- 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
A Call to Action for Mark Clarke at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, NYMr. Mark Clarke was arrested on April 27, 2016 along with 119 other people in the largest "gang" raid in NYC history. They are now known as the Bronx 120. https://www.bronx120.org/ Indicted on the basis of "evidence" such as social media surveillance, "association" and the NYPD's highly discriminatory criteria for identifying "gang members," the Bronx 120 face federal charges from a DA's office that boasts a 90+% conviction rate. Being charged under the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act of 1970 allows for all 120 young men to be implicated in the same 8 alleged murders dating back to 2007. Since the shock-and-awe style raid by 700 militarized law enforcement officials from 6 different agencies last April, the state has employed numerous scare tactics against the Bronx 120 and their loved ones in an attempt to silence opposition to this blatant abuse of authority. Mark Clarke has been sent to Metropolitan Detention Center, the federal prison in Brooklyn, to await trial. Since Mark has been at MDC, other prisoners have reported multiple personal attacks against him by MDC correctional officers, including being denied family visits, being shot with rubber bullets and sprayed with tear gas while in his cell. Although Mark has documented psychiatric issues since his imprisonment last April, he has been denied visits to the psychiatric unit at MDC, despite multiple requests from his mother. Mr. Clarke has been in solitary confinement since September 14, 2016 and will be until October 2017 unless we act on his behalf. Please use this link to donate to the Bronx 120 Commissary and Legal Fund. Because this is a very large federal case, there is a shortage of local lawyers with the experience needed to take it on. This fundraiser will go towards helping to get additional legal support and contribute to commissary. https://www.youcaring.com/targets-of-the-eastchester-raids-and-their-families-640725 Please call these MDC officials to ensure that the warden and others know that people are aware of the situation and put pressure on them to allow family visits and phone calls for Mr. Mark Clarke. Phone: 718-840-4200 (Ext: 5549 Case Manager Demosphenes) (Ext: 5141 Warden's Secretary) Key points to mention when you call/leave a message: --Mr. Clarke needs to be allowed visits and be allowed phone calls. --All documentation about his continued segregation needs to be released to his family.
Prove Guccifer LivesThe US Government is attempting to hide and cover up the existence of Guccifer. He is a key player in the Clinton extravaganza and was murdered by them to keep him silent. The FBI is complicit in covering this up as well, to no ones surprise. The main stream media is involved in not reporting the truthful news and exposing that he has been murdered and his importance to the Clinton case, since he is the only reason we know any of it to begin with. We demand Guccifer.
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.
Freedom for Ramsey Muniz, Chicano AdvocateRamsey Muniz has been a Chicano advocate since the Sixties, and is beloved by hundreds of thousands of Latinos and other Americans he has inspired, to work within the system, to improve our society and government. Mr. Muniz is now in poor health, in federal prison. He has never been accused of any violent crime, and is not a threat to society or anyone. He is a model prisoner, and at age 74 and disabled, Mr. Muniz just wants to return, to his home in Corpus Christi, to live out the rest of his life with his beloved wife, Irma, and their families. A related article: https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/will-trumps-inauguration-be-day-clemency-died
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.
Kinetic Justice Brutally Attacked by Prison Guards. Transfer Him Immediately!On December 2, 2016, Free Alabama Movement co-founder Robert Earl Council (aka Kinetic Justice Amun) was brutally attacked by two correctional officers at Limestone Correctional Facility. According to multiple sources, Kinetic was beaten and sprayed with mace while handcuffed and being escorted to the shower. There has been no confirmation that he has received proper medical treatment. Kinetic Justice has been imprisoned for over 22 years and is a co-founder of the Free Alabama Movement, which has organized several successful prison work stoppages to demand basic human rights and has provided education and legal support to hundreds of incarcerated people. Kinetic believes that this vicious attack was orchestrated in retaliation for his involvement with the nationwide prison strike that began September 9th, 2016. He now fears for his life. Using excessive force to maliciously and sadistically cause harm violates numerous basic human rights and is a clear violation of the 8th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (the Cruel and Unusual Punishment clause). Please sign this petition demanding that Robert Earl Council ("Kinetic Justice") is transferred from Limestone Correctional Facility immediately. Contact the Alabama Department of Corrections and the Alabama Governor’s Office! Contact information: Warden Christopher Gordy (256) 233-4600 Limestone Correctional Facility 28779 Nick Davis Road Harvest, AL 35749 ADOC Commissioner Jeff Dunn Assistant ADOC Commissioner Grant Culliver 334-353-3883 firstname.lastname@example.org Alabama Governor Robert Bentley 334-242-7100 Department of Justice 205-244-2001 email@example.com Call script: “I am calling to demand that you release Robert Early Council from solitary confinement and transfer him from Limestone Correctional to a different facility immediately. He was brutally beaten on December 2nd, 2016 at Limestone Correctional Facility, allegedly by officers Doizer and Shoulders. There has been no confirmation that he has received proper medical attention. In addition, Limestone Correctional Officers Doizer and Shoulders should be immediately investigated for the alleged brutal attack of Robert Earl Council." More Background: http://www.inquisitr.com/3752034/kinetic-justice-who-is-he-and-why-should-you-care/
Rahm Emanuel must be released from the position or he should resign after DOJ ReportIn the wake of the DOJ report and 2016's historical Chicago violence level, most of the activists and community right now believe it is way beyond any possible opportunity for Rahm to take any meaningful action to help a wounded Chicago. Also, it's increasingly difficult to envision a scenario in which Emanuel's political movement isn't viewed as a political Hail Mary to save his career by understandably frustrated and suspicious Chicago residents.
repeal the 1947 NSA ACT and bury the NSA + CIAThe CIAs "Third World War" (1947-now) is the third bloodiest war in the history of the world. This is our (trillions and counting) Tax Dollars At Work. Imagine what positive effects that money could have accomplished, with no bloodshed or destruction. Major inroads on poverty,poor health,clean water,illiteracy....? Cheap word wide Solar Energy? Nuclear and other toxic waste solutions?
