- Campaign Finance Reform
- Civil Liberties / Surveillance
- Civil Rights
- Economic Justice
- Government Accountability / Whistleblowers
- Gun Violence Prevention
- Law Enforcement
- Post Office
- Retirement and Healthcare
2.4 MILLION AMERICANS OPPOSE RICO PROSECUTION & INCREASE INCARCERATIONTrump's inaugural pledge for "Law & Order" is coded messaging to law enforcement agencies, both local and federal, that will empower them to continue their abusive, racialized policing. This will mean more arrests and more incarceration at a time when America should be moving away from needless punishment of Blacks and Latinos. Collaboration between local police, like the NYPD, and federal law enforcement in large, military-style "gang" raids cheered on by sensationalized media reporting of these individuals as being dangerous and organized criminal enterprises--which they were not. Over the past few years we have seen the emergence of a bipartisan consensus for criminal and civil justice reforms. Movements are growing across our nation urging legislators to change unfair laws that hurt families and communities of color. A wasted $80 billion a year spent on prisons actually dehumanizes inmates, many who are detained in inhuman conditions, some tortured in solitary confinement and denied visits or communication with their families. Sign this petition, spearheaded by family members of those charged with RICO. Demand that Congress take ACTION NOW to #ReformRICO
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.
Democracy busted? Fix it with 28th Amendment.America is also founded to uphold common hoped-for benefits which unite us (as described in The Preamble to the US Constitution). These are: justice, civil order, common defense [not the preemptive kind], general welfare [not corporate welfare], and preserving for future generations ("our posterity") the benefits we wish for ourselves and fellow citizens. By many measures, these values, too, are not being realized. What's the solution? A constitutional amendment that ensures fair elections, and provides new means to nominate and hold new officeholders accountable to We The People: A six-month probationary period for new electees to enforce accountability. Vote of confidence/budget impasse provisions that increase control of government by the electorate. Automatic nationwide voter registration, thumbprint verified, updated by motor vehicle license and/or payroll records. Stricter requirements and enforcement of tamper-proof, hack-proof, and fully auditable elections. Why not go through Congress? Since the Congress is part of the problem to be solved, the usual route of sending it through Congress would not work. Article V of the US Constitution spells out the steps by which amendments to the Constitution can be made, which includes ratification by 3/4 of state legislatures. This new proposed bill will be sent to state legislatures once it has been circulated and endorsed. It requires endorsement by 2/3 of state legislatures to call for a vote and passage by 3/4 to be ratified.
Hold the insurance industry accountable for its many abuses.For the last 3 decades, many Americans whether they are regular patients, injured workers or veterans are being denied access to real medical care and other benefits. This effects the poorer folks, the elderly, minorities, the disabled & the sick. Under the Affordable Care Act, this was to stop. It has not. The conditions to deny are worse.Why? Because the insurance industry has impunity against its many humane rights abuses which include denial and refusal of the proper medical care, paying for the wrong care & "care" that will make a patient medical condition worse which will create more injuries or illnesses. such as injecting patients with unknown drugs that not only make the condition worse but actually harms the patient immeasurable for life, preventing them from ever working again. Patients that try to fight back in getting the right care or speaking against the denial or refusal of medical care are retaliated against. One way is to have them under constant and illegal surveillance, in many cases, years of surveillance even by local or top law enforcement such as the FBI. Surveillance that involves stalking the patient while out in public and public or private business and while in vehicles with GPS monitoring and causing car accidents, phone tapping, computer hacking, breaking & entering a patient's home or other owned properties. The police break into patients homes under guise that there are illegal drugs in the home. Private investigators are hired to go into churches to spy on ill or injured patients. There is also the theft of U.S.mail evidence that could prove to win against the insurers. Patients are now claiming that they are afraid of their medications and their food being tampered with. Patients or family members who try and speak out for themselves or their families have been stopped by police, looking for "drugs" and or arrested with no charge. Then there are the insurance doctors reports that are falsely altering medical reports and these same doctors will then deem these patients as mental cases. Now it is happening to our veterans, those who are coming came back from the wars in the Mideast. After listening to patients and injured workers for many years, it has become quite clear that being injured or ill makes one a target of inhumane treatment which includes not getting their right medical care treatment or any other benefit. The SSA & Medicare (tax payer money) should not be the only insurance companies to pick up the tab for insurers who continue to ultimately deny any rightful and owed benefits. This has to stop! AND the only way is for our leadership in our Washington D.C. leadership should hold the insurance cartel/monopoly fully accountable with enforcement of the laws that guarantee us our civil, constitutional & human rights. No insurer should have impunity or immunity that results in the delays and denials for the right to receive medical treatment and benefits or in the targeting with inhumane AND illegal practices on those of whom are the most vulnerable, the sick and injured.
SANITATION & DIGNITY for HOMELESS in SAN DIEGO NOW!San Diego can easily solve unsanitary and unhealthy conditions by taking action with a compassionate heart and existing budgets now. Here's how: * Provide bathrooms = SANISETTE works!! PIT STOP works!! (No cost to city; paid by advertising $) * Provide showers = LAVA MAE works!! (Non profit) * Provide laundry facilities = PORTA KLEEN works!! (GSA Contract Holder) Taking action now meets the immediate needs of the homeless and provides San Diego with image enhancement which money alone cannot buy. Tourist dollars will increase as a result. Please take action NOW, as the need is GREAT!
