- Campaign Finance Reform
- Civil Liberties / Surveillance
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Unsafe Drinking/Bathing Water in Pennsylvania PrisonsAt SCI-Mahanoy, prisoners are allowed only three small cups of clean water throughout to day to drink with meals. This is about one-eighth of the daily water intake recommended by health professionals. This water crisis is a hazard to the health and safety of all Pennsylvania prisoners. It is particularly dangerous for those prisoners living with already existing, untreated health problems. More than 6,000 prisoners in the state have been diagnosed with Hepatitis C, yet have been refused treatment by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. Please call: John Wetzel Department of Corrections Secretary 717-728-4109 Tom Wolfe Governor of Pennsylvania 717-787-2500 ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA) 800-438-2474 Talking Points • There are reports of visibly brown, smelly water that is undrinkable at SCI-Mahanoy and SCI-Frackville. • This water crisis is a hazard to the health and safety of all PA prisoners. Requests • IMMEDIATELY investigate these reports. • Give all prisoners a daily supply of bottled water immediately for drinking. • Give prisoners access to clean water for showering and personal use.
SHUT DOWN THE CPD (Commission on Presidential Debates)The CPD has perpetrated fraud on the American People since its inception in 1987. The Democrats and Republicans have colluded with mainstream media, the 1%, wall street, and the military/industrial/fake war complex (among others), to keep the public uninformed on all candidates running for POTUS by creating arbitrary polling threshholds rigged by the MSM. This is in direct opposition to their mission statement. For these treasonous crimes they should be shut down.
SIGN: Support for University of Nebraska football players taking a knee during the national anthem.Three Nebraska football players are under siege by state officials and some fans calling for their expulsion from the university (and worse) for backing Black Lives Matter. The governor and some university regents are adding to the turmoil against the student athletes. One person called for lynching the protesting student athletes.
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.
Replace US Two-Party Election System With Ranked VotingPractically speaking, the US is stuck in a two-party system of Republicans and Democrats. This system frequently results in having two candidates who both have very low levels of overall public support. Currently, supporters of non-mainstream political parties (e.g. Green, Independent, Libertarian) can't realistically vote for their own candidates because they are sabotaging the final election by taking votes away from either the Republican or the Democratic candidates. For example, a liberal Green party supporter would assist the conservative cause by removing a vote for a Democratic liberal candidate. They would actually increase their chance of getting their last-choice candidate by voting for their first-choice candidate. The same is true in reverse for a conservative voter. Being able to vote for only two candidates artificially polarizes many issues, reduces the possibility of introducing innovative ideas, and encourages both candidates to move towards centrist, status quo policies. Regardless of whether you are a Bernie supporter, right-wing evangelical, environmentalist, etc, you should be supporting a shift to a ranked voting system that lets you vote based on your beliefs, not based on fear of getting the worse of two candidates you don't want. Ranked-voting is used successfully by many other countries including Australia and is much more democratic than the current US system. If we had a ranked-voting system in the US during the 2016 elections it is less likely that Trump would have come out as the top republican candidate, and Bernie would realistically have been able to run as third-party candidate and stand a real chance of winning. In short, moving the US to a ranked-voting system will give us a foundation for more representative and innovative government in future elections.
No member of any U.S. government intelligence agency should be above the lawMartin Luther King Jr. said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." The U.S. intelligence community is imbued with an incredible amount of resources and leeway with how, when and where they aim their power. We have seen that the rule of law does not apply to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Mr. Clapper committed a felony when he lied to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence with regards to the NSA spying upon American citizens. Yet, Mr. Clapper was not subject to criminal charges as would have been any given citizen throughout the country. This essentially has formed an area of lawlessness within the United States and that area of lawlessness must be reeled back in. All persons, regardless of their job placement and title, must know that they are subject to the rule of law or victims of their crimes will have no recourse in seeking justice.