Prison Activist Gassed in Clements Unit Prison, Texas Law Enforcement Is Violently Out of ControlOn Wednesday, December 21, 2016, a prisoner at the Texas Clements Unit, Kevin "Rashid" Johnson, was gassed in his cell while handcuffed from behind. A letter written by Mr. Johnson to a supporter, dated December 22, 2016, reported that his gassing was “all retaliation for my involvement in exposing the foul abuses here." Kevin “Rashid” Johnson is a well-known scholar and prison activist who has dedicated his efforts to exposing the civil and environmental injustices behind bars. His most recent letter also reads: “I'm in a gas-covered cell now. The law requires that they decontaminate a prisoner and his cell anytime they spray gas on him/her. They refused in my case. My sheets and bedding are covered in bright orange gas, underwear too, as is the cell wall." According to the supporter who received Rashid’s letter, she could smell the toxic gas as soon as she opened the envelope. The vicious treatment of Mr. Johnson is part of a clear pattern. There is evidently a culture among prison staff that encourages such sadistic behavior. What they have done and continue to do -- both to Mr. Johnson and to thousands of other victims -- constitutes a clear violation of basic human rights. A signed statement from prison guard Britta Townsend corroborates that Mr. Johnson was confined to a gassed cell that was not decontaminated and forced to sleep with sheets covered with the bright orange gas. According to Mr. Johnson, Ms. Townsend now fears that she will be targeted by her peers and higher ranking officers.
Fire Cop Who Arrested Black Mom After White Man Attacked Her ChildOn Wednesday, December 21, 2016, a black mother, Ms. Jacqueline Craig, called the police in Fort Worth, Texas, after learning that an adult, white neighbor had choked her 7-year-old son for allegedly littering on the sidewalk. The unnamed police officer who arrived at the scene talked to all the parties involved, including the accused neighbor, who did not deny the assault. The police officer ignored the assault entirely to focus on the accusation of littering. Like the slogan "Make America Great Again," the cop's loaded question used coded, racist language and assumptions about black parenting to blame Ms. Craig for what happened to her child. “Well why don’t you teach your son not to litter?” he asked Craig. He proceeded to violently arrest Craig and her two under-aged daughters, all of which was filmed and posted online. In response to the incident, the Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald was quoted saying “I can’t call it racist. The officer was rude. There’s a difference between rude and racism.” However, the facts of this case suggest otherwise: a white man accused of the felonious act of assaulting a child was allowed to walk free while his black victims were arrested for daring to assert their humanity and rights. If the victims had been white and the assailant black, the outcome of this case would almost certainly have been completely different. Chief Fitzgerald ’s knee-jerk denial of the police officer’s racism, which itself is racist, has also led him to miss the magnitude of the criminal assault perpetrated against an entire family by a member of his force. Ms. Craig and her daughters did not merely suffer rude behavior; they were the victims of a violent and traumatic attack at the hands of a police officer at a moment when they were vulnerable and were asking for help. When the mother stood up to the man who assaulted her 7-year-old son, the police criminalized her parenting, excused the man who engaged in corporal violence against her child, arrested her and her two daughters violently, and threatened them with a stun gun. The outrageous Fort Worth incident is a microcosm of contemporary police racism in the 21st century United States. It shows the extent to which racist police contempt 1. dehumanizes and threatens the lives of black children and their families 2. prevents police from deploying reason as they carry out elementary duties 3. animates violent police responses to people of color 4. hinders accurate assessments of reality by their other officers With Donald Trump preparing to take office, we have seen numerous incidents in which people have asserted a right to be racist. This climate needs to change. The Black Lives Matter Movement and its most progressive proposals to demilitarize and demobilize the police are crucial. One place to start is with the demand for accountability when an egregious example of racism and police brutality is caught on film. The video: http://bit.ly/2ieWOzm Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/12/22/a-black-mother-told-police-a-white-man-assaulted-her-child-they-arrested-her-instead/?postshare=9641482457249082&tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.f5c8cc7eff92
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!
Let’s Get More of Our Vets Employed!The Concern: Unfortunately, many of our service members were subjected to enormous government cutbacks and left the field much earlier than retirement and several of them were given pink slips. Many military families have ended up devastated with the unexpected loss of employment mixed with a declining economy. The government is continuing to make significant cutbacks to our military forcing more service members back into the workforce after being out of the regular workforce for years, even decades in some cases. Quite a few service men and women have incredible abilities and many have so much to offer any job. That being said, our vets struggle to find the employment they need every single day. The Answer: If we put enough pressure on businesses and the government to form an employment program to help our vets get back into the workforce right away, we can help save more of some of our country’s finest from living in poverty. Join us! Together we can help our vets get the job they need today! We want to see our military vets have more access to employment too.