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS: DO YOUR DUTY!The Founding Fathers created the Electoral College to safeguard America against an unqualified candidate for president. That is why they, not the public, decide who will be president. Who could have known that this ancient anachronism would suddenly be available to save America? According to even Republican leaders and virtually of all America’s newspapers, Trump is not qualified to serve as President. Most Electors are legally allowed to vote their conscience for Clinton, the popular vote winner. There are hundreds of reasons to do so. One reason not discussed is that Trump’s creditors will now be able to more easily recover their money, and this could lead to him being deposed or in trial for most of his term, unqualified due to absence. Another is because Trump will continue to own his unknown foreign assets, the Dept. of Justice will be forced to assign permanent teams of investigators to determine how each foreign policy action or “pronouncement” might procure or pay for a Trump business bribe or "deal." Republicans cannot complain if the Electors vote for Clinton. They have fought for decades to preserve the Electoral College because it rigs the election in their favor when they lose the popular vote, now and in 2000, too. The Electors can start a public dialog to educate America about their Constitutional Duties. Then, they can elect the qualified candidate. Electors: Do Your Duty! Vote for Clinton, the popular vote winner!
DNC: Encourage Clinton to step down so Sanders can defeat TrumpDonald Trump appears more and more likely to win the U.S. Presidential election in November if Clinton continues to be the Democratic nominee. A President Trump would threaten the future of our planet. He does not comprehend the dangers of climate change, nuclear war or economic injustice, and his rhetoric on race and religion is already stirring up civil unrest. Yet he continues to improve in the polls and is raising significant amounts of money from his solid base of grassroots supporters. He is a serious contender and we dismiss him and his supporters at our own peril. Hillary Clinton, while obviously the more experienced and competent candidate, is not well-positioned to defeat Trump. The American people are not enthusiastic about Clinton and have given her record-high “untrustworthy” numbers in opinion polls. They worry that she is not being honest about her health. She continues to be the subject of various investigations and email leaks, which are at a minimum an embarrassment to her campaign, and which have the potential to lead to criminal charges. Clinton also continues to use bad judgment on the campaign trail, where she is alienating large numbers of the voters she desperately needs in order to win. Many decent Americans are so tired of establishment politicians that they are thinking about voting for Trump simply to show their level of anger and frustration. They seem quite willing to vote “against their own interests” if it means that they will also hurt those at the top. It is not clear whether these people are admitting their support for Trump to pollsters, which means that Trump could already be further ahead than the polls indicate. We need to remember what happened recently in the UK during the Brexit vote. Our only hope for defeating Donald Trump in November is to bring back Bernie Sanders as the Democratic Party nominee. Sanders is seen by the public as an outsider and a fighter (qualities people admire in Donald Trump) but he is also seen as someone of unquestionable integrity. Sanders has extremely high favorabilities overall, and particularly among all the demographics where Hillary Clinton is weak: millennials, independents, and white working-class men. Sanders can beat Trump easily. He polled very strongly against Donald Trump in July, and since that time his popularity in the country has only increased, to the point where he is even more popular than Michelle Obama. In order for Bernie Sanders to return to the campaign and defeat Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton has to voluntarily drop out of the race. We urge her and beg her to do so, for the good of her country and the planet. Our very survival as a species could depend on this selfless and noble act from her. In addition, in order to defeat Trump convincingly, the Democratic Party would have to replace Clinton with their strongest candidate against Trump, Bernie Sanders. Bernie won 23 states and 13 million votes during the Democratic primary, and has proven that he has great appeal among Independents and that he can mobilize strong grassroots funding and draw huge crowds. We urge the DNC not to replace Clinton with another establishment candidate who also might lose to Trump. We urge the DNC to give the Democratic nomination to Bernie Sanders, and work with Sanders to pick a VP candidate (for example, Joe Biden) who would satisfy centrist and establishment elements within the party. In November, America needs to reject Donald Trump soundly at the polls, so that there is no question of a rigged election. Americans need to be motivated to turn out to vote, and to vote for as many down-ballot Democrats and progressives as possible. America needs to step up and take an active leadership role on issues such as renewable energy and climate change, economic justice, healthcare, education, fair trade, diplomacy and immigration. With cooperation and support from Hillary Clinton and the DNC, we can place Bernie Sanders at the top of the Democratic ticket and achieve all these goals. We can do this, and we MUST. Our future, our children and our grandchildren are depending on it. Thank you for your consideration.
Prisoners in Namibia Need Water -- And You Can HelpContinuous efforts to cut back on water waste has turned into a political battle over water access in Namibia's Windhoek Central Prison, located near the center of the sub-Saharan desert. In late 2015, experts discovered multiple underground pipe-leaks throughout the prison's water system. About 70% of the water traveling through the prison each day is wasted due to these pipe-leaks. The Windhoek city government is traditionally responsible for paying for water services at the prison. Since the discovery of the underground pipe-leaks, the Windhoek city government has repeatedly asked the Namibian Correctional Service to fix the pipes at Windhoek Central Prison. Namibian prison officials, however, claim that there are no funds to do so. The city government has since limited the amount of water routed to Windhoek Central Prison, and on one occasion, completely shut off the prison's water supply until forced by the municipal court to turn it back on. Still, no resolution or plan of action has been made by city or prison officials. In reality, the only people physically affected by this petty political battle are the 3,500 Namibian prisoners who are in constant fear of waking up to no water. You can help them by signing this petition.
