Mon/Tues 6/1-2: “Walk with us!” vs. “Light ’em up!”  Oh, there is so much to do.

There are lots of actions, so we have a table of contents…

Updated 6/5/2020

Some may resolve themselves before you get to them. That’s OK. We might be adding more in. Just try to do an action for justice every day!

  • Action #1: Protest information/news you can use.
  • Action #2: The NAACP asks that you make that call on HR 6800 now!
  • Action #3A lot of work on fair and just policing has already been done. It was reversed by Trump. Let’s put it back.
  • Action #4: Up the charge against Officer Chauvin and pull that case completely out of the Hennepin County. (DONE!)
  • Action #5: Demand the arrest of the 3 police “bystanders.”  (DONE!)
  • Action #6: Join with the NAACP in calling for a law regulating police officer behavior.
  • Action #7: Ask your representative to co-sponsor the Omar-Pressley resolution AND HR 119 – National Statistics on Deadly Force Transparency Act of 2019.
  • Action #8: End “Qualified Immunity” for abusive police.
  • Action #9: Hello! Have we actually passed that antilynching bill?
  • Action #10: “Walk with us!” vs. “Light ’em up!”- Demilitarize our police.
  • Action #11: Defund the police (Black Lives Matter)
  • Action #12: Senator Tom Cotton wants to send in the 82nd Airborne, on the 99th anniversary of the Tulsa Massacre and the first air attack on American soil. Thanks, Tom, for putting the image of strafing American citizens in our heads!

Contact information for representatives and senators at the very bottom….

Action #1: The protests continue. Know your rights before you join in.


– Before you go to a live event: Download the Mobile Justice app to your phone. “There is no doubt that moments like these highlight the importance of the app,” Marcus Benigno, a spokesperson for the ACLU of Southern California, told CNN. “Without a video of the unfortunate and tragic incident, we probably wouldn’t even know George Floyd’s name.” Note: CA is a “two-party consent” law state, requiring both parties to agree to verbal recording of private conversations.
– There’s still a pandemic on: Check out this reference on safer protesting.
– Be prepared just in case: Check out this infographic on what to bring and wear.
– Acknowledge the truth: Some basic acts to get started.

– Learn more about what you’re fighting for: This document has a variety of resources, for both adults and children, on the subject of anti-racism. The list includes books, podcasts, articles, videos, films and TV series, resources and organizations to follow. Feel free to share this document on social media and with your friends, family, and colleagues. Chop Wood Carry Water has added this anti-racism book list, with the suggestion that you purchase them on

(Our current favorite book is How To Be An Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi: “There is no such thing as a “not-racist” policy, idea or person. Just an old-fashioned racist in a newfound denial. All policies, ideas and people are either being racist or antiracist. Racist policies yield racial inequity; antiracist policies yield racial equity. Racist ideas suggest racial hierarchy, antiracist ideas suggest racial equality. A racist is supporting racist policy or expressing a racist idea. An antiracist is supporting antiracist policy or expressing an antiracist idea. A racist or antiracist is not who we are, but what we are doing in the moment.)

Action #2: The NAACP asks that if you haven’t made your call to your senators regarding HR 6800, the HEROES Act, do so now.

The death of George Floyd is part of a connected system of racial oppression. The NAACP states that pandemic has clearly exposed many of the problems and dangers of our nation’s inequalities, such as the racial wealth gap, the digital divide, weaknesses and challenges to our education system, problems in our criminal justice system, employment and the health care disparities. HR 6800 – the HEROES Act, begins to address many of the needs identified by the Black community arising from this pandemic. 