Protect and Strengthen Fresno’s Office of Independent Review“The mission of the Office of Independent Review (OIR) is to strengthen community trust in the Fresno Police Department by providing neutral, third-party review of police policies, procedures, strategies and internal investigations. The OIR works independently of the Fresno Police Department and provides the City’s leaders and the public with objective analysis of policing data, actions and outcomes” (from the City of Fresno’s website: http://www.fresno.gov/Government/CityManager/IndependentReview/default.htm). As concerned members of the Fresno community, we recognize the vital role police officers play in providing safety within our communities and the importance of cultivating trust with those they serve. Indeed, the motto of the Fresno PD is “Safety, Service and Trust.” Transparency and accountability are critical to the establishment of that trust, and the existence of the OIR ensures a systematic process of objective, third-party review of all complaints filed by citizens and all internal affairs investigations, including quarterly reports with recommendations on findings to increase thoroughness, compliance, quality and accuracy. Currently, the Fresno City OIR has been led by Richard Rasmussen, who was hired in September 2012, having just retired after serving 21+ years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The Second and Third Quarter Reports of 2016 issued by the Fresno OIR are based on data provided by Fresno PD and reveal that African Americans and Hispanics are subject to more “Field Interviews” and “Traffic Stops” than their respective proportions in the population would predict. For example, although African Americans constitute only 7.7% of the population of the City of Fresno, they represent 13.2% of the traffic stops and 24.4% of the field interviews by Fresno PD--a statistically significant difference. The irony is that the same Fresno PD statistics reveal that only 3.03% and 2.42% of the Field Interviews of African Americans and Hispanics, respectively, result in arrest/detention, compared to 4.11% of the Field Interviews of whites (a statistically significant difference). Consequently, the recent OIR reports provide recommendations on how Fresno PD might build greater trust with the population served. Our most pressing issue must be to PROTECT our existing Office of Independent Review. The existence of the OIR is threatened by both 2016 mayoral candidates (Henry Perea and Lee Brand), neither of whom has expressed a long-term commitment to the OIR. Henry Perea “favors making the police auditor local, … does not support giving the position investigative and subpoena powers and also does not support any sort of community advisory board. He says there already are enough investigative layers as is” (Ellis, “Summer pushes new issues to forefront of Fresno mayor’s race,” The Fresno Bee). Lee Brand also believes the auditor should be local but that it would be too difficult to expand its investigative power. Instead, Brand would consider a Community Advisory Board (CAB), without mentioning how the CAB would be constituted and what “power” it would have. The community would like to not only keep but STRENGTHEN the powers of the OIR to include the ability to subpoena witnesses. In Salt Lake City, for example, they have an Independent Investigator and a Civilian Review Board (not just “Advisory”). The Investigator conducts a side-by-side investigation with the Internal Affairs Unit of the Police Department (as opposed to “after” the IA investigation currently in place in Fresno). The Investigator participates in all interviews, has access to all evidence, and may compel witnesses to be interviewed. Once the Investigator has finished the investigation, it is presented to the Civilian Review Board which deliberates and sends a recommendation to the Police Chief regarding whether or not the complaint should be sustained, along with any other recommendations. The Police Chief has complete and final authority over all disciplinary decisions but is required to take the recommendations of the Police Civilian Review Board into consideration. Fresno’s OIR has made recommendations in department policies and procedures that have been critical in reducing the number of officer involved shootings (OIS), increasing the use of de-escalation tactics, and requiring the use body cameras. It is because of the OIR that the public is able to get access to hard-to-obtain information such as racial data on police field interviews, traffic stops, and detentions (Hess, “Role of Fresno’s Police Auditor Questioned,” Valley Public Radio). Prior to Mr. Rasmussen’s arrival, more than two dozen lawsuits alleging excessive force and police misconduct by Fresno PD were winding their way through federal court. The price of fighting these legal battles, not to mention the payouts resulting from either settlements or findings against Fresno PD, cost us taxpayers millions of dollars. According to KMPH-KFRE.COM media reports, about 180 lawsuits were filed against the Fresno Police Department between 1997 and 2009, and the city paid out about $5.7 million in settlements and judgments, $2.8 million of which were specifically for civil rights violations. Since the re-institution of the OIR under Rick Rasmussen in September 2012, there have been no payouts resulting from any complaint to date (any recent payouts were from complaints filed prior to September 2012). The presence of the OIR seems can help build public trust and also save the city money.
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.
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.
Help And Protect Americans Imprisoned AbroadAmericans arrested abroad are offered little support by the US government which has a mandate to protect the rights of its citizens, which rights include international protections. No financial, medical, legal or nutritional support is provided to American citizens by it's government, leaving the citizen on his/her own at a critically vulnerable time. Other European governments provide their citizens with food, clothing, medical care, nutritional support, regular counselor visits and other assistance including repatriation assistance. The US government will provide nothing except repatriation assistance and and even that is only a loan. As a leader of the free world we should raise the standards on how we allow Americans incarcerated abroad to be treated. especially in nations which do not meet the minimum international standards for detention. An American in prison abroad gets a maximum of 2 visits per year by its embassy and this also is insufficient. Visits at least quarterly should be the minimum standard and is consistent with the standards provided by other western nations. Americans may be starved or suffer malnutrition without the help of the US Embassy. Persons incarcerated abroad may have no friends or relatives willing or able to go to the country and/or provide support.for the destitute. By signing this petition, you are helping the most vulnerable citizens in a crisis situation, being locked up abroad without any help, food, clothing or protection from the legal apparatus of a foreign country.
Remove all polling machines from internet accessEliminate the possibility of any government, foreign or domestic to manipulate our right of a fair and just vote. Local governments assign police to overlook the safety of construction sites of roadways and utilities. Surely, for the one doy of voting, they can overlook polling stations and security.