Haiti: Justice for Davidtchen Siméon! Protect Labor and Human Rights Organizers!On Saturday August 13th at 3:30 p.m., in the working-class neighborhood of Fort National, Port-au-Prince, as he was leaving a meeting of the Movement of Liberty, Equality of the Haitians for Fraternity (Mouvement de Liberté, Égalité des Haïtiens pour la Fraternité, or MOLEGHAF), a group of armed men including police officer Jean Maxime assassinated Davidtchen Siméon, a 23-year-old youth organizer with the popular progressive organisation MOLEGHAF, which is deeply engaged in the struggle against imperialism, the oppression of the workers by transnational capital, and the UN's occupying forces (MINUSTAH). A few days before this despicable killing, on Wednesday, August 10th and Thursday August 11th, Davidtchen had been violently attacked and threatened by police officers. This barbaric act was perpetrated against Davidtchen after he spoke out publicly and forcefully against the UN agency UNOPS' decision to locate a construction project including some buildings and a road in his neighborhood, and later he denounced the miserable wages of the construction workers on this project. It is a well-known fact that, in Haiti under the occupation, UN or government "projects" in poor communities are often implemented undemocratically, without consulting the local population. And when community opposition inevitably develops, thugs are brought in to silence and intimidate local leaders through violence, threats and intimidation. MOLEGHAF, the organisation to which Davidtchen belonged, is known in Haiti for its fight to defend national sovereignty and for the withdrawal of MINUSTAH troops from Haiti, which MOLEGHAF considers the major precondition for the exercice of real democracy. Regardless of our diverse political opinions on these issues, the assassination of Davidtchen must be condemned in the strongest terms by all those who are defenders of democracy and fundamental human rights. Therefore, we, the Plenum of the Conference on the Problems of the Occupation in Haiti, convened in Port-au-Prince this Friday August 19th, 2016, at the seat of the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) (International Lawyers’ Bureau), at #3, 2eme impasse Lavaud, Lalue, call for national and international solidarity from all peoples organisations, to take a stand towards the competent authorities, particularly the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, the Office for the Protection of Citizens (OPC) and the General Prosecution to the National Police of Haiti (PNH), to demand that the backers and the perpetrators of Davidtchen Siméon’s killing be identified and condemned. Down with the UN Occupation! Down with Barbarism! MINUSTAH Out of Haiti! In defense of democracy, against barbarism: Punish those responsible for murdering our comrade Davidtchen Siméon! UPDATE: Last week, David Oxygène, a Haitian revolutionary leader and organizer was threatened at gunpoint by a police officer. The same police officer is one of the individuals accused of murdering Davidtchen Siméon. Send your messages (with copies to the initial signatories) to: Ministère de la Justice et de la sécurité publique (MJSP): Av. Charles-Summer 18, Port-au-Prince Inspection Générale de la Police Nationale d'Haïti (PNH) : 07 Autoroute de Delmas (zone Delmas 2, Haïti) L'Office Protecteur Citoyen (OPC): Ave. John Brown, Lalue (Port-au-Prince), tels (+ 509) 2940 3065/ 3702 0656, email : firstname.lastname@example.org/ email@example.com Forward messages to: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com Initial Signatures: Confédération des Travailleurs des Secteurs Public et Privé (CTSP) : firstname.lastname@example.org Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI): email@example.com Syndicat National des travailleurs de l’Art (SYNTART) : firstname.lastname@example.org Mouvement des Étudiants pour Libérer Haïti (MELA) : email@example.com Résistance Benoit Batraville Association des victimes du choléra de Boucan-Carré SESP-Syndicat USCPH-Union Syndicale des Constructeurs Professionnels d'Haïti – affiliée à la CTSP Regroupement des victimes du choléra de Lachapelle : 3871 9112 MOLEGHAF : firstname.lastname@example.org Message from David Oxygene: Mwen salye tout manm, patizan ak senpatizan MOLEGHAF yo. Mwen vle esplike nou 2 bagay. Premye bagay la se yon gwo zak agresyon mwen sibi ye dimanch lan ve 6 ze 30 PM,kote mwen te soti nan yon reyinyon politik ak plizye kamarad MOLEGHAF. Moun ki fe agresyon an sou mwen se menm moun ki te asasine kamarad nou DAVITCHEN SIMEON jou ki te samdi 13 out 2016 lan nan fo nasyonal, se yon polisye ki rele JEAN MAXIME. Pendan mwen sot nan rankont politik la ye dimanch lan, lem rive nan ri Icare zon ki kole ak legliz sentantwan, lem rive nan ri Icare polisye ki rele Jean Maxime lan agresem, li frapem, li pwomet mwen lap touyem epi menm moman li tire yon katouch anle ak yon pistolet kalib 9 mm. Apre li pwente zam lan sou mwen pou tirem. mwen denonse zak asasina sa ki fet sou mwen an kote mwen rive konpran n lapolis la tounen yon rezo teworis pou asasine militan kap goumen toutbonvre. Map mande pou komise gouvenman sezi dosye sa, pou enspeksyon lapolis idantifye polisye Jean Maxime epi mete l nan yon pozisyon pou lajistis ka tandel, map made pou oganizasyon dwa moun yo pote kole ak mwen ki nan yon yon sitiyasyon difisil politikman. Dezyem bagay mwen vle di, se yon demanti fomel MOLEGHAF vle pote ak yon ban m detrakte ki vle fe kwe MOLEGHAF ap bay yon konferans pou lapwes jodi a pou sipote politik senate youri a. MOLEGHAF demanti sa. dapre tout enfomasyon mwen genyen yo vle fe konnen se ekip nasyen premye minis Lamothe kap frape MOLEGHAF. yo fe konnen se yon konferans MOLEGHAF ap oganize nan otel LE PLAZA a 11 ze maten an. se manti total, MOLEGHAF pa gen konferans maten ditou. se traktasyon politik, matrakaj politik, divesyon politik pou kapab kraze gwo batay MOLEGHAF ap mennen an.
Reform the Olympics to be true to its authentic past!This would be congruent with the historic past when Greek city states would cease war making to gather for athletic competitions. It would empower the current Olympic Committee Members to incentivise justice and peace for governments of the world to be able to participate in Olympic Competition. Truly ruling bodies (the International Olympic Committee) MUST use their rule making authority to promote the betterment of their constituencies, as did the track and field governing body regarding anti-doping enforcement.
Unity Statement Against the Trans-Pacific PartnershipAt the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership was front and center in organizing meetings and on the convention floor itself. One of the key actions was a Democratic Delegates Unity Statement Against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, signed by delegates of both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. In solidarity with the Anti-TPP Unity Statement we are inviting people from all political parties to join us. We cannot stand idly by and allow another ruinous trade deal to decimate more American jobs and put our environmental, legal, financial, pharmaceutical, food safety, and other critical protections at risk. Thank you!
