has proven the innocence of 10 Black men who were were only children when they were forced by Illinois police to confess to murders they didn't commit.  Some of them have been imprisoned for nearly 20 years, but despite the overwhelming evidence, which has even linked the crimes to the real killers, the state of Illinois refuses to recognize their innocence.  If enough of us speak out, we can expose these injustices and force the state of Illinois to do right by these men. Please join us in demanding that State Attorney Anita Alvarez immediately agree to overturn their convictions. It takes just a moment: http://act.colorofchange.org/sign/Cook_County/

 

Tell Verizon to Stop Attacking America's Middle Class!--As of midnight Sunday, more than 45,000 Verizon Communications Inc. workers from New England to Virginia-members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the Electrical Workers (IBEW)-went on strike to stop the company's attacks on the middle class.  These Verizon workers are in the fight of their lives, and they need our support. This is a huge deal that has broad implications for our entire economy.  Act now: Demand that Verizon's CEO, Lowell McAdam, stop attacking the middle class and share his company's success with those who made it possible:  http://act.aflcio.org/c/18/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=2661

Please Sign the "Americans Want to Work" Petition!--Add your name to the "American Wants to Work" petition. We'll deliver it to Congress, the White House and major media outlets: http://act.aflcio.org/c/18/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=2640

Take Action to save 90,000 American Jobs!--Tell your members of Congress the FAA needs to get up and running immediately. Republican House leaders' hostage-taking needs to stop: [ http://act.aflcio.org/c/18/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=2569 ].

Stop Voter Suppression and Disenfranchisement!--State voter ID bills and laws have swept the nation recently, threatening to roll back the hard-won right of American citizens to participate freely in our Nation’s democratic processes, and to disenfranchise many voters including minorities, low-income persons, senior citizens, voters with disabilities and students.  These proposals are truly a “solution in search of a problem,” since the issue they purport address – impersonation of voters at the polls by other individuals – is practically nonexistent, and states already have numerous protections in place to ensure that this type of fraud does not occur.  Therefore, photo ID requirements are NOT needed to stop potential impersonation voter fraud.  It is obvious that other, more partisan issues are at play here.  Today, Lawyers’ Committee executive director, Barbara Arnwine, joined members of Congress and fellow civil rights leaders on Capitol Hill to speak out against the most blatant attempts to suppress voters’ rights since the days of poll taxes and literacy tests.  Now that South Carolina has submitted the voter ID law it adopted this year to the Department of Justice for preclearance under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, you have a chance to take a stand as well.  Stand with us and speak out against voter suppression legislation today!

 

Tell Congress to Support Workers' Rights!--As you read this, paid sick days activists from across the nation are descending on Capitol Hill to visit with their members of Congress.  Their mission: Urge policymakers to support family friendly legislation like the Healthy Families Act.  These dedicated activists are just like you — women and men from all walks of life and from all over the United States who share something in common: the belief that all workers deserve the right to earn paid sick days.  So help make sure their message is heard, loud and clear, in the halls of Congress.  Send a message to your senators and representative in support of paid sick days.

 

Tell Congress to Protect the People!--BREAKING: Reports say the president just offered to cut Social Security benefits, if Republicans agree not to let the U.S. default on its debts.It's his offering to the out-of-control Republicans, who are threatening to crash the economy in order to ram through savage cuts to crucial government programs.  It's sickening to think that millions of seniors would have to sacrifice in order to appease Republican hostage-takers. Especially because every poll shows overwhelming majority of Americans support raising taxes on the rich and protecting Social Security and Medicare.But there's still time to stop this "bargain" in its tracks. Whatever deal the president offers Republicans will need Democratic votes to pass Congress. So we need Democrats in Congress to stand strong and oppose any benefit cuts to Social Security and Medicare.  Can you sign our emergency petition to Democrats in Congress and tell them to stand up and tell the President they will not vote for Social Security and Medicare benefits cuts?  Add your name here.

 

Tell Congress: Stop offshoring jobs. Start rebuilding America. Vote "NO" on all three unfair trade agreements. Go to: http://act.aflcio.org/c/18/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=2507
 

Tell Pres. Obama to Protect Access to Higher Education!--Right now, congressional Republicans and President Obama are negotiating a budget deal, and Pell Grants are on the table.  Cuts to Pell Grants would follow the elimination of the Summer Pell program earlier this year.  So far, needy students have “contributed” $4 billion to debt reduction through cuts to Summer Pell, but they may be asked to make more sacrifices, even if it means that they can’t pay for college.  Tell President Obama that putting Pell Grants on the chopping block is the wrong decision.

Take Action to Support the Paycheck Fairness Act!--It’s clear that it’s up to Congress to fight for fair pay for women. Ask your members of Congress to stand up for women and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act right away!  http://action.momsrising.org/go/1001?akid=2794.179534.jIWDMg&t=4

 

Stop Republicans from Disenfranchising Voters!--You need to know this: Republican governors and state legislatures are working to pass laws to suppress voter turnout in 2012. Texas, Wisconsin and Florida have already passed legislation including restricting early voting. Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maine might be next.  These are all crucial swing states in 2012. If Republicans can prevent Democratic voters from exercising their right, we could lose the White House. And we could lose the Senate. It's that simple.  Republicans can't win on the merits – look how unpopular their plan to kill Medicare is. But they might very well capture the Senate if they keep Democrats from voting. I need your help to fight back now. We need 100,000 people to stand with us and draw attention to the undemocratic actions of these Republican state legislators and governors. Will you add your name?  Click here to call out the Republican tactics to suppress voter turnout. Trying to prevent Americans from exercising their right to vote is wrong, and we won't stand for it.

Tell Congress to Retain Power to Debate War!--The House of Representatives passed a new defense bill two weeks ago that strips Congress' critical role in warmaking decisions, and forces the armed forces to take on a new mission as judge, jury and jailor of all future foreign terrorism suspects. The Senate Armed Services Committee will decide whether to follow suit or change course starting this Wednesday.  Tell the Senate Armed Services Committee to protect Congress' role in deciding whether to go to war and limit the mission of our armed forces to prosecuting wars, not people. Not only are such choices smarter national security, they uphold the rule of law and American values.

 

Tell Congress, We Want Fair Change, NOT Spare Change!--Ten years ago this week, this dangerous plan was set in motion when President George W. Bush signed into law massive tax cuts for the wealthy. Since that time, some Members of Congress have used deficits primarily caused by those tax cuts as justification for cutting programs that millions of women and families depend on.  But on this not-so-happy anniversary, we urge you to take action on a bill that would help restore fairness to the tax code, protect critical services, and bring deficits under control. Tell your Representative to support the Fairness in Taxation Act.

Support Elizabeth Warren, Protect Consumers!--Professor Elizabeth Warren, an avid consumer advocate, is the frontrunner for being appointed as Director of the CFPB.  Warren has a long history of fighting for consumers.  She has made frequent site visits throughout the nation—including to NCLR’s Affiliates—to assess the fallout of the economic crisis.  She knows how our families struggle.  However, petty politics is rearing its ugly head once again, and some members of Congress are trying to weaken the CFPB’s influence by denying Warren’s appointment and maintaining the status quo.  Ask your senator to support Elizabeth Warren so American families can finally pull their heads above water! 
 

Tell Walmart to Demand Release of Human Rights Workers in Bangladesh!--Last summer, our friends and worker rights activists in Bangladesh were jailed and tortured for calling for an increase in the minimum wage, and they are still facing trumped up charges for speaking out for the lowest paid sweatshop workers in the world. As the largest buyer of Bangladesh's garment exports, Walmart has the responsibility and influence to demand these charges be dropped.  Tell Walmart to stop profiting from the jailing of Bangladeshi worker rights activists and to demand that all charges be dropped against them.

 

Tell Pres. Obama to Ban All Political Contributions from Companies that Receive Substantial Money from Government Contracts!--Secretary Reich goes over how the "Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex" uses our tax money to lobby and fund politicians who, in turn, award those same companies ever more lucrative contracts for high-tech weapons and private security forces. It's a perverse cycle. Corporations that get most of their money from taxpayers shouldn't be allowed to spend that money backing candidates for office and lobbying in Congress.  The President doesn't have to wait for Congress to act. He can issue the order immediately and stop the flow of tax dollars into political and lobbying campaigns by giant government contractors.  Watch the video and ask President Obama to stop the political spending:  http://pol.moveon.org/militarycontractors?id=27605-1229593-9v26K4x&t=5

 

Make Single-Payer Healthcare a Reality in Vermont!--Single-payer health care is on the move in Vermont. We need your help to make it a reality.  Today Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed into law a plan that could put Vermont on the path to becoming the first state with a truly progressive universal health care system.  If successful, Vermont’s plan would provide health coverage to every resident of the state without forcing people to become customers of the private insurance industry. Yet Vermont won’t be able to fully achieve this goal without multiple waivers from federal health care programs to pursue its better plan.  Kathleen Sebelius is President Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services. She’s a critical decision maker in allowing Vermont to pursue its plan for a more effective unified health system. Can you sign our petition to Secretary Sebelius asking her to grant Vermont favorable terms on every waiver the state requests?  Make truly progressive universal health care a reality. Sign our letter to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to grant Vermont favorable terms on every waiver the state requests.