Demanding Annual Chemical Toxicity Testing in all U.S. Public SchoolsThirty K-12 schools in New Jersey's largest metropolitan city, Newark, have officially been identified as contaminated sites by state and city officials. According to environmental experts, the sites contain high levels of lead, well past federal EPA's chemical release quota for emergency cleanup. In light of recent discoveries of lead-water contamination in Flint, Michigan, Newark officials have established a policy of routine water testing throughout the city. On their first go-around, they discovered that the water in 30 public schools, including 5 charter schools, was contaminated with lead. Since the discovery, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and the school superintendent Christopher Serf have declared 30 public schools in a state of emergency. Each school morning, trucks filled with bottled water conduct drop offs to over 20,000 students, teachers, cafeteria staff and custodial so that they all have access to clean, usable water throughout the day. Lead is a heavy metal that has been federally regulated since the 1970s, once its properties were revealed to cause developmental defects and neurological degeneration. In Newark, New Jersey, 20,000 students in 30 different schools drink it each day. While we commend Newark officials for acting immediately upon discovery, we condemn them for their tardiness and years of neglect towards the health and safety of the children they are responsible for educating and protecting. Water quality experts estimate that Newark water banks have been severely contaminated for up to six years. According to some sources, the water contamination began in 2012, in the aftermath of New Jersey's most disastrous storm, Hurricane Sandy. Others claim that that presence of heavy metals like lead and mercury in Newark's water banks is a part of a larger problem, tracing back to over spills and cross-contamination during a storm in 2010. Newark students and parents are enraged. Having been left in the dark about years of water poisoning, and still, trapped in their current schools through the binds of former superintendent Cami Anderson's One Newark Program, Newark students are in an extremely dangerous and potentially deadly situation that they have no way out of. Most of the affected schools are considered "failing," and are set to close down while the buildings are to be sold to private contractors and incoming charter schools. Four of the affected schools are formerly public turned charter institutions. Three schools have been recently transformed into alternative schools for the misbehaved and special education institutions for the mentally challenged. And still --there is no official plan for cleanup. While bottled-water distribution companies maximize profits, and NJ city and state officials minimize responsibility, it is the students of Newark who bear the burden of years of lead-water poisoning. New Jersey Representative Donald M. Payne Jr. has developed plans to propose a nation-wide bill to Congress -- to create a federal budget for yearly toxicity testing and evaluation in public schools throughout the U.S. The legislation would require schools to test drinking water, including water from faucets used for food preparation, sinks in bathrooms, and water fountains. Testing would be required at least biannually at schools built prior to 1996 and at least annually at schools built in 1996 or after, when regulations were extended to restrict the amount of lead in school faucets. The TEST for Lead Act would also require local education agencies with jurisdiction over the schools to notify parents, the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the state within 48 hours if a level of lead that exceeds a lead-action level, as identified by the EPA, is discovered." - NJ Rep. Donald M. Payne Jr. Although water testing is a long ways from clean-up, and even longer from treatment -- it's a start towards recovery that lies within the means of the existing federal budget. It is imperative that we stand by NJ legislators in their primary initiatives towards health accuracy and ecological justice in Newark and vulnerable cities across the U.S. Sign this petition. Hundreds of thousands of students in Newark, New Jersey, Flint, Michigan, and a host of other cities are counting on you. "I align myself with New Jersey Representative Donald M. Payne Jr. in his proposal of the TEST for Lead Act, which ensures that annual toxicity testing is conducted in public schools, nation wide."
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.
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.
STOP THE UNJUST AND INHUMANE DETENTION OF ASYLUM SEEKER COSTON WINENEI met and fell in love with a wonderful man, Coston Winene. He came to the US seeking asylum from a tribal feud in his home country the Democratic Republic of Congo. Coston is a member of the royal family and that has put his life in danger. Members of another tribe and rebels want him dead simply because of his royal position. Moreover the eastern DR Congo is in an on going humanitarian crisis, with more people fleeing every day, due to war devastations that result in continual violence and areas being over taken by rebels. My family is not safe there, this area has been deemed the “rape capital of the world”, my daughter and I are not safe there. I am a U.S. Citizen and we have a 4-year-old daughter, but I am now in fear she may not grow up having a father. Coston was detained, when he entered the USA and sought asylum in December 2015, by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), not because he committed a crime but because he came to this country seeking asylum. He is still detained because ICE cannot secure the proper documents for him. We can be reunited and he can stay legally in the US through our marriage. Because of our marriage Coston should not be a priority for ICE to detain because he is married to a U.S. Citizen and eligible for immigration relief and is completely supported here in the US by his family. He should be released from immigration detention! ICE is not complying with the Supreme Court ruling Zadvydas v. Davis, which states a detainee in ICE custody cannot be held in detention indefinitely and that after 180 days of a final decision, that person should be released. This deadline passed in August 2016. Everyday I live with the anxiety of our uncertain fate and Coston’s cruel detention. I am afraid my husband will either be stuck indefinitely in detention or sent back to the Congo where many of his family and friends have been tortured and killed. If he is sent back, it will be a death sentence and my family will be torn apart. Coston is not a flight risk and is not a threat to the community, he is an asset to the community. He gives high respect and compassion and deserves it too. He cares deeply about me and our daughter, and wants nothing more than for our home to be here in the United States, the only country we can settle safely. My family needs public support from people like you. Please tell ICE to release Coston and allow his asylum request to proceed, while he is outside detention. My husband is a hardworking, honest man and he already has two job offers. Instead of starting his life in the US, he sits behind bars. Things got even worse when he called me crying to tell me officers kicked him to the ground for no reason, one of them calling him a raccoon. I fear for him everyday as he reports more incidents of physical and verbal abuses. He’s already been through so much in Congo- he shouldn't be treated this way in the USA. With him in detention he is a public charge, rather than a productive member of society. Some of the privately run detention facilities he has been in cost the government more than $100 everyday to keep him there, while the private company running the detention facility makes billions in profit from those detained. This is a system of exploitation that sees my husband as a dollar sign before a human being and he is unjustly being used within it, at the expense of his freedom! No one should be facing this. Please do not allow this to continue, say no to the continued detention of my husband. Let today not become the history we regret tomorrow. Keep families together. Show your support for his release by signing this petition.
