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Tell Obama to Support Human Rights in West PapuaOn October 26, 2015, President Obama will meet with Indonesia's President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo. Beginning in May 1963, West Papua was occupied by Indonesia with U.S. government support and encouragement. By 1969, Indonesia had annexed the territory. Over the course of five decades, West Papuans have suffered mass killings, torture, rape, and the loss of their culture and lands. U.S. corporations like the mining giant Freeport McMoRan have devastated the environment. At least 100,000 Papuans are estimated to have died as a result of Indonesian rule. In addition, the region has been so inundated with migrants that indigenous Papuans are no longer a majority in their own land. The U.S. continues to arm and train the security forces that repress the West Papuan people. The Indonesian government's attempts to conceal the truth about West Papua include banning foreign journalists and UN Special Rapporteurs on human rights from visiting the territory. While President Widodo has announced several positive initiatives, elements in his government, including the security forces, are resisting change and the human rights violations continue. The West Papuans continue to resist Indonesian rule. Groups supporting self-determination recently came together in the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) in a broad coalition to press their case within West Papua and internationally. Restrictions on security assistance from the United States were important in Timor-Leste (East Timor) gaining their independence from Indonesia. The U.S. should again restrict training and weapons to Indonesia in support of the rights of West Papuans. This is a petition of the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network For more information on West Papua, read the monthly West Papua Report, published by the West Papua Advocacy Team and ETAN.
Ultimate Control of All Satellites to the United NationsA 2014 Gallup International survey found that, by a wide margin, people believe that the United States is the biggest threat to wold peace. It's hard to believe that these people want the US controlling their skies. A 1967 international agreement signed by all the major powers banned weapons from earth orbit. Several major powers (including the USA) have violated that ban. When one space faring nation explodes a competitor's satellite, each of thousands of high velocity pieces can destroy other "innocent" satellites for decades. Our planet must avoid an arms race in space.
Don't showcase Confederate "heroes" during International Bicycle Race.In the aftermath of the horrific white-supremacist massacre of nine African-Americans in Charleston, S.C., calls are being raised across the country for the removal of Confederate symbols from public places. But in Richmond, Va., the former capital of the slavery-defending Confederacy, during the 150th anniversary year of Emancipation and the end of the Civil War, prominent elected officials are defending their decision to spotlight racist symbols in an international sports event. The UCI Road Word Championships bicycle race, scheduled to take place in Richmond Sept. 19-27, is one of the cycling world's most prestigious competitions. It also likely will be the largest sports event held in the United States in 2015. Some 450,000 people are expected to attend, along with representatives of 500 U.S. news outlets, reporters from 100 countries and a worldwide TV viewing audience of 300 million. Truly, this event will showcase not only Richmond and the state of Virginia, but the entire country. And yet, U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones – all Northern-born Democrats and chairmen of Richmond 2015, the official race organizing committee – have chosen to highlight Richmond's Monument Avenue, a virtual shrine to the Confederacy. (The fourth committee chairman is Thomas F. Farrell II, Chairman, CEO and President of Dominion Resources, Virginia's most politically influential corporation.) Hundreds of millions of people will watch as riders pass statues of Generals Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, J.E.B. Stuart and Naval Commander Matthew Fontaine Maury. Then, for the critical half-way point of the race, the riders will circle around the towering monument to Jefferson Davis, the slave-owning Confederate president. The route even manages to skip the avenue's one statue dedicated to an African-American, Richmond-born tennis champion and human rights activist Arthur Ashe, who was particularly known for his activism against the racist apartheid system of South Africa. The route then continues over Shockoe Bottom, the former slave-trading area that once was the epicenter of the U.S. domestic slave trade and an area that Gov. McAuliffe and Mayor Jones had been promoting for a commercial baseball stadium, until that for-profit developer's scheme was blocked by a prolonged community struggle. Many of the corporate principals of Richmond 2015 are the same business leaders who heavily promoted the stadium proposal. So, 150 years after Emancipation and the end of the Civil War, Sen. Warner, Gov. McAuliffe, Mayor Jones and CEO Farrell are saying that the finest this country has to present to the world are the monuments to the traitors who fought to preserve slavery – and that this outrageous statement is being made at the same time they are failing dismally to properly memorialize the site that once was the fountainhead of the domestic slave trade. Simply put, the message is: Black Lives and History Really Do Not Matter. In Richmond, the Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality, a community organization and a founding member of UNAC that has been fighting since 2002 to reclaim Shockoe Bottom, is calling on the race organizers to move the route off Monument Avenue and for the city to finally commit to a proper memorialization of Shockoe Bottom. The Defenders also are calling for progressives to join them in a National Presence in Richmond at noon on Saturday, Sept. 19, the opening day of the UCI race – at the Jefferson Davis monument. UNAC endorses these demands and strongly encourages all our members and allies to be in Richmond on Sept. 19 to let the world know that we reject this honoring of the slavery-defending Confederacy and demand a proper memorialization of all slavery-related sites, including Richmond's Shockoe Bottom.