Tell U.S. to Let Craig Murray into the CountryThe U.S. government, for no stated reason, and after having approved his entry in the past, has denied Craig Murray the usual approval to enter the United States without a visa that is given to UK citizens. Craig Murray was British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from 2002 to 2004. Murray was forced out of the British public service after he exposed the use of torture by Britain's Uzbek allies. Murray is scheduled to chair the presentation of this year's Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence to CIA torture whistleblower John Kiriakou, and to speak about diplomacy as an alternative to war at a World Beyond War conference planned for September 23-25 in Washington, D.C. In 2006 Murray was himself awarded the Sam Adams Award, and the citation included the following: "Mr. Murray learned that the intelligence authorities of the UK and the U.S. were receiving and using information extracted by the most sadistic methods of torture by Uzbek authorities. He protested strongly to London, to no avail. He was forced out of the British Foreign Office, but has no regrets. There are more important things than career…Mr. Murray's light has pierced a thick cloud of denial and deception. He has set a courageous example for those officials of the 'Coalition of the Willing' who have first-hand knowledge of the inhuman practices involved in the so-called 'war on terror' but who have not yet been able to find their voice." Shocked by the denial of approval to enter the United States without a visa, Murray stated: "I shall apply for a visa via the State Department as suggested but I must be on a list to be refused under the ESTA system, and in any event it is most unlikely to be completed before the conference." "It is worth noting," Murray added, "that despite the highly critical things I have published about Putin, about civil liberties in Russia and the annexation of the Crimea, I have never been refused entry to Russia. The only two countries that have ever refused me entry clearance are Uzbekistan and the USA. What does that tell you? "I have no criminal record, no connection to drugs or terrorism, have a return ticket, hotel booking and sufficient funds. I have a passport from a visa waiver country and have visited the USA frequently before during 38 years and never overstayed. The only possible grounds for this refusal of entry clearance are things I have written against neo-liberalism, attacks on civil liberties and neo-conservative foreign policy. People at the conference in Washington will now not be able to hear me speak. Plainly ideas can be dangerous. So much for the land of the free!" The following joint statement has been signed by members of the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence listed below: News that former British Ambassador Craig Murray has been denied entry to the United States under the regular visa waiver program is both shocking and appalling. We Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) had invited Craig to be Master of Ceremonies at our award ceremony honoring John Kiriakou, the CIA torture whistleblower (more details at samadamsaward.ch ), this September as part of the 'No War 2016' conference. Now we're wondering which agency's long arms have reached out to disrupt our ceremony and to try to silence Craig. Whatever they intend, it will be bound to backfire, since it only makes the U.S. government look like some sort of monolithic repressive apparatus out to mimic the world's worst despotic regimes. Ambassador Murray notes in his blog that Uzbekistan -- whose government apparatchiks are notorious for torturing its citizens -- is the only other country to have barred his entry. Even Russia - which Ambassador Murray criticizes freely - allows him to travel there trouble-free. What are the implications for U.S. democratic values? We strongly urge the State Department to reverse its decision and allow Ambassador Murray freedom of travel and freedom of expression without hindrance in the United States of America. William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA Thomas Drake, former Senior Executive, NSA Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.) Frank S. Grevil, former intelligence analyst with FE, the Danish equivalent of the CIA and NSA Katharine Gun, former analyst, GCHQ (the NSA equivalent in the UK) Matthew Hoh, former Capt., USMC, Iraq, & Foreign Service Officer, Afghanistan Larry Johnson, CIA and State Dept. (ret.) John Brady Kiesling, former U.S. diplomat John Kiriakou, Former CIA Counterterrorism Officer Karen Kwiatkowski, Lt. Col., U.S. Air Force (ret.) David MacMichael Ph.D., CIA, U.S. Marine Corps captain (ret.) Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst & presidential briefer Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East, CIA (ret.) Todd E. Pierce, Maj, JA, USA (ret.) Diane Roark, former staff, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (ret.) Coleen Rowley, retired FBI agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel Peter Van Buren, U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service Officer (ret.) J. Kirk Wiebe, Senior Analyst, NSA (ret.) Larry Wilkerson, Col., U.S. Army (ret); Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell Ann Wright, retired U.S. Army Colonel and former U.S. diplomat World Beyond War, the organization behind the No War 2016 conference at which Murray is scheduled to speak, has created this petition to the State Department. David Swanson, Director of World Beyond War, said "This attempt to prevent a truth-teller from speaking in support of nonviolence is absolutely shameful. This is not a policy created to represent any view of the U.S. public, and we are not going to stand for it." This petition has been signed by: Roger Waters, Peter Kuznick, Norman Solomon, Scott Ritter, Kathy Kelly, Daniel Ellsberg,
Summer Heat Serves Texas Prisoners an Early Death SentenceIn the recent summer months, an unreleased number of heat-related deaths have taken place throughout Texas state prisons. With internal temperatures reportedly reaching up to 140 degrees on some days and only 30 of the 109 Texas state prisons having facility-wide air-conditioning, a number of incarcerated men and women have died by means of heat stroke, asthma attacks, extreme dehydration, and various other heat-related illnesses. “Prisoners look upon the summer months in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) with dread and trepidation. For one is acutely aware that one may not survive another summer. Many do not.” -- Benny Hernandez, Price Daniel Unit, Dallas, Texas The Texas Department of Criminal Justice houses more than 146,000 inmates and is currently in the middle of a lawsuit over what many prisoners and prison activists have described as "deadly heat" in its facilities. Instead of making plans to install central-air systems inside of the prisons, TDCJ officials have taken steps to minimize costs and accountability by placing fans in common areas and increasing ice distribution throughout the day. “Prison guards are suffering also. They too are exposed to the deadly extreme heat, which causes tension and conflict between guards and inmates.” -- Keith “Malik” Washington, H. H. Coffield Unit, Tennessee Colony, Texas At the Wallace Pack Unit in Navasota, Texas, prisoners have to choose between drinking water contaminated with dangerous levels of arsenic or becoming dehydrated because of the extreme summer heat. Despite widespread knowledge of the cancer-causing pollutants, prison officials have continued to encourage inmates to drink at least two gallons a day. Those who are aware of the dangerous water situation try their best to drink bottled water only, when available at commissary. “It routinely feels as if one’s sitting in a convection oven being slowly cooked alive.” -- Benny Hernandez, Price Daniel Unit, Dallas, Texas This attitude of reckless indifference exhibited by prison authorities and Texas officials is a violation of basic human rights as well as the 8th constitutional amendment, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. Sign this petition demanding that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice immediately enforce the guidelines of the Texas Prisoners’ Civil Rights Manual by implementing air-conditioning systems throughout all housing units in Texas state prisons and enforcing maximum temperature guidelines. Deadly Heat in U.S. Prisons is Killing Inmates and Spawning Lawsuits: https://theintercept.com/2016/08/24/deadly-heat-in-u-s-prisons-is-killing-inmates-and-spawning-lawsuits/
Last Chance to STOP Anti-BDS Bill in California!AB 2844 chills free speech by falsely associating legal and time-honored boycotts for human rights with unlawful discrimination, and by creating a vague new crime in the process. The bill could cost California taxpayers over $140 million (Senate Committee on Appropriations Analysis estimate) and unknown additional sums for fielding complaints and lawsuits. Although the title and some of the content of AB 2844 have changed over time, its intent remains the same: to stigmatize and suppress protected political speech, especially advocacy for Palestinian human rights through the nonviolent tactics of boycott, divestment and sanctions. Stop this attack on Californians’ free speech. Veto AB 2844.
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 : email@example.com/ firstname.lastname@example.org Forward messages to: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org Initial Signatures: Confédération des Travailleurs des Secteurs Public et Privé (CTSP) : email@example.com Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI): firstname.lastname@example.org Syndicat National des travailleurs de l’Art (SYNTART) : email@example.com Mouvement des Étudiants pour Libérer Haïti (MELA) : firstname.lastname@example.org 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 : email@example.com 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.