- Campaign Finance Reform
- Civil Liberties / Surveillance
- Civil Rights
- Economic Justice
- Government Accountability / Whistleblowers
- Gun Violence Prevention
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Toxic Work Conditions in Texas PrisonsPrisoners within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice are working, unpaid, in the TCI chemical plant without being issued the proper air-ventilated safety masks. In an open letter, TDCJ inmate David Martinez described the entire work area at the Coffield Unit’s Metal Fabrication Plant as having a faulty ventilation system. "It is not fully operational and does not protect prison workers or TCI employees from hazardous and toxic fumes that are put into the atmosphere by numerous projects like welding and painting," writes Martinez. The Metal Fabrication Plant Manager and his staff have devised a “warning system” that TDCJ inmates are very familiar with, Martinez says — a warning system that gives the Metal Fabrication Plant Manager a “heads up” when any kind of inspector or auditor is at the front gate — allowing the prisoners and Texas Correctional Industry employees to shut down all activities deemed illegal and unsafe by the Fire Marshal or any other oversight Agency. The Metal Fabrication Plant is currently devising a plan for expansion, filling an order for 5,000 new storage lockers, Martinez adds, while there are no current plans to fix the plant’s ventilation system, nor to restock masks and safety equipment for the inmates who work there. Many of the chemicals and substances used in the Coffield Unit’s Metal Fabrication Plant, and in many other units and plants throughout Texas, have clear warning labels that they have the potential to cause cancer. Martinez explains that Texas prisoners are being forced to work in a very dangerous environment and to engage in hazardous and illegal practices with no regard for their health or safety. "Many prisoners are afraid to speak out for fear of retaliation," Martinez reports. "Prisoners are threatened with disciplinary action if they [complain, refuse to work or] do not sign Material Safety Data Sheets (which give the 'appearance' that Texas prisoners are being given the proper training and safety equipment) in this very volatile and hazardous atmosphere." David Martinez and thousands of other Texas prisoners need your immediate help and support! Sign this petition to demand that Texas state officials provide immediate relief to the affected prisoners and to facilitate investigation by a body that's not part of the prison administration4,169 of 5,000 SignaturesCreated by Jamani M.
Abolish War, Save Article 9The movement to maintain Article 9 is important because Article 9 is such a positive force for Japanese people and for other nations globally. What makes the movement even stronger is that the movement leaders also want to revise the constitution in their own image - that is, to make it a constitution of the 21st century removed from the influence of World War II. They are supported by important thinkers and activists such as Noam Chomsky, Akihiko Kimijima and Helen Caldicott who stress that Article 9 should be a role model for the world to follow. All emphasize that living in the nuclear age our survival is at stake. To embrace Article 9 is to support the United Nations mandate to abolish war and "turn your swords into ploughshares." But we must remain consistent over a long period of time. We must outlast big money lobby groups over a long time - and we must be very creative in our strategy. The public at large becomes quickly bored and apathetic unless the new movement is able to stimulate their imaginations and motivate them to take action in support of the protesters. Both General Douglas MacArthur and Prime Minister Kijuro Shidehara were very successful in motivating the voting public to embrace the new peace constitution in 1946. So in conclusion I truly believe there is hope for Article 9, but it will take hard work and consistency. Join hands, hearts and minds to support and promote this wonderful constitution.7 of 100 SignaturesCreated by David Rothauser
Petition for a United Nations Peace Conversion ConferenceWarfare is obsolete, and is destroying the human environment, slaughtering innocent people, exhausting the world economy, and generating tens of millions of desperate refugees. I’m asking all people and groups to call for a United Nations Peace Conversion Conference, to make practical plans to move away from warfare and military confrontation in international affairs, and phase out military industries, with an orderly transition to peaceful production to meet basic human needs worldwide. We taxpayers support a military-industrial complex which generates endless warfare, and has set up a complex and edgy thermonuclear weapons confrontation involving nine nuclear-armed nations. Many nations today would join the call for a United Nations Peace Conversion Conference. We can each be the center of a Worldwide Peace Conversion Network, living peace conversion with each other as we do this delightful work.196 of 200 SignaturesCreated by John L.