North Carolina Body Cam Law Breaches Trust and Transparency in Local CommunitiesLast month, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed House Bill 972 into law, officially restricting public access to voice and video footage from police dash and body cameras. The new law states that access to police camera footage is to be restricted to local police departments and court officials. According to the law, if anyone outside of that realm wants access to footage of community interactions with law enforcement via dash or body cam (including the families of those affected), they would need to obtain either approval from the local Police Department Chief or a superior court order from a state judge. Among other quirks, the law also includes the implementation of a “Blue Alert” signal, modeled after the commonly used “Amber Alert,” used via smartphone to warn police officers about suspects who have harmed or killed cops. In 2015, the Obama administration provided $20 million to local police departments across the country -- to be used strictly for police dash and body cameras, technologies of accountability requested by the ACLU and Black Lives Matter activists in the wake of protests against police brutality and the killings of Mike Brown, Freddie Gray, Walter Scott and more. In recent months, round-the-clock police surveillance has raised awareness about normalized acts of racial profiling and police brutality in local communities, and has forced law enforcement officers to be responsible with their power and accountable for their actions. The implementation of police body cams is arguably the greatest on-the-ground achievement of anti-police brutality groups like CopWatch and Black Lives Matter activists. The purpose of police body cameras is to create trust and transparency between law enforcement officers and the communities in which they patrol. Citizens feel safer when they know that others are watching, or at least soon will be, if they were to be attacked, abused, or at worst, murdered. Law enforcement officers have relied on and credited the efficiency of body cameras as well, in cases where they were falsely accused of excessive force or police brutality and dash/body cameras proved their innocence. The transparency provided by body cameras has overall helped improve community relations with police officials. North Carolina is not the only state to restrict body cam footage from public access. Florida, Oregon, Illinois, Georgia, South Carolina and a few other states have restrictions on police footage as well. What makes North Carolina’s policy uniquely harsh, however, is its restriction of both video and sound from dash and body cameras, as opposed to other states that ban public access to police video footage but not sound recordings. The law is also novel in that it restricts footage access not just from the public, but also from the families of those affected. The implementation of NC House Bill 972 is a bold act of anti-transparency by North Carolina legislators. NC’s harsh law on dash and body cam access has serious implications and raises questions about why legislators are so adamant about “protecting” law enforcement officers from their own sound and video footage. It can take up to months to be granted a superior court order for the release of police sound and video footage -- leaving time and space for false accusations and possible illegal editing on behalf of officials. The passing of this legislation also raises a critical question in minority communities: If we can no longer rely on police footage as a defense or as evidence of innocence, should we be filming ourselves? We have seen local communities’ reaction to city officials withholding police camera footage, in cities like Charleston, SC and Chicago, IL. Most notably, we remember the killing of 16-year old Laquan McDonald, who was repeatedly shot 16 times while lying on the ground, as revealed by later-released camera footage. Chicago natives and residents protested for days in response to mayor Rahm Emanuel’s deliberate withholding of the video. NC Governor McCrory insists that recordings of police interactions with the community can “mislead and misinform the public...while work[ing] against police officers.” On the other hand, members of local minority communities fear that without the immediate release of these recordings (to their families or otherwise), police officials have the ability to manipulate both their version of the story and any voice/video evidence. At the very least, police footage should be available to the families affected by the incident, and audio recordings should be available for public access, as it is in other anti-transparency states like Florida. North Carolina’s new body cam law is a direct blow to the efforts of BLM activists as well as to the trust of both citizens and police officers who relied on the immediate release of body cam footage to clear their name of media criticism. We must reverse this miscarriage of justice, sooner rather than later, before a domino effect begins to take place in surrounding states. The law goes into effect on October 1st, 2016.
Sec. Clinton: Don't Pick TPP Kaine for VPHere's all you need to know about Tim Kaine, according to the Huffington Post, "Kaine, by contrast, is setting himself up as a figure willing to do battle with the progressive wing of the party. He has championed the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal that both Sanders and Warren oppose, and he is now publicly siding with bank deregulation advocates at the height of Clinton’s veepstakes."
"I'll vote for Jill if you will” pledge campaign to elect Jill Stein president.Vast numbers of voters are frustrated and angry! It’s come down to Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump? These are the two most unpopular candidates in the history of presidential elections. Of course, there is an excellent alternative. But understandably voters are afraid of “throwing their vote away”. Here’s the solution: We join together in a person-to-person pledge campaign, the “I’ll vote for Jill if you will” initiative, supporting the presidential bid of Dr. Jill Stein. Together we’ll elect the first female President of the United States, one who will do a great job of putting America back on track. Here’s how . . . Step 1: When you take the “I’ll vote for Jill if you will” personal pledge alone or with a friend, neighbor, relative, you let us know by officially signing the pledge at this site. Step 2: You find two other people who you respect and trust, let them know about Jill Stein if they don’t already, get them to take the “I’ll vote for Jill if you will” pledge, and make sure they let us know by coming here to sign the pledge. Step 3: They likewise will each find two others to take the pledge and come here to add to the growing list of pledge takers. Step 4: When and only when we reach our target of 50 million pledges, we will vote for Jill Stein. Why 50 million? Because 50 million voters will guarantee a victory by plurality for Jill Stein, thus we will all know with absolute certainty we’re not throwing our votes away, that indeed our votes will go toward electing a great president! 50 million may seem like an impossible goal. But it’s all in the math. If one person tells two about this tomorrow, then the following day those two each tell two more, and so on and so on, how many days does it take to get to 50 million? The answer might surprise you. 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 … believe it or not, in ONLY 27 DAYS we will have 67,108,864 pledges! (Go to http://50-million-signatures.us/50-million/do-the-math/) It’s the power of numbers! It’s the power of people! It’s the power of joining together and saying NO MORE LESSER EVIL VOTING! Remember, there’s nothing at risk here. We honor the “I’ll vote for Jill if you will” pledge when we get to our goal. On the other hand, there’s a lot at stake . . . a better America for ourselves and our children! It’s up to you. Take the pledge. Let us know. Then have two others take the pledge. Make sure they let us know too. Sorry, Hillary and Donald. The people will have spoken. We intend to celebrate Dr. Jill Stein as the 45th President of the United States!