  • Here’s our action on it, including parts that were deliberately left out and need to be added back in.
  • Here’s the NAACP’s bill summary.
  • Here’s the NAACP’s Action Alert, with call, email and letter scripts here.
  • Here a petition from them to sign

Action #3: A lot of work on fair and just policing has already been done. It was reversed by Trump. Let’s put it back, along with H.Res. 702.

campaign zeroWe can live in a world where the police don’t kill people – by limiting police interventions, improving community interactions, and ensuring accountability. This work has already been started – check out Campaign Zero and this report by the Obama administration, this toolkit from the The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and this one from the ALCU.  Researchers have spent 50 years studying the way crowds of protesters and crowds of police behave—and what happens when the two interact – which is that police energy is matched with equal and opposite energy, be it benign or violent. Based on these findings, the Obama administration changed sentencing guidelines to reduce the disparity in the treatment of drug crimes that had disproportionately harmed black defendants, restricted the transfer of surplus military equipment to police departments and formed consent decrees with more than a dozen feral police departments to force them to change their practices. Some important policies addressed include the end of “broken windows” policing, community oversight and representation, independent investigations, “use of force” policies, police union contracts that protect rogue cops, the end of for-profit policing, and training.

However, racial inequality won’t be addressed by simply removing brutal officers – we must re-define the end focus of these efforts. Structural injustice needs to be addressed before it reaches a police officer or a prison cell. Rep. Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), introduced H. Res. 702, The People’s Justice Guarantee, which lays out a 5-point framework to refocus our U.S. criminal legal system towards decarceration and eliminating failed policies such as the “war on drugs” and the 1994 crime bill. It updates the “for-profit” policing issues by abolishing private prisons, jails and immigrant detention constracts, bail bondsmen and predatory prison telecommunications and health care.

However, for now, all this is functionally moot, as Trump reversed everything through AG Jeff Sessions – pandering to police like the Minneapolis police union president. The restrictions were removed on transferring military equipment to police, and all consent decrees for dysfunctional police departments were “reviewed,” then restricted in their use going forward. This thread is illuminating…

We will never know if that unshackling emboldened Derek Chauvin to murder George Floyd. But the line between the relief demanded by Kroll on behalf of Minneapolis police, and the naked assassination committed on camera by one of his officers, is quite direct. The world around us, in which the streets of every major American city are filled with protesters, is the result of Trump granting the wishes of the most retrograde police officers. They are getting what they asked for.

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep./Sen. [___] to create and support legislation that addresses both the ten Campaign Zero issues on effective policing and the 5 guiding principles of the People’s Justice Guarantee.
(Here are other bills that address some aspects of criminal justice reform…)

  • H.R. 119 – the National Statistics on Deadly Force Transparency Act of 2019. (This bill is currently in the Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security committee. Karen Bass, Ted Lieu, Tom McClintock are the California representatives on that committee and would be important to target.)
  •  H.R. 1714 – The Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act (Would stop military hardware from flowing into the hands of civilian law enforcement agencies by ending the 1033 program.)
  • HR 2329 – Law Enforcement Immersive Training Act of 2019 (Develop a training curriculum for law enforcement personnel based on feedback from grassroots organizations such as the NAACP, ALCU, National Council of La Raza, the National Urban League, National Congress of American Indians, and the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium) – Tim Ryan (D-OH-13)
  • HR 2696 – Supporting the Health and Safety of Law enforcement Act of 2019 (This bill establishes a pilot program to promote coordination between community mental health centers and law enforcement agencies.) – Rep. Harder, (D-CA-10)
  • HR 2843/S.1552 – Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act. – (Decriminalizes marijuana by removing it from the list of scheduled substances under the Controlled Substances Act and eliminates criminal penalties for an individual who imports, exports, manufactures, distributes, or possesses with intent to distribute marijuana)
  • HR 4168 – Law enforcement Inclusion Act of 2019 (Directs grant funds to hire and train new, additional career law enforcement officers who are residents of the communities they serve)
  • H.R. 4359 – The PEACE Act (Police Exercising Absolute Care With Everyone Act)(Establishes a national “necessary” use of force standard to prevent police officers from using lethal force unless all non-lethal methods have been exhausted.)
  • H.R. 4408 – The Eric Garner Excessive Force Prevention Act (Makes it illegal for police to use any hold or grip that blocks the throat or windpipe. The sort of choke holds that police used to kill Eric Garner and George Floyd.)
  • S.1938 Police Training and Independent Review Act of 2019 (Require fair and impartial police training for law enforcement officers of that State and to incentivize States to enact laws requiring the independent investigation and prosecution of the use of deadly force by law enforcement officer-Duckworth (D-IL)
  • S.3063Law enforement Trust and Integritiy Act of 2019 (To encourage greater community accountability of law enforcement agencies) – Cardin (D-MD)

Action #4: Up the charge against Officer Chauvin and pull that case completely out of the Hennepin County.