Tell Bernie Sanders to Reject AIPAC's InvitationAIPAC has invited Bernie Sanders to participate in its 2016 Policy Conference in Washington DC. Voice your support for justice and equality in Israel-Palestine and urge Bernie to reject this invitation. As the main arm of the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, AIPAC has sworn to promote the racist, militaristic, and anti-democratic policies of the most right-wing government in Israel's history. Its conference this year will feature Islamophobes, anti-immigrant activists, and religious extremists. With his promise to seek a "level playing field" on Israel-Palestine, Bernie does not belong on the same stage as these figures. Urge him to reject AIPAC's invitation and support justice in the Holy Land.8,888 of 9,000 SignaturesCreated by Max Blumenthal
Pass the new bill to abolish the military draftA bureaucracy unused since Richard Nixon left office, an institution that has served no purpose since before people already too old for it were born, a machinery whose only function is to send huge numbers of unwilling young men (and some hope to expand it to include young women) into immoral actions should be abolished. This bipartisan bill would make that happen. The selective service budget is $23-26 million every year. There are also costs to the states and financial aid offices that must ensure people are registered before administering benefits. Many states automatically register men who obtain driver's licenses for selective service; that technology should remain in place but be used to automatically register men and women to vote. Opponents of war and supporters of conscientious objection back this bill. You can too. SIGNED BY David Swanson, WarIsACrime.org Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Nonviolence Alice Slater David Hartsough Maria Santelli, Center on Conscience and War Leah Bolger12,607 of 15,000 SignaturesCreated by David S.
Not Another U.S./NATO War on LibyaThe illegal 2011 overthrow of the Libyan government subjected the people of that nation and surrounding nations to violence, weapons proliferation, chaos, and desperate insecurity. In no way will compounding the problem with the same approach again improve matters in this case or establish good precedents.12,205 of 15,000 SignaturesCreated by David S.
Free Leonard PeltierIt's time to free Leonard Peltier and send him home. His co-defendent was freed years ago. Keeping him in prison is just plain wrong!9 of 100 SignaturesCreated by Nancy Alvarez
End Funding of "Defense" Research That Ignores Climate ChangeThe United States has hundreds of programs at universities, think tanks, and research institutes that claim to devote their attention to “security” and “defense” studies. Yet in almost all of these programs that receive many millions of dollars in Federal funding, the vast majority of research, advocacy and instruction have nothing to do with climate change, the most serious threat to security of our age. In an act of profound intellectual irresponsibility, so-called scholars of "security studies" spend their hours imagining fantastic military scenarios, rather than responding to incontrovertible threat of climate change which scientists have unanimously identified as a reality. We cannot waste any more of our tax dollars on security and defense studies that fail to address the primary threat to the well-being of the United States, and of the world. The time has come to put an end to this insanity. We demand that all programs of defense and security studies in the United States identify in their statement of purpose climate change as the primary security threat to the United States and that they dedicate at least 70% of their budgets to research, teaching and advocacy to the critical topics of mitigation of (primarily) and adaptation to (secondarily) climate change. Any program that fails to focus on climate change in this manner should lose its status for Federal funding. Mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change should be the primary concerns for all in security and defense field studies. Obviously other security issues deserve study, but granted the fact that the cost of climate change will run in the trillions of dollars over the next decade, and even more beyond then, we do not have the funds to support programs that are not dedicated to addressing this immediate threat. Signers include: Emanuel Yi Pastreich Director The Asia Institute David Swanson Director World Beyond War John Kiriakou Associate fellow Institute for Policy Studies John Feffer Director Foreign Policy in Focus Norman Solomon Cofounder RootsAction.org Coleen Rowley Retired FBI agent and former Minneapolis Division legal counsel2,625 of 3,000 SignaturesCreated by David S.