This is not one of our normal daily calls-to-action…
This is both a history lesson and a connection that we have to a campaign that started 50 years ago. Every time we call our legislators or go to a City Council meeting to fight some form of injustice, every action we’ve participated in for the Trump Resistance, such as the Women’s March, the March for Our Lives, Citizenship Fairs, political postcard parties, environmental rallies and DACA clinics, we have been connecting with the values of the Poor People’s Campaign. We are standing together to challenge Trumpism and the power of the 1% – and indeed “transform the political, economic and moral structures of our society.”
Continue reading “The Poor People’s Campaign has started again, 50 years later. We’re in.”
A shiny new dog whistle for the right.
Harming a police officer is already a crime under federal law, and all 50 states have laws that enhance penalties for doing so. But new bills, introduced into both houses as “Protect and Serve” Acts, are modeled after a federal hate crime statute, which would make it a “hate crime” to intentionally target a law enforcement officer based on his “actual or perceived status” as one. Lots of loose interpretive language make these bills especially dangerous for protesters.
Wait a minute…what?
(reason.com) “The House version (H.R. 5698) of the bill makes it a crime to knowingly cause or attempt to cause “serious bodily injury to a law enforcement officer.” The crime is punishable by 10 years in prison. If the crime results in the death of a law enforcement officer, or the crime involves kidnapping or the attempt to kidnap or kill a law enforcement officer, then the sentence can be up to life in prison.
The Senate version (S. 2794) was introduced by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.). Using language that mirrors the language used in hate crime laws aimed at protecting marginalized groups, the bill would make it a federal hate crime “to knowingly cause bodily injury to any person, or attempt to do so, because of the actual or perceived status of the person as a law enforcement officer.” Continue reading “Tues. 5/15: Vote ‘NO’ on “Open Season on Protesters” Act.”
(nomoremoneybail.org) “Over 60 percent of people in jail in the United States are being detained while they await trial. They’re not serving time as a punishment. They’ve been found guilty of no crime. Instead, in the majority of cases, money is the barrier to freedom. They languish in jail because the bail amount far exceeds what they and their families can afford. Their poverty alone imprisons them. The result is a two-tiered system of justice: one for those who have and one for those who do not.
The inability to afford bail forces people to plead guilty just to get out of jail, even when they are innocent, or in cases that are weak or involve unlawful arrests. If they don’t, they may spend months behind bars awaiting trial. And while pleading guilty lets them go home, they carry a criminal record for life. Poverty robs them of the presumption of innocence and their right to a fair trial. Continue reading “For the price of flowers, tell your mom how important she is to you by helping another mom go home to her kids.”
#1 – Protest the End of the “Blue Slip” Process.
Trump is packing the courts with anti-labor, anti-women’s rights, anti-workers’ rights, anti-civil rights and anti-LGBTQ rights, right-wing judges. This week Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley aim to confirm multiple federal judges as quickly as possible. They have set up a week of votes and hearings starting May 7.
To speed the process, Grassley has abandoned the “blue slip” process whereby a Senator from a nominee’s state may block an appointment. The Judiciary Committee’s ranking member, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, strongly opposed this move in the case of Seventh Circuit nominee Michael Brennan, which is being pushed forward over the objection of his home-state senator Tammy Baldwin. Feinstein has noted that if Brennan is confirmed it would be the first time in more than 30 years that a circuit court nominee was confirmed over a home-state senator’s objections. Brennan’s is one of six circuit court nominations that could be voted on during the week. Meanwhile, there are reports that a hearing will be held Wednesday for Ninth Circuit (which includes California) nominee Ryan Bounds of Oregon, for whom neither Oregon senator has returned a blue slip signaling approval for the process to advance. This action on Bounds is “an unprecedented affront to the advise-and-consent role of senators”; no circuit court nominee has ever been confirmed over objections of both home-state senators.
Minimum Script: I’m calling from [zip code] to ask Senator Feinstein to voice my outrage that Senators Grassley and McConnell are destroying the time-honored blue slip system. Continue reading “Mon. – 5/7: Our judges are the last barrier we have against injustice. Tell your senator that this matters to you.”
#1 – Call out our legislators for the Dreamer Delay and pass the DREAM Act!
We’ve been resting on our laurels. With the false security of a federal court’s ruling giving DACA recipients a 90 day lifeline, we’ve turned our attention to jokes at a WH Correspondent’s Assoc. dinner, and Trump’s former and very expensive sex life.
Meanwhile, six states, Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia, have filed a federal lawsuit to end DACA, arguing that the executive branch cannot “unilaterally grant unlawfully present aliens lawful presence and work authorization.”
Therefore, millions of hardworking, taxpaying DREAMers, are living in a legal nightmare. Last month, a 240-member bipartisan majority of the House asked Speaker Ryan to schedule a debate on pending bills to protect DREAMers. The “240” number is important, as it allows them to use an obscure rule called “Queen of the hill” to hold votes on four different options, most votes wins.
- H.R.3440 – Dream Act (a path to citizenship for DACA recipients and other DREAMers, with no enforcement trade-offs)
- H.R.4796 – USA Act, sponsored by Hurd and Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) (quicker legalization for DREAMers with limits on sponsorship of parents once they become citizens, with some border provisions but no money for a wall)
- The Goodlatte bill (temporary status for DACA recipients plus stepped-up enforcement and legal immigration restrictions)
- A fourth bill, probably some manifestation of Trump’s stated goals to end family re-unification and includes funding for a border wall.
Continue reading “Thurs – 5/3: Immigration – Part 1 – Actions”
“The memorial is constructed from over 800 corten steel monuments, one for each county in the United States where a racial terror lynching took place.”
Yesterday, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice opened in Montgomery, Alabama. Back in 2017, we shared this video, so that people could help fund this amazing and necessary historical project.
It’s now real. And it’s profound. As shivery as a room full of shoes. The roots of the injustice we see daily on the news is an extension of a savage history, now condensed into unyielding objects and space. And when we see Confederate flags flying over marchers, swastikas burning on lawns, children ripped from their parents, mosques set on fire and black men being arrested for simply standing in a coffee shop, these objects remain to prevent us the comfort of forgetting what mankind is capable of.
Continue reading “Fri. 4/27 – The National Memorial for Peace and Justice is now open.”
“The image of America deporting fellow Americans is not something this country or the Republican Party want to see unfolding every night on the national and local news.”
– Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), a top champion of Dreamer relief
Action: Come to help tonight! Show up at 5:00 for the instruction lecture at One Step A La Vez at 421 Sespe Ave, Fillmore and stay from 5:30 – 7:30 to assist DACA recipients. Continue reading “Mon. 4/9 – Tonight, come help DACA kids with their renewal application forms!”