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No to War, Hot or Cold, with RussiaNATO encirclement, the U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine, an attempt to use an agreement with the European Union to bring NATO into Ukraine at the Russian border, a U.S. nuclear first-strike policy, are all policies which attempt to substitute force for diplomacy. Tensions between Russia and the U.S. are being fueled every day by players who would benefit financially from a resumption of the Cold War which, from 1948 to 1991 cost U.S. taxpayers $20 TRILLION dollars (in 2014 dollars), an amount exceeding our $18 trillion National Debt. The resolution just passed by the House calls for “the President, in consultation with Congress, to conduct a review of the force posture, readiness and responsibilities of United States Armed Forces and the forces of other members of NATO to determine if the contributions and actions of each are sufficient to meet the obligations of collective self-defense under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, and to specify the measures needed to remedy any deficiencies...” In other words, "let’s get ready for war with Russia." This is a dangerous and costly direction. Using diplomacy, rather than poor substitutes for it, would save dollars and lives, while allowing us to prioritize useful projects and collaborate with our international allies. This is a moment in which we all must raise our voices to make that change.
Increase funding to the World Food Programme to support Syrian refugeesNearly four years of civil and sectarian conflict in Syria has created a humanitarian crisis on a scale not seen since the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Nearly 200,000 have been killed, while almost half of Syria's population has been displaced. While just under 7 million remain displaced inside of Syria, over 3 million have fled and sought refuge and protection in the fragile neighboring countries of Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, and northern Iraq. Since June 2013, Road to Mafraq, Inc. has partnered with grassroots movements and NGOs serving refugees in Jordan in an effort to help meet some of the physical and emotional needs facing Jordan's 630,000 registered Syrian refugees. To date, we have raised nearly $22,000 to support their efforts. The families we serve are not permitted to legally work inside of Jordan and therefore, they rely solely on the World Food Programme voucher system for food assistance. The NGO's we partner with assist them in getting additional needs met. The WFP voucher system is vital not only to helping Syrians get proper nutrition, but also to preserving their dignity, as it allows them flexibility in food choices. Furthermore, it supports the local Jordanian economy, which has been devastated by the strain of supporting the rapid and mass influx of Syrians, by allowing refugees to buy locally. Due to a lack of fulfillment of government pledges to the World Food Programme, over 1.7 million Syrian refugees have been cut off from food assistance effective December 1, 2014. If assistance is not immediately restored to these families, the impact to the people of Syria and the nations that host them will be devastating, expansive, and irreversible. The families we serve cannot make it without WFP food assistance. They will be forced to make very difficult and potentially dangerous choices in order to feed their families. This includes, but is not limited to: -- Engaging in illicit work -- Sending their children to work -- Putting their children in compromising and dangerous situations, including marrying off their young girls or selling their children into prostitution -- Returning to Syria for lack of better opportunity in Jordan, where the situation remains very unsafe, and their status as having fled the regime as refugees leaves them vulnerable to violent retaliation by the Syrian regime When we visit with Syrian families in Jordan, they always want to know one thing: "Why is the world ignoring us? How can they sit by and watch this happen to us?" The United States and other wealthy nations have the opportunity to prove these families wrong; to show that the world is not ignoring them; to remind them that we see them, we hear them, and we care for them. Please act now to fully fund the U.S.'s current pledge to the UN's World Food Programme and to increase this assistance beyond our current obligations to ensure that Syria's refugees do not go hungry this winter.
American Lung Association: Cut Fossil Fuel Ties and Come Clean!The negative health impacts of fracking are scientifically proven. The ALA acknowledged that hydraulic fracturing for "natural" gas trapped in shale (fracking) causes cancer-causing air pollution. But after receiving hefty donations from a fracking corporation, it now promotes gas as "cleaner than other fossil fuels." Those supporting ALA campaigns deserve to know the shameful truth: The ALA has partnered with the fossil fuel industry — which contributes greatly to air pollution and respiratory diseases. The ALA in 2012: "We have seen irrefutable evidence of serious threats to human health from air pollutants emitted during oil and natural gas production. These pollutants can worsen asthma, cause heart attacks, and harm the circulatory, respiratory, [and] nervous . . . systems. They are also linked to cancer, developmental disorders, and even premature death.” The ALA reversed course when it received a big donation from Canadian corporation Encana Oil & Gas in support of its “Fighting for Air” campaign against coal (and supporting gas as a “cleaner” fuel). From the ALA statement supporting “natural” gas: The ALA "supports the increased use of natural gas as a transitional fuel for the production of electricity. . . ." Wimmer and the national board of the ALA make a mockery of the thousands of dedicated local chapter leaders, staff, and volunteers, whose efforts on various campaigns have saved untold numbers of lives. The ALA should not play politics or partner with fossil-fuel pushers. The only logical remedy is for the ALA to come clean — by denouncing fracking as the intolerable lung health-destroying corporate activity it is; severing all ties with board members, advisers, and volunteers from within the fossil fuel industry; and living up to its own mission.
No War in Ukraine!The threat of nuclear war is very real. Currently US foreign policy towards Ukraine has made nuclear war with Russia far more likely. The United States has recklessly brought NATO – a nuclear armed alliance – into conflict with Russia – a nuclear armed state. Recently, Russia has unveiled an updated arsenal of nuclear weapons, which in turn has brought the US into a new nuclear arms race, obliterating the gains of nuclear disarmament and containment. This needs to stop if the world is to avoid yet more needless war.
Sign the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on Depleted UraniumI served in the Parachute Regiment and the Special Air Service for eight years. I have spoken out about the reality of the war in Iraq on numerous occasions since I left the army but only recently have I learned about another of its cruel legacies; chemically toxic and radioactive depleted uranium (DU). I was not surprised last week when I heard the UK and US had voted against a United Nations General Assembly Resolution that asked states to provide help to Iraq in dealing with DU contamination and for UN agencies to carry out more research into its potential negative effects on public health and the environment. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has long argued that DU weapons are effective and necessary to save soldiers’ lives, but they refuse to take into account the effect on civilian populations that especially as they can continue long after a war has ended. When it is fired it creates a DU dust which, if breathed in, has the potential to mutate DNA and cause cancers and birth defects. In Iraq, the battles took place in towns and cities full of people. The Iraqi government knows of 300 contaminated sites today – hundreds more are unidentified. This contamination poses a threat to the Iraqi people, particularly pregnant women and children who are especially susceptible to exposure from toxic materials. The MoD claims that there is no evidence that DU has caused health problems in Iraq. However, there is no evidence because there have been no health studies carried out specifically on civilians living in contaminated areas. Last year, the former director of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Iraq programme, Dr Neel Mani, said that the organisation knew of abnormal rates of health problems as far back as 2001. However, cynicism from ‘certain member states’ and a politicised funding structure had left them unable to do anything about it. He is not the first person to speak out but the denial and the political power of the offending states means that this public health crisis continues. Within Iraq, many people continue to speak out about this. The International Committee of the Red Cross have reports of being approached by tribal leaders who say that clean-up of DU ‘exceeded any other humanitarian concerns’. As the father to three beautiful, healthy children I found it so distressing when I heard Dr Samira Alaani, an Iraqi paediatrician report: ‘The first question I am asked when a child is born is not ‘is it a boy or a girl?’ but ‘is my child healthy?’ It makes me so angry that, for all of our promises of freeing Iraq, what we have left them is a toxic legacy that will last for generations to come. As a former soldier who fought in Iraq, I can safely say that this is not why I joined the British Army. Nor do I believe that many other soldiers are happy with the fact that they are being made complicit with these acts. Doctors across Iraq have been reporting much higher than normal incidences of cancer and birth defects for years now. It has been estimated that cleaning up the 300 known contamination sites would cost between US$30-45 million. To people like me and you that is a lot of money but to governments that have spent billions on war, it is a drop in the ocean. If they cannot afford to clean it up, they should not have made us use it in the first place. In December the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will take a second vote on a draft resolution on DU weapons. It will be the fifth one of its kind and will no doubt, once more, see a majority of the states vote in favour of it – 155 did last time. The UNGA draft resolution asks states that have fired DU to provide firing locations. It asks international organisations to carry out further research. It asks any states with the means to do so to provide assistance to countries affected by DU. It is not a lot to ask, so why do the UK and US persistently vote against these resolutions? Just last month the Iraqi government joined the doctors and people of Iraq in asking for help to clean up this mess and to conduct research into the problems their country is facing. They know they cannot do it alone; this will take an international effort and it needs to be done sooner rather than later. We must support the people of Iraq, which is why I am demanding that the UK and US support the current UN resolution. Please add your voice to this campaign and demand that the US and UK take responsibility for their actions.
Congress, Return to Session Immediately and Vote to End the U.S. War in Syria and Iraq.1. The U.S. government is in violation of the U.S. Constitution. 2. Many U.S. citizens want Congress to do its job, debate war powers and vote no to this illegal war. 3. If Congress voted Yes they would be violating the UN Charter and the Kellogg-Briand Pact. 4. It is immoral to wait months while innocent people are being killed, laws broken, and hundreds of thousands of people displaced. 5. There are alternatives: pursue a ceasefire and negotiations, an arms embargo, work through the United Nations and the Arab League and provide humanitarian aid. 6. America should not let terrorists make us violate our own laws.
Make Jim Hood the Next Attorney GeneralJim Hood has a proven track record of protecting consumers, homeowners, business owners, and survivors of disaster from predatory big banks, credit ratings agencies, oil companies, pharmaceutical giants, and insurance firms. He isn't beholden to corporate special interests, and has stepped up to the plate every time citizens unable to compete with the immense legal resources of large conglomerates have been wronged by greedy practices. As Mississippi's Attorney General since 2003, Hood helped secure federal intervention when BP wasn't paying out claims to victims of the 2010 oil spill in the gulf of Mexico, sued 6 major banking institutions in 2012 when they slammed consumers with unexplained monthly fees, gained an $18 million settlement from pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly for their deceptive marketing of the drug Zyprexa, and stood up for victims of Hurricane Katrina in court when insurance companies wrongfully denied their claims. We need a U.S. attorney general that isn't afraid to stand up to big money and who has a track record of bringing results. Jim Hood is the truest example of what our nation's top lawyer should be.
Apologize to the people of LibyaBackground: In 2011, the Swedish government under prime minister Fredrik Reinfelt decided to participate in the Nato-led attack on Libya, which has led to chaos in Libya and caused many Libyans to flee their country. It is obvious that Sweden's involvement was much motivated by the desire to use the Swedish warplane Gripen in war, in order to help the manufacturer SAAB in the promotion of further sales of the plane. In August 2014, prime minister Fredrik Reinfelt appealed to the Swedish people to open their hearts to refugees. It would be a terrible hypocrisy if he does not also apologize to the people, who have become refugees in part because of his government's decision regarding Libya. Image: "Gripen ag2". Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0-fr via Wikimedia Commons
Call For Independent Inquiry of the Airplane Crash in Ukraine and its Catastrophic AftermathIt’s important because there is so much misinformation and disinformation in the media that we are careening towards a new cold war with Russia over this. Initial Signatories for petition: (Organizations for Identification Only) Hon. Douglas Roche, OC, Canada David Swanson, co-founder, World Beyond War Bruce Gagnon, Global Network Against Nuclear Power and Weapons in Space Alice Slater, JD, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, NY Professor Francis A. Boyle, University of Illinois College of Law Natasha Mayers, Union of Maine Visual Artists David Hartsough, co-founder, World Beyond War Larry Dansinger, Resources for Organizing and Social Change Ellen Judd, Project Peacemakers Coleen Rowley, Women Against Military Madness Medea Benjamin, Code Pink Brian Noyes Pulling, M. Div. Anni Cooper, Peaceworks Kevin Zeese, Popular Resistance Leah Bolger, CDR, USN (Ret), Veterans for Peace Raymond McGovern, former CIA analyst, VA Margaret Flowers, Popular Resistance Gloria McMillan, Tucson Balkan Peace Support Group Ellen E. Barfield, Veterans for Peace Cecile Pineda, author. Devil's Tango: How I Learned the Fukushima Step by Step Jill McManus Steve Leeper, Visiting professor, Hiroshima Jogakuin University,Nagasaki University Kyoto University of Art and Design William H. Slavick, Pax Christi Maine Helen Caldicott, Helen Caldicott Foundation David Krieger, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Brigadier Vijai K Nair, VSM [Retd] Ph.D. , Magoo Strategic Infotech Pvt Ltd Kevin Martin, Peace Action Carol Reilly Urner, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Ann E. Ruthsdottir Kay Cumbow Steven Starr, Senior Scientist, Physicians for Social Responsibility Tiffany Tool, Peaceworkers Sukla Sen, Committee for Communal Amnity, Mumbai India Joan Russow, PhD, Coordinator, Global Compliance Research Project Rob Mulford, Veterans for Peace, North Star Chapter, Alaska Jacqueline Cabasso, Western States Legal Foundation, United for Peace and Justice Ingeborg Breines, Co-president International Peace Bureau Judith