 

Tell Psychology Today that Racism is UGLY!--Since Monday, more than 50,000 ColorOfChange members have called on Psychology Today to address it's decision to run an article that uses false science to argue that Black women are “objectively” less attractive than women of other races. Still, they've remained silent.  Can you help us get to 70,000? It takes a second to add your voice to the call, demanding PT apologize and explain how this won't happen again. Once we get to 70,000, we'll deliver your petitions to Psychology Today's headquarters to increase the pressure. http://act.colorofchange.org/sign/psychtoday

 

Tell Congress to Retain Control Over War Decisions!--There is good news. Yesterday, the president threatened to veto provisions that would undermine our federal courts in trying terror suspects and restrict the president's ability to safely transfer innocent men trapped at Guantanamo back home. Federal courts have convicted more than 400 people of terror related crimes. They have more criminal statutes available to them to incapacitate terror suspects than military commissions do, and they have more than 200 years of precedent on which to rely. The new and untested commissions do not compare.  Yet, Congress has increasingly tried to tie the president's hands in counterterrorism. The administration's statement yesterday is its strongest signal to date that it will not tolerate further interference with executive branch authority. Urge your representatives to vote for amendments that would strip the NDAA of provisions that take away Congressional oversight in warmaking decisions and militarize our law enforcement and federal courts. Tell Congress that we have the tools that we need to fight terrorism!

 

Oppose Wisconsin-Style Cuts to Collective Bargaining Rights in Washington State!--Gov. Chris Gregoire has reportedly asked the Legislature to pass an agency consolidation bill (ESSB 5931) with weakened collective bargaining rights so more state services can be privatized. The only difference from this attack on state employees and what happened in Wisconsin is scale, the philosophy is the same: blame the impact of recession and the failures of management on the public employees and solve the "problem" by taking away their rights.  Under current law, state agencies have the option of contracting out work IF it can be demonstrated it will result in savings AND state employees have had the opportunity to present alternatives or bid to retain the work. ESSB 5931 consolidates several state agencies, but in the process, it abandons those bidding safeguards for taxpayers and state employees. It requires the state to solicit bids every biennium for contracting out services at this new consolidated agency, shuts public employees out of the bidding process, and permits the agency to proceed with privatization if its chief financial officer thinks its cheaper or more efficient.  Like the workers' compensation bill that was rammed through on Monday, ESSB 5931 is expected to be acted upon at any time as the Legislature rushes to pass a budget and adjourn by Wednesday's deadline. *CLICK HERE to contact your legislators [ http://act.aflcio.org/c/261/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=2227

 

Tell Congress to End the Crack/Powder Sentencing Disparity!--When Congress voted to narrow the unjust disparity in sentences for crack and powder cocaine offenses last summer, lawmakers didn't apply the change retroactively. As a result, thousands of people are still locked up under the old laws that treated crack, which is often found in low-income Black communities, as if it were 100 times worse than powder cocaine.  The U.S. Sentencing Commission will vote soon on whether to do its part in righting this wrong. In the run-up to a June 1st hearing on the issue, they’ve asked for public input. Could you take a moment to tell the commissioners that people serving federal sentences for crack offenses should not be behind bars simply because deeply flawed laws put them there years ago? And after you do, please ask your families and friends to do the same. It only takes a moment: http://act.colorofchange.org/sign/retroactive

 

Sign Petition to Show Support for Tina Anderson!--http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/isupporttinaanderson/

 

Tell Your Senators to Protect Working Families!--On April 15, nearly every House Republican voted to give massive new tax cuts to corporations and the rich while demolishing services for seniors, children and low- and middle-income Americans.  This isn't a budget bill--it's a political payback bill that raids Medicare, Social Security and education to reward corporate CEOs with massive tax cuts.  Urge your senators and President Obama to stand firmly with working families and reject the radical House Republican Robin-Hood-in-reverse plan: [ http://act.aflcio.org/c/18/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=2012 ].

End Discrimination in the Workplace!--Take Action Now: Write your senators and urge them to co-sponsor the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) because every worker should be judged on the merits, not because of their gender or sexual identity.  Did you know that in most states, someone can be discriminated against, fired, or not hired simply because he or she is or is perceived to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender? In fact, there is currently no federal law protecting individuals from job discrimination based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.  Today, however, Senator Jeff Merkley, D. Ore., and Senator Mark Kirk, R. Ill. are reintroducing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.  ENDA is modeled on the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, religion, gender, national origin, and color. This bill would protect a group of people who have been historically, and are currently, discriminated against. In a nation which prides itself on opportunity, it is deplorable that hardworking Americans would be kept from supporting their families and contributing to the economy because of characteristics that have no bearing on their ability to do a job. But Congress has the opportunity to remedy this injustice by passing ENDA.  Take a stand against job discrimination - write your senators and urge them to co-sponsor ENDA.

 

Tell Congress to Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act!--Next Tuesday is Equal Pay Day, the day when an average woman's wages will catch up to those of her male counterparts in 2010. That's right — the wage gap equates to over THREE MONTHS' worth of women's work. A steep discount, and it's outrageous!  Fortunately, some of our allies in Congress think that the wage gap is as outrageous as we do. So in honor of Equal Pay Day, they are reintroducing the Paycheck Fairness Act on Tuesday!  Ask your Members of Congress to co-sponsor the Paycheck Fairness Act today!

 

Stop A New Financial Disaster!--Tell Congress: Repealing the Wall Street Reform Act will lead to future financial disasters and is totally unacceptable: [ http://act.aflcio.org/c/18/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=1736 ].
 

Say "No" to Life-Destroying Cuts!--The Republicans are winning the battle over the budget, hands down, even though what they're fighting for is, put simply, immoral. A cut of at least $400 million from a crucial program that puts food on the table for pregnant women and small children. Crippling the EPA. Completely eliminating funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, AmeriCorps, and high-speed rail. Instead of creating jobs, the Republican budget would destroy 700,000 of them. Our only hope is a public outcry strong enough to stiffen Democrats' spines and cause Republicans to back down.  Sign our petition to Congress and the president, asking them to say "no" to these brutal cuts.

 

Take Action to Protect Workers' Rights in WA!--Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said he wanted to balance the budget. But last night, Wisconsin Senate Republicans used a cheap political trick to rubber stamp the governor's attack on collective bargaining--and it won't save Wisconsin taxpayers one dime.  Now their true motive--paying back CEO campaign donors by stealing workers' rights to bargain for a middle-class life--is exposed for all to see.  Tell your WA lawmakers: Don't try this in my state. Attacks on collective bargaining will not stand. Politicians who ignore the will of the people will pay the price at the ballot box: [ http://act.aflcio.org/c/18/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=1691 ].

Tell ABC to Cut the Hypocrisy!--ABC World News With Diane Sawyer kicked off its "Made in America" series on February 28, encouraging consumers to buy U.S.-made products in order to spur job growth. But why focus on consumers and not major corporations like ABC parent Disney, who are the ones who actually choose to manufacture products overseas?  The February 28 report consisted of reporter David Muir touring one family's home, discovering that the vast majority of the family's possessions are not made in the United States. Muir even checks the children's toys, only to discover that they are mostly made in China.  Consumers, of course, do not choose where the products offered in their local stores are manufactured. Instead of focusing on what consumers should do with their limited choices, why not focus on the much more powerful decisions made by major corporations--like Disney? FAIR founder Jeff Cohen (CommonDreams, 2/27/11) checked the label at the Disney Store website:  What would be more helpful is a TV news series that scrutinizes the powerful U.S. corporations that make decisions every day determining what products mainstream Americans have access to.  I scrutinized Disney myself by going to DisneyStore.com -- "Official Site for Disney Merchandise." The first 40 products I looked at were all listed as "Imported."  As Muir put it at the close of the segment, "Economists say if we spent 1 percent more than what we're spending now on American goods, we could create 200,000 jobs immediately."  "That's 18 cents a day!" anchor Diane Sawyer exclaimed. The following night (3/1/11) Sawyer reiterated that point, telling viewers that spending just $64 a year will create 200,000 U.S. jobs.  Why is the focus on consumers--and not corporations? Will the ABC series talk about Disney, whose reliance on cheap labor is well-documented? The company's history is not encouraging. As FAIR pointed out (Action Alert, 11/20/00), ABC News killed critical investigations into Disney theme parks and sweatshops, evidence of a larger pattern: One ABC producer says that the need to avoid news stories that might displease Disney "comes up all the time" because "no one here wants to piss off the bosses" (New Yorker, 8/14/00).  The closest ABC came on February 28 to mentioning Disney was noting that the family being profiled lives on Snow White Drive.  ACTION: Tell ABC that its "Made in America" series should focus more attention on corporations like Disney that choose to rely on overseas labor in order to maximize profits.  CONTACT:  ABC World News with Diane Sawyer  Go to: http://abcnews.go.com/WN/MadeInAmerica/ And leave a comment in their "Share Your Thoughts on Made in America" section on the right-hand side of the screen.