(DONE!Ex-Officer Derek Chauvin will now be charged with a second-degree murder charge, which  carries a statutory maximum sentence of 40 years upon conviction, compared to 25 years for third-degree murder. Actual sentences are often short of the maximum.

Minimal script: I’m calling from [town, state] and I want Governor Walz/Attorney General Ellison to amend the charge against Officer Derek Chauvin to First or Second Degree Murder. The ACLU has stated that the Third Degree charge may not even apply under Minnesota law due to the “just one person” exception. Not only did Officer Chauvin’s actions affect “just one person,” his history and an implicit belief in both a “blue wall” and “qualified immunity” may have given him license to kill George Floyd. Up the charge! Also, appoint an independent special prosecutor  with no ties to the Minneapolis police and completely remove the case from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.

Minnesota Governor Walz: 
(651) 201-3400

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison: (651) 296-3353

Deeper Dive

A ‘NO!” for the home team: George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis Police is part of a long history of police violence against Black people. Protesters told Gov. Walz that Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, like the county attorneys in the Ahmaud Arbery case, was not to be trusted to provide justice – “they believe time and time again, the system works perfectly well as it was designed: to deny those rights and deny justice to communities of color.” He then  transferred the lead prosecutor role to state Attorney General Keith Ellison.

  • Cops rarely go to jail: Even with a better prosecutor, convicting a cop of murder is not easy. Since 2005, approximately 100 officers have been charged with homicide for using deadly force in the line duty but most charges were ultimately dismissed or they were acquitted.
  • Autopsy wars: The system is already gearing up to protect one of its own by placing a portion of the blame for Mr. Floyd’s death on himself. According to the autopsy performed by the Hennepin Medical Examiner’s office, the “probable cause” of transforming a vibrant father of two into a dead suspect was not solely the direct result of a policeman’s knee on his neck for nine minutes of agony. That knee met an unfortunate confluence with coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease, two diseases endemic in the Black population, and a self-administered drugs of some kind. An independent autopsy ordered by George Floyd’s family found his death was a “homicide caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain,” according to early findings from the examination released Monday.  Dr. Michael Baden said that Floyd was in good health, and noted “When he said ‘I can’t breathe,’ unfortunately, many police are under impression that if you can talk that means you’re breathing. That is not true.
  • The least we can do: Before the hand-off of the lead prosecutor role, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman charged the knee’s owner, Derek Chauvin, recipient of 17 previous complaints, with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges, citing their office’s success in convicting Mohamed Noor of a woman’s death after responding to her 911 call. Richard Frase, a professor of criminal law at the University of Minnesota stated that first- or second-degree charge would require prosecutors to prove that Mr. Chauvin intended to kill Mr. Floyd. The criminal complaint against Chauvin didn’t identify any specific motive for officers to kill Mr. Floyd, (like maybe thinking that they could get away with killing a black person), which essentially ruled out stronger murder charges.
  • It’s not the right charge: However, the ACLU has stated that, since 1896,Third Degree Murder in Minnesota applies only when the acts of the defendant were committed without regard to their effect on any particular person, and not when the actions were “directed to a specific person”. Minnesota courts have repeatedly ruled that to support a charge of Third Degree Murder, the offender’s actions need to be “eminently dangerous to more than one person.
  • Up the charge: Since it is clear that Officer Chauvin’s actions were directed solely towards George Floyd and were not “eminently dangerous” to anyone else and that furthermore, that Floyd would have lived many years had he not had the misfortune of meeting Chauvin outside a deli in Minneapolis, the Legal Rights Center and ACLU-MN demand the IMMEDIATE amendment of the murder charge to Second Degree murder or First Degree murder

Action #5: Demand the arrest of the 3 police “bystanders.”


Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo believes his three police officers who said nothing as Officer Derek Chauvin held his knee against George Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes were “complicit” in Floyd’s killing, and he shared those thoughts during a CNN interview in response to a question from Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s brother.

An accomplice, in law, is a person who becomes equally guilty in the crime of another by knowingly and voluntarily aiding the other to commit the offense. These officers were  present at the commission of this crime and either incited or assisted Chauvin or failed to try to prevent the offense, when a duty to act is imposed by law. If their own boss thinks they’re guilty, why haven’t they been charged?

Minimum script: I’m calling from [town, state] and I want the three officers who stood by while George Floyd was murdered to be charged and arrested alongside Derek Chauvin as acccomplices for failing in their duty to protect the life of a citizen in their charge.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison: (651) 296-3353

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman: (844) 278-2934

Action #6: Join with the NAACP in calling for a law regulating police officer behavior.


The NAACP is calling on the United Nations to step up and classify the mistreatment of Black people in the U.S. by the police as a human rights violation, aggressively call out the U.S. government in the process, and impose sanctions if necessary.

Secondly, we are demanding sweeping police reform–federal legislation mandating a zero-tolerance approach in penalizing and/or prosecuting police officers who kill unarmed, non-violent, and non-resisting individuals in an arrest.

Sign their petition:

Minimal Script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep./Sen. [___] to create federal legislation must include the following principles:

  • A ban on the use of knee holds and choke holds as an acceptable practice for police officers.
  • The Use of Force Continuum for any police department in the country must ensure that there are at least 6 levels of steps, with clear rules on escalation.
  • Each State’s Open Records Act must ensure officer misconduct information and disciplinary histories are not shielded from the public.
  • Recertification credentials may be denied for police officers if determined that their use of deadly force was unwarranted by federal guidelines.
  • Implementation of Citizen’s Review Boards in municipalities to hold police departments accountable and build public confidence.

Action #7: Ask your representative to co-sponsor the Omar-Pressley resolution AND HR 119 – National Statistics on Deadly Force Transparency Act of 2019.

 Reps. Ilhan Omar (MN-5) and Ayanna Pressley (MA-7) have introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives condemning police violence. This legislation would specifically:

  1. Improve oversight and independent investigations to hold individual law enforcement officers and police departments accountable,
  2. The Department of Justice must reassert its statutory authority to investigate individual instances of racial profiling, police brutality and violence and investigate and litigate individual law enforcement officers and police departments routinely violating civil rights;
  3. Support efforts to establishing all-civilian review boards with the authority to investigate incidents of police misconduct to ensure community-level oversight, accountability, and disciplinary action of police officers; and
  4. Adopt sound and unbiased law enforcement policies at all levels of government that reduce the disparate impact of police brutality, racial profiling and use of force on Black and Brown people and other historically marginalized communities.
  5. HR 119 requires federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to collect, compile, and submit data to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) Bureau of Justice Statistics on the use of deadly force by law enforcement officers.

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep. [___] to cosponsor and publicly speak out for the Omar-Pressley resolution condemning police violence and HR 119 – National Statistics on Deadly Force Transparency Act of 2019 (Cosponsors here – Brownley and Carbajal have not signed yet.).

Action #8: End “Qualified Immunity” abuse for abusive police.

The brutal killing of George Floyd is merely the latest in a long line of incidents of egregious police misconduct,” Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI) told colleagues in a letter. “This pattern continues because police are legally, politically and culturally insulated … That must change so that these incidents stop happening.” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MI) intends to back his “Ending Qualified Immunity Act,” which would allow civil lawsuits against police officers for illegal and unconstitutional acts, a recourse that the Supreme Court has all but done away with except in high profile cases like George Floyd. But accidental fame from a cell phone recording is not how justice is supposed to work.

