• Demand that Indiana DOC Restore Kevin "Rashid" Johnson's Access to His Property
    Kevin “Rashid” Johnson (IDOC# 264847) – a Virginia prisoner – was transferred to Indiana on November 4. His transfer was authorized under the Interstate Corrections Compact, commonly used to ship prisoners out of state. Virginia is one of several states that make use of this practice as a tool to repress and isolate prisoners who speak up for their rights. These transfers are extremely disruptive, and serve as an opportunity for prison officials to violate prisoners’ rights, especially regarding their property. This is exactly what has been done to Rashid. Rashid has 24 boxes of personal property. These are all of his possessions in the world. Much of these 24 boxes consist of legal documents and research materials, including materials directly related to pending or anticipated court cases, and his list of addresses and phone numbers of media contacts, human rights advocates, outside supporters, and friends. At Pendleton Correctional Facility, where Rashid is now being kept prisoner and in solitary confinement, only one guard is in charge of the property room. This is very unusual, as the property room is where all of the prisoners’ belongings that are not in their cells are kept. The guard in charge, Dale Davis, has a dubious reputation. Prisoners complain that property goes missing, and their requests to access their belongings – that by law are supposed to be met within 7 days, or if there are court deadlines within 24 hours – are often ignored, answered improperly, or what they receive does not correspond to what they have asked for. Despite having a need for legal and research documents for pending and anticipated court cases, his requests to receive his property have not been properly answered. The property officer, Dale Davis, is supposed to inventory the prisoners’ property with them (and a witness) present, according to IDOC regulation 02-01-101-VIII; this was never done. When Rashid did receive some property, it was a random selection of items unrelated to what he asked for, brought to the segregation unit in a box and a footlocker and left in an insecure area where things could be stolen or tampered with. On December 19th, Rashid received notice that Davis had confiscated various documents deemed to be “security threat group” or “gang” related from his property. Rashid has no idea what these might be, as (contrary to the prison regulations) he was not present when his property was gone through. Rashid does not know how much or how little was confiscated, or what the rationale was for its being described as “gang” related. None of Rashid’s property should be confiscated or thrown out under any circumstances, but it is worth noting that the way in which this has been done contravenes the prison’s own regulations and policies! Dale Davis has been an IDOC property officer for 8 years. He has boasted about how he does not need any oversight or anyone else working with him, even though it is very unusual for just one person to have this responsibility. Prisoners’ property goes “missing” or is tampered with, and prisoners’ rights – as laid out by the Indiana Department of Corrections – are not being respected. Rashid is not asking to have all of his property made available to him in his cell. He is willing to accept only having access to some of it at a time, for instance as he needs it to prepare court documents or for his research and writing. After two months in Indiana, he has still not been supplied with his documents containing the phone numbers and addresses of his loved ones and supporters, effectively sabotaging his relationships on the outside. Rashid is not asking for any kind of special treatment, he is only asking for the prison property room to follow the prison’s own rules. We ask that you look into this, and make sure that Mr. Johnson's right to access his property is being respected, and that something be done about the irregularities in the Pendleton property room. We ask that the rules of the Indiana Department of Corrections be respected. Call the Pendleton Correctional Facility and to ask to speak to the Warden or to someone in the Warden’s office. Also, call the Indiana Department of Corrections and ask that they intervene to make sure Rashid gets access to his property. In each case, please be prepared to give a name and phone number for them to call you back, if needed. Please make phone calls to: Indiana Department of Corrections Stephanie Lightfoot (317) 232-5711 - press 2, press 3, press 2 You may get a voicemail, in which case please leave a detailed message. Pendleton Correctional Facility (765) 778-2107; press 3 and then press 1 You will get a receptionist; explain that you would like to convey your concerns to the warden or to someone in charge, about problems Kevin Johnson is having accessing his property. For updates on Rashid and to access his writings, go to http://rashidmod.com/
    5,878 of 6,000 Signatures
    Created by Jamani M.