 

Support Wisconsin Workers!--The Wisconsin 14—the brave Democratic state senators who left the state to stop the Republican attacks on workers—are under increasing pressure to return to Wisconsin.  Governor Walker is even threatening to lay off thousands of state workers to blackmail Democrats into coming back.1 And as soon as just one Democratic senator returns, Republicans will be able to jam through their terrible bill.  Unfortunately, over the last 24 hours there have been credible reports from blogs and local news reporters that this is imminent.These senators have been away from their homes and families for almost two weeks now, at great personal cost. Their bravery has made this whole fight possible, and it can't be easy. That's why we need to show them that they have the support of millions of progressives nationwide—and that as long as they stay strong, we'll stand with them.  Will you add your name to our emergency statement of support? We'll deliver your signatures and comments electronically, throughout the day, to the senators or their staffs, so they can see how much support they have.  Click here to add your name  for additional action on this issue, visit here: http://act.aflcio.org/c/18/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=1551

 

Stop Oppression of Louisiana Mayor!--It's like a scene from the 1960s — a Black mayor stepped out of line with powerful White politicians in a small Louisiana town, and it cost him his freedom. Now it's up to us to help win it back.  Bobby Higginbotham, mayor of Waterproof, LA, started making policies intended to bring the town more revenue and give it more control over police matters. In doing so, Higginbotham made mistakes, but he didn't commit any crimes. But District Attorney James Paxton took advantage of the errors to arrest Higginbotham on 44 trumped-up charges and install a political ally in his place.  After being forced to represent himself in trial, Higginbotham was convicted before a nearly all-White jury in a parish where the majority of residents are Black. This isn't the first time a Louisiana prosecutor has abused his power against Black folks who don't "know their place" — a similar scene played out in the case of the Jena Six. But if enough of us speak out, we can expose his behavior and help free the former mayor. Please join us in calling on Paxton to end his bogus prosecution of Bobby Higginbotham, and then ask your friends and family to do the same: http://act.colorofchange.org/sign/mayor

 

Join the Call to Impeach Justice Clarence Thomas!--Could it possibly get any worse? It just recently came to light that so-called "Citizens United", nothing more than a corporate sponsored astroturf lobbying organization, the very same group he ruled in favor of to decimate our campaign finance laws last year, was the driving force in paying for and running ads to promote the confirmation of Thomas himself to the Supreme Court.  The standard for a justice to step aside from hearing a particular case is supposed to be whether there might be an "appearance of impartiality". Yet here we have a member of the Supreme Court handing decisions to the people who were instrumental in putting him on the court in the first place. It is simply unacceptable to have a someone sitting on the Supreme Court with such patent contempt for simple
fairness.  Impeach Thomas Action Page:
http://www.peaceteam.net/action/pnum1076.php

 

Preserve UN Funding to Protect National Interests!--Last week we asked you to tell your Representative to say “no” to cutting UN funds in the House Continuing Resolution (CR). Unfortunately, the House did not listen -- and as a result, the CR passed by the House will withhold UN funding for peacekeeping, security, and global health programs.  House Republicans say we are saving money, but at what cost?  Tell your Senator to preserve full UN funding in the Senate version of the CR. Let them know this is important to you, your country, and your world.

Protect Vulnerable Families from Dangerous Cuts!--The budget blueprint for 2012 President Obama released this week includes cuts to important programs that could have a disproportionately negative impact on our most vulnerable populations.  We recognize the importance of controlling the nation’s debt, but it’s critical that these key federal programs continue to play their vital role.  Recent statistics continue to paint the picture of minority and low-income communities suffering tremendously from the recession.  Historically, these communities have also been the last to recover and, without support for important government programs, this year may be no different.  The Lawyers’ Committee is monitoring the budget debates closely and will be working with Congress to seek ways to maintain necessary support for vital federal programs, but we need your help!  Tell Congress we need to protect the most vulnerable residents in our communities!

 

Tell Congress to Oppose Cuts that will Hurt Families!--The Republican House leadership is proposing major cuts in programs that affect women and families. The House is expected to vote on this "continuing resolution" later this week.  Please help us fight back by sending a clear message to the House of Representatives — Vote against the Continuing Resolution.   The Continuing Resolution for FY 2011 proposed by House Republican leaders cuts supports for women and girls at every stage of life. It:

  • Eliminates the Title X family planning programs that provide funding for contraception and other preventive care to over five million women and men each year

  • Cuts Head Start and child care for 368,000 children

  • Cuts millions from nutrition programs for pregnant women and their children

  • Cuts funding for prenatal care

  • Eliminates funding for the Women’s Educational Equity Program that helps schools comply with Title IX

  • Cuts funding for Pell grants, which help low-income women afford college, by more than $800 per student

  • Cuts funding needed to keep Social Security offices open and for meals, housing, and other supports for elderly women

In addition, the Continuing Resolution also cuts funding for education, housing, food safety, environmental protection, and more.

Take action today and make sure your Representative opposes these drastic cuts.

 

Take Action for American Workers--STOP OUTSOURCING!---For years, America's political leaders have pursued unsustainable and unacceptable trade deals that decimate American jobs.  For all those years, there has been broad consensus that--at a bare minimum--people who lose their jobs because of unfair trade deals like NAFTA deserve help and training for finding new jobs. After all, it's the least our country can do for someone who works a lifetime in an industry, only to see his or her job shipped off to China, right?  But the basic bipartisan consensus to help people whose lives have been turned upside down by outsourcing ended yesterday, when the House Republican leadership abruptly refused to schedule a vote to extend help for victims of outsourcing.  The expiring program--called Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)--provides financial help and training for workers who lose their jobs or see their hours or wages reduced due to outsourcing, offshoring or increased imports.  Sign our electronic petition to Speaker Boehner. It says: "It's inexcusable that our leaders keep promoting policies to encourage outsourcing. Doing nothing for the victims of these policies is totally unacceptable." Go here:  http://act.aflcio.org/c/18/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=1384
 

  • Help Stop GOP from Re-Defining Rape!--Here's the deal: Right now, federal dollars can't be used for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or when the woman's life is in danger.  But the bill, introduced by Republican congressman Chris Smith, would narrow that use to "cases of 'forcible' rape but not statutory or coerced rape."  As far too many women know, bruises and broken bones do not define rape - a lack of consent does. This bill is scary - so I signed a petition telling Congress to stand up and oppose the bill. Can you join me at the link below?
    http://pol.moveon.org/smithbill/?r_by=-18507350-PG54u0x&rc=mailto.alt.fb.ads.ck.sb.SW2.3.A13

     
     

    Tell Congress to Stand Up for the UN!--The 112th Congress has been in session for just a few weeks, and some members of Congress are already targeting the United Nations.  Tell your Representative to stand up for the UN and the UN programs and agencies that support American and global interests.
     

    Tell Congress: Create Jobs Now!--What is the State of the Union? Unemployed!  14.5 million Americans are officially unemployed. Millions more have given up looking.  Yet the Tea Party Republican Congress wants to slash jobs to give bigger tax cuts to the rich.  Tell Congress: Create Jobs Now! http://democrats.com/create-jobs-now

     

    Take Action to Insure Human Rights--Corporations are not People!--Corporations aren't people. We all know that. But in last year's Citizens United decision, the Supreme Court gave corporations the same First Amendment rights as you and me. And in the last election, we saw what this corporate takeover of our democracy looks like.  We must take our democracy back. So starting today, on the one-year anniversary of Citizens United, we're asking every state legislator in the country to support the most direct remedy we have left to correct the Supreme Court's awful decision: a constitutional amendment clarifying that corporations are not people.  Can you sign the petition to your state legislators asking them to support a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens UnitedPlease click here to sign the petition: http://pol.moveon.org/constitutionalamendment/?id=25870-5425778-Z.EoNdx&t=3

     

    Tell Pres. Obama to Protect and Strengthen Social Security!--Next week, President Obama will make his annual State of the Union address. It’s important that he use the speech to send a clear message to those who want to put Social Security on the chopping block: Social Security should be strengthened — not cut! President Obama has opposed cutting and privatizing Social Security before. But we need him to speak out now in support of protecting and strengthening it. Tell President Obama: Women Are Counting on You to Fight for Social Security!

     

    A Call for Legitimate Debate and an End to Hate!--The tragedy in Tucson has shaken us all to the core. Facts are still coming in, and we all must be careful not to jump to premature conclusions. But in the wake of this disaster one thing is clear: We must put an end to the rhetoric of violence and hate that has exploded in America over the past two years.  That's why we're launching a petition calling on every member of Congress, as well as the major TV and cable news networks, to put an end to the hateful rhetoric and all overt or implied appeals to violence. Click here to sign the petition:  http://pol.moveon.org/debatenothate?id=25761-5425778-LjLRJLx&t=3

     

    Extend ONLY Middle Class Tax Cuts Action Page: http://www.peaceteam.net/action/pnum1062.php

     

    Take Action to Stop Secret Election Spending Now!--Spending on this year's election didn't just break records, it obliterated them. $4 billion in total.In the wake of Citizens United, corporations like ExxonMobil and AIG can give hundreds of millions of dollars to a shadowy front group to swing an election. And they can do so in 100% secrecy.  Imagine how this election could have changed if voters knew which corporations were supporting Republican candidates with anonymous attack ads against Democrats.  Earlier this year Congress nearly passed a bill—the DISCLOSE Act—that would force front groups to let voters know which corporations and CEOs are funding their political attacks.  The bill came up short because some Republican senators said they didn't want to pass the common sense measure until after the election.2 Now that the election is over we have an opportunity to pass this bill, but it won't happen unless we push hard on Congress to act before the end of the year.  Click here to tell Congress to pass the DISCLOSE Act and end secret political spending:  http://pol.moveon.org/discloseact?id=25122-5425778-qsOxgKx&t=3

     

    Take Action to Reduce Child Care Costs in WA!--Thousands of working families across Washington are about to lose their lifeline: Their child care.  Governor Chris Gregoire is proposing to cut $14.78 million in child care funding.  These cuts could leave thousands of parents without child care - in a time when many families are already stretched to the limit.  Tell the Washington Department of Early Learning not to allow cuts to this critical funding. Make sure they know just how important child care is to working families:  http://action.momsrising.org/go/416?akid=2339.179534.YnQAee&t=4
     