LeBlanc, Peace Action Felicity Ruby Jerry Stein, The Peace Farm, Amarillo , Texas Michael Andregg, professor, St. Paul, Minnesota Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East, National Intelligence Council, ret.: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, Washington Robert Shetterly, artist, “Americans Who Tell the Truth,” Maine Katharine Gun, United Kingdom Dave Webb, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, UK Amber Garland, St. Paul, Minnesota John Feffer, Foreign Policy in Focus Beverly Bailey, Richfield, Minnesota Joseph Gerson, Convener, Working Group for Peace & Demiitarization in Asia and the Pacific Stephen McKeown, Richfield, Minnesota Dominique Lalanne, France Bill Rood, Rochester, Minnesota Tom Klammer, radio host, Kansas City, Missouri Barbara Vaile, Minneapolis, Minnesota Mali Lightfoot, Helen Caldicott Foundation Tony Henderson, spokesperson for universal humanism, Hong Kong Darlene M. Coffman, Rochester, Minnesota Sister Gladys Schmitz, Mankato, Minnesota Edward Loomis, NSA Cryptologic Computer Scientist (ret.) J. Kirk Wiebe, NSA Senior Analyst (ret.), MD William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.) Jill Stein, Green Party 2012 Presidential nominee Cheri Honkala, Green Shadow Cabinet Ed Asner Norman Solomon, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting Agneta Norberg, Sweden Rick Rosoff, Stop NATO Kathleen Sullivan, Hibakusha Stories Michael Eisenscher, US Labor Against the War Clare Coss, playwright Jean-Marie Matagne, President, Action des Citoyens pour le Désarmement Nucléaire (France) Carolyn Rusti Eisenberg, United for Peace and Justice Ben Manski, president, Liberty Tree Foundation
Legalize Solar PanelsFlorida advertises itself as the Sunshine State; but, power company executives and regulators have worked successfully to keep most Floridians from using that sunshine to generate their own power. Typical business models, like leasing, plus tax rebates, have made solar systems affordable for millions of homeowners around the country. These practices are largely illegal in Florida. Agencies like JEA have a monopoly on electricity and are gouging rate-payers. Please sign the petition and urge the governor to introduce legislation that would make leasing solar panels legal in Florida and allow residents to sell back any excess power the systems generate on their homes any other properties.
Marriott: Don’t Host Urban Shield!The militarized lockdown and attack on Ferguson's Black community is not an anomaly. Police repression is growing across the US and globally through coordinated efforts to militarize policing tactics and weapons. Local police departments are now directly funded by the Departments of Homeland Security and Defense. From September 4th-8th, one such DHS-backed program, Urban Shield, will be hosted by Oakland's Marriott Hotel Convention Center through a contract with the City of Oakland. This event - hosting SWAT training, national and transnational police networking, and weaponry sales - is coordinated by the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI.) UASI is an initiative in which the St. Louis area police actively participate. The military tanks, tear-gas, rubber bullets and SWAT armor attacking the people of Ferguson are there because of these programs. People across communities are rising up to resist policing. We cannot allow this engine of state repression to continue. Take a stand with War Resisters League and our partners in Oakland to oppose Marriott's profiteering from the militarized repression of our communities. Build pressure against Urban Shield and the Marriott Hotel - sign and share this petition as a nonviolent demonstration of people power!
Support the rule of THE PEOPLE, not big money.In a 5–1 ruling Monday, the California Supreme Court struck down Proposition 49, the "Overturn Citizens United Act" -- a California ballot measure seeking public input on whether the US Congress should pass an amendment to allow regulation of campaign spending and ending corporate personhood. This effectively robs citizens of California of the opportunity to have our voices heard regarding the corporate ownership of our government and the lavish amounts of money spent in electoral campaigns. Any effort on the part of the people to rein in the twisting of our democracy and laws in favor of corporate interest will be met with the same resistance. It’s up to us to make sure that our elected officials make THE PEOPLE the priority. The Pledge to Amend campaign, organized by the national Move to Amend Coalition, mobilizes citizen activists to engage and hold accountable political candidates through a public commitment to ending corporate personhood and money as speech. Please sign the petition stating your commitment to ONLY SUPPORT candidates who make ending corporate Constitutional rights and money as speech a priority.