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. Prisoners’ Civil Rights Manual: http://www.texascjc.org/sites/default/files/uploads/TCRP,%20ACLU%20of%20Texas%20-%20Prisoners%20Civil%20Rights%20Manual%20(Jan%202011).pdf
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.
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.
NEW LAWS EMPOWERING & PROTECTING PEOPLE WITH AUTISM WORLDWIDEPeople with Autism, despite their limitations, have much to contribute to society. New skills, perspectives, talents, accomplishments - and therefore they must be protected from neurotypicals who don't know how to approach them properly. We can no longer tolerate this abuse - it is time for the world to act.
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.
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.
Drop Charges Against Ramsey Orta, Videographer of Eric Garner's Killing by the NYPD.“What I saw that day was [the] NYPD murder my friend. [That's] what inspired me to take the video, because I have past videos of NYPD abusing their power with people I associate with.” --Ramsey Orta On July 17th, 2014, 22-year-old New York native Ramsey Orta recorded a video that shook the nation -- the killing of husband, father and street vendor Eric Garner by plainclothes Staten Island police officer, Daniel Pantaleo. The gruesome phone-recorded video, in which Eric Garner repeatedly pleads “Stop, I can’t breathe” before losing consciousness, went viral in a matter of hours and helped spark the first wave of Black Lives Matter protests in major cities like NYC, Ferguson MO and Baltimore MD. Currently, videographer Ramsey Orta awaits a four year-minimum sentence in Rikers Island for unrelated charges, which he describes as “retribution” and a “set -up” by the New York City Police Department for his involvement with the Eric Garner case. He must turn himself in by October 2016. “Sometimes I regret just not minding my business, because it just put me in a messed-up predicament.” --Ramsey Orta Since the video recording of Eric Garner’s death, Ramsey Orta has been arrested on three separate occasions. The first, for criminal possession of a handgun that he allegedly tried to give a 17-year-old, came a day after Garner’s death was ruled a homicide by the city’s medical examiner. Then, in February of 2015, Orta was arrested in a house raid, along with his girlfriend, brother, elderly mother. Orta was charged with multiple counts of heroin possession and distribution. Most recently, he was accused of selling MDMA to an undercover cop. A lab test later showed that the alleged MDMA was fake and the charges were reduced. Throughout the entire process, Orta has maintained his innocence. Ramsey Orta’s case has gained nation-wide attention as a result of his widely publicized hunger-strike while in Rikers Prison. Ramsey claimed that his prison food contained rat poison, and for a month, refused to eat anything that did not come directly out of his commissary. Prison activists and Black Lives Matter supporters regularly sent food to his commissary and made financial donations that eventually led to his release by bond. “I was in Rikers two separate times, one for 60 days and one for 30 days, I believe. And the 60-day stay was the time that I went on the hunger strike.” --Ramsey Orta Since his release, Ramsey Orta has helped to organize a grassroots nationwide initiative to hold law enforcement accountable for their actions: CopWatch. The CopWatch team has members all over the country from Staten Island to Compton, and their goal is to remain vigilant of law enforcement mistreatment and hold incompetent officers accountable for their abuse of power and authority in vulnerable communities. “I think CopWatch is something good and something people can learn from. It can strengthen communities.” --Ramsey Orta While Eric Garner’s family mourns his tragic death and Ramsey Orta’s family prepares for his lengthy absence, NYPD police officer Daniel Pantaleo, Garner’s killer, gets to keep both his badge and his freedom. Ramsey Orta should not be punished for being a responsible citizen. He is a witness to police lethal force and should be protected under the law, not sentenced. Sign this petition to drop all charges against New York hero Ramsey Orta, who filmed the killing of Eric Garner by NYPD.
"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!
Please Pardon Don Siegelman!This petition is more than just one man's freedom. It is about American freedom. If this can happen to one man, it can happen to anyone. 113 former state Attorneys General (Democrats, Republicans, and Independents), the nation's most preeminent law professors, and concerned citizens say this case is erroneous and Don Siegelman never committed a crime. The New York Times, The Washington Post, MSNBC, CBS, Harper's, Time Magazine, The American Trial Lawyers, Huffington Post, and The Guardian have published serious concerns about this conviction. Even Fox Business News sympathized with Don Siegelman. Pace Law Professor Bennett Gershman called Don Siegelman's case "one of the most egregiously bad faith prosecutions by the Justice Department ever.” CBS’ 60 Minutes reported that the prosecution team coached key witness Nick Bailey more than 70 times and offered him a deal to testify against Don Siegelman. Several whistleblowers have come forward disclosing Karl Rove's involvement in railroading Don Siegelman and the unethical use of Republican party affiliates to collaborate and convict Don Siegelman of a crime he never committed. Please join me in asking President Barack Obama to pardon Don Siegelman by signing the petition on RootsAction and sharing this message publicly however you can. By doing so we may one day clarify the law and keep our democracy and freedom intact. Learn More: http://nytimes.com/2007/09/10/opinion/10mon4.html http://washingtonpost.com/opinions/is-it-bribery-or-just-politics/2012/02/09/gIQA4hy34Q_story.html http://nbcnews.com/id/24009777/ns/msnbc-morning_joe/t/verdict-dan-abrams-monday-april http://content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1668220,00.html http://cbsnews.com/news/did-ex-alabama-governor-get-a-raw-deal http://huffingtonpost.com/bennett-l-gershman/cruel-justice-the-case-of_b_5434216.html http://theguardian.com/world/2012/sep/05/democratic-convention-siegelman-pardon