    Take Action Now to Stop Injustice and Impunity!--Last week SOA Watch founder Fr. Roy Bourgeois, and SOAW's Partnership America Latina (PAL) Director, Lisa Sullivan, returned from La Paz, Bolivia. Fr. Roy and Lisa had traveled to La Paz, upon invitation, to accompany Bolivians who have been struggling to bring those responsible for a bloody tragedy known as "Black October" to justice.  In a powerful report back written upon returning to the U.S., Lisa writes:  That tragedy, known as "Black October" took place 2003, in El Alto...The spark was the decision of President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada ("Goni") to bring in private companies to pipe gas - Bolivia's greatest natural resource - to the U.S., via Chile...Goni's formula and promises of "trickle down" were nothing new. However, the base of political power among Bolivia's native population was new, thanks to the massive influx of people into the new booming city of El Alto...Thus, when a protest against the gas sale in an outlying small town met with government repression, massive protests and blockades ensued in El Alto. In response, Goni issued Supreme Decree #27209 which sent the military to escort gas trucks to La Paz. Within hours, 30 were dead from the military free-for-all, and within days the number rose to 67, with over 400 wounded. Outrage against the government ensued, and on Oct. 17th, Goni and his Defense Minister Sánchez Berzaín fled the country for the United States, where they currently reside in Chevy Chase, Maryland and Miami respectively.  Since 2003...  The "victims" organization (The Steering Committee for the Trial of Responsibility of Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada and his Accomplices), however, has done remarkable things...They have moved through mountains of red tape to bring to trial in Bolivia the 5 high level generals responsible for Black October, two of them SOA graduates, along with 2 of Goni's ministers. In November 2008 the Bolivian government served the U.S. State Department with an official extradition order for Goni and Sánchez Berzaín. For the past year, a trial by Bolivia's Supreme Court has been unfolding in the capital of Sucre, and a verdict is expected soon.  The moment has come for us to join our Bolivian sisters and brothers in the struggle. We must make it clear to the State Department that the United States is not a place of refuge for criminals like Goni and Berzaín!  Click here to take action NOW!

     

    Take Action for Women's Rights!--Women get short-changed every day. We’re paid less than men. We struggle to afford child care. As we age, we’re at greater risk of poverty. Women need real economic security — good jobs with fair pay, decent child care and a secure retirement. Because when women thrive, so do our families, our communities and the economy.  Advocating for common-sense policy solutions to help women and their families in these difficult economic times is essential. That’s why we’re launching a new public awareness effort — Stop Discounting Women. Our goal is to educate and mobilize the public to help bridge the economic inequalities women face.  And the first target of our effort is to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act! With the rallying cry “Women Are Not Worth Less,” we are launching a major social media campaign and continuing our national advocacy to ensure immediate action on the Paycheck Fairness Act in September.  Join us! Take the I Am Not Worth Less pledge to help make sure our Senators stop discounting women’s needs and women’s paychecks!

     

    Tell The Senate to Say "No" to Permanent US Bases in Afghanistan!--This week, Walter Pincus reported in the Washington Post that despite growing public opposition to the war in Afghanistan, and despite President Obama's pledge to begin withdrawing troops in July 2011, "[t]hree $100 million air base expansions in southern and northern Afghanistan illustrate Pentagon plans to continue building multimillion-dollar facilities in that country to support increased U.S. military operations well into the future." [1]   But Pincus also reported that while the House has approved the money for this "enduring base" construction, the Senate has yet to vote on it.  Will you join us in urging the Senate to reject or restrict this funding for "enduring" U.S. military bases in Afghanistan? You can write to your two Senators here: 
    http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/afghanistanbases

     

    Working people need a tough and effective champion in charge of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Urge President Obama to nominate Elizabeth Warren--http://act.aflcio.org/c/18/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=593

     

    Tell Your Representative to Save Jobs!--http://act.aflcio.org/c/18/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=407

     

    Take Action for Net Neutrality!--Big news: according to reports, Google is about to cut a terrible deal with Verizon that would end the fair, open Internet as we know it.The reported Google-Verizon deal would allow giant corporations to control which websites load quickly and easily on the Internet and dump everyone else onto an Internet slow lane. This is exactly the kind of unequal playing field that Google itself has opposed in the past.2  We only have a few days to stop it, so we're launching a grassroots protest calling on Google to scuttle the deal. Will you sign our emergency petition to Google? Click here to sign: http://pol.moveon.org/google/?id=22335-5425778-RLxbGWx&t=4

     

    Take Action to Protect Social Security!--You can't make this stuff up. The economy is in shambles, unemployment is at record levels and home foreclosures are soaring. Congress can't get it together to act on these issues. But there's growing momentum in Washington to—wait for it—slash Social Security?  Believe it. Republicans are campaigning on benefit cuts. Conservative Democrats like Steny Hoyer are echoing their talking points.Everyone's counting on the Deficit Commission to do the dirty work. The commission is stacked with conservatives who've embraced cutting Social Security, and both houses of congress promised to fast-track a vote on its recommendations.2 3 That means that even though no jobs bill can pass congress right now, Social Security cuts might.  To stop the cuts, we need to send a crystal-clear message to members of Congress: Americans reject benefit cuts, and we expect them to do the same. Can you sign our promise to oppose cuts to Social Security? We'll use your signature to pressure them to sign a pledge protecting Social Security while they're home in Washington for recess. But we need a strong response to make our point. Click below to add your name:  http://pol.moveon.org/sspetition/index.html?id=22309-1229593-bU1zuAx&t=3

     

    Tell Congress To Protect Medicaid and Food Stamps for America's Most Needy!--A minority of Senators are forcing their colleagues to make the impossible choice between slashing Medicaid programs or cutting food stamps for the most vulnerable women and families.  Tell your Senators to ensure the neediest women and families continue to have access to health care by extending Medicaid funding to the states, but without slashing critical funding for food stamps.

     

    Stop Funding War!--In the wake of 90,000 leaked documents finally exposing the truth of how completely misguided the occupation of Afghanistan is, and how badly it's really going, the New York Times is reporting that "In Congress, House leaders were rushing to hold a vote on a critical war-financing bill as early as Tuesday, fearing that the disclosures could stoke Democratic opposition to the measure."  Stop The Afghanistan War Funding Action Page: http://www.peaceteam.net/action/pnum1053.php  (No more money for fighting until all military families housed, fed, and debt-free). 

     

    Make Sure Food Labels Are Accurate!--It simply isn't right to take advantage of new parents when they're vulnerable. But baby formula companies are doing just that.  And this is especially wrong because empty infant formula advertising claims undermine evidence-based messages like "breastfeeding is best for babies."  This has got to be fixed, and we have a chance right now to change the way these infant formula companies and other food manufacturers do business so that parents get the facts, and not just empty hype on labels.  Tell your Senator that the Child Nutrition Act should include independent scientific reviews of formula and other foods so parents can make the best choices for their infants.  http://action.momsrising.org/go/WIC/282?akid=2222.179534.ZoYRDC&t=4

     

    Take Action to Help the Downsized!--Imagine that your two-year-old son is diagnosed with Leukemia. You think it can't get any worse and then your husband loses his job. Now, six months later he's still desperately trying to find work and Congress is cutting off his unemployment benefits--despite the fact that there are still five applicants for every available job in this country.  That's what's happening to Autumn, a MomsRising member from West Virginia, and to 2.1 million other Americans in similarly desperate situations who have been cut off from their unemployment insurance benefits.  Members of Congress are returning to Washington D.C. this week after their 4th of July break. Tell them that failing to extend unemployment insurance and fiscal relief to the states is driving millions of families to the edge and threatening the economic recovery for all of us.  http://action.momsrising.org/go/UI_2010/262?akid=2194.179534.GTN9PU&t=4

     

    Take Action for Fair Pay!--Children have an innate sense of fairness. If I tried to pay one of my sons 77 cents to wash my car and the other a dollar, I'd never hear the end of it. Right now, Congress is deciding what to put on its agenda for the June work period so it's time for each of us to get in touch with our inner child and demand fair pay!  Tell your Senators to co-sponsor and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act now!  http://action.momsrising.org/go/fairpay_5/164?akid=2130.179534.Goub04&t=4

     

    Take a Stand for Academic Integrity!--Have you heard about what's going on here in Texas? History is being rewritten. And not in a good way.  The state of Texas sets national standards for school textbooks -- and on Friday, the State Board of Education is casting its vote on updated social studies and history textbooks.  Those books are changing the record on slavery, celebrating the Confederacy and shedding a positive light on Jim Crow laws. And the Texas NAACP has spent the past several months fighting back. We've written thousands of emails, placed hundreds of calls, and people are starting to notice.  I'm writing because we need your help. No matter the result of tomorrow's vote, make sure these bad ideas don't spread into your state. Sign the Not in My State Pledge:  http://action.naacp.org/NotInMyState

     

    Tell Congress to Help Working Families Now!--Congress is trying to use a bucket to stop a flood ― and it’s not working.  Over 15 million Americans are still unemployed, and nearly half have been out of work for six months or more. States have already cut health care, education, child care, domestic violence shelters, and other vital services ― and deeper cuts and major layoffs of teachers and others who provide these services are looming. At the same time, additional federal support for struggling families and states provided by the Recovery Act, including extended unemployment insurance benefits, COBRA subsidies for health insurance coverage, additional federal support for Medicaid and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families ― will soon run out. While the economy is beginning to add jobs, it will take years to recover the millions of jobs that have been lost. Families and states have exhausted any reserves they had. Yet, Congress is stalling as the economic picture for state and local governments is worsening. Tell Members of Congress to stop standing by while states are drowning!

     

    Take Action for Human Rights and Workers' Rights!--I sent you a message last week asking you to support Carmelo Agamez and other human rights activists unjustly detained in Colombia.  Now we're hearing that the Prosecutor General could decide on his appeal any day. We need to ask the State Department to pressure Colombia on Agamez's case before this decision is made.  Sign our petition TODAY to urge that Agamez and other Colombian activists be treated fairly.

