Tell Barbara Lee: Stop spreading Russophobia and fueling a new Cold War
Barbara Lee represents Berkeley and Oakland and nearby areas in Congress (13th CD). She has built a reputation as an advocate for peace and civil liberties. She was the lone vote in Congress against the Authorization for the Use of Military Force that has been used to justify US wars/bombing/drone killing since 9/11. Most recently she opposed and spoke out against Trump's cruise missile attack on Syria in April. But lately Representative Lee may be taking a dangerous turn. At a recent town hall Lee hosted Malcolm Nance, MSNBC analyst and former U.S. intelligence agent who is one of the premier neo-McCarthyists and Russia bashers in the country. Nance not only pushed the dubious narrative that Russia “stole the election.” He went into a rant about the Russian people saying “Russia is an intensely conservative nation. They have a serf-slave mentality. They are passionately and intensely insincere…” AND "There is nothing we should do that's friendly to the Russians. They've gone from Communists to Autocrats." This is nothing more than xenophobia and war-mongering. It is part of a campaign by establishment Democrats and the mass media that seeks to: • Deflect blame for Clinton’s defeat from the discredited politics of the corporate Democrats to the Russians. • Push an aggressive stance toward Russia that could lead to a direct military confrontation and possible nuclear war. Many of us are constituents of Barbara Lee and have voted for her in past elections. We urge her to: • Cease and desist from spreading/enabling this warmongering. • Condemn xenophobia whether it is directed against Muslims or Russians. • Reaffirm her support for peace and opposition to all wars of aggression.
California Prisoners Bear the Brunt of Statewide Water Shortage
In the wake of the state’s most severe drought in memory, California Governor Jerry Brown issued mandatory statewide water restrictions that require all public agencies to reduce their water consumption by 25 percent. Officials at the 34 prisons operated by the California Department of Corrections have responded by restricting inmates' showers, ability to flush their cells' toilets, and access to laundry services and clean clothes, according to interviews with inmates. Showers are running only three days a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) for a total of four hours, providing a little over an hour for hundreds of prisoners to take turns bathing on shower days. Any prisoner caught in the showers for more than 5 minutes, washing clothes while showers are running, bird bathing or flushing the toilets in their assigned cell could face disciplinary action, including 30 days added to their prison sentence (CDC-115 Rules Violation Report). Prison officials have been instructed to shut off water fountains, outdoor showers, and to stop hosing down sidewalks. As a result, California prisoners are denied water-breaks throughout the day and are refused the hygienic practice of washing off sweat after a workout. Women's prisons in particular have struggled with sanitary upkeep since the implementation of CDCR’s water conservation program. Shower and toilet restrictions affect female prisoners on their menstrual cycles most directly. CDCR’s water conservation program began in 2006 with a pilot project to install flush-restricting valves on toilets at nearly one-third of all California adult institutions, resulting in a host of unsanitary conditions ranging from foul odor to overflowing toilets. Water conservation methods have only grown more aggressive within the recent decade and California prisoners have borne the brunt of health and safety hazards associated with aggressive yet inadequate conservation planning. If California is serious about water conservation and water-use reduction in its prisons, state officials should consider developing policies that promote the depopulation of overcrowded state facilities -- starting with releasing disabled people, the elderly and non-violent offenders. Reducing the numbers of people incarcerated unnecessarily could result in significant water savings and help to make the prison environment more adaptable and suitable for rehabilitation. Other methods of reducing water waste, without violating the human rights of the imprisoned, can include updating sinks, toilets, showers, and appliances with advanced water-saving fixtures. Sign this petition to California Governor Jerry Brown asking him to immediately end all water conservation methods that violate the human rights of people in prison. Sources: http://www.latimes.com/local/political/la-me-ff-to-save-water-california-turns-off-prison-showers-20150709-story.html https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/california-prisons-are-restricting-shower-and-toilet-use-to-fight-the-historic-drought-626 http://www.insidecdcr.ca.gov/2010/04/california-prisons-reduce-water-consumption/ http://www.inmate.com/prison-articles/california-prisoners-affected-by-drought.htm
Unions, refuse to build Trump's wall.
While we, petitioners, understand a desire to make a living, we also recognize that to use one’s skills to advance racism and xenophobia is to rob workers of their great potential to advance social justice and to continue their legacy of fighting for human rights. Rather than spending billions to construct an unnecessary wall when barriers already exist, we should be investing taxpayer dollars to hire union workers for much-needed infrastructure projects that strengthen our communities: water and sewer pipes; roads; bridges; transit systems. We ask that all unions and their umbrella organizations instruct their members to boycott work on the wall and to, instead, embrace the racial and cultural diversity of America.