Raise the Qualifications for Prison Guards NationwideBehind prison walls, there are thousands of everyday incidents that convey explicit power-conflicts between prisoners and correction officers, both in state and private prisons. Though these conflicts are, at-large, a result of a conditioned hostile environment, they are also the result of a general lack of education, training, experience, and respect toward the people serving their time in prison. Incidents of violent assault are common. In a Mississippi state prison, a female warden was punched in the face by a male prisoner twice her age and size after she "disrespected, disciplined and made an example of him" in front of other inmates. Rape too, is a prison epidemic that we are too familiar with. At Rikers Prison in New York, a female prisoner was gang raped by two male guards who were responsible for escorting her to the bathroom. Though both correctional officers were fired, neither was charged. What we do not hear about are the hundreds of lives taken each year, both guards and prisoners, as a result of power-conflicts. More often than not, prison guards undergo inadequate C.O. training, have minimal educational attainment, and in many states, are able to jump into the field as early as 18 years old. In addition, not all, but very many prison guards are both physically and psychologically unprepared for the job. In Georgia, educational programs,` in partnership with colleges and universities are being implemented in prisons state-wide. Prisons have allowed these programs, on the condition that courses and scholarship funds are available for the correctional officers as well. Georgia prison officials feared that their officers, mostly high-school educated, would react hostilely to inmates being able to take college courses. In state prisons all over the country, C.O.s make everyday decisions that affect the long-term lives of those imprisoned. Correctional officers need specialized training, with an emphasis on conflict resolution, instead of combat and coercion. They need to be educated to understand the psychological condition of the prisoners they care after. They need to be educated to a point where neither anger nor resentment arises from witnessing an inmate take a beginning level college course. Power-abuse is never acceptable. No human being deserves to be stripped of their identity, humanity, or life due to power-conflicts rooted in lack of education, mental instability and inadequate training and experience. If we are going to use correctional institutions as the primary punishment for those who break the law, we need to invest more into our correctional officers, by raising the C.O. qualifications nation-wide. Sign this petition demanding that state legislators and Department of Corrections Commissioners raise the qualifications for Correctional Officers nationwide. 1. Prison guards should have at least some level of college education. 2. Prison guards should be at least 25 years of age. 3. Prison guards should have yearly background checks and psychological evaluations.
SCOTUS Grant 16 NEW Questions on Mass Incarceration and Public Servant AccountabilityHi! My name is Kimberly Spence, mother to eight-year-old Spencer. Like you, I want to protect the best interest of children and families. That's why I currently have 16 NEW intervening questions before the U.S. Supreme Court pertaining to Mass Incarceration, Public Servant Accountability, Judicial Reform, the Best Interest of a child and ensuring access to inalienable Constitutional Rights, life, liberty, freedom, justice and equality for all citizens of the United States of America. The U.S. Supreme Court ONLY Dockets cases that have proven Constitutional Violations (Michael Duggan, Clerk already acknowledged that the cases are not meritless) and the Court is MANDATED to Rule on cases involving Constitutional Violations when two or more States file cases. However, the U.S. Supreme Court Justices will only grant the hearing of the 16 NEW Questions and / or decide to rule on the cases during their PRIVATE CONFERENCE ON JUNE 2, 2016 if We the People create enough demand or awareness surrounding the need to provide access to inalienable Constitutional Rights for all citizens. Please sign this Petition and share the information with all of your contacts. Thanks! Kimberly Title: Spencer's Mom WhatsBest4Spencer, the approachable- 350+ Million Views- Public Persona that WORKS! Summary… U.S. Supreme Court Windsor-Spence Case - NOs. 15-6566 and 15-6567. You may find quick answers to Frequently Asked Questions on our website. Also, please remember to help fund the mounted cost of the U.S. Supreme Court Cases and What's Best 4 Spencer cause expenses as well. 16 QUESTIONS PRESENTED to the U.S. Supreme Court Justices 1. Whether the best interest, safety, security and United States Citizenship of a minor child(ren) should take legal precedence over the need to honor jurisdictional rules, laws, statutes or guidelines governing the care and upbringing of a minor child in State, Federal or International law, treaties, policies or long arm statutes governed by the state of Georgia, North Carolina, all other states and the Federal government; as these intervening mandates deprive citizens of access to their inalienable Constitutional Rights as well as access to Federal Statutes and Laws that guarantee such inalienable Constitutional Rights as guaranteed to all citizens of the United States of America under… 2. Whether the State of Georgia, North Carolina and all other states should automatically mandate the video or audio recording of court proceedings; as well as the take-down, transcription and release of all recordings and transcriptions, without the requirement of litigant(s) request for release of court proceedings, and at no cost to the litigant(s)… 3. Whether the State of Georgia, North Carolina or any other state should have the right to require citizens of this great nation to forego any of their inalienable constitutional rights, including their constitutional right to refuse to be psychologically evaluated… 4. Whether the State of Georgia, North Carolina or any other state should have the ability to levy forms of punishment against citizens of this great nation for exercising, seeking or attempting to gain access to any of their Inalienable Constitutional Rights… 9. Whether citizens of the United States living in the State of Georgia, North Carolina, Montana and all other states should have access to due process, proper service, more than 30 days adequate notice of hearing, free access to telephone services, free legal research materials, free access to the Internet for research purposes, free use of computers, free printing services, normal visitation, less expensive (over the long run) whole foods, adequate and humane – non predatory shelter, free prescription drugs, immediate medical attention, free legal services… 12. Whether the state of Georgia, North Carolina, Montana and all other States should automatically expunge the criminal records of individuals who have been convicted of a crime; who have served time for misdemeanors or minor crimes, which include any and all non-violent Felony crimes; within one months’ time of their date of release from jail, prison, court mandated programs or captivity, as these intervening tactics will undoubtedly provide citizens with access to their inalienable Constitutional Rights. 