     

    Tell Congress to Break Up the Big Banks!--America's four largest banks - Citibank, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and WellsFargo - have assets of $7.4 trillion, equal to 52% of our entire GDP.  The collapse of any one would endanger the American economy, even the world economy. They are truly "too big to fail." They also have too much economic and political power because of their enormous size.  Tell Congress: Break Up the Big Banks Now  http://www.democrats.com/break-up-the-banks-now

     

    Demand Poison-Free Food for American Families!--After way too many food recalls and contamination scares in everything from peanut butter to spinach, Congress is taking action. The U.S. Senate is about to consider a critical food safety bill that would ramp up protections against food contaminants like E.coli and salmonella. This is already an incredibly important bill for moms and families, and it is backed by unusually strong bipartisan support- but there’s even more to this story.  In addition to addressing the potential risks of accidental food contamination, the Senate is also poised to address other hidden dangers lurking inside most food cans. Specifically, the Senate could address the food packaging additive Bisphenol-A (BPA), which leaches from bottles and cans into our food and our kids, causing significant health risks. MomsRising has been working hard across the country to protect our kids from BPA exposure. Now we have a unique opportunity to include a BPA phase-out, along with these other measures for making food safer, in the Food Safety bill- and we need your help TODAY to make it happen.  Urge your U.S. Senators to co-sponsor the Ban Poisonous Additives Act that will ban BPA from food and beverage containers – and then ask them to support amending it to the Food Safety Modernization Act so everyone, especially our kids, will be protected.   http://action.momsrising.org/go/letter_27254/103?akid=2051.179534.2bi59i&t=4

     

    NEW YORK STATE FACES INVOLUNTARY OUTPATIENT TORTURE BECOMING PERMANENT.  YOU CAN HELP STOP IT.--On Tuesday, April 27, 2010, WE THE PEOPLE and allies will be meeting with Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, Chair of the Mental Health Subcommittee to oppose Involuntary Outpatient Torture being made permanent or being extended. "Kendra's Law" which exhibits structural and institutional racism and classism was suppose to sunset in June 2010 - and the new proposed aw is even more social control than its previous version.  The proposed new law includes provisions such as increasing the original court order from 6 months to one year; not requiring doctor testimony, requiring fiscal management, allowing an expired order to be renewed 60 days after it expires without needing a new hearing, and viewing "non-compliance" with drugs, urine or blood tests, or drugs and alcohol use as grounds for "dangerousness".   Hundreds of millions of tax-payer dollars have been spent on Kendra's Law legislation, which was first enacted in 1999 after a young woman - Kendra Webdale - died when struck by a train after being pushed off a subway platform by Andrew Goldstein. The law allowed for people who were accused of "mental illness" but not considered a present danger to be court ordered to receive outpatient drug treatment.  Andrew Goldstein was an individual who had been institutionalized and drugged. After he was released from lock-up he sought voluntary outpatient treatment. However, he was repeatedly turned away by "mental health" treatment providers. He received no compassion, - no support, - no services, - not even the medications he was accustomed to and was willing to take. He was refused help- and then pushed Kendra Webdale - and then got attention. He would not even have qualified or been subject to the law named after his victim.  This law is just an attempt to draw attention away from the real problem, which is lack of real help and assistance from providers, and a knee-jerk response of social control and blaming the victim.  WE THE PEOPLE are survivors and escapees of the current treatment methods of organized psychiatry. WE THE PEOPLE maintain that too many people have been victimized by experimentation, drugging, and electro-convulsive "therapy". They continue to state national statistics that people who have been treated as "mentally ill" die an average of 25 to 30 years younger than their contemporaries.  WE THE PEOPLE view the "mental illness industry" as cruel, costly, powerful, and profitable. As citizens of the United States we maintain that the human rights of ALL people must be protected and promoted. When the needs of people are met, force is not necessary. Forced drugging and unwanted "treatment" is torture. We will be heard.  ACTION: Please sign on your support and offer comments on your opinion at http://www.NoIOC.org

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    Take Action for Working Families!--"Many folks don't have access to any kind of family leave policies whatsoever, no flexible working arrangements, many people don't even have a paid sick day. So they are struggling…scrambling to make things work…As we all know, here today, it just doesn't have to be that way.  It doesn't have to be that hard…" [1]

    Sound familiar?  No, it's not a quote from last week's email from MomsRising; it's First Lady Michelle Obama talking yesterday at a White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility.

    Yes!  Brava!  The policies that she lists in her speech are exactly what we all need to meet the demands of today's 21st century economy where women are now half the labor force. Now, let's make sure Congress heard this message loud and clear.

    *Tell Congress: We need you to take action and finally pass policies including paid family and medical leave, flexible work options,  and paid sick days now for the new 21st century workforce!
    http://action.momsrising.org/go/Flexibility_Forum/51?akid=1977.179534.Ydlq9X&t=4

     

     

    Tell Congress to Highlight the Human Costs of War!--In the next few weeks, Congress is expected to be asked to approve $33 billion more for war and occupation in Afghanistan. When Congress debates more money for war, it's an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the human cost of continuing war and occupation.  Will you urge your representatives in Congress to use the debate over the war supplemental to talk about the human cost of the war, both for Americans and for Afghans? You can send your representatives recent press reports about the death toll by using the following link:  http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/humancost

     

    Deeply Disturbing Retro-Hate-ism--Speak Out Now!--Last weekend, anti-health care protesters were out in force in Washington—and some of their behavior was deeply disturbing.  A crowd of tea partiers shouted the "n word" at Congressman John Lewis, a former civil rights leader who marched with Dr. King. They yelled homophobic epithets at Rep. Barney Frank, an openly gay congressman. And one protester actually spat on a Black member of Congress.Then this week, Democrats who voted for reform began receiving death threats—one had a coffin left on his lawn and another was told snipers would kill the children of lawmakers who voted yes.2 Several Democrats had their district offices vandalized, and a gas line was cut at a home that tea partiers mistakenly believed belonged to Rep. Tom Perriello.A few Republicans have spoken out against the racism and violence, but most are still treating them as "isolated incidents."4 They are not isolated. They've been part of Republican-supported tea parties for almost a year and they're a natural consequence of telling people that reform is a totalitarian plot.It's an outrage, and no American should tolerate it. So we're joining with our friends at Color of Change to stand up to the hate. Can you add your name to this letter asking Republican leaders to unequivocally condemn bigotry, hate, and violence among their supporters? http://pol.moveon.org/condemnhate/?id=19573-1229593-2U6GmRx&t=3

     

    Tell Your Senators to Stand Up For Families!--"All of my years of experience and knowledge holds no water in today's economy. I've applied to over 1000 jobs, near and far, and am competing for jobs with hundreds of people, young, old, experienced, inexperienced, etc."  That's the experience of MomsRising Member, Rebecca, a single mom in California. The New York Times dubs these families in crisis, like Rebecca's, the “new poor.” They are middle class families “who are now relying on public assistance for the first time in their lives.”[1]  This Friday our U.S. Senators plan to leave Washington D.C. to enjoy spring break. But there is one more critical thing they need to do before they leave: Extend unemployment insurance for families.  It's not vacation time yet for Congress!  Urge your Senators to do one last critical task for working families before they leave for vacation: http://action.momsrising.org/go/unemployment_insurance/40?akid=1827.179534.lU7ASe&t=4
     

     

    Tell Toyota to Stop Funding Groups that Lobby Against Automobile Safety Standards!--Toyota wants customers to believe that safety is it's number one priority. The company president even went on TV to apologize to customers for its recent problems.1 So why is Toyota funding lobbyists who oppose auto safety standards?  Toyota is a funder of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which for years has fought efforts in Congress to strengthen car safety protections.2 It's time to call them out. With so much public attention focused on their safety record right now, Toyota can't afford to ignore a public outcry.  Can you sign our petition urging Toyota to quit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce? Clicking here will add your name to our petition: http://pol.moveon.org/chamber/toyota2/o.pl?id=18936-1229593-r3f4YCx&t=3

     

    Tell Merck CEO Richard T. Clark to the do the right thing on AIDS and lower the price of the company’s latest HIV/AIDS drug, Isentress.--

    • Priced at an eye-popping $13,000 per patient per year, Isentress is now one of the most expensive first line AIDS drugs ever in the U.S.

    • The high price of Isentress and other new AIDS medications are bankrupting AIDS Drug Assistance Programs which provide lifesaving medications for poor Americans.

    • Merck charges African countries 20 times more for Isentress than other AIDS drugs in Africa.

    Please take a few minutes to send the e-letter below to Merck CEO Richard T. Clark asking him to do the right thing on AIDS and lower the price of Isentress.  Click here to send your letter now! 

     

    Take Action Against Anthem Blue Cross!--Blue Cross has just announced that it's immediately raising premiums charged to hundreds of thousands of individual customers by as much as 39%—even though their parent company's profits soared to a record $4.7 billion last year.1 Even worse, the insurer has so far refused to explain why they're increasing their rates, and warned that they might do so again this year without warning.  The Obama administration is demanding answers from Anthem Blue Cross, and Congress has opened an investigation.2 But Blue Cross is only going to respond if this story becomes a major public-relations problem for them.  So it's time to turn up the heat. Let's join the growing call for an explanation and send a powerful public message that these abuses by Big Insurance are unacceptable.   Clicking here will add your name to the petition:  http://pol.moveon.org/bluecross/o.pl?id=18913-5425778-ZUleJ.x&t=3

     

    Take Action to Clean Up the United States Supreme Court!--This is the third in our series of lambasts against the various multitude of gross errors in the ruling by the Supreme Court 5 (Roberts, Kennedy, Alito, Scalia & Thomas) to turn corporations into super citizens. The first alert addressed their constructive treason in expressly empowering foreign corporations to speak in our elections, the second vivisected their haste and derelict abandonment of all prudent procedure.  Be sure to submit the two action pages on this issue from which we are just starting to build the movement and political will to repudiate the rogue Supreme Court 5.