End Legal Slavery in U.S. PrisonsThe 13th Amendment (1865) ordered the abolition of slavery in the United States, except as punishment for a criminal conviction. In other words, federal law permits the use of prisoners and incarcerated persons for free labor by state officials as well as the private sector. From the late 1800s until now, unpaid prison labor has been the pattern, practice, and collective mindset of various states across America. Southern states have taken particular advantage of the wording of the 13th Amendment, and in turn, current resistance movements have risen out of prison-dense states like Texas and Alabama, where units are often compared to plantations. Over the past few weeks, prison activists in Texas and Alabama have organized a series of prison-labor strikes -- where they refuse to work their assigned jobs in protest of unpaid labor compounded with toxic and unsanitary working conditions. The prison-labor strikes have led to prison lockdowns, starvation tactics and brutality by guards. Thus far, three prison units in Alabama and fourteen units in Texas (including a women's unit) have been placed on lockdown in reprisal for a collective work-stoppage. RootsAction stands in solidarity with these prison activists fighting for their human rights, and we urge you to do the same. Prisoners, like all other human beings, should be compensated for their labor, whether with wages or with reduced sentences. Paying prisoners for their labor enables them, not only to better provide for themselves while in prison, but also to pay outstanding bills and unpaid court fees that have accumulated over time (and that may have landed many of them in prison in the first place). Compensating prisoners for their labor through a legitimate "Work Time" system that reduces their sentence grants hardworking prisoners the opportunity to be reviewed early by parole boards and released back into society. This system also relieves state taxpayers, through the simple fact that an earned early release is one less prisoner to pay for. END PRISON SLAVERY NOW Sign this petition to demand that Congress revisit the 13th Amendment and propose a new amendment to the Constitution that abolishes free prison labor and applies the federal minimum wage to all labor in the U.S. and its imperial territories.
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 administration
No New Pipeline Construction in Charlottesville/AlbemarleAs corporate fracking and gas pipeline proposals proliferate across the region promising jobs and cheap energy, the reality of the situation is that almost all of the fracked natural gas expected to transit our state will be shipped overseas, and very few permanent jobs will be created. Pipelines are dangerous, often exploding and leaking. Pipelines devalue land and hurt local farmers and forests. Our political leaders need to act decisively in the interest of the land, the wildlife, the farmers and the people. Join members of the Sierra Club, the Charlottesville Center for Peace & Justice, Wild Virginia, Appalachian Voices, and Friends of Nelson County in telling the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and the Charlottesville City Council to adopt a resolution banning new pipeline construction in their areas! [This petition was created by Kirk Bowers and Evan Knappenberger of the Charlottesville Center for Peace & Justice.]
Ask United Nations members to fund 4th EstateOVERVIEW Please consider putting your name to this petition. It calls for United Nations members to recognise the Global Journalism Crisis and support rapid expansion of emergency funding. An initial target is 0.7% of global aid spending, amounting to US$1.4 billion. This is equivalent to 14,000 global news positions. BACKGROUND Global aid targets aim for 0.7% of Gross Domestic Product, worldwide. The Journalism Agenda 2025 narrows that target by calling for 0.7% of global aid to go towards globalising the 4th Estate. Why? News media have suffered increasingly severe cutbacks ever since the Pentagon Papers, and Watergate. GLOBALISATION Journalism has fallen far behind globalisation. Evidence for this comes in the form of a war on terror started on misleading information, and a global financial crisis missed completely by news media too busy cheerleading “free” markets. Averting global collapse of social cohesion requires strong, independent journalism not tied to corporate and/or political interests. INDUSTRY TARGET Longer term, the agenda targets the communications industry to share 0.7% of their own communication spending, to go towards independent, investigative journalism. Ethics-based, solutions-focused and forward thinking, JA2025 applies multiple layers of crowd-sourced media accountability systems. Ranging from Facebook likes, Twitter retweets, and LinkedIn thumbs up, JA2025 adds survey or wizard-based responses to each story for complaints, praise, corrections or fresh details. FINE-GRAIN GROUND-TRUTH As an additional layer of accountability, these surveys can then also be compared with existing reputation rankings via social networks, e.g. pwik, opendns, klout, and/or the web of trust. Such an approach enables a finer-grain response to each issue, enabling journalists to build ground-truths into the institutional memory of the 4th Estate. This is an example of JA2025 proposals using open newsroom standards. JA2025 is platform neutral – no proprietary software means we can network with anyone, anywhere, using their tools not ‘ours.’ POLICY EQUITY Creating policy equity with legislators, executives and the judiciary, @jagenda2025 drafts out a 10 year plan to rescue journalism, and rebuild the 4th Estate into a worldwide institution. Journalism aid could include investing a recommended ratio towards a permanent trust fund. To put that in context, the US alone has fired 20,000 journalists since the Global Financial Crisis. There are now just 39,000 journalists left in the United States. The US figures suggest an estimate of 50,000 or more also being sacked, worldwide. WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT Journalism was a public good. No longer functioning as the 4th Estate, journalism cannot hold power to account and protect human rights, anywhere. Newsroom pay rolls began shrinking in 1990, beginning a 25 year decline in journalism jobs. WHY JOURNALISM IS A PUBLIC GOOD A strong, independent press is the globe’s best chance of responding to looming challenges from climate change. Informing the public is the most sacred duty of our local, national, regional and international representatives. There can be no public unless there is public media. Publicly or privately owned, news media are a public service. WHAT IT IS We, the undersigned, petition world authorities to fund independent, investigative journalism. JA2025, the global journalism agenda, calls for at least 0.7% of aid to be quarantined for news media. That slice equals aid funding of US$1.4 billion, representing equivalent spending on 14,000 new journalist positions, about 10% of newsroom jobs lost worldwide since 1975. CHALLENGE A challenge will be issued to NGOs, governments and companies to match this funding. This challenge calls for another 0.7% sliver, of all communications, public relations and other corporate messaging, a further US$3.6 billion in funding for independent, investigative journalism. SOURCES Pew Institute, state of the media US Census figures European Journalism Centre Media Rights Agenda (Africa) Asia-Pacific Association of Press Clubs Media, Arts and Entertainment Alliance (Aus, NZ) Pacific Freedom Forum
