• Veterans to Manchin: We Need Clean Energy Now
    When we were called to serve and protect our nation, we showed up. Congress: the American people are now calling on you for action. It's time to deliver real clean energy security that takes the power back from hostile dictators and greedy corporations.
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  • Save Ukraine
    Absent peace in Ukraine, our countries face escalating confrontation, with grievous additional harm to its population and great risk to the world. Peace requires courageous mold breaking cooperation and reciprocity between Russia and the US in accord with the interests of the government and people of Ukraine. Nuclear plants, humanitarian corridors and safe zones must be secured immediately by UN peace keepers. Following a cease fire, President Putin must withdraw with dispatch all Russian forces from Ukraine. President Biden can create an atmosphere for peace by declaring that the US does not support Ukraine’s membership in NATO and stationing of weapons with offensive potential. Following the precedent of the global solution to the Cuban Missile Crisis, President Biden should end the US embargo and other regime change actions in Cuba just as President Putin abandons such pressure and aspirations for Ukraine. Russia should end its claim to the Donbas and the US should return the land of the Guantanamo base and prison to Cuba. Secretary of State Blinken’s worthy sentiments apply as much to the US with Cuba and Venezuela as they do to Russia with Ukraine and Georgia: "the principle that one country can’t dictate to another the choices that its citizens would make about their future; the principle that we’re past the time of spheres of influence where one country subjugates its neighbors to its will. *********************************** The Mariupole Theater pictured above is reported to have sheltered at least 500 civilians and been visibly marked "children". It was attacked on the 54th anniversary of the My Lai Massacre. Local authorities say over 300 people died in the theater; 504 were killed in My Lai. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/03/25/ukraine-russia-war-mariupol-theater-death-toll/ *********************************** Additional background on the Ukraine-Cuba link is here https://cubapeopletopeople.blogspot.com/2022/02/cuba-and-ukraine-personal-reflections.html
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    Created by John McAuliff
  • Tell Congress and President Biden: Ban ICE surveillance of money orders and cash transfers!
    Most people think sending money to a friend or family member in need is a personal matter, but ICE disagrees. We just found out that ICE has been collecting personal financial data on millions of people who use money transfer services like Western Union.1 ICE can use this data to try to target immigrants who send money back to their families, and potentially deport them. The federal government should never be in the business of spying on people who are just trying to financially help their friends and family. Sign the petition: Tell Congress and President Biden to ban ICE surveillance of money orders and cash transfers! For millions of people in California, Arizona, New Mexico, or Texas, who recently used a money order service, like Western Union, their personal information and the personal information of the person they sent money to likely ended up in a database without them even knowing – a database that is shared with ICE and other law enforcement agencies. Since 2019, ICE used administrative subpoenas to money order and cash transfer companies like Western Union to collect sender and recipient names and addresses. This essentially criminalizes people for not having bank accounts, and specifically targets immigrant communities of all kinds for the commonplace practice of sending remittances back to family members. Once Senator Wyden started asking questions about the program, ICE shut it down.2 That’s because ICE has gotten so out of control that they don’t stop to question whether their actions are legal or not – they’re just out to hunt down, detain, and deport as many immigrants as they can. This has to stop. ICE has consistently proved that they will abuse any amount of power given to them. That’s why Congress and President Biden need to act now to specifically and permanently ban ICE from spying on people’s private financial data. Sign the petition: Tell Congress and President Biden to ban ICE surveillance of money orders and cash transfers! Sources: 1. Buzzfeed, “ICE Conducted Sweeping Surveillance Of Money Transfers Sent To And From The US, A Senator Says,” March 8, 2022. 2. Ibid.
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    Created by Demand Progress
  • President Biden: End U.S. Support for Oil Dictators
    From Russia to Saudi Arabia, oil dictators are helping to turn our planet into a giant war zone and climate disaster. But even as the Biden administration works to stop Putin's invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. also arms and protects every single oil monarchy across the Middle East. Saudi Arabia's monarchy has been America's top weapons customer. Meanwhile, the dictatorships of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have led a brutal war of starvation and bombardment in Yemen. To make matters worse, the Saudi and UAE rulers are literally refusing to take President Biden's phone call. Meanwhile, global gas prices could drive a worldwide recession while these dictators and Western oil companies make a hefty profit. It is time for the U.S. to stop investing in oil dictators who are helping to drive a global climate crisis. President Biden must stop supporting the brutal oil monarchies of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and every other U.S.-backed autocrat across the Middle East. Source: 1. "Saudi, UAE leaders declined calls with Biden amid Ukraine conflict: report," The Hill, March 8, 2022.