    Action Page: Corporations Are NOT The People
    http://www.peaceteam.net/action/pnum1029.php

    Action Page: Impeach The Supreme Court 5
    http://www.peaceteam.net/action/pnum1030.php

     

    TELL THE NY MTA: HANDS OFF STUDENT PASSES! NO CUTS ON ACCESS-A-RIDE USERS!--Sign the petition: http://www.bailoutpeople.org/savestudentmtapasses.shtml

     

     

    Take Action for a Public Option in Healthcare Reform!--Hi. I'm Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor under President Clinton and currently a professor at the University of California. You've probably heard about a possible "deal" in the Senate to do away with the public option.  I'm here to tell you that this is no deal: it's a gift to Big Insurance, plain and simple.   The details are sketchy. The only thing that's really clear is the deal would drop the public option from the bill. With no public option, there's no guarantee of real competition. And without real competition, health care costs will continue to be out of control.  But the deal is far from done. If voters generate a massive outcry around this and progressive leaders in Congress fight back, we can fix it.  Can you sign a petition to leaders in Congress and the White House right away? Click here to add your name: http://pol.moveon.org/gift/?id=18251-1229593-zPy3TCx&t=5

     

    DROP ALL CHARGES AGAINST SHARON BLACK-CECI, STEVEN CECI AND PATRICK ALLEN NOW! STOP POLICE ATTACKS ON ALL POLITICAL ACTIVISTS!--Take Action Today: Sign the online petition here

     

    Take Action Against the US Chamber of Commerce for Covering Up Rape!--In 2005, Jamie Leigh Jones was working for a private contractor in Iraq when she was brutally gang-raped by coworkers.1 Four years later, Jamie is still being denied justice.  Jamie can't file U.S. criminal charges because the rape took place overseas, and a fine-print clause in her contract takes away her right to file a lawsuit in the U.S.2  Why? Because big corporations, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have worked for years to prevent workers from suing their employers in almost any circumstance, even sexual assault.3  The good news is that a bipartisan group in Congress is working to protect the rights of rape victims like Jamie. But, shockingly, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is fighting it.  They sent a letter to Congress saying that it would "set a dangerous precedent" to allow rape victims into court.4 The worst news? The Chamber has enough clout to tie up the bill for years, unless we fight back.  Clicking here will add your name to our petition telling the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to stop opposing the rights of rape victims: http://pol.moveon.org/chamber/rape/o.pl?id=17972-1229593-RPAHm_x&t=4

     

    Call Out Senators Who Defy Public!--Yesterday Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee voted against a public option. The reason given by Chairman Max Baucus?  Well, he says there are Democrats in the Senate who would join with Republicans to filibuster such a bill.  Harry Reid, the majority leader of the Senate, needs to tell us which Democrats think they can stand with the Republicans and filibuster a public option.  Those Democrats are the only roadblock to a public option in the Senate, and we need to know who they are.  We have 60 Democratic Senators.  So what's the problem?  Sign our petition to Senator Harry Reid: we need to know which Democrats want to filibuster a public option with Republicans.

    Take Action for Insurance Reform!--Dawn is a few years younger than me. She lives in Atlanta. She's an aspiring playwright. And four years ago, she was diagnosed with a rare, but treatable brain tumor.  Dawn's doctors are ready to treat the tumor, but they can't. CIGNA, her insurer, refuses to pay for the care she needs because the only hospitals qualified to treat her are out-of-network.  And after years of fighting, Dawn just received her final denial letter.  For me, the scariest thing about Dawn's story is that it could happen to any of us—to a friend of mine, or someone in my family. After all, Dawn has insurance. But as long as private insurers are the only game in town, they'll continue to have the power to deny Americans the care they need.  Dawn is fighting back. And while CIGNA may be able to ignore Dawn, they won't be able to ignore millions of us standing together with her. I'm joining Dawn's fight to shine a light on Big Insurance's abusive tactics, get Dawn the care she needs, and make sure they don't do this to anyone ever again. Will you join me by signing a statement of support? Clicking below will add your name: http://pol.moveon.org/dawnsmith/o.pl?id=17262-1229593-0plQs0x&t=3

    Take Action Against Corporate Welfare!--Please use DownsizeDC.org's Educate the Powerful System (sm) to send your Congressional employees another message opposing corporate bailouts.

     

    Is Karl Rove Back?!--Last week a special interest lobbying firm with ties to dirty energy companies1 was caught sending forged letters to a Democratic congressman's office—urging him to oppose clean energy legislation.The letters claimed to be from a Hispanic non-profit called Creciendo Juntos and the local chapter of the NAACP. The only problem? Neither group had ever seen the letters, much less sent them.3Faking letters from ethnic groups to oppose progressive legislation? It's like Karl Rove is back running the show.  This incident could be just the tip of the iceberg—one small part of a coordinated campaign to undermine the president's agenda. The House of Representatives has started to investigate how far this scam goes—but with allegations this serious, this is a federal criminal matter.4Can you sign our petition asking the Department of Justice to investigate whether the lobbying firm committed fraud? Clicking here will add your name: http://pol.moveon.org/roveisback/o.pl?id=16707-5425778-dH2LMrx&t=9

     

    Stand in Solidarity Against Racism!--Stop Racial Profiling and Police Brutality!  Prof. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Was Right!  The Cambridge Cops Must Apologize!  Youth Need Jobs & Schools - Not Jails!  Demand a Justice Department Investigation of Racial Profiling Across the US  Sign the Online Petition here. Let President Obama, Attorney General Holder, Massachusetts Governor Patrick, Cambridge Mayor Simmons, the Cambridge City Council, Cambridge Police Commissioner Haas, Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano, the Senate and House Judiciary Committees, Congressional Leaders and members of the media know you stand against racism with Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and you want the Obama administration to launch a national investigation into racial profiling and police brutality NOW! http://www.bailoutpeople.org/gatespetition.shtml

     

    Take Action Against Outdated and Racist Segregation in Philadelphia!--Two weeks ago outside Philadelphia, sixty-five children from a summer camp tried to go swimming at a club their camp had a contract to use. Evidently, the club didn't know the kids were largely Black.  When the campers entered the pool, White parents took their kids out of the water, and the swimming club's staff asked the campers to leave. The next day, the club told the summer camp that their membership would be canceled and that they would refund their money. When asked why, the club's leader said the "kids would change the complexion ... and the atmosphere of the club."1 A "Whites only" pool in 2009 should not be tolerated. The club's actions appear to be a violation of section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act.2 Whether or not any laws were violated, a "Whites only" pool should be something every American condemns.  Please join us in doing exactly that, and please email your friends and family and invite them to do the same. Your signature will also be used to call on the Department of Justice to evaluate suing the facility under federal law. It takes just a moment to do both, here: http://www.colorofchange.org/swim/?id=2298-57723

     

    Take Action for Palestinian Relief!--The seizure of humanitarian supplies and abduction of human rights workers is an act of piracy, a crime under international law.  When the boat was attacked, it was not in Israeli waters and was on a human rights mission to Gaza.  Israel's deliberate and premeditated attack on an unarmed boat in international waters is a clear violation of international law.  The U.S. government and corporate media has largely ignored or buried this story due to racism against Cynthia McKinney and the people of Palestine.  It is up to us to get the word out.  According to an International Committee of the Red Cross report released yesterday, the Palestinians living in Gaza are "trapped in despair." Thousands of Gazans whose homes were destroyed earlier during Israel's December/January massacre are still without shelter despite pledges of almost $4.5 billion in aid, because Israel refuses to allow cement and other building material into the Gaza Strip. The report also notes that hospitals are struggling to meet the needs of their patients due to Israel's disruption of medical supplies.This act of terrorism by the Israeli Occupation Forces against an unarmed vessel is a clear attempt to scare people away from showing solidarity with the people of Gaza.  We must take action now! Here's how you can help:    Sign the Online Petition -http://www.iacenter.org/palestine/gazashippetition

     

    Take Action for Healthcare Reform!--A public health insurance option is the heart of real health care reform. And with the right wing united against it, we need to show Congress just how many Americans stand with Obama on this. Can you sign the petition supporting Obama and the public health insurance option? Clicking here will sign your name: http://pol.moveon.org/popetition/o.pl?id=16294-1229593-SdpKGdx&t=3

    Ask Congress to Repeal REAL ID Act!--Jim Harper, at the Cato Institute, alerts us to new dangers on the national ID front.  The so-called Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and certain politicians, are trying multiple ways to impose a national ID card on us, even though the American people have made it very clear we don't want it.  One under-handed scheme started with the passage of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which requires law abiding U.S. citizens to have either a passport or an enhanced drivers license to cross the Mexican or Canadian borders. An "enhanced drivers license"...

    * Is an initiative of the DHS that has NO Congressional mandate
    * Will require you to undergo a security interview, pay a fee, and get a new federal ID number (in addition to your Social Security number)
    * Has an RFID chip that can be read at a distance, up to 30 feet away, even while it's in your wallet!

    Now things are being rigged to move citizens in the direction of the enhanced drivers license.  The problem starts with the fact that passports are too expensive. The high price gives people an incentive to pay for the enhanced drivers license, which is about half the cost. The Government Accounting Office had already issued a report saying that the $100 price for a passport didn't need to be that high, but...  Now they've raised the price even higher. Representative Paul Opsommer of Michigan suspects the purpose of this is to drive even more people to get the cheaper (but more dangerous) enhanced drivers license.   Please notice that all of this is being driven NOT by Congress, but by un-elected bureaucrats in the DHS and the State Department. But that doesn't mean Congress is blameless. Congress is doing nothing to reign in the bureaucrats, plus, some are even working to make things worse. For instance...  Something called the PASS Act is being crafted to revive the Real ID concept, under a new name, and companies like L-1 Identity Solutions, which stands to benefit, are almost certainly lobbying hard to make it happen. We must lobby just as intensely in the other direction.   Please send your Congressional employees a message asking them once again to repeal the REAL ID Act.