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.
Tell Congress – End Secrecy on 9/11, Declassify the 28 PagesRemember the shocking revelation that the Bush White House let 140 Saudis fly out of the country in the days immediately after the 9/11 attacks, even though it claimed 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis? One of these flights had two dozen bin Laden family members on board and another had elite Saudi royals including Prince Ahmed bin Salman, a reported intermediary between Al Qaeda and the House of Saud. Then, causing great concern to high-ranking members of the Congressional Joint Intelligence Committee which in 2002 produced the first investigative report of the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration blacked out 28 full pages that document members of the Saudi royal family as the principle financiers of the Sept. 11 attacks. Despite promising 9/11 family members that he would release them, President Obama has so far maintained the suppression of these 28 pages. Former Senator Bob Graham, who co-chaired the Joint Intelligence Committees' investigation, has said that the 28 pages “primarily relate to who financed 9/11 and they point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia as being the principal financier.” Graham has also said that the 28 Pages reveal the Saudi funding came primarily through the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C. The Saudi Arabian Ambassador at the time was Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the very same Bandar nicknamed “Bandar Bush” by George W. because of his longstanding close affiliations with the Bush family. In addition to Graham, both co-chairmen of the 9/11 Commission and even former CIA Directors have called for their release. All of the members of Congress who have read the 28 pages are saying that releasing them would not compromise national security. Quite the opposite. On June 2, Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) went so far as to say that the 28 pages contain the "best intelligence" we have for preventing another 9/11. Senator Graham has said the U.S. government’s shielding of Saudi Arabia’s role in funding extremism helped pave the way for the rise of ISIS. The content of the pages is so shocking that Massie has also stated: “I had to stop every couple of pages and … try to rearrange my understanding of history … It challenges you to rethink everything.” On June 2, 2015, Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced a Senate bill, the Transparency for Families of 9/11 Victims and Survivors Act of 2015 (S.B. 1471) – the companion bill to bi-partisan House Resolution 14 (H.RES.14). S.B. 1471 mandates the immediate declassification and release of the 28 Pages. We need your help to get a filibuster-proof majority of Senators to read the pages and become co-sponsors. Over 70 percent of the 400 questions compiled by the 9/11 Families Steering Committee for the 9/11 Commission -- many on the U.S.-Saudi relationship -- were never answered, and now the Supreme Court has allowed the 9/11 victims’ families to sue the Saudis in federal court. They need your help to get the 28 Pages finally released.
Create Truth and Reconciliation Commission for U.S. and NATO WarsTunisia is the latest example of a nation using truth and reconciliation to address past horrors, specifically torture. The United States has not put an end to torture, to lawless imprisonment, to warrantless spying, or to any of the other criminal elements of its aggressive warmaking, which continues ever more free from even the pretense of adherence to law.
Support German Campaign to Remove Ramstein Drone RelayAll lethal US drone strikes are guided via the Satellite Relay Station located on the US Air Force Base Ramstein. More than 10,000 people worldwide have been killed by these drone strikes. The bin Ali Jaber family lost two of its members through a drone strike in Hadramout in Yemen. Now Reprieve and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) have filed a lawsuit against the German government in a German court on behalf of the bin Ali Jaber family. The suit demands that the German government “take legal and political responsibility for the US drone war in Yemen” and “forbid use of the Satellite Relay Station in Ramstein.” Wednesday, May 27th 2015, 11 a.m., German Bundestag (Meadow) : this case will begin with a hearing before the high administrative court in Cologne. The military base in Ramstein remains under the legal jurisdiction of the German federal government even though the US Air Force has been allowed to use the base. If illegal activities are conducted from Ramstein -- such as extra-judicial killings – and the US judicial authorities do not condemn these crimes and mandate an end to them, then German justice authorities have a duty to act. The United States Government claims the right to deploy killer drones everywhere in the world, but extrajudicial killing is against United States constitutional law as well as German and international law. Extra-judicial killing, the killing of 'suspects' is a grievous violation of the United States Constitution. The initiation and prosecution of wars in sovereign countries that do not threaten the US mainland are in violation of international Treaties the United States has signed and which have been ratified by our Congress. These include the United Nations Charter, the Nuremberg Judgement and the Kellogg Briand Pact, all signed into US Law at the time of their ratification. Extra- judicial killings carried out by armed drones that are guided to their targets and controlled via Ramstein on German sovereign territory are also violations of both German law and international law. In deference to the suffering of drone victims, and to the deep antiwar sentiment of the German people, as citizens of the United States, we stand in solidarity with the bin Ali Jaber family of Yemen, and the urgent demand by German activists that the (German) Attorney General’s Office act to initiate investigations against military personnel working at Ramstein. The Two-plus- Four-Treaty (the constitutional founding document of the reunited Federal Republic of Germany) grants Germany “complete sovereignty at home and abroad” and emphasizes that “there shall be only peaceful activities from German territory.” The 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War was just celebrated in Europe and Russia. This is a reminder of the devastation caused by war. The German people have not forgotten this. In accordance with the Treaty and in solidarity with the German people and drone victims everywhere, we demand that: > The German Attorney General’s Office immediately initiate investigations on the US military base Ramstein against those individuals who are participating in the operation of the Satellite Relay Station. > The German Government work for the immediate closing of the Satellite Relay Station at Ramstein and abstain from acquiring weaponized drones for the German military. You can get more information by listening to David Swanson's interview with Andreas Schueller on Talk Nation Radio: http://davidswanson.org/node/4725 and Germany is the Tell-Tale Heart of America's Drone War, Jeremy Scahill's article in the Intercept: https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/04/17/ramstein/
Tell United States and All Non-Members to Join the ICCGlobal justice requires global participation. Partial and biased justice damages the cause of establishing the rule of law and the nonviolent settlement of disputes. To succeed, the ICC must include all nations and treat all crimes equally regardless of where committed or by whom. Here is the list of which countries are members: http://bit.ly/1IDMGbe
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.
Wage Peace!American University produces some of the most influential experts on US Foreign Policy in the country. SIS graduates make up the staff of countless government offices, NGOs, and media organizations. It is therefore regrettable that these students and leaders are given a limited approach to issues of international affairs, weighted heavily towards the National Security perspective. There must be a Peace program at the "Peace University." If we continue to allow our elevated academic institutions to produce people hamstrung by an imperialist ideological framework, there is no reason to expect any change in US Foreign Policy or its structure. Moreover, young people of ages 18 or 19 come to AU with idealistic vigor and the desire to improve the world. They are then subjected to a range of course options that skew their idealism towards militarism and economic subversion of foreign nations. This is an unconscionable state of affairs and we need your support to resist. USFPAC is running a campaign on AU's campus to give prospective students a clear picture of what AU has to offer in terms of Peace studies. We are inviting them (and you!) to sign this petition and join us in the effort to reform SIS academic programming. Our simple demand is that a School of International Service must reflect its charter. Eisenhower founded the institution on the dictum "wage peace." It is time we retrieve his principle.
Stop the Saudi Attack on YemenMore than three months on, the carnage and devastation in Yemen continues. A scenario of escalating violence contained by a seige blocking food, water and medicine from reaching the people of Yemen, is now being referred to as a 'civil' war. However, the forces at play in Yemen could surely have sorted out their poltical differences without destroying the country, and murdering thousands of civilians. It is time to demand that international institutions do their job! If Saudi Arabia is violating international law, and the United States is acting in a perceived self interest that is distorted and unethical, then we must demand that international institutions stand for justice and peace. That is what they were created for, and they won't be able to serve that purpose until the people of the world demand it. Given that: * Over 600 people (updated) mostly civilian, including 93 children, have been killed by the bombing campaign in Yemen, and 100s more injured so far; * More than 100,000 people have been displaced by the bombing and fighting in major cities of Yemen; * There has been major destruction of the physical infrastructure by the bombing in Yemen since the beginning of the Saudi Campaign a couple of weeks ago; * The United States has regularly bombed Yemeni communities with drones, killing civilians, destroying infrastructure and raining terror on the people for more than 10 years, setting a very bad precedent; * Saudi Arabia has bombed the Houthi homelands in northern Yemen repeatedly over the last decade; * Saudi Arabia has fought 6 wars for control of Yemen over the last 60 years; and Given that: * Prior to the bombing campaign there was indeed conflict in Yemen but the Houthis have not engaged in attacks on civilians and the destruction of homes, farms, factories, fuel supplies, and other infrastructure; * The Houthis have been the only force on the ground mounting a successful resistence to AQAP (al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula); * Since the Saudi bombing began, AQAP has reemerged in Yemen and mounted devastating attacks against the people of Yemen, in concert with and enabled by the escalating Saudi campaign; and Given that: * The Houthis have participated in the political structure to the best of their ability over the last several years; * According to international experts, the Houthis do not receive significant aid from Iran and are not in any way representing Iran in their struggle to be included in the social and political power structure of their country; * The Saudis' target, the Houthis, are a legitimate political actor in Yemen; * This campaign is an intrusion into the internal politics of Yemen; * The Saudi Campaign against Yemen constitutes a Crime Against Peace and the site of numerous War Crimes; It is paramount that the United Nations Security Council act on behalf of the oppressed people of Yemen to put an end to Saudi aggression against them so that they can have the opportunity to find their way to a political reconciliation and have the opportunity to live and develop the potential of the sovereign nation of Yemen independent of outside influence.