- Campaign Finance Reform
- Civil Liberties / Surveillance
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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.
Petition for a United Nations Peace Conversion ConferenceWarfare is obsolete, and is destroying the human environment, slaughtering innocent people, exhausting the world economy, and generating tens of millions of desperate refugees. I’m asking all people and groups to call for a United Nations Peace Conversion Conference, to make practical plans to move away from warfare and military confrontation in international affairs, and phase out military industries, with an orderly transition to peaceful production to meet basic human needs worldwide. We taxpayers support a military-industrial complex which generates endless warfare, and has set up a complex and edgy thermonuclear weapons confrontation involving nine nuclear-armed nations. Many nations today would join the call for a United Nations Peace Conversion Conference. We can each be the center of a Worldwide Peace Conversion Network, living peace conversion with each other as we do this delightful work.
Keep Anti-Trump Protests Strictly Non-ViolentCorporate mass media will focus on even the slightest evidence of violence from anti-Trump protesters, to make it look like protesters are inciting violence. Many voters will be swayed to be more sympathetic to Trump. So even the slightest hint of violence from protesters will end up helping Trump, perhaps enough to get him elected. That's why Trump wants to incite violence against his supporters. The message of non-violence has to be amplified, loud and clear, by all anti-Trump protesters, so there can be no valid claim that protesters are responsible for violence. Non-violence can be very difficult. It has to be learned and practiced. That's the best way to stop Trump.
Tell Bernie Sanders to Reject AIPAC's InvitationAIPAC has invited Bernie Sanders to participate in its 2016 Policy Conference in Washington DC. Voice your support for justice and equality in Israel-Palestine and urge Bernie to reject this invitation. As the main arm of the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, AIPAC has sworn to promote the racist, militaristic, and anti-democratic policies of the most right-wing government in Israel's history. Its conference this year will feature Islamophobes, anti-immigrant activists, and religious extremists. With his promise to seek a "level playing field" on Israel-Palestine, Bernie does not belong on the same stage as these figures. Urge him to reject AIPAC's invitation and support justice in the Holy Land.
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.
Pass the new bill to abolish the military draftA bureaucracy unused since Richard Nixon left office, an institution that has served no purpose since before people already too old for it were born, a machinery whose only function is to send huge numbers of unwilling young men (and some hope to expand it to include young women) into immoral actions should be abolished. This bipartisan bill would make that happen. The selective service budget is $23-26 million every year. There are also costs to the states and financial aid offices that must ensure people are registered before administering benefits. Many states automatically register men who obtain driver's licenses for selective service; that technology should remain in place but be used to automatically register men and women to vote. Opponents of war and supporters of conscientious objection back this bill. You can too. SIGNED BY David Swanson, WarIsACrime.org Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Nonviolence Alice Slater David Hartsough Maria Santelli, Center on Conscience and War Leah Bolger
Demand Democratic superdelegates represent their constituents at the National ConventionSuperdelegates are delegates who vote for the Democratic nominee at the National Convention. Unlike pledged delegates, who are required to support the candidate(s) chosen by voters in their state primary or caucus, superdelegates are designated by the leadership of the Democratic National Committee and may vote for any candidate of their choosing. Therefore, superdelegates hold a large amount of power over the party's nomination. Allowing these select few individuals to choose a candidate based on their own personal preference undermines the democratic foundations of the nomination process.
Demand a full investigation on the unjust trial and conviction of Michigan Rev. Edward PinkneyEdward Pinkney is a well-respected minister and community activist who has been imprisoned and sentenced to up to 10 years in prison for allegedly altering five dates on recall petitions in Benton Harbor, Michigan. In response to what Pinkney assessed as a corrupt giveaway of much of Benton Harbor’s public land to the multi-million dollar Whirlpool Corporation, he organized a petition drive to recall the mayor of Benton Harbor. The state of Michigan responded with bogus charges, his arrest and imprisonment. Pinkney is an admired civil rights leader in his home state, having organized the Black Autonomy Network Community Organization in response to the June 16, 2003, murder of 28-year-old African-American Terrance Shurn, who was being pursued by Benton Police. He also co-founded a branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Benton Harbor, Michigan in 2009. Reverend Pinkney and his supporters believe that his conviction is linked to a strategic governmental plan to halt his community activism and impede his efforts against former Benton Harbor mayor James Hightower and Whirlpool Corp. Black activists and radical leaders who stand up for justice are too often treated as criminals rather than heroes, and are ultimately forced into the U.S. criminal justice system. Political prisoner Pinkney has been recently moved to the Marquette Prison in Michigan, far away from his friends, supporters, and Benton Harbor home. He has been placed in conditions dangerous to his health and his telephone privileges have been revoked. As long as Rev. Edward Pinkney remains in prison, his family is left fatherless, and the organizations that he has dedicated his life to stand vulnerable to government dismantlement. Sign this petition to demand justice for Rev. Edward Pinkney! * Call Legislative Corrections Ombudsman Keith Barber to demand an investigation into Rev. Pinkney’s treatment: 517-373-8573. * Call Governor Rick Snyder at 517-373-3400. Tell him you are concerned about Rev. Pinkney’s safety in an environment of harassment, threats, intimidation, and hostility.
We Need High-Speed Long Island FerriesLong Islanders and New Yorkers in general put up with the worst transportation in the United States, with the highest average commute. We are the ONLY city surrounded by water which does NOT have a government funded ferry system. This is important in many ways including, less commute time (by half), easier access to destinations, an alternative to the constant delay and shut down of LIRR and major roadways, less cost to the rider, less pollution, and restoration of our ports. Some of the other advantages are less tax due to direct revenue, more high paying jobs, and increased property value for those communities with a port.