    Stop TeenScreen and Big Pharma from Drugging Women and Children by Forcible "Mental Health" Treatment!--Please write President Obama and your Congresspersons demanding no funding be given for forced treatment of women and children.  TeenScreen and the "New Freedom" Initiative and Council need to be stopped immediately.  Learn more by clicking here.

     

    Tell Congress to Break Up the Banks and Stop Monopolies!--Please sign our petition to Congress: http://www.democrats.com/break-up-the-banks?cid=ZGVtczYwODkxZGVtcw==

     

    Not Only Does Bybee Show No Remorse, He'd Write The Same Torture Memos AGAIN!--First they floated sympathetic stories that Jay Bybee, currently a lifetime appellate judge for the 9th Circuit, had "private regrets" about his role in writing the torture memos. But when he finally and actually opened his own mouth in public yesterday, he declared he still believed they represented a "good faith analysis of the law". In other words, given a chance, he'd do the same thing again today, in exactly the same way. This is beyond outrageous. No contrition, no remorse, just the same self-serving self-justification which led to him signing off on indefensible and long settled war crimes in the first place. He is practically shouting at us, "Stop me before I write another legal atrocity!" Which he will, over and over, if not removed from the federal bench immediately. For the second time this week we agree with the N.Y. Times. If he is not capable of enough shame to resign, he must be impeached. Impeach Bybee Action Page: http://www.peaceteam.net/action/pnum980.php

     

    Take a Stand for Diplomacy!--Folks, usually we speak out on questions that are already at issue, something about to be voted on in Congress, about which there is an active conversation in the media, or whatever. But from time to time we need to demonstrate the leadership to call for something that SHOULD be on the table, as a means of PUTTING it there. As a candidate Obama ran on a platform of talking to our enemies. This principle needs to be extended to the State Department in all respects. It's time we had full diplomatic relations with all countries of the world where our diplomats can have safe and secure embassies. Why is it that we have to ask the Swiss to play intermediary when there is some kind of incident or misunderstanding with those we don't talk to, when we need to be talking to everyone directly ourselves? Are the Swiss more mature about foreign policy than we are? A perfect example is all over the news this week, the case of Roxana Saberi, a brilliant US/Iranian journalist who was just sentenced to 8 years in prison by a kangaroo court in Iran, with nobody from her own country there to protect her interests. It is not just Iran. Cuba and North Korea are other countries we have had multi-decade long snits with, and they haven't gone out of business yet because we would not talk to them. We need a new policy at the State Department with an open door to diplomatic relations with anyone with no preconditions. Diplomatic Relations Action Page: http://www.peaceteam.net/action/pnum975.php

     

    Take A Stand Against Torture!--On Thursday, President Obama released memos that describe, in horrific detail, the torture techniques authorized by the Bush administration. The memos make clear that top Bush officials didn't just condone torture—they encouraged it.  So far there's been no accountability for the architects of Bush's torture program—the top officials who justified keeping detainees awake for 11 days straight, waterboarding them repeatedly, and forcing prisoners into coffin-like boxes with insects.1 We need real consequences for those responsible—it's the only way to keep this from happening again.  Attorney General Holder can open an investigation into the torture program—but he most likely won't unless people everywhere speak up and demand it.   Can you sign our petition to Attorney General Eric Holder asking him to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the torture program?  If we can reach 200,000 signatures, we'll deliver the petition to Holder by the end of the week.  Clicking here will sign your name:  http://pol.moveon.org/torture/o.pl?id=15951-5425778-ntOdnWx&t=3

    Tell Congress No Amnesty for Torturers!--On Thursday, President Obama stood up to intense pressure from rightwingers by releasing four of the infamous "torture memos." This is an enormous victory for those of us who worked so hard to elect President Obama, while also working tirelessly to defend the Constitution against the crimes of Bush and Cheney.  Unfortunately, President Obama also said he would not prosecute CIA agents who engaged in torture, simply because George Bush's lawyers told them it was "legal." President Obama also said Attorney General Eric Holder would use taxpayer dollars to defend torturers against lawsuits by torture victims, and to pay all judgments if they lost.  Tell Congress: No Amnesty for Torturers http://www.democrats.com/no-amnesty-for-torturers?cid=ZGVtczYwODkxZGVtcw==

     

    It's Time to Say "You're Fired!"--Last week the Obama administration took tough, decisive action with the auto industry, forcing the resignation of the CEO of General Motors. The president knows that we can't trust the same folks who got us into this mess to help lead us out. It's time to do the same for the banks. And the best way to start is by firing Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis. He's the worst of the worst.  Lewis's poor management helped ruin his company and our economy. Shareholders are calling him "reckless" and citing "disastrous missteps."1 Worse, Lewis accepted $45 billion in taxpayer bailout funds, but instead of using all the money to get the economy going again, he let $3.6 billion go to bonuses for top execs.2 There can't be real reform on Wall Street until the CEOs who brought down the banks we had to bail out are long gone.  Can you sign our petition asking Treasury Secretary Geithner replace the leadership at bailed out banks—starting with Ken Lewis? Clicking here adds your name:  http://pol.moveon.org/lewis//o.pl?id=15895-5425778-joq71wx&t=4

    Help Support Our Troops!--A bipartisan resolution has been introduced in the House calling for measures that would help prevent an accidental military conflict with Iran in the Strait of Hormuz. [1] Will you ask your representative to cosponsor this important legislation? http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/sea.html

    Tell Congress to Break Up the Banks!--Treasury Secretary Geithner proposed a $1 trillion plan to help Wall Street make a killing buying "toxic assets" with our tax dollars and guarantees. And he proposed a complex regulatory scheme to keep huge financial institutions from wrecking our economy once again.  But there's a better and simpler solution: break up those huge financial institutions. If they're "too big to fail," then they're too big to exist.   Sign our petition to Congress: http://www.democrats.com/break-up-the-banks?cid=ZGVtczYwODkxZGVtcw==

     

    Tell Congress to Investigate Cheney's "Private" Assassination Ring!--Remember when former Vice President used to claim that he constituted a peculiar fourth branch of government unto himself, claiming executive privilege as part of the executive branch, while with the next breath refusing to obey executive branch record keeping laws?  Now we beginning to find out what that fourth branch of government actually was . . . his own private worldwide assassination ring.  Somehow we don't recall the U.S. Constitution providing for such a fourth co-equal branch of our government.  Even those who argue that the president has the power as "commander in chief" to commit war crimes with impunity, do not argue that the Vice President should be able to order operate his own war crimes franchise independent of the president. And yet, according to Seymour Hersh, a most reliable source, that is exactly what took place. Cheney was running his own personal assassination squad, reporting directly to himself.   Action Page: http://www.peaceteam.net/action/pnum944.php

     

    Sign Petition to Stop AIG Misuse of Bailout Money!--If you had to find one single group of people to blame for our economic crisis, you'd definitely have to consider the financial products division of AIG.  They made huge, bad bets on the housing market that have cost taxpayers $170 billion...so far. That's more than $500 from every American.But get this: The Washington Post just reported that these people are receiving $450 million in bonuses—and they got their first installment yesterday.2 They destroyed our economy, and now they're being rewarded for it with our bailout money!   We can't let this stand. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Congress need to do whatever it takes to get our money back.  Can you sign our petition today and then pass it on? We'll deliver it to Secretary Geithner and the congressional committees that supervise AIG. Clicking below will add your name: http://pol.moveon.org/aigbonus/o.pl?id=15742-5425778-n.RpVZx&t=3

    Bring Back the Fairness Doctrine!--A couple of weeks ago all of the monolith of right wing radio was literally hysterical about the possibility that the Fairness Doctrine might be brought back. And then all of a sudden on Feb 26, 2009, with no other warning, a nauseatingly named and so-called "Broadcaster Freedom Act" was passed as an amendment to the DC voting rights bill in the Senate. It happened so fast that none of the congressional bill tracking sites have an update on this yet.  We're of the opinion that the handful of hostile corporations who have such a death grip on our political speech right now don't need any more "freedom" to suppress even paid commercials they don't agree with, and to coordinate secret advertiser boycotts of the few progressive outlets in the so-called "free" market. The only point of Broadcaster Dictatorship provision is to make the current extreme wingnut bias of our media permanent, and to hold the DC voting rights provision for ransom to do it.  Action Page: http://www.peaceteam.net/action/pnum943.php

     

    Take Action for American Workers!--The country is in real trouble right now, with unemployment rising every day.1 President Obama's stimulus plan provides money to expand desperately needed unemployment assistance.2 But six Republican governors, led by Louisiana's Bobby Jindal, are trying to score political points by blocking that assistance from reaching the people who need it. It's cynical and disgusting.  These governors are playing with people's lives. They're trying to further their political ambitions while showing a complete disregard for the fate of everyday folks--even in their own states.   Help us call them out and increase the media spotlight on these governors by signing our open letter demanding they do the right thing. Together, we can help make sure that in times of hardship folks get the assistance they need. It only takes a moment:  http://colorofchange.org/govs/?id=2304-675209

     

    Take Action for Fair Pay!--That message was loud and clear at the bill-signing ceremony for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. As I stood with Lilly during the reception following the signing, she said:  "You can count on my continued commitment to fighting to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act and to making sure women have equal pay for equal work."  While the Ledbetter bill’s passage was a critical step forward, the fight for pay equity is not over. Here at the National Women's Law Center we're helping to lead the battle to take the next step ─ passing the Paycheck Fairness Act.  Please urge your Senators to quickly pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.

