- Campaign Finance Reform
- Civil Liberties / Surveillance
- Civil Rights
- Economic Justice
- Government Accountability / Whistleblowers
- Gun Violence Prevention
- Law Enforcement
- Post Office
- Retirement and Healthcare
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.
Impeach Chief Justice RobertsCitizens United was a Treasonous Betrayal of the U.S. Constitution and the American People concocted by Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts. I love the America where I was born and I want it back. It has been stolen from the people and put into the hands of soul-less corporations that the Supreme Court declared to be, "Super-People," in Roberts' Citizens United decision, with Rights greater than those of Fleshy People, thus violating the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment as well as other Constitutional provisions. That is why this Traitor must be Impeached.
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.
American Lung Association: Cut Fossil Fuel Ties and Come Clean!The negative health impacts of fracking are scientifically proven. The ALA acknowledged that hydraulic fracturing for "natural" gas trapped in shale (fracking) causes cancer-causing air pollution. But after receiving hefty donations from a fracking corporation, it now promotes gas as "cleaner than other fossil fuels." Those supporting ALA campaigns deserve to know the shameful truth: The ALA has partnered with the fossil fuel industry — which contributes greatly to air pollution and respiratory diseases. The ALA in 2012: "We have seen irrefutable evidence of serious threats to human health from air pollutants emitted during oil and natural gas production. These pollutants can worsen asthma, cause heart attacks, and harm the circulatory, respiratory, [and] nervous . . . systems. They are also linked to cancer, developmental disorders, and even premature death.” The ALA reversed course when it received a big donation from Canadian corporation Encana Oil & Gas in support of its “Fighting for Air” campaign against coal (and supporting gas as a “cleaner” fuel). From the ALA statement supporting “natural” gas: The ALA "supports the increased use of natural gas as a transitional fuel for the production of electricity. . . ." Wimmer and the national board of the ALA make a mockery of the thousands of dedicated local chapter leaders, staff, and volunteers, whose efforts on various campaigns have saved untold numbers of lives. The ALA should not play politics or partner with fossil-fuel pushers. The only logical remedy is for the ALA to come clean — by denouncing fracking as the intolerable lung health-destroying corporate activity it is; severing all ties with board members, advisers, and volunteers from within the fossil fuel industry; and living up to its own mission.
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.
Make Jim Hood the Next Attorney GeneralJim Hood has a proven track record of protecting consumers, homeowners, business owners, and survivors of disaster from predatory big banks, credit ratings agencies, oil companies, pharmaceutical giants, and insurance firms. He isn't beholden to corporate special interests, and has stepped up to the plate every time citizens unable to compete with the immense legal resources of large conglomerates have been wronged by greedy practices. As Mississippi's Attorney General since 2003, Hood helped secure federal intervention when BP wasn't paying out claims to victims of the 2010 oil spill in the gulf of Mexico, sued 6 major banking institutions in 2012 when they slammed consumers with unexplained monthly fees, gained an $18 million settlement from pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly for their deceptive marketing of the drug Zyprexa, and stood up for victims of Hurricane Katrina in court when insurance companies wrongfully denied their claims. We need a U.S. attorney general that isn't afraid to stand up to big money and who has a track record of bringing results. Jim Hood is the truest example of what our nation's top lawyer should be.
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
Marriott: Don’t Host Urban Shield!The militarized lockdown and attack on Ferguson's Black community is not an anomaly. Police repression is growing across the US and globally through coordinated efforts to militarize policing tactics and weapons. Local police departments are now directly funded by the Departments of Homeland Security and Defense. From September 4th-8th, one such DHS-backed program, Urban Shield, will be hosted by Oakland's Marriott Hotel Convention Center through a contract with the City of Oakland. This event - hosting SWAT training, national and transnational police networking, and weaponry sales - is coordinated by the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI.) UASI is an initiative in which the St. Louis area police actively participate. The military tanks, tear-gas, rubber bullets and SWAT armor attacking the people of Ferguson are there because of these programs. People across communities are rising up to resist policing. We cannot allow this engine of state repression to continue. Take a stand with War Resisters League and our partners in Oakland to oppose Marriott's profiteering from the militarized repression of our communities. Build pressure against Urban Shield and the Marriott Hotel - sign and share this petition as a nonviolent demonstration of people power!