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  • Sign now: President Biden must open the door to Ukranian refugees
    The UN estimates as many as 5 million are ultimately at risk of being displaced by Russia’s invasion. Countries across the globe are already opening their doors to Ukrainian refugees — but in the United States an arbitrary refugee “cap” will shut the door in the face of too many. But there’s a simple solution: President Biden can increase the cap. He has the power to do it — in fact just last year we saw him raise the limit he set for FY2022 from 62,500 to 125,000. Why? Because people like us pushed him to. We have an opportunity to push the Biden administration to realign our broken immigration system with our professed values. Will you help? Add your name to tell President Biden: Raise the FY2023 refugee admissions cap to no less than 200,000!
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  • Tell Congress: Denounce Amazon’s plan to build a South African HQ on sacred indigenous land!
    Amazon wants to build a new HQ in South Africa by bulldozing over sacred indigenous land.1 And just like when Amazon tried to build a new HQ in New York City, local activists in Cape Town are pushing back. Amazon didn't choose a sacred indigenous site by accident. They know it has historical, cultural and environmental significance.2 They just want to destroy and build on it anyway. But since Amazon is a US company, they're particularly vulnerable to grassroots pressure here in the US. You can show your solidarity with indigenous activists in South Africa by calling on your member of Congress to denounce this new Amazon headquarters. Sign the petition: Tell Congress to denounce Amazon's plan to build a HQ on sacred indigenous land in South Africa! The indigenous land sits on the banks of the Liesbeek River where in the year 1510 Khoi peoples successfully fought back Portuguese intruders. The area is still a source of pride and cultural heritage for the Khoi, which also survived decades of oppression under Apartheid. But now Amazon wants to bulldoze it and build a sprawling campus. Over 50,000 residents in Cape Town signed a petition opposing the construction, but Amazon is pushing ahead anyway. That's why folks on the ground there are asking for your help! If US elected officials publicly denounce this HQ project, Amazon will face an international political and PR nightmare. Activists here in the US successfully blocked an Amazon HQ in New York City. Together you can show solidarity with indigenous activists and help block this new Amazon HQ in South Africa. Sign the petition: Tell Congress to denounce Amazon's plan to build a HQ on sacred indigenous land in South Africa! Sources: 1. Reuters, "Heritage dispute engulfs site chosen for Amazon's new African HQ," June 3, 2021. 2. Africa News, "Controversy over the location of Amazon African headquarters in Cape Town," May 14, 2021.
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    Created by Demand Progress
  • Heat Pumps for Peace in Ukraine (and everywhere else)
    The most crippling sanctions on Russia would halt its export of oil & gas--a staggering 60% of its export revenues--but these items are off the sanctions table due to Europe's reliance on Russian gas and the impact that higher oil prices would have on the global economy. European homes and offices have been replacing gas-fired furnaces with electric heat pumps for years, but European manufacturers cannot keep up with demand. With the stroke of a pen, Biden could require American manufacturers to increase electric heat pump production and export these units to Europe, thereby helping Europe fast track its transition away from Russian gas and opening the door to much tougher sanctions. While it would take time before Europe is ready to inflict that crippling blow to Russia, the marketplace impact would be instantaneous, adding enormous pressure to Putin. Additional benefits: - The American production ramp would create high-paying manufacturing jobs here in the US. - Production at greater scale would reduce prices, removing adoption barriers here in the US. - Yes, replacing gas-fired furnaces with electric heat pumps increases demand for electrical energy, some of which is produced by gas-fired thermal plants. But everyday, the European grid grows greener as less expensive wind and solar generation and battery storage continue to shut down fossil fuel plants. Additional information: - This petition is based entirely on an excellent essay by the great American environmentalist, journalist and founder of 350.org, Bill McKibben, titled "Heat Pumps for Peace and Freedom", February 28, 2022, which can be read here: https://billmckibben.substack.com/p/heat-pumps-for-peace-and-freedom?utm_source=url - According to Ari Matusiak, the CEO of the non-profit Rewiring America, Europe and the UK have 75 million homes dependent on Russian gas for their heat. - Per McKibben's article, and according to energy leaders in Europe, the European grid as it is today can handle the adoption of 50 million heat pumps. - Per McKibben's article, the "Defense Production Act was used most recently by President Trump to mandate production of ventilators and President Biden, on his second day in office, to mandate production of decent masks."
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  • We need diplomacy and de-escalation with Russia!
    The possibility of war in Ukraine is terrifying. Tens of thousands of deaths estimated in the first few days of fighting. Massive economic warfare with the potential to trigger a global economic meltdown. And, in the worst case scenario: Russia and the United States stumbling into a nuclear war with nearly unimaginable consequences. In moments like this it’s easy to feel helpless, especially when everywhere you turn Washington’s war caucus is seemingly chomping at the bit for war. But that’s where we come in. In the days ahead, as President Biden is debating his next steps, we need to make sure that the loudest voices he hears are a deafening demand for continued diplomacy and de-escalation.