The Greek people got to vote. Why shouldn't we?The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade agreement dictated by the corporate and wealthy interests who will reap its rewards. If adopted, the majority of Americans will be the losers. They’re using negotiations that they have branded as “trade talks” to impose many non-trade policies that could lower our standard of living, export our jobs and undermine our rights. TPP is being negotiated in secret. Corporations are at the table. The American people are not. Congress won't even know what it is voting on until all the negotiations are over. Congress' decision to give the president Fast Track authority means TPP can't be modified or amended to protect the American people. If you like NAFTA, you'll love TPP! Requirements like “renewable/recycled” or “sweat free” and obligations for firms to meet basic health, safety, minimum and prevaling wage, child labor, human rights and other standards could be challenged, even on work for the government paid for with our tax dollars. Corporations will be able to sue our government for unlimited compensation if they believe labor, environment, food safety or other standards affected their "expected future profits". More American workers will lose their jobs and incomes as companies export our jobs to wherever they can pay the lowest wages with the fewest restrictions, including places with child labor and modern forms of slavery. Shouldn't the American people get to vote whether we are subjected to this corporate power grab dressed up as a trade agreement? Shouldn't we have at least as much democracy as the Greek people in deciding our fate?
Vote for TPP and I'll Never Vote for YouThe TPP is a disaster that towers over considerations of gentility and lesser-evilism. This is Congress, as our supposed representatives, giving the power to overturn its own laws to corporations. This is NAFTA on steroids, economically and environmentally destructive at home and abroad. Most of it has nothing to do with trade, but is rather about empowering banks and corporations with powers that couldn't be passed separately or transparently because they're too terrible and unpopular. It's time we take a stand against wrecking the world, even with corrupt politicians who can find someone slightly more corrupt to run against. Here are the senators who voted for Fast Track: http://1.usa.gov/1GtAdTH And the House members who voted for Fast Track: http://1.usa.gov/1GAl1TT Let them know the consequences if they vote for the TPP.
Keep Nestle Out of the Cascades!Help keep Oregon beautiful, natural, independent, and HEALTHY! If you live in, or care about, the state of Oregon then there is something happening that you should know about. Cascade Locks is trying to sell Nestle rights to Oregon's water and permission to build a bottling plant in our state without so much as a by-your-leave from the Oregonians who currently own this water and who will be affected by this plant. If you do not already know why this would be a problem I invite you to take a moment to look at Nestle's recent actions around the world: http://www.corp-research.org/nestle and how Californians feel about the deals they made with Nestle now that they have the benefit of hindsight http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/may/20/nestle-water-bottling-california-drought This is an invasive and abusive company that will promise anything to get in and then, once they are established, they proceed to ignore any and all restrictions or complaints about their abuses unless they are constantly and very aggressively enforced. You can see the destructive pattern repeated over and over in Colorado, California, China, and South America. The jobs they promise the community either mysteriously never seem to manifest or they are minimum wage and temp jobs while all high pay positions are filled with imported personnel. Meanwhile the plant continues to sprawl across the previously gorgeous countryside and suck up increasingly precious clean water. Once Nestle owns water rights they are NEVER so stupid as to sell them back again (that alone should indicate that you have something more valuable than what they are offering for it) and it becomes almost impossible to effectively enforce water usage restrictions, as California is discovering. Oregon has some of the most beautiful and unspoiled wetlands in the world, and fresh, clean WATER IS THE MOST VALUABLE RESOURCE IN THE WORLD. Nestle knows that. They see the droughts rampaging across the entire globe and they know how pricelessly precious these springs and aquifers are, so they will offer any price to acquire them and then never let them go. I don't want these unscrupulous profit-hounds anywhere near us, but since Nestle has gone behind the public's back (after the Cascade Locks community rejected their proposals multiple times) nobody plans on giving any of us a real say! This will not simply affect the Cascade Locks area. This is upstream of a lot of other Oregonians who are being given NO say whatsoever in this decision even though they also depend upon this water source. I plan on yelling directly at the Oregon Water Resources board, Governor Kate Brown, and the Cascade Locks City Council to let them know I will NOT quietly sit by while they sell off our most precious natural resource, all on the promises of a known liar! I invite you to join me.
Peace & Planet Call for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the United States atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It also marks 45 years since the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) entered into force, obligating all States parties to undertake good faith negotiations for the elimination of nuclear weapons. Instead, the world’s nuclear-armed nations are spending over $100 billion per year to maintain and modernize their nuclear arsenals. The danger of wars among nuclear-armed States is growing, and with it the threat of unimaginable death and suffering. From April 27 – May 22, 2015 representatives of the 189 members of the NPT, including the original nuclear-armed States (the U.S., Russia, the U.K, France, and China) will come together at the United Nations in New York City to review the Treaty’s operation. The recent Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons set up the potential for a direct challenge to the nuclear- armed States: States not possessing nuclear weapons will be demanding a new diplomatic process to achieve nuclear disarmament. It is long past time for the world’s governments to implement the global obligation to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world. We are at a crucial juncture, a time when the unresolved tensions of a deeply inequitable society, great power ambitions, and the destructive effects of an unsustainable economic system are exploding into overlapping crises. This petition campaign is part of the Peace & Planet Mobilization for a Nuclear-Free, Peaceful, Just and Sustainable World. In a demonstration of their determination to build a fair, democratic, ecologically sustainable, and peaceful future, people will gather in New York City and around the world for international days of action April 24 – 26, 2015.