     

    Take Action for Food Safety!--It would be too easy to blame the recent peanut panic on one criminal corporation owner, who KNOWINGLY shipped Salmonella contaminated product. But before that it was millions of pounds of ground beef, and before that tomatoes all over the country, and on and on. And when you ask where is all this horrible filth coming from, with a over a million cases of Salmonella in the U.S. alone every year, the answer is self-evident. It's the huge factory farms that overflow with seas of untreated animal waste, that then spill into our food supply, including through our agricultural plant crop fields.   We have a lot of work to do to clean up this giant mess, but the first thing we have to do is STOP a lunatic boondoggle being pushed by these same corporate interests, to force radio computer chip implanting of literally every farm animal in the country, EXCEPT on their own factory farms. It is absolutely nothing but a further attempt to drive small family farms out of business, who in fact are our safest source of reliably clean food now.  The proposed National Animal Identification System (NAIS) would force even the smallest healthy farms to buy expensive new computer tracking equipment, and potentially would subject them to gestapo-like tactics by the USDA if they are in even slight technical non-compliance. And all this just to fatten the pockets of the RFID chip manufacturers, and to make it LOOK like something is being done to make our food safer.  The special one click action page below will send your personal message to all your members Congress and also directly to the U.S.   Department of Agriculture who is trying to rush this thing through without adequate scrutiny.  Stop NAIS Action Page: http://www.peaceteam.net/action/pnum942.php

     

    Tell Congress It Is TIME to HELP Hurricane Katrina Victims!--Trouble the Water came close to winning an Oscar on Sunday Night! If you don't recall, it's the inspiring story of two Katrina survivors and their journey to rebuild their lives.  But Trouble the Water is more than a film -- it's part of a campaign to remind the American people that the injustices along the Gulf Coast didn't begin when the levees failed in New Orleans, and that the recovery is far from over. With Obama in office, we have a new chance to demand legislative action to heal the Gulf Coast. So we've partnered with the Gulf Coast Civic Works Campaign to demand action from Congress.  By clicking below, you can send a message through the film's web site to demand that Congress finally do right by Katrina survivors. And when you do, can you ask your friends and family to do the same? It only takes a minute:  http://colorofchange.org/trouble/oscar.html?id=2298-57723

    Lift the Sanctions!--Sign open letter speaking out for indigenous Zimbabweans.  Read and sign now at: http://www.iacenter.org/africa/zimbabweopenletter

     

    Tell Congress We Want Single Payer Health Care--We congratulate President Obama and Congressional Democrats for passing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to start the difficult process of reviving our economy.  Sadly, Republicans are taking their marching orders from Rush Limbaugh, who declared "I hope [Obama] fails." Just three Republicans supported the recovery bill; the rest want big tax cuts for the rich.   It's time for Democrats to enact the big changes that Americans voted for, and ignore Republican obstructionism.  The first big change should be Single Payer Health Care .   The latest poll shows Americans prefer government health insurance to private insurance by 59%-32%. That's because private insurance has failed.  There are nearly 50 million US citizens with no health coverage at all, and at least 18,000 of them die unnecessarily each year as a result. Millions more have inadequate insurance coverage.   Rep. John Conyers is leading the fight for Single Payer Health Care for decades with H.R. 676, the "Medicare For All" Bill . Democrats.com is joining the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care (LCGHC) to support H.R. 676.   Please urge your Representatives and Senators to support H.R. 676:  http://democrats.com/single-payer-petition?cid=ZGVtczYwODkxZGVtcw==

     

    Tell the Obama Administration and Congress: End the Bush Administration's Frame Ups  Designed to Politically Assassinate Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner and Other Progressive Elected Leaders! Sign online petition at http://www.iacboston.org/chuckturnerpetition.html

     

    Ask Congress to Extend Statute of Limitations on Prosecuting Corruption!--One of the most important recommendations by John Conyers in his 487 page recent report "Reining In The Imperial Presidency" was to extend the statute of limitations on the crimes of Bush and Cheney, to allow a fair opportunity for them to be actually investigated by a real prosecutor. Of course the Justice Department was entirely derelict in enforcing the law as to them while they were still in office. To fully preserve and protect the rule of law, the statute of limitations must be extended now. And sure enough, just the other day Cheney was out there gloating about how the statute of limitations was expiring on some of their most egregious offenses. For example, the midnight putsch to institute a regime of illegal wiretapping occurred in early March of 2004, not quite 5 years ago. We certainly did not expect Alberto Gonzales, who conspired in all of this, to enforce the law when he was attorney general, did we? Extend Statute of Limitations Action Page: http://www.peaceteam.net/action/pnum933.php

     

    Take Action Against "Santa's Sweatshops"!--Kids across America face dangerous threats this holiday season from unsafe imported toys. Our trade agreements have flooded the country with toys made in countries with incredibly lax safety standards, while at the same imposing limits on the safety standards and inspections we can impose on imports. China has repeatedly threatened action at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to undermine U.S. legislation meant to keep our kids safe.  Sign our petition to help protect our kids from unsafe imported toys.

     

    Demand Justice for Victims of Hurricane Katrina!--A new report in The Nation1 documents what many have claimed for years -- for some Black New Orleanians the threat of being killed by White vigilantes in Katrina's aftermath became a bigger threat than the storm itself.  After the storm, White vigilantes roamed Algiers Point shooting and, according to their own accounts, killing Black men at will-- with no threat of a police response. For the last three years, the shootings and the police force's role in them have been an open secret to many New Orleanians. To date, no one has been charged with a crime and law enforcement officials have refused to investigate.   The facts are finally seeing the light of day. Now we must demand action. Given Louisiana's horrible record when it comes to criminal justice and Black folks, it's the only path to justice.   You can help. Join us in calling on Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Louisiana's Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, and the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct a full investigation of these crimes and any police cover-up. It takes only a moment to add your voice and to invite your friends and family to do the same: http://www.colorofchange.org/nation/?id=2298-57723

     

    Take Action Against Big Pharma!--The US Supreme Court is asked to rule on whether drug manufacturers--who are in possession of the most comprehensive data about their products' safety--can be held liable if the company fails to disclose a drug's hazardous effects--whether or not the FDA, with its limited access to safety information--required the company to issue such warnings.  The issue before the court is whether FDA's approval of a drug and its label at the time of approval preempts the manufacturer's duty to warn about drug hazards.   If drug safety disclosure requirements were to be limited by FDA's imperfect drug safety determinations, physicians' access to drug safety information will be severely limited--thereby affecting physicians' ability to determine the risks and benefits of drugs they prescribe. Hence, the ruling could affect the practice of medicine.  The ruling will also determine whether consumers' legal right to seek just compensation from a pharmaceutical company that fails to warn physicians and the public about serious risk of harm caused by its marketed FDA-approved prescription drug. The case, Levine v. Wyeth, focuses on manufacturers' legal responsibility under state consumer safety laws, to warn physicians and the public about emergent serious adverse drug effects.  See links to Amici Curiae briefs by prominent healthcare experts and jurists: http://ahrp.blogspot.com/2008/08/amici-curiae-briefs-levine-v-wyeth.html  You have a chance to register your opinion--Sign the Anti-Preemption Petition.  http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/fdapreemptionbadmedicine/index.html

     

    Take Action to Put Voters First!--Like you, we're sick of special interests coming before voters - just look at the mess we're in thanks to this pay-to-play system. Big Oil, Big Pharma and other corporate titans have had their way with our government for too long.  It's time to change this system and put voters first!  A gaping loophole is being exploited by the national parties and those who seek to influence our elected officials. Millions of unregulated dollars are being funneled to the national party conventions through so-called nonpartisan "host committees." These committees claim to be helping Denver and the Twin Cities, but they are really just using the sizable donations for political purposes.  A new Public Citizen report reveals the extent to which political access is being bought by the "host committee" sponsors. As an added bonus, this type of influence peddling is also tax-deductible for donors like AT&T!  This runs contrary to our campaign finance laws. After Watergate, Congress passed a law that provides the parties with public funds for the conventions to avoid the undue influence of money on the political process. But instead of enforcing the law, the Federal Election Commission has created loopholes in it.  Another loophole has been made out of the landmark reforms you helped us pass last year. The new law fundamentally changed the relationship between lobbyists and members of Congress by, among other things, banning lawmakers from lobbyist-funded parties at the conventions where a member of Congress is being feted. Yet this law is being flouted because of the House ethics committee's own interpretation: The committee says the rule applies only to single members of Congress. If lobbyists fete multiple members at the same time, then the House ethics committee says there's no problem. This must change!  What can you do? Take action! We make it easy to:  - Contact your members of Congress!

     

    Tell Congress to stop spending billions of taxpayer dollars to subsidize obscenely profitable oil companies.--Click here to act immediately.
     

     

     

     

    Stop Spending our Taxes to Teach Torture: Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay are names which make us cringe at the human rights violations done in our name. But there's another one: the School of the Americas. This week there's a chance to actually close that one -- also known as the "School of Torture."  The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) at Ft. Benning, GA – formerly known as the School of the Americas (SOA) – has been teaching the techniques of torture since the end of the Second World War. Over 60,000 Latin American soldiers and officers – many linked to the worst human rights crimes ever perpetrated in the western hemisphere – were trained there at U.S. taxpayer expense.1  Tell your Rep. to close the School of the Americas!  http://act.truemajority.org/o/1/t/3/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=1179

     

    Endorse the National Religious Campaign Against Torture at http://www.nrcat.org.  It has a statement that people of goodwill from all faith communities can endorse.  We strongly encourage you to do so and to spread the word.   

        

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