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  • Congress must publicly support diplomacy with Iran!
    Now that a diplomatic breakthrough with Iran is on the horizon, the war hawks in Washington are working overtime to sabotage this deal before it's even announced. In fact, as soon as word of an imminent deal got around, the powerful chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Bob Menendez, took to the chamber floor to trash the negotiations and call for a continuation of Trump's failed "maximum pressure" policy. Senator Menendez isn't just wrong, he’s dangerous: his words and actions undermine U.S. diplomats who are still in the middle of negotiations and put us on a path to war. But right now, he and other hawks are testing to see how far they can push us away from diplomacy and peace. What happens in the next twenty four hours is CRUCIAL — if we show up, and are loud — we can not only get hawks to step back, but we also strengthen the resolve of members of Congress who are waiting to see what the consensus is. That’s why we’ve got to call on every member of Congress right now to support diplomacy.
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    Created by Demand Progress
  • Congress: Don't Meet With Dictator Lobbyists
    The US government supports seven of nine dictatorships across the Middle East. Many of these dictators -- and other brutal governments -- hire lobbyists, public relations experts and advisors to help influence US politicians and shape the American mind. Here are some terrible examples: - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's former chief of staff Nadeam Elshami is now a lobbyist for Egypt's dictator. - Former Republican US senator Norm Coleman is a lobbyist for Saudi Arabia's dictatorship. His firm, Hogan Lovells, has received almost $14 million from the Saudi monarchy since 2014. - Former Republican Member of Congress Ed Royce is also now a lobbyist for Egypt's dictator. - And former Republican Member of Congress Howard “Buck” McKeon and his firm have made over $2 million from lobbying for Saudi Arabia’s dictatorship since 2016. These former elected officials and congressional staff earn vast amounts of money supporting the very dictators and oil monarchies that make life miserable for people across the planet. US representatives and senators must refuse to meet with lobbyists, advisors, and public relations experts who work for dictators or apartheid governments. SOURCES: 1) Middle East dictatorships backed by the U.S.: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, Qatar, Jordan, Bahrain, Oman. 2) “Egypt assembles bipartisan lobbying team for post-Trump era,” Julian Pecquet, Middle East Eye, November 11, 2020, https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/egypt-assembles-bipartisan-lobbying-team-post-donald-trump-era 3) “Biden Should Stop Payment on U.S. Funds To Sisi's Egypt,” Medea Benjamin and Ariel Gold, Common Dreams, February 12, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/02/12/biden-should-stop-payment-us-funds-sisis-egypt 4) “Norm Coleman: Former U.S. Senator Now Lobbyist and Agent for the Saudi Government,” Democracy for the Arab World Now, October 22, 2021, https://dawnmena.org/norm-coleman-former-u-s-senator-now-lobbyist-and-agent-for-the-saudi-government/ 5) “Egypt assembles bipartisan lobbying team for post-Trump era,” Julian Pecquet, Middle East Eye, November 11, 2020, https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/egypt-assembles-bipartisan-lobbying-team-post-donald-trump-era 6) “Buck McKeon and Firm Made Over $2 Million Lobbying for Saudi Government,” October 15, 2021, Democracy for the Arab World Now, https://dawnmena.org/buck-mckeon-and-firm-made-over-2-million-lobbying-for-saudi-government/
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  • Tell President Biden: Shut down Guantánamo Bay!
    Rather than taking active steps to close the Guantánamo Bay detention facility, President Biden is actively expanding it. According to The New York Times, the Pentagon has begun building a new $4 million courtroom at Guantánamo where the United States plans to hold secret trials starting in 2023. That means at least another year of this ongoing national shame. It’s not only far from the closure we wanted to see, it’s working backward from it. But before ground breaks we have a moment of opportunity to remind the president of our decades-long demand: CLOSE GUANTÁNAMO. Sign now to send the president a message he can't miss: the time to shut down Guantánamo is now!
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  • Tell Google: No contracts with the Pentagon!
    Google is aggressively pursuing the Pentagon’s Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability (JWCC) contract, despite turning down a chance at a similar contract a few years ago. At the time, they said the contract would violate their AI principles of not developing technology that causes harm. That’s still true: Developments in military technology have meant ever-more devastating weapons, drone warfare, and unfettered surveillance. Google employees are expressing serious concerns about the ethics of this contract, and we agree. Sign the petition to join us in urging Google not to work with the Pentagon!
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