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, keep Speaking Truth to PowerSince 1979, the US interventionist foreign policy has created civil wars or failed states all over the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe -- the so-called "arc of instability" that the US has itself created. Most obviously, we have seen sectarian killing in Iraq, a failed state in Libya dominated by ISIS, and now an ISIS terrorist state in Syria and Iraq. These interventions do not serve the interests of the American people. In fact, they have violated American ideals of human rights, self determination, the rule of law and, in most cases, democracy. They have also resulted in blowback from people seeking revenge and indoctrinated with the extreme Islamism of our purported allies. They serve only the interests of arms manufacturers, military contractors and the minority of US military, CIA and State Department personnel who are motivated by personal aggrandizement rather than true patriotism. Rep. Gabbard is a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq and a member of the House Armed Services committee. She has spoken out against these policies, for example in interviews with Wolf Blitzer (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7Q8X60KQ9Q) and Scott Simon (http://www.npr.org/2015/12/12/459464247/are-efforts-to-overthrow-assad-counter-productive), and in the halls of Congress itself. Rep. Gabbard, please keep doing what you are doing. Know that Americans who are paying attention appreciate all that you do and that we "have your back." Please share this with others of both parties who are speaking out against these bipartisan neocon/liberal interventionist policies.116 of 200 SignaturesCreated by William Rood
Resume reporting on weapons salesSince 2011, the United States has sold a great deal of weapons. But the U.S. government has stopped reporting on its own and other nations' arms sales. CRS has its own internal government sources of information. The report it used to produce is not duplicated by any other publication. The United States is no longer documenting one of its biggest and most deadly businesses. In 2012, Richard Grimmett retired from the Congressional Research Service. He had been the chief author of its reports on international weapons sales and transfers. It is thanks to those reports that we know, with some reliability, that as of 2011 the United States accounted for 79% of the value of transfer agreements to ship weapons to governments in the Middle East, 79% also to poor nations around the world, and 77% of the value of total agreements to ship weapons to other countries. We can compare these numbers with earlier years, but not with later ones. Even if Congress doesn't want to know, it should not get away with denying us that right. Background: CRS Report for Congress, Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress, Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2004-2011 http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/R42678.pdf8,834 of 9,000 SignaturesCreated by David S.
Portland No More GuantanamosThere are 52 detainees at Guantanamo Bay who have never been charged with any crime and have been cleared by all levels of government for transfer, meaning they have been found to pose no security threat to the U.S. or the world. Most of these detainees were cleared for transfer in 2009 but have remained at the facility because of complications with returning them to their home countries. Their continued and indefinite detention is a violation of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and human rights treaties to which the United States is a party. The U.S. Congress refuses to accept these cleared detainees onto our own soil because the American people have been misinformed on the subject and continue to believe that all detainees at the facility represent “the worst of the worst.” The Obama Administration, which is working to close the facility, is sending ambassadors around the world asking for sanctuary for these detainees in other countries. We as a country need to step up and take responsibility for our own mistakes; if these detainees are no security risk, as the government asserts, we should be ready to accept them on our own soil. Progressive, informed U.S. cities must take the lead on this, if the U.S. Congress will not. If this resolution passes, it will be a victory for human rights law and will send a message to our own community that we do not subscribe to Islamophobic fears based on ignorance and misinformation. It will promote a more inclusive city that is welcoming to people of all backgrounds, regardless of religion or ethnicity. Other cities have already passed such resolutions: ◦ Berkeley, CA resolution: http://www.nogitmos.org/berkeleytresolutionclosingguantanamo ◦ Amherst, MA resolution: http://www.nogitmos.org/proclamationunitednationsinternationaldaysupportvictimstorture ◦ Leverett, MA resolution: http://www.nogitmos.org/resolutiontownleverettmaassistsaferesettlementclearedguant%C3%A1namodetainees36 of 100 SignaturesCreated by K M
Clean up Unexploded Bombs in LaosThe USA has been EXTRAORDINARILY NEGLIGENT in dealing with the problems it caused by dropping 240 million bombs on Laos without even declaring war. (The last time the USA declared war was in 1941.) The donations the USA makes to the clean up effort are miniscule. Pathetic is a word that comes to mind. You need to have a head honcho, office space in Vientiane and a few secretaries and that eats up most of the funds so there is precious little left over for actual cleaning up of the 80 million unexploded bombs. I would like to set up a bomb clearing project in Laos using HeroRats as used by apopo.org in Mozambique and now Cambodia to sniff out unexploded ordnance.15 of 100 SignaturesCreated by Arthur Galletly