  • Help Free an Unfairly Prosecuted Man from Prison
    Truthout reports: "Hamilton was imprisoned with a man named Darnell Thompson, who claims he was threatened by police into pinning the crime on Hamilton. In an affidavit reviewed by Truthout, Thompson said that homicide detectives and prisoner Olivera Rico Cowen conspired to pressure him into testifying against Hamilton. Thompson, who was 18 at the time, says he was coerced into signing a statement against Hamilton, but he later refused to testify against Hamilton in court. But Thompson’s statement, as well as Cowen’s testimony and testimony about Hamilton’s character by a neighbor, were enough for a jury to convict Hamilton to a maximum of 80 years in prison." Lacino Hamilton has said, "There was no physical evidence for the crime I was accused of -- only manufactured by detectives, detectives who wrote a script for them to perform at trial. And when the prosecutor’s office was approached by several attorneys with credible evidence that this was a common police practice, the prosecutor’s office simply forged ahead. I was convicted and sentenced to 52 to 80 years. They just threw me away, like I was garbage." Affidavits, courthouse transcripts, letters and internal memos obtained by Truthout suggest that Darnell Thompson – who is now long deceased – was in fact part of a ring of jailhouse informants – or “snitches” – that allegedly received lenient sentences as well as other monetary and special privileges from detectives in the Detroit Police Department’s homicide division in exchange for making false statements against dozens of prisoners eventually convicted of murder, Lacino just being one of them... “Informants lie primarily in exchange for lenience for their own crimes, although sometimes they lie for money,” according to an article in Golden Gate University Law Review. Testimony from a single jailhouse informant is enough to convict a person for a charge as serious as murder, according to Valerie Newman, assistant defender in Michigan’s State Appellate Defender Office. Hamilton says the reason his original defense attorney did not challenge the prosecutor’s use of an informant speaks to some of the reasons Black communities across the country suffer at the hands of the state: neglect and an assumption of disposability. After being sent to prison, Lacino spent four of his first six years in solitary confinement. It was there that he began to read, think critically and write about the many ways the U.S. criminal justice system perpetuates values of anti-black violence, coercion and oppression. “How some of us live is not a mistake; neither is it the product of a broken system,” he wrote from prison. “We live like that because it is profitable to a lot of people[‘s] businesses…. “I am locked in a windowless cell measuring 10×8 feet, 23 hours per day. For one hour every other day, I am handcuffed, chained around the waist and allowed exercise and a shower in a small cage. I am not allowed to interact with others, or to participate in any educational, vocational, or employment programs. All meals are delivered to the cell. I have no access to a phone.” After nearly two decades of wrongful imprisonment, Hamilton spends most of his time reading and writing about the experience of incarceration. He also spends his time working tirelessly to plead his case and affirm his innocence. After writing to thousands of journalists, lawyers and colleges to plead his case, Hamilton was able to get in touch with Claudia Whitman from the National Death Row Assistance Network, who supplied Truthout with most of the documents behind his story. Whitman also made contact with Christopher Brooks, the prisoner who says he knows who really killed Hamilton’s foster mother. With Whitman’s help, Hamilton was able to convince an attorney to work pro bono to overturn his conviction. The Conviction Integrity Unit of Wayne County, Michigan must do everything in its power to investigate and reverse this wrongful conviction. The Conviction Integrity Unit of Wayne County investigates claims of innocence, to determine whether there is clear and convincing new evidence that the convicted defendant was not the person who committed the conviction offense. As stated in the American Bar Association standards, Rule 3.8(h), "When a prosecutor knows of clear and convincing evidence establishing that a defendant in the prosecutor's jurisdiction was convicted of an offense that the defendant did not commit, the prosecutor shall seek to remedy the conviction." In the case of The People of the State of Michigan vs. Lacino Hamilton, there is clear and convincing new evidence that the convicted defendant was not the person who committed the conviction offense. In accordance with Rule 3.8(h), it is the duty of the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office to investigate and reverse the conviction of Lacino Hamilton. Lacino Hamilton needs your help to affirm his innocence. After nearly two decades of wrongful imprisonment, he deserves immediate justice. Background: > Truthout: Ring of Snitches: How Detroit Police Slapped False Murder Convictions on Young Black Men https://truthout.org/articles/ring-of-snitches-how-detroit-police-slapped-false-murder-convictions-on-young-black-men Write a letter of support to Lacino: Lacino Hamilton, Inmate ID: 247310 Marquette Prison 1960 US Highway 41 South Marquette, MI, 49855
    3,385 of 4,000 Signatures
    Created by Jamani M.