Audit the Federal ReserveFor too long (over a century) the Federal Reserve Board has been shielded legally from disclosing its financial dealings to "We the People", yet it has sweeping power to tax US citizens and to spend such income in any fashion that it desires, including bailout of "too-big-to-fail" banks, financing its favorite major corporations and "rescuing" other national currencies. Additionally, the Federal Reserve has printed trillions of dollars to intentionally inflate our currency, making our hard-earned money worth less, while it destroys savings and retirement funds. This deliberate attack on middle income Americans continues because Congress also benefits from the availability to "loose money", enabling them to fund pork-barrel projects and thus ensuring their re-election. Although the name "Federal Reserve" appears to give it the appearance of being a real Federal Agency, it is truly NOT a Federal agency, but is a BANKING CARTEL, given a misleading name so as to deceive the American people. Currently, Janet Yellen, the head of the Federal Reserve Board, is leading a campaign aimed at Congress to block any legislation which would require the Federal Reserve to become transparent in its operations. Criminals prefer to operate in secrecy. Truly the Federal Reserve is the largest Ponzi scheme ever devised ... defrauding US citizens of not millions or even billions of dollars, but multiple TRILLIONS of dollars! If Congress will pass a bill that requires a full, publicly available audit of Federal Reserve operations and financial dealings, then the result will be immediate outrage by American citizens at the Fed's massive plunder of our financial system. Once aware, our outage will bring swift reform to the banking industry and likely result in many criminal prosecutions. The House of Representatives has already passed legislation which would require a full audit of the Fed. However, both Republican and Democrat Senators continually kill such bills. Your support of this petition can finally bring an end to the massive looting of our economy by the 1% !!!!
STOP Timber Mountain OHV AreaThe 1995 Resource Management Plan (RMP) for the Medford District BLM included a listing of three areas “to be managed for OHV use.” (Off-Highway Vechicles) Thirty-eight characters describe the Timber Mountain/John’s Peak OHV Area (original name; it keeps changing). “Timber Mountain/John’s Peak, 16,250 acres.” Though a table describes these areas as “Limited to existing roads and trails,” the RMP contains no written descriptions of the areas, no maps showing area boundaries, and no maps showing existing trails. Since 1995 the BLM has actively promoted the area, including getting Oregon Parks and Recreation to include it in their recreation materials. Area residents, dealing with trespass, noise, erosion, trash and illegal activity, found BLM totally unresponsive to complaints. BLM maintains the area was designated in 1995 and that BLM lands are “Open unless marked Closed.” An uncontrolled surge of OHV enthusiasts increasingly carved out trails wherever they could, often trespassing on private land. In 2005 BLM began an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process. It wasn’t until 2006 that area residents saw any maps of the area. (In Oregon most BLM lands are every other section of land, making it a checkerboard pattern interspersed with private lands.) More than 1200 area landowners, registered voters all, submitted a petition to BLM requesting the area be removed for OHV use as an “inappropriate area.” BLM released a DRAFT EIS in 2009. It was heavily criticized and no official action has been taken since to manage the situation. Recently, however, BLM issued a Categorical Exclusion (CE), an action that allows them to do work without requiring environmental analysis. The CE provides for the “rehabilitation/restoration” of 92 miles of trail over a period of five years. Some of the trails on the accompanying map don’t even exist. The government has been like an unwelcome cousin that stands at the fence and yells, then invites all his buddies down to your house where they make noise, scorch the countertop, scar the coffee table, and leave behind a bad smell. Enough. This has been going on for twenty years. Please join me in asking Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to correct this situation. Thank you.
Credits/Refunds for television and internet downtimeYou the customer are now being billed for 24/7 service. This billing does not give any credit to the customer for the loss of signal due to areas for which the providers are responsible. This includes equipment downtime due to poor maintenance of cables, relay stations, disks, shoddy equipment required and provided by suppliers for in house service and service personal who lack knowledge in repairs. Under the present billing system these providers have no incentive to improve their services and equipment maintenance. You are charged for these services even when you can not access them and have no control as to when they will be repaired.
Defund Bratton's Army!Whether it's a counterterrorism-unit build up or mobile units for neighborhood “safety” and disorder control, New Yorkers say NO to Department of Homeland Security-funded NYPD militarization! The War Resisters League's campaign, "Demilitarize Health and Security," condemns the unveiling of a DHS-funded 900-officer counterterrorism and special operations overhaul by New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton. According to Bratton, in amendments to his original statements on January 29th, both the 350-member counterterrorist auxiliary unit - equipped with "long rifles and machine guns" designed for "disorder control and counterterrorism protection capabilities" - and the 500-officer special-operations unit Strategic Response Group (SRG) mandated to monitor protests and “sudden rises in crime” will be rolled out in the Summer of 2015. Bratton’s conflation of “terrorism issues, crime issues and demonstrations issues” will only further criminalize our communities, violate our right to protest, and curtail our ability to survive and thrive. We demand an end to the build up of Bratton’s army because militarization is a threat to our safety! We urge Mayor de Blasio to stand with New Yorkers and call for the defunding of Bratton’s two newly proposed units. Together, we can create real solutions for community safety and wellness without tanks and assault rifles!