13. Whether the state of Georgia, North Carolina, Montana and all other States should automatically mandate the full restoration of any and all inalienable Constitutional Rights; including their right to Vote, within one months’ time of their date of release from jail, prison, court mandated programs or captivity, as these intervening tactics will undoubtedly provide citizens with access to their inalienable Constitutional Rights. 14. Whether the State of Georgia, North Carolina, Montana and all other States should mandate free ankle monitoring and probation services as an alternative to fines or imprisonment; including any and all non-violent Felony’s, as these intervening tactics will undoubtedly provide citizens with access to their inalienable Constitutional Rights. 15. Whether officers of the court, state employees, contractors, businesses and State entities who have profited from historically oppressive systems should share in the cost of restitution or reparations for citizens of the United States of America who have been deprived or denied access to their inalienable Constitutional Rights as a community, or due to legal errors; with the use of Frivolous Error Fees designed to offset the growing cost of fraudulent arrests and incarcerations on tax payers in the state of Georgia, North Carolina, Montana and all other States, as these intervening tactics will undoubtedly provide citizens with access to their inalienable Constitutional Rights. Oops, ran out of space. Please view and download the 16 New Questions at WhatsBest4Spencer
Support freedom of speech in Sweden and throughout the worldThe Documentary Ukraine - Masks of Revolution (In Swedish: Ukraina - Revolutionens mörka sida) on the massacre in Odessa May 2, 2014 will be aired in Sweden May 23, 2016. The broadcast has been postponed twice. Maidan Norway, a Swedish Human Rights organization (Östgruppen för demokrati och mänskliga rättigheter), Ukrainian organizations, the Ukrainian embassy and journalists have protested against the documentary. In 2015, Ukrainian organizations stopped an exhibition on the massacre in Odessa May 2, 2014. Sweden’s largest organization for adult education (ABF) had admitted it in their program but the exhibition was prevented. The same Ukrainian organizations together with others now seek to slander and defame a documentary which premiered February 1, 2016 on Canal+ in France and is directed by the renowned and award-winning French journalist Paul Moreira. The documentary is based on witness statements from all sides and on facts about events that took place in Odessa May 2, 2014. Those who protest against this documentary refer to an article authored by the journalist John Færseth and published in the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet. Færseth opposes what the documentary proves. The film shows a Ukrainian-nationalistic mob setting a trade union building on fire and this leads to 42 fatalities among supporters of a referendum on federalisation of the country. The Norwegian journalist instead believes that a lot suggests that the main responsibility for the fatalities lies on the fire brigade who arrived late at the scene of the fire. Færseth also suggests that the role of right-wing extremism in Ukraine is grossly exaggerated in the entire documentary about the dark elements of the Ukrainian revolution. The campaign against the documentary aims to provide people, who have this lack of moral and who excuse a mass murder, the possibility to "comment" the documentary in connection to the broadcast. Their aim is to promote their so-called critical voices so that they can make the documentary appear as if it is based on conspiracy theories. Do not let a narrative that excuses right-wing extremist violence, wherever it occurs, get the final say in mass media. Defend freedom of speech and freedom of information against any government and their followers who want to impose their views and biased narrative as the only valid truth on their own people or upon people in other countries. This open letter will be sent to the media and the public in Sweden and in neighboring countries. Help us support peace, freedom of speech, freedom of information and to expose the right-wing extremist violence. Initiators Ukrainabulletinen Platform Peace on earth and peace with earth Support for conflict resolution and yes to peace negotiations - no to war. Yes to common security - no to rearmament. Yes to investments for social justice and the environment - no to austerity policies in Ukraine, Europe and the world. Editorial team Tord Björk, editor, Ukrainabulletinen Stig Broqvist, active in Friends of the Earth Helsingborg Lars Drake, assistant professor Swedish University of Agriculture (SLU) Jan Wiklund, popular movement researcher Supporters Goran Brankovic, peace activist Mika Böök, peace activist Susanne Gerstenberg, peace activist Thomas Gunnarsson, peasant Joel Holmdahl, peasant Jake Kayzer, peace activist Thorsten Laxvik, peasant Markus Limmergård, board member FiB/K Oleg Mezjuev, Ukraine observer Eddie Olsson, active in Friends of the Earth Europe Anders Romelsjö, professor emeritus, radical blogger Bo Sundbäck, teacher Maj Wechselmann, documentary film maker International supporters Mika Böök, Finland Noam Chomsky, USA Pål Steigan, Norway We who have initiated this international action come from diverse backgrounds. As farmers we are concerned about the agriculture in Ukraine with its 7 million farmers who are protesting against the policies imposed upon them by the EU and IMF being austerity policies directed against small and middle sized farmers: policies only in the interest of the big corporations. As employees in the public sector we are concerned that the future society is put in the hands of companies that are replacing social rights with privatized social services to make profit off the needs of people. As pacifists and environmentalists we are concerned about the secretary general of NATO claiming that environmental movements with its protests against fracking were in the hands of Russia. We are also concerned about how Russia or any other country is portrayed as an enemy in Sweden with the purpose to promote rearmament and war rather than peace building. We are, as activists for human rights very concerned about the selective use of the indivisible human rights including both social and political dimensions with double standards that weaken the struggle for human rights everywhere. The campaign against the documentary was supported by Maidan Norway, Ukrainian organizations and a Swedish Human Rights organization (Östgruppen för demokrati och mänskliga rättigheter). Others who opposed the documentary had their background in a think tank funded by Confederation of Swedish Enterprise (In Swedish: Svenskt Näringsliv), defense research, the Ukrainian embassy, Swedish public service radio and human rights organizations that share the Swedish Government’s position on the conflict in Ukraine. Find more back ground material at the campaign web site.
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
Thousands of Georgia Prisoners Are Never Given A Release DateIn the state of Georgia, people who are sentenced to life in prison (25 years or more) are never given a release date. In other words, if a Georgia resident is convicted at the age of twenty, and receives a single life sentence (25 years or more), they are never notified of an official release date and are unaware that they could potentially be free, soonest, at the age of forty-five. Georgia inmates suffer dramatically because of this. The detrimental effects of inmates not knowing when they will be released are numerous, including carelessness, mental illness, excessive pill use, adjustment disorders, depressive nostalgia and violent behavior. In addition, inmates with life sentences have the lowest prison visitation rates due to a loss of family support attributed to indefinite time sentencing. Georgia prisoners and their families are asking for state law to require a set release date during sentencing. Sign this petition to urge Georgia state legislators to create legislation allowing Georgia prison inmates to be given a definite release date, regardless of life sentences.
Stop Trump Rally - WNY Organizations & IndividualsDear Friend, America is a nation that still struggles to live up to the promise of the words of Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence "that all men are created equal." We are a nation made up of people from all over the globe who have migrated to America with the hope of finding a better life. Despite the ugly past of the dispossessing of native peoples and the brutal enslavement of African people, America is still a land where people of many races live, work, and worship shoulder to shoulder with each other. We have not yet met the lofty ideals of the founding fathers, but we are a nation that has made amazing progress over the years The recent emergence of the leading candidates for the Republican nomination for the Presidency of the United States threatens to stymy the progress of this generation. The wisdom of Solomon teaches us a poignant lesson: "Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs" (NIV, Proverbs 10:12). From day one of his regressive campaign, Mr. Trump has spewed hate-filled rhetoric that has brought nothing but conflict to our nation. Mr. Trump repeatedly insults his opponents and those who differ from his narrow-minded view of the future of America. His race-based insults if the Latino community as it relates to immigration denies the promise held in the words of the Statue of Liberty. His hate-filled rhetoric against Islam denies one of the founding principles of America, which is religious freedom. His links to white supremacy terrorist organizations threatens to reverse the great progress America has made from slavery, Jim Crow to the Civil Rights movement. Having Mr. Trump as the standard bearer for the GOP prevents it from upholding its heritage as the party of Lincoln; reducing it to the party of hatred, division and racism. After a generation of despair due to the decline in the auto, steel and other manufacturing industries, Western New York is currently experiencing an economic renaissance. Along with this resurgence, new visionary leadership has taken on the segregated past of our region in an attempt to bring our community together. Initiatives like the Opportunity Pledge, Racial Roundtable and One Buffalo has ushered in a new era of inclusion, diversity and unity, creating an atmosphere of hope in the region. The last thing we need in this region is a visit from a man who by his own words stands against unity while exploiting old stereotypes and race based bias to fuel his campaign of hate. So we are calling on people of good conscious across this region to say Mr. Trump your campaign, your words and your presence is not welcome in our region. Mr. Trump’s words and his surrogates who spew his rhetoric clearly show where his heart is along with his blurred vision for the future of our nation. We must send a peaceful but powerful message to Mr. Trump and those who support his campaign, that we have fought too hard to tear down the walls of division and we refuse to go back to our painful past. We must send a powerful and peaceful message to those like Chairman Langworthy, Congressman Collins and Mr. Paladino that this campaign of intolerance has no place in our community. So lets us stand together hand in hand reaching across the lines of race, religion, gender, class and sexual orientation to say yes to love. And let us embrace the prophetic words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his vision of the beloved community: “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
Contaminated Water Causes Cancer in Texas Prisons; Officials Ignore Complaints and Avoid Clean-upMark Schwarzer spent five years at Wallace Pack Unit, where he was exposed to high levels of arsenic discovered in the prison water supply. While serving time at Wallace Pack Unit, Mark was diagnosed with skin cancer. He attributes the cancer to his consumption of the arsenic-tainted water in the prison. Soon after, Mr. Schwarzer requested that his blood be tested for arsenic but University of Texas Medical Branch personnel vehemently refused. As a result of their refusal, Mark filed a Step I (I-127) grievance. In September 2015, not long after these events, Mark was involuntarily transferred from Wallace Park Unit, in Navasota, TX to Boyd Unit in Teague, TX. Mr. Schwarzer discovered that his Step I (I-127) grievance had been denied, and he filed a Step II (I-128) grievance at the Boyd Unit. The Unit Grievance Investigator at Boyd, Mr. Mark Fryhoff, has refused to produce a copy of Mr. Schwarzer's Step II grievance, claiming it has mysteriously disappeared. Without this document, these is no evidence at the Boyd Unit that Mark Schwarzer has filed a grievance or requested blood tests. Mark Schwarzer is suffering from arsenic-caused skin cancer, and because of Officer Fryhoff’s either intentional or irresponsible misplacement of the Step II (I-128) grievance, Mark is unlikely to receive the immediate testing and treatment that he is asking for. Losing grievances or failing to produce copies damages the integrity of the entire process. There are numerous incidents of TDCJ prison officials attempting to cover up contaminated water problems at its facilities. Texas prisons promote a pattern of conduct where TDCJ employees, including wardens, corrections officers and classification personnel, use their positions to retaliate against prisoners who file grievances or shed light on injustices and abuse. We must begin to hold these individuals accountable for their abuse of power! Please sign this petition, demanding that Senator Ellis and Senator Whitmire contact the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and mandate an inquiry and investigation into the unethical conduct of Boyd Unit Grievance Officer Mark Fryhoff.