  • Don't Stand in the Way of Justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal! Don't Appeal Judge Tucker's Decision!
    Mumia Abu-Jamal has always maintained his innocence in the 1981 fatal shooting of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. His prosecution was politically-motivated because of his Black Panther Party membership, his support of the MOVE organization and as a radical journalist. His 1982 trial and subsequent 1995 PCRA appeals were racially biased: the prosecution excluded African Americans from the jury; and PCRA trial Judge Albert Sabo, the same judge in Abu-Jamal's initial trial, declared, “I’m gonna help them fry the n----r.” On Dec. 27, Mumia Abu-Jamal won a significant case before Judge Leon Tucker in a decision granting him new rights of appeal.
    3,371 of 4,000 Signatures
    Created by Mobilization F.
  • Academic Institutions Must Defend Free Speech
    Academic institutions are restricting free speech, due mainly to organized pressure campaigns. This is destructive to academic activity and to free pursuit of ideas in the institutions and the wider societies which they serve.
    3,421 of 4,000 Signatures
    Created by PAUL L.
  • Ask the City of Charlottesville to Divest from Weapons and Fossil Fuels
    AND WHEREAS, hundreds of people have petitioned the City to take the following action[14]; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City Council formally declares its opposition to investing City funds in any entities that are involved in the production of fossil fuels or the production or upgrading of weapons and weapons systems, whether conventional or nuclear, and including the manufacture of civilian arms, and decides that it shall be City policy to divest from such entities; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City Council directs any and all persons acting on behalf of City investment activity to enforce the provisions of this Resolution; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this Resolution shall be binding City policy and shall be in full force and effect after adoption by the City Council. 1. Rich Whitney, Truthout, Sept. 23, 2017, "US Provides Military Assistance to 73 Percent of World’s Dictatorships" https://truthout.org/articles/us-provides-military-assistance-to-73-percent-of-world-s-dictatorships/ 2. World BEYOND War, "War Threatens Our Environment," https://worldbeyondwar.org/environment 3. World BEYOND War, "City of Charlottesville Passes Resolution Asking Congress to Fund Human and Environmental Needs, Not Military Expansion," March 20, 2017, https://worldbeyondwar.org/city-charlottesville-passes-resolution-asking-congress-fund-human-environmental-needs-not-military-expansion 4. “Pursuing the 1.5°C Limit: Benefits and Opportunities,” by the United Nations Development Programme, Nov 16, 2016. http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/librarypage/climate-and-disaster-resilience-/pursuing-the-1-5c-limit---benefits-and-opportunities.html 5. Stephen Nash, Virginia Climate Fever: How Global Warming Will Transform Our Cities, Shorelines, and Forests, University of Virginia Press, 2017. https://www.upress.virginia.edu/title/4501 6. Political Economy Research Institute, “The U.S. Employment Effects of Military and Domestic Spending Priorities: 2011 Update,” https://www.peri.umass.edu/publication/item/449-the-u-s-employment-effects-of-military-and-domestic-spending-priorities-2011-update 7. “Climate change may increase risk of water shortages in hundreds of US counties by 2050,” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120215143003.htm 8. Examples include U.S. wars in Syria (https://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-cia-pentagon-isis-20160327-story.html ), Iraq (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/isis-weapons-arsenal-included-some-purchased-u-s-government-n829201 ), Libya (https://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/06/world/africa/weapons-sent-to-libyan-rebels-with-us-approval-fell-into-islamist-hands.html ), the Iran-Iraq war (http://articles.latimes.com/1987-06-18/news/mn-8000_1_gulf-war ), the Mexican drug war (https://fas.org/asmp/library/publications/us-mexico.htm ), World War II (https://www.amazon.com/Trading-Enemy-Charles-Higham/dp/0760700095/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1463760561&sr=1-1&keywords=Trading+with+the+enemy ) and many others. 9. “Our cities are getting hotter—and its killing people,” by Alissa Walker, https://www.curbed.com/2018/7/6/17539904/heat-wave-extreme-heat-cities-deadly 10. Nash, op. cit. 11. “Climate-change–driven accelerated sea-level rise detected in the altimeter era,” by R. S. Nerem, B. D. Beckley, J. T. Fasullo, B. D. Hamlington, D. Masters, and G. T. Mitchum. PNAS February 27, 2018, 115 (9) 2022-2025; published ahead of print February 12, 2018 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1717312115. https://www.pnas.org/content/115/9/2022 12. “Global Warming of 1.5°C, An IPCC Special Report; Summary for Policymakers.” October 2018. https://report.ipcc.ch/sr15/pdf/sr15_spm_final.pdf 13. “Global Climate Change and Children’s Health,” by Samantha Ahdoot, Susan E. Pacheco, and The Council on Environmental Health. Pediatrics, Nov 2015, Vol 136 / Issue 5, a Technical Report from the American Academy of Pediatrics. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/136/5/e1468 14. https://diy.rootsaction.org/p/cvilledivest
    542 of 600 Signatures
    Created by David S. Picture
  • End outside money in elections
    Most of Congress’s time is now spent chasing money for campaigns. We cannot have a government controlled by money and expect to preserve democracy.
    5 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Roberta P.
  • Rep. Eliot Engel should not chair Foreign Affairs Committee
    Rep. Engel's foreign policies views are well to the right of the vast majority of Democrats. He was among the right-wing minority of Congressional Democrats who voted to authorize the illegal, unnecessary, and predictably tragic U.S. invasion of Iraq. He has opposed efforts to end U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s bombing of Yemen, which has killed many thousands of civilians outright and threatened millions more with starvation and disease. He was one of only a handful of Democrats to oppose the Iran anti-nuclear agreement. He has opposed the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, called for expanding NATO to include Ukraine and Georgia, and supports Morocco’s illegal annexation of occupied Western Sahara. He has defended the Israeli occupation and illegal settlements, Israeli bombing of civilian targets, and praised Trump for moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and attacked the United Nations, the World Court, the European Union, and human rights groups for criticizing Israel's right-wing government. Despite Rep. Engel's seniority, the Democratic Party must not give the chair of this important committee to someone whose views are closer to Trump and the Republicans than the majority of Democrats.
    14,180 of 15,000 Signatures
  • 18 of 100 Signatures
    Created by harvey w.
  • Convene an ADEM election site in Humboldt County
    Every two years, the California Democratic Party (CDP) holds state-wide elections in a process called Assembly District Election Meetings (ADEMs). These are important Democratic Party elections where 1/3 of all delegates are elected to two-year terms to conduct the business of the CDP. There is no vote by mail or proxy voting in these elections. Debra Broner, regional director of our assembly district (AD 02), has decided to eliminate the physical election site available for the rural voters of Northern California. She has designated only one polling station - Santa Rosa, in Sonoma County - at the farthest southern edge of this vast district! However, more than 50% of registered Democrats in AD 02 live outside that county. We are asking for your help to reverse this decision. This is a significant part of the Democratic Party structure and we are being disenfranchised from participating. We can't expect our people to take one or two days off of work to drive down, vote, then drive back. We have secured the same location as prior ADEM elections. We also have enough local Democrats willing to volunteer to run the entire election. We are making this as easy as possible so that we don’t risk our lives driving needlessly down to Santa Rosa for one election. "The Republican playbook is voter suppression,” says DNC Chair Tom Perez. We read about voter disenfranchisement in the national headlines and yet now we have it here in our own rural backyards! At the same time, our California Democratic bylaws, Article VI, Section 1(a)(5) “Assembly Districts and Assembly District Meetings” specifically allow multiple meeting sites for “good cause” including “the necessity of travelling very long distances” and “traveling in hazardous weather conditions.” Northern AD-02 definitely meets these conditions especially in the wintertime. If the site is not approved, rural Democratic voters of Northern California will, in effect, be disenfranchised by their own political party!
    360 of 400 Signatures
    Created by Michele W.
  • No Kristallnacht in the US
    Trump wants to find out what he can get away with. If he gets away with attacking people seeking asylum, he will take it as license to get even more extreme. This is what Hitler did in 1938. Things only got worse because most Germans looked away. We must preserve our national honor and not let it happen here.
    3,109 of 4,000 Signatures
    Created by Leon K.
  • Make Howard County Fossil Free
    Climate change is real, caused by humans, and affirmed by overwhelming scientific evidence, and this threat needs to be the top priority of our HoCo government, because it is happening NOW. Howard County has a responsibility to its residents, our country, and the world, to accelerate the transition to 100% clean, renewable energy and oppose new fossil fuel infrastructure. In a time when our government is turning our country in the wrong direction, it’s never been more important for local communities to step up and save our climate to meet the Paris Climate Agreement goals. We’ve known about climate change for too long and need something to be done to protect our generation and future ones. Local, state, and national economies are rapidly transitioning to 100% clean, renewable energy, but Howard County must join the growing movement, especially because Maryland is a part of the Climate Alliance. Young people, the ones who’ll be most affected by climate change, are the most unaware of the crisis, but need to be educated. We should NOT have to deal with the worst of the crisis, and we deserve a livable future. Climate change has already wrought devastating impacts, such as stronger hurricanes, more flash flooding, more devastating 1,000 year floods like in Ellicott City, higher humidity, more pests and allergies, more heat related deaths, and code red days. There is no credible path to a safe climate that includes new fossil fuel infrastructure, which is why all pipelines, power plants, and compressor stations must be stopped. A just transition to 100% renewable energy will benefit low-income communities and communities of color that are disproportionately impacted by fossil fuel pollution by creating millions of high-quality, family-sustaining jobs, and saving thousands of lives can help those on the frontlines of climate change by mitigating future disasters. Howard County is the third richest county in the nation and has the resources needed for a transition to 100% renewable. We have no choice but to transition to 100% renewable energy because by 2030 we will be at the point of no return. The fossil fuel industry has corrupted our government and we need to take back our democracy and give the power back to the people. Howard County must actively oppose infrastructure whose primary purpose is transporting or storing fossil fuels in or through Howard County or adjacent waterways. Howard County must support a community-wide goal of 100% clean renewable energy before 2025, by requiring businesses and schools to make the switch, by offering more incentives to residents for switching, by creating an inclusive Climate Action Planning process within the next year.
    15 of 100 Signatures
    Created by iris z.
  • Change The Name of Dixie School District
    It's time to lose the lost cause in Marin County. Dixie is a synonym of the Confederacy and the national anthem of the Confederacy. The school district should have a name that welcomes all students regardless of the color of their skin. We are all stakeholders in Dixie School District. 78% of their funding is from state and federal funds. We should teach our children the historical meaning of words like Dixie. Changing the name is a simple gesture for respect, equity and inclusion.
    378 of 400 Signatures
    Created by Kerry P. Picture