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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.
Help 400,000 Haitians Get the Housing They NeedSince that time, heavy rains have flooded the areas, causing a surge in cholera. The homeless Haitians who still occupy these camps are holding onto hope as much as they can. Together with their allies, The Haitian Government must: Designate land for proper housing Create one government institution to manage, coordinate, and implement a social housing plan Solicit and allocate funding for this plan The Solution: By putting intense pressure on the Haitian government and their allies to act and start helping their people relocate to better, more controlled conditions. By bringing awareness to this cause, we can do more to help. The problem hasn’t been fixed and not much has been done to solve the problem either. Join with Haiti’s homeless and demand their government do more to help their people get the safety, shelter, and care they need. Interested in making a difference? At http://www.tent.net/best-3-4-season-tent, we believe that people living in camps need the best tents possible to have proper shelter. Please visit our site to see some 4 season tent reviews.
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.
Stop Unclear Voluntary Benefits PoliciesVoluntary benefits policies offering critical illness coverage is an important option for employees to have these days, but there are too many policies that are complicated and unclear about their coverage. We must put an end to this and demand that insurance companies make selecting and paying for health insurance coverage a simple and straightforward one, so that hardworking employees don’t get stuck with paying for the expenses they thought were covered when they unexpectedly get sick. We have a plan to help overcome this common issue. By making consumers aware that their coverage may not be what they think it is, hopefully causing them to take a closer look at their policies and current coverage to make sure they are getting the benefits they need and deserve in case of any unexpected health-related life event. What you can do today. Contact your benefits company and ask for an updated version of your policy. Once you get that policy, read it over. If you don’t understand what it says, then bring it to an attorney or someone you trust to help you understand what kind of coverage you actually have and learn if your condition or less common conditions are covered in your plan. So many individuals and families don’t actually know and understand what they are paying for and sadly, this has left them with little to no options or virtually no coverage when they get sick. Some people lose everything they have, unnecessarily adding more stress and pressure into the mix. We invite you to join the movement to gain greater awareness and understanding about your voluntary benefits policy, so you can feel confident with your choice, or shop around for better coverage if necessary. Sign our petition today!
Term Limits for U.S. Congress and SenateOften people elected to the highest offices in the land do so with good intentions.They plan on going to Washington and working hard to represent their constituency back home. Often over time these intentions are subverted. More of their time is spent raising money from the wealthy, the powerful and their lobbyists. Many turn into career politicians with more power and less interest in doing the Peoples' Work. If they were limited in terms of time, maybe they would actually accomplish what they originally set out to do.
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.
Ban Fracking in Livingston County NowGovernor Cuomo of New York has declared a statewide ban on fracking. Local citizen-led initiatives have helped ban fracking in Mendocino and San Benito counties in California; Athens, Ohio; Mora, New Mexico; and Denton, Texas. Communities across the United States and world are saying NO to this environmentally disastrous method of extracting fossil fuels from the land. It is time for every politician throughout NY State and around the country to take action and ban fracking NOW!
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.”
Tell Hillary Clinton: Condemn voter suppression in ArizonaAmerica saw voter suppression in action on March 22nd, watching would-be voters in Maricopa County, Arizona, stand in line for hours to vote for a presidential nominee. Why were the lines so long? The county’s usual number of polling places had been reduced by 70%, from 200 to only 60. At 1,250,000 voters in the county, that meant 21,000 people per polling place. Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell defended the reduced number of polling places as a cost-cutting measure. But countless numbers of voters stood in line for hours; more countless numbers had to leave the lines before voting because they couldn’t wait the extra hours it would take to make it to the polling booths. Some voters were still in line at 11:30 p.m. Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders, quoted by CNN, said this: "In the United States of America, democracy is the foundation of our way of life. And what happened in Arizona is a disgrace.” It’s time for Hillary Clinton to go on record: stand up for democracy by condemning voter suppression in Arizona.
Abolish War, Save Article 9The movement to maintain Article 9 is important because Article 9 is such a positive force for Japanese people and for other nations globally. What makes the movement even stronger is that the movement leaders also want to revise the constitution in their own image - that is, to make it a constitution of the 21st century removed from the influence of World War II. They are supported by important thinkers and activists such as Noam Chomsky, Akihiko Kimijima and Helen Caldicott who stress that Article 9 should be a role model for the world to follow. All emphasize that living in the nuclear age our survival is at stake. To embrace Article 9 is to support the United Nations mandate to abolish war and "turn your swords into ploughshares." But we must remain consistent over a long period of time. We must outlast big money lobby groups over a long time - and we must be very creative in our strategy. The public at large becomes quickly bored and apathetic unless the new movement is able to stimulate their imaginations and motivate them to take action in support of the protesters. Both General Douglas MacArthur and Prime Minister Kijuro Shidehara were very successful in motivating the voting public to embrace the new peace constitution in 1946. So in conclusion I truly believe there is hope for Article 9, but it will take hard work and consistency. Join hands, hearts and minds to support and promote this wonderful constitution.