Amash plans to introduce the bill on Thursday. It was unclear whether the legislation would gain support from the Congressional Black Caucus.

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep./Sen. [___] to cosponsor Rep. Justin Amash’s “Ending Qualified Immunity Act.”

Action #9: Hello! Have we actually passed that antilynching bill?

Update 6/5/2020: Senator Rand Paul refuses to vote for it!

Lynching is defined as the of murder by a group of people by extrajudicial action and apparently we aren’t the only ones who think that two recent murders in particular, Ahmaud Arbery, attacked on his daily jog and George Floyd, dying in a tight circle of police, easily fit that definition. HR 35 – the Emmett Till Antilynching Act was passed in February. Its Senate version –S.488 – the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act, was passed in March. This is not a museum piece in Trump’s America. Unless you did this, like yesterday, hurry up, people! Get these bills put together for him to scrawl over already!

HR. 35


Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep./Sen. [___] to hurry up whomever is responsible for getting HR 35 – the Emmet Till Antilynching Act and S.488 – Justice for Victims of Lynching Act, put together and ready for a presidential signature.

Action #10: “Walk with us!” vs. “Light ’em up!”- Demilitarize our police. 

In answer to the reckless brutality of militarized police against protesters, bystanders, and press, Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) has stated that he’ll be introducing an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to discontinue the 1033 Program that transfers military weaponry to local police departments. Ask your legislators to do more – to stop using the military weaponry police departments have already stockpiled. Can police survive protests without weapons? This sheriff demonstrates how policing should be done…

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep. [___] to cosponsor and publicly speak out for discontinuing the 1033 program that supplies military surplus to civilian police departments and to place restrictions on equipment they all ready have.

More script if you want it: I specifically want to follow Restrict police departments from:

  • using federal grant money to purchase military equipment (Ex: Montana law)

  • deploying armored vehicles, weaponized aircraft, drones, Stingray surveillance equipment, camouflage uniforms, and grenade launchers

  • using SWAT teams unless there is an emergency situation or imminent threat to life and high-ranking officers have given approval (Ex: Cincinnati PD Policy)

  • conducting no-knock raids (Ex: Oregon law bans all no-knock raids)

  • accessing federal grant money or purchasing military equipment if the department has been recently found to demonstrate a “pattern or practice” of discriminatory policing

  • in addition to these restrictions, wherever possible agencies should seek to return to the federal government the military equipment that has already been received (Ex: San Jose)

Did police always look like soldiers?: While armed white anti-lockdown protesters were able to enter the Michigan statehouse unimpeded, militarized police are being caught on cameras across the nation committing crimes against bystanders, peaceful protesters and clearly marked and cooperative press teams. (Tons of videos here and here) One photographer is now blind in one eye from a rubber bullet, a Louisville man died or a real bullet and legislators found that they were not immune from abusive treatment.

imageThe militarization of our police forces began in 1965 under Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Crime with the Law Enforcement Assistance Act (LEAA) and became more widespread during the blatantly racist War on Drugs, which deliberately targeted African Americans. In 2014, the sight of tanks rolling down the prosaic streets of Ferguson, MO, was the first inkling for most Americans of the profound change in the character of our police forces. Ferguson’s police force, along with towns all over America,  were equipped to fight small wars, thanks to the Pentagon’s 1033 program, enacted by Congress in 1997 to rehome surplus military gear from bloated defense industry contracts. The tanks were met with the beginning of the national Movement for Black Lives against police violence

Has it stopped crime? “Police militarization neither reduces rates of violent crime nor changes the number of officers assaulted or killed, according to a study of 9,000 law enforcement agencies in the U.S.”  “50 years of research on violence at protests, dating back to the three federal commissions formed between 1967 and 1970. All three concluded that when police escalate force—using weapons, tear gas, mass arrests and other tools to make protesters do what the police want—those efforts can often go wrong, creating the very violence that force was meant to prevent. For example, the Kerner Commission, which was formed in 1967 to specifically investigate urban riots, found that police action was pivotal in starting half of the 24 riots the commission studied in detail. It recommended that police eliminate “abrasive policing tactics” and that cities establish fair ways to address complaints against police.”  