A Proposal to Amend the US Constitution to Recall Members of CongressThe proposal is for a Constitutional Amendment for a recall provision to be enforceable against a sitting Member of Congress. This recall provision would provide more regular and continuous oversight of elected public officials to ensure their responsiveness to the Will of the People. The People should not tolerate an incompetent or corrupt or unresponsive elected official exhibiting a willful disregard of those represented, particularly when they serve in Congressional leadership positions affecting the Nation at large. Why should the American People have to wait until that elected official's term of office expires? For example, it is evident that the current Congress' priorities and actions do not reflect the Will of the People. In blatant disregard to that Will, the leadership in Congress has, when in the minority, obstructed Justice by manipulating the Rules of Congress to require more than a majority vote when, by their own precedent, no supermajority vote was previously required. Senators and Representatives are on official public record for abusing the right to filibuster to force delays and otherwise obstruct the good faith business of Congress. When in the majority, they have passed laws providing for unfair advantage in electoral processes, redistricting federal districts unrepresentative of the demographics of States, all to ensure a "safe" district for their party. This is in blatant disregard of general rules of good government. This government was based on a simple principle of majority rule with minority rights. The factions in Congress have forced minorities to find super-majorities to overcome the abuses to procedural rules. If this principle is to be a precedent, then the People can employ that same principle, the right of a relatively small minority of the electorate to force a recall election of an official acting in bad faith. It is the hope of the People that such a threat of recall will deter and/or penalize our elected representatives from taking political positions that offend the clear majority of US Citizens not otherwise represented. The system of campaign finance combined with professional lobbying has so corrupted the process of legislating that the majority of Americans feel disenfranchised and politically alienated from their government. It is the only way to create a counter-balance to all the special interests and single-issue groups who now dominate the time and attention of the Legislature. Further, these political pressures have made it impossible for our Representatives to consider anything other than their own short-term interests and political advantages, thereby ignoring what is in the long-term best interests of the American People. At a minimum, it is the hope that such a recall provision will effectively stymie an official intent on pursuing such a conflict of interest between themselves and their electorate, constantly occupying them, instead, with the threat of needing to campaign in perpetual recall elections. It has long been the right, in many State Courts, to file what is known as a "Writ of Mandamus" against any public official who is acting in an arbitrary or capricious manner, usually without reference to the facts or the rule of law. However, no such right exists at the Federal level. Given our current history, the wisdom of such a Constitutional Amendment is clear. Never has the need been greater. Current events are now witness to the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, announcing in public that he will not call for hearings, under any circumstances, to confirm a Constitutionally mandated Presidential nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States. There is no legal precedent, and no precedent of Congress for this action. It is clearly an arbitrary and capricious act designed to bring about a political result. This is in contravention to the clear original intent of the US Constitution and the current Will of the People. Under his "stewardship" the People have witnessed the repeated abuse of the Rules of the Senate in order to obstruct virtually every legislative initiative of our duly elected President. The People cannot wait to "vote him out of office." The power of the incumbency is so great that he may never be voted out - even against the popular vote of his own electorate. This hurts all of us, not just those in his home State. There are Supreme Court cases that need the ninth Justice to decide them. With the Senate Rules and the Electoral Rules being abused, daily, this obstructionist faction (that clearly does not believe in any proper role of government or any acceptable level of taxation or spending) continues to gain power in Congress. Such policies amount to Sedition and Treason in the traditi
Raise the Minimum Wage in Minneapolis to $15Recently the minimum wage in Minnesota was raised from $7.25 to $9.50 by 2016 and tied to inflation by 2018. This is unacceptable. By 2018 a minimum wage of $9.50 tied to inflation will be no more beneficial than a $7.25 minimum wage tied to inflation today. The nearly 300,000 low-wage workers in Minneapolis cannot support themselves and their families on anything less.
Congress passes bill that allows the largest land grab of all timesThe acreage they want to give away is the most scared lands of the San Carlos Apache Tribe. They want to strip all of the copper ore out from under the lands where the tribes have used for burials and scared ceremonies of hundreds of years. The company even admits this will cause "a little subsidence" of these lands. What that means is these mountains will collapse after having a huge amount of rock removed from under them.They do not even talk about the fact that this scared mountain is an important part of the water supply to the entire very arid region. Another fact ignored is that they will have to pollute the water resources that are already used in this area in order to get the "Low grade copper ore" out from under them since water is necessary for ore processing. What will the scared lands look like in 10 years? This area of fragile ecology supports many endangered species. All that will be left is a smoldering pile of pulverized rock surrounded by drying up ponds of polluted water. This will not only be an environmental disaster, but the total destruction of the San Carlos Apache Tribe's culture and past. Why are we even talking about allowing a foreign company to destroy Native American property? This does no benefit anyone except a company with ties to China and Iran. Or perhaps certain politicians. The Native Americans have been lied to and cheated by the American Government too many times already. Now they want to allow San Carlos Apache Tribe's most sacred lands to be destroyed so a foreign company can get richer? This is completely immoral and should be totally illegal! Some other American National lands scheduled to be given away or heavily exploited include: 1,600 acres from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State for industrial development 70,000 acres of the Tongass National Forest in Alaska would be opened to logging A couple thousand acres of National Lands in North Carolina There are hundreds of thousands of acres of American to be handed off or tied up for industrial destruction in this massive land grab. Why is is all hidden away inside of a defense bill when it has nothing to do with defense, but everything to do with greed? Just when I thought that our Congress could go no lower, they find a new way of demonstrating their complete disdain for the people that they are supposed to be representing. Now they are helping themselves to land that is supposed to belong to all Americans The Congress is giving away out National lands to anyone that they want to. Where do they get the right to give away any American National Lands? Also included in this horrible bill are other areas important to people that they want to give away including National properties in North Carolina. Our National lands belong to the people of this country not to Congress! These people need to be stopped before they destroy the entire country so they can get wealthier! They will be able to afford to leave the remains of this beautiful country after they pillage and rape it, but millions of Americans will not have the same luxury. This is our future generation's heritage that they are so callously wiping out for the purpose of a few selfish people getting richer.