- Campaign Finance Reform
- Civil Liberties / Surveillance
- Civil Rights
- Economic Justice
- Government Accountability / Whistleblowers
- Gun Violence Prevention
- Law Enforcement
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- Retirement and Healthcare
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.
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.
Negotiate with North Korea on Its Offer to Cancel Nuclear TestsThe DPRK government (North Korea) disclosed on Jan. 10, 2015, that it had delivered to the United States the day before an important proposal to “create a peaceful climate on the Korean Peninsula.” This year, we observe the 70th anniversary of the tragic division of Korea in 1945. The U.S. government played a major role in the arbitrary division of the country, as well as in the horrific Korean civil war of 1950-53, wreaking catastrophic devastation on North Korea, with millions of Korean deaths as well as the deaths of 50,000 American soldiers. It is hard to believe that the U.S. still keeps nearly 30,000 troops in South Korea today, even though the Armistice Agreement was signed back in 1953. According to KCNA, the North Korean news agency, the DPRK’s message stated that if the United States “contribute(s) to easing tension on the Korean Peninsula by temporarily suspending joint military exercises in South Korea and its vicinity this year,” then “the DPRK is ready to take such responsive steps as temporarily suspending the nuclear test over which the U.S. is concerned.” Unfortunately, it is reported that the U.S. State Department rejected the offer on Jan. 10, claiming that the two issues are separate. Such a quick spurning of the North’s proposal is not only arrogant but also violates one of the basic principles of the U.N. Charter, which requires of its members to “settle their international disputes by peaceful means.” (Article 2 ). To reduce the dangerous military tensions on the Korean Peninsula today, it is urgent that the two hostile States engage in mutual dialogue and negotiation for a peaceful settlement of the lingering Korean War, without any preconditions. The North's proposal comes at a time of increasing tensions between the U.S. and DPRK over a Sony film, which depicts a brutal CIA-induced assassination of the current North Korean leader. In spite of the growing doubts by many security experts, the Obama administration hastily blamed the North for last November’s hacking of the Sony Pictures’ computer system and subsequently imposed new sanctions on the country. Pyongyang proposed a joint investigation, denying its responsibility for the cyber-attacks. The winter U.S.-R.O.K. (South Korea) war drill usually takes place in late Feb. DPRK put its troops on high military alert on such occasions in the past and conducted its own war drills in response. Pyongyang regards the large-scale joint war drills as a U.S. rehearsal for military attacks, including nuclear strikes, against North Korea. In the last year’s drill, the U.S. flew in B-2 stealth bombers, which can drop nuclear bombs, from the U.S. mainland, as well as bringing in U.S. troops from abroad. In fact, these threatening moves not only provoke the North but also violate the Korean War Armistice Agreement of 1953. Instead of intensifying further sanctions and military pressures against the DPRK, the Obama administration should accept the recent offer from the North in good faith, and engage in negotiations to reach positive agreements to reduce military tensions on the Korean Peninsula. INITIAL SIGNERS: John Kim, Veterans for Peace, Korea Peace Campaign Project, Coordinator Alice Slater, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, NY Dr. Helen Caldicott David Swanson, World Beyond War Jim Haber Valerie Heinonen, o.s.u.,Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk for Justice and Peace, U.S. Province David Krieger, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Sheila Croke Alfred L. Marder,U.S. Peace Council David Hartsough, Peaceworkers, San Francisco, CA Coleen Rowley, retired FBI agent/legal counsel and peace activist John D. Baldwin Bernadette Evangelist Arnie Saiki, Coordinator Moana Nui Regina Birchem, Women’s International League for Peace and Justice, US Rosalie Sylen, Code Pink, Long Island, Suffolk Peace Network Kristin Norderval Helen Jaccard, Veterans For Peace Nuclear Abolition Working Group, Co-chair Nydia Leaf Heinrich Buecker, Coop Anti-War Cafe Berlin Sung-Hee Choi, Gangjeong village international team, Korea Gar Smith, Environmentalists Against War References: 1) NYT, 1/10/2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/11/world/asia/north-korea-offers-us-deal-to-halt-nuclear-test-.html?_r=0 2) KCNA, 1/10/2015 3) Lt. Gen. Robert Gard, “Strategic Patience with North Korea,” 11/21/2013, www.thediplomat/2013/11/strategic-patience-with-North-Korea.
FIre Top Three Secret Intelligence OfficialsTorture is not the only secret program that has failed to produce intelligence with integrity – this failure is true of every part of the secret world from the CIA, which relies on foreign liaison hand-outs for the bulk of its “clandestine” intelligence to the NSA, which processes less than 1% of what it collects, to the NRO and NGA that are inept at “Big Data” and incapable of providing all-source fused data to the end-user at a desk in Washington or in a foxhole abroad. This is about far more than torture – this is about the complicity of military and civilian intelligence in assassinating thousands (with a documented 98% innocents along the way) while spending over a trillion dollars in a manner that is not helpful to Whole of Government strategy, policy, acquisition, and operations. SHORT URL for Open Letter: http://tinyurl.com/fire-intel-3
Stop Torture: Accountability: YES – Impunity: NOIt is now time to take action. The individuals responsible for the criminal conspiracy revealed in the torture report must be brought to justice, and must face criminal penalties commensurate with the gravity of their crimes. It is critical that we hold accountable those who authorized, those who legally sanctioned and those who implemented the torture policies.
Increase funding to the World Food Programme to support Syrian refugeesNearly four years of civil and sectarian conflict in Syria has created a humanitarian crisis on a scale not seen since the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Nearly 200,000 have been killed, while almost half of Syria's population has been displaced. While just under 7 million remain displaced inside of Syria, over 3 million have fled and sought refuge and protection in the fragile neighboring countries of Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, and northern Iraq. Since June 2013, Road to Mafraq, Inc. has partnered with grassroots movements and NGOs serving refugees in Jordan in an effort to help meet some of the physical and emotional needs facing Jordan's 630,000 registered Syrian refugees. To date, we have raised nearly $22,000 to support their efforts. The families we serve are not permitted to legally work inside of Jordan and therefore, they rely solely on the World Food Programme voucher system for food assistance. The NGO's we partner with assist them in getting additional needs met. The WFP voucher system is vital not only to helping Syrians get proper nutrition, but also to preserving their dignity, as it allows them flexibility in food choices. Furthermore, it supports the local Jordanian economy, which has been devastated by the strain of supporting the rapid and mass influx of Syrians, by allowing refugees to buy locally. Due to a lack of fulfillment of government pledges to the World Food Programme, over 1.7 million Syrian refugees have been cut off from food assistance effective December 1, 2014. If assistance is not immediately restored to these families, the impact to the people of Syria and the nations that host them will be devastating, expansive, and irreversible. The families we serve cannot make it without WFP food assistance. They will be forced to make very difficult and potentially dangerous choices in order to feed their families. This includes, but is not limited to: -- Engaging in illicit work -- Sending their children to work -- Putting their children in compromising and dangerous situations, including marrying off their young girls or selling their children into prostitution -- Returning to Syria for lack of better opportunity in Jordan, where the situation remains very unsafe, and their status as having fled the regime as refugees leaves them vulnerable to violent retaliation by the Syrian regime When we visit with Syrian families in Jordan, they always want to know one thing: "Why is the world ignoring us? How can they sit by and watch this happen to us?" The United States and other wealthy nations have the opportunity to prove these families wrong; to show that the world is not ignoring them; to remind them that we see them, we hear them, and we care for them. Please act now to fully fund the U.S.'s current pledge to the UN's World Food Programme and to increase this assistance beyond our current obligations to ensure that Syria's refugees do not go hungry this winter.
No War in Ukraine!The threat of nuclear war is very real. Currently US foreign policy towards Ukraine has made nuclear war with Russia far more likely. The United States has recklessly brought NATO – a nuclear armed alliance – into conflict with Russia – a nuclear armed state. Recently, Russia has unveiled an updated arsenal of nuclear weapons, which in turn has brought the US into a new nuclear arms race, obliterating the gains of nuclear disarmament and containment. This needs to stop if the world is to avoid yet more needless war.
Sign the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on Depleted UraniumI served in the Parachute Regiment and the Special Air Service for eight years. I have spoken out about the reality of the war in Iraq on numerous occasions since I left the army but only recently have I learned about another of its cruel legacies; chemically toxic and radioactive depleted uranium (DU). I was not surprised last week when I heard the UK and US had voted against a United Nations General Assembly Resolution that asked states to provide help to Iraq in dealing with DU contamination and for UN agencies to carry out more research into its potential negative effects on public health and the environment. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has long argued that DU weapons are effective and necessary to save soldiers’ lives, but they refuse to take into account the effect on civilian populations that especially as they can continue long after a war has ended. When it is fired it creates a DU dust which, if breathed in, has the potential to mutate DNA and cause cancers and birth defects. In Iraq, the battles took place in towns and cities full of people. The Iraqi government knows of 300 contaminated sites today – hundreds more are unidentified. This contamination poses a threat to the Iraqi people, particularly pregnant women and children who are especially susceptible to exposure from toxic materials. The MoD claims that there is no evidence that DU has caused health problems in Iraq. However, there is no evidence because there have been no health studies carried out specifically on civilians living in contaminated areas. Last year, the former director of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Iraq programme, Dr Neel Mani, said that the organisation knew of abnormal rates of health problems as far back as 2001. However, cynicism from ‘certain member states’ and a politicised funding structure had left them unable to do anything about it. He is not the first person to speak out but the denial and the political power of the offending states means that this public health crisis continues. Within Iraq, many people continue to speak out about this. The International Committee of the Red Cross have reports of being approached by tribal leaders who say that clean-up of DU ‘exceeded any other humanitarian concerns’. As the father to three beautiful, healthy children I found it so distressing when I heard Dr Samira Alaani, an Iraqi paediatrician report: ‘The first question I am asked when a child is born is not ‘is it a boy or a girl?’ but ‘is my child healthy?’ It makes me so angry that, for all of our promises of freeing Iraq, what we have left them is a toxic legacy that will last for generations to come. As a former soldier who fought in Iraq, I can safely say that this is not why I joined the British Army. Nor do I believe that many other soldiers are happy with the fact that they are being made complicit with these acts. Doctors across Iraq have been reporting much higher than normal incidences of cancer and birth defects for years now. It has been estimated that cleaning up the 300 known contamination sites would cost between US$30-45 million. To people like me and you that is a lot of money but to governments that have spent billions on war, it is a drop in the ocean. If they cannot afford to clean it up, they should not have made us use it in the first place. In December the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will take a second vote on a draft resolution on DU weapons. It will be the fifth one of its kind and will no doubt, once more, see a majority of the states vote in favour of it – 155 did last time. The UNGA draft resolution asks states that have fired DU to provide firing locations. It asks international organisations to carry out further research. It asks any states with the means to do so to provide assistance to countries affected by DU. It is not a lot to ask, so why do the UK and US persistently vote against these resolutions? Just last month the Iraqi government joined the doctors and people of Iraq in asking for help to clean up this mess and to conduct research into the problems their country is facing. They know they cannot do it alone; this will take an international effort and it needs to be done sooner rather than later. We must support the people of Iraq, which is why I am demanding that the UK and US support the current UN resolution. Please add your voice to this campaign and demand that the US and UK take responsibility for their actions.
Apologize to the people of LibyaBackground: In 2011, the Swedish government under prime minister Fredrik Reinfelt decided to participate in the Nato-led attack on Libya, which has led to chaos in Libya and caused many Libyans to flee their country. It is obvious that Sweden's involvement was much motivated by the desire to use the Swedish warplane Gripen in war, in order to help the manufacturer SAAB in the promotion of further sales of the plane. In August 2014, prime minister Fredrik Reinfelt appealed to the Swedish people to open their hearts to refugees. It would be a terrible hypocrisy if he does not also apologize to the people, who have become refugees in part because of his government's decision regarding Libya. Image: "Gripen ag2". Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0-fr via Wikimedia Commons