In 2015, following the 2015 Baltimore protests, Obama announced reviews of the use of military equipment, stating “We’ve seen how militarized gear sometimes gives people a feeling like they are an occupying force as opposed to a part of the community there to protect them,” and “Some equipment made for the battlefield is not appropriate for local police departments.

Action #11: Defund police – reassign funding to community-led health and safety strategies.

It is one thing to create a non-brutal police force. It is more foundational to create a more just society that has less need for that improved police force. Reassigning funding from ever-growing, highly militarized police forces to community initiatives may be the best tool to create that change.

Defunding and abolition probably mean something different from what you are thinking. For most proponents, “defunding the police” does not mean zeroing out budgets for public safety, and police abolition does not mean that police will disappear overnight — or perhaps ever. Defunding the police means shrinking the scope of police responsibilities and shifting most of what government does to keep us safe to entities that are better equipped to meet that need. It means investing more in mental-health care and housing, and expanding the use of community mediation and violence interruption programs.
Police abolition means reducing, with the vision of eventually eliminating, our reliance on policing to secure our public safety. It means recognizing that criminalizing addiction and poverty, making 10 million arrests per year and mass incarceration have not provided the public safety we want and never will. The “abolition” language is important because it reminds us that policing has been the primary vehicle for using violence to perpetuate the unjustified white control over the bodies and lives of black people that has been with us since slavery. That aspect of policing must be literally abolished….

Alex S. Vitale, author of “The End of Policing“, wrote: “The Urban Institute, which was part of the National Initiative for Building Trust and Justice, evaluated … (implicit bias training or community relations initiatives) and found little to show for it.

That’s becauseprocedural justice” has nothing to say about the mission or function of policing. It assumes that the police are neutrally enforcing a set of laws that are automatically beneficial to everyone. Instead of questioning the validity of using police to wage an inherently racist war on drugs, advocates of “procedural justice” politely suggest that police get anti-bias training, which they will happily deliver for no small fee. 

What “procedural justice” leaves out of the conversation are questions of substantive justice. What is the actual impact of policing on those policed and what could we do differently? Over the last 40 years we have seen a massive expansion of the scope and intensity of policing. Every social problem in poor and non-white communities has been turned over to the police to manage. The schools don’t work; let’s create school policing. Mental health services are decimated; let’s send police. Overdoses are epidemic; let’s criminalize people who share drugs. Young people are caught in a cycle of violence and despair; let’s call them superpredators and put them in prison for life. 

Police have also become more militarized. The Federal 1033 program, the Department of Justice’s “Cops Office,” and homeland security grants have channeled billions of dollars in military hardware into American police departments to advance their “war on crime” mentality. A whole generation of police officers have been given “warrior” training that teaches them to see every encounter with the public as potentially their last, leading to a hostile attitude towards those policed and the unnecessary killing of people falsely considered a threat, such as the 12-year-old Tamir Rice, killed for holding a toy gun in an Ohio park. 

The alternative is not more money for police training programs, hardware or oversight. It is to dramatically shrink their function. We must demand that local politicians develop non-police solutions to the problems poor people face. We must invest in housing, employment and healthcare in ways that directly target the problems of public safety. Instead of criminalizing homelessness, we need publicly financed supportive housing; instead of gang units, we need community-based anti-violence programs, trauma services and jobs for young people; instead of school police we need more counselors, after-school programs, and restorative justice programs. there are places where the robust implementation of policing alternatives—such as legalization, restorative justice, and harm reduction—has led to reductions in crime, spending, and injustice.”

His suggestions:

  • Eliminate the Community Oriented Police Services (COPS) Office. Created by the 1994 Crime Bill, it has been the central conduit for funds to hire tens of thousands of new police officers, flooding communities with law enforcement personnel, all equipped with surveillance technology and militarized equipment and “warrior training”. The office also created the COPS in Schools program.
  • Eliminate its project: Operation Relentless Pursuit, the Trump administration’s signature crime-fighting initiative, which is set to flood seven major cities with scores of federal agents in partnership with local police to go after gangs and drug cartels.
  • Undo the damage done by the 1994 Crime Bill by defunding school policing in favor of providing more counselors and restorative justice programs
  • Investing in harm reduction strategies, like safe-injection facilities and needle exchanges, as well as high-quality medically based drug treatment on demand. and
  • Rethink the use of the criminal justice system to manage the epidemic of domestic violence.

Along with Rep. Pressley’s  H. Res. 702, The People’s Justice Guarantee, we think H.R.1893/S.697 – Next Step Act of 2019 (Rep. Watson Coleman, Sen. Booker) is a good step. It sets out programs to eliminate and reverse mass incarceration, including decriminalizing marijuana, incorporating a Community Reinvestment Fund, and removing functional impediments, such as gaining employment, benefits and voting, on those with criminal records.

Sign Black Lives Matter’s petition for defunding police here.

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep/Sen [___] to cosponsor (Rep. – H.R.1893/Sen – S.697)  – Next Step Act of 2019, along with defunding the Community Oriented Police Services and Operation Relentless Pursuit

Action #12: WTH, Senator Cotton? Send him a postcard.

Meanwhile, back in the present, where the GOP continue to ignore readily available science and history, Republican Senator Tom Cotton tweeted that Trump should use the Insurrection Act to deploy military forces to cities to “ensure this violence ends tonight. “Whatever it takes to restore order,” he said. “No quarter for insurrectionists, anarchists, rioters, and looters.” He also mentioned using the 82nd Airborne to restore order.

May 31st was the 99th anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre, one of the worst single incidents of racial violence in U.S. history. Lasting for two days, the riot left somewhere between 30 and 300 people dead, mostly African Americans, and destroyed Tulsa’s prosperous black neighbourhood of Greenwood, known as the “black Wall Street.” The attack included the first aerial bombing on American soil.  Numerous eyewitnesses described airplanes carrying white assailants, who fired rifles and dropped firebombs on buildings, homes, and fleeing families.

One of the residents of the Greenwood District, Mary E. Jones Parrish, was a trained journalist.  She later wrote that she and her neighbors heard the approaching roar of the aircraft engines.  They looked out the windows of their homes to see what was happening.  She then related, if perhaps a bit too poetically:

“…the sights our eyes beheld made our poor hearts stand still for a moment.  There was a great shadow in the sky and upon a second look we discerned that this cloud was caused by fast approaching aeroplanes.  It then dawned upon us that the enemy had organized in the night and was invading our district the same as the Germans invaded France and Belgium….  People were seen to flee from their burning homes, some with babes in their arms….  Yet, seemingly, I did not leave.  I walked as one in a horrible dream.”

One of the planes spotted two men and their wives running across an open field and, swooping low, dropped a hail of lead balls or stones, hoping to kill them.  They missed.  Two of the four were identified as Dr. Payne and Mr. Robinson — the names of their wives were not recorded.  They survived to later testify about the events.

Another historical note: Since Union forces left the South at the end of Reconstruction, following the Civil War, military units have been forbidden from engaging in actions on domestic soil under the Posse Comitatus Act. So… illegal.

And another:  The term“no quarter” in the military means surrendering soldiers are shot. This is a war crime.

So good on you, Senator Cotton, for not only urging a variety of crimes, but, in urging the use of airborne troops against protesters, also throwing in a free reminder of a historic and horrific aerial attack on this important anniversary of the Tulsa massacre. No one else had imagined actually strafing Americans in American cities.

Send a postcard to Tom: Senator Tom Cotton, 326 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510.


Rep. Julia Brownley: email(CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
or Rep. Salud Carbajal:
email.(CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
Senator Feinstein: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
and Senator Harris: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (310) 231-4494, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884
Who is my representative/senator?: