August 7, 2019
Action Alert Digest
TAKE ACTION: Take Action for Gun Safety Legislation

How many more will it take? The Peace Alliance urges us to send a message to our members of Congress to demand action on the Assault Weapons ban of 2019 (HR 1296 and S 66), required background checks for every firearm sale (HR 8 already passed the House, S 42 has 41 co-sponsors and has been referred to the Committee on the Judiciary), and funding for research on firearms safety or gun violence prevention (HR 674 and S 184).  TAKE ACTION
White Nationalism-Fueled Violence Is On the Rise

“Extremist-related murders spiked 35 percent from 2017 to 2018, making them responsible for more deaths than in any year since 1995," according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).  Last year, every one of those extremist-related murders was carried out by a right-wing extremist. Meanwhile, white supremacist propaganda distribution nearly tripled from 2017 to 2018, according to the ADL, which also documented a rise in racist rallies and demonstrations.  MORE
Mental Illness Isn't a Major Risk Factor for Gun Violence, but Here's What Is

Having access to a gun is more of a risk factor for violence than being diagnosed with a mental illness, research shows. According to the American Psychological Association, people with serious mental illness commit only about 3 percent of violent crimes. People who have a history of risky or dangerous behavior are far more likely to commit gun violence.  MORE
Putin Threatens To Develop New Nuclear Weapons If the US Does So First

Russian President Vladimir Putin this week said that his country would start developing new nuclear missiles if the United States began doing the same.He called on Russia’s intelligence service, as well as foreign and defense ministers to maintain close monitoring of U.S. weapons development. MORE
Bolivia’s Ratification on Hiroshima Day Brings Nuclear Ban Treaty Halfway to Entry Into Force

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adopted in 2017, is now halfway towards entering into force. This important milestone was reached on August 6th, the anniversary of the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima, when Bolivia became the 25th nation to ratify the treaty.  MORE
56,000 Cases Put On Fast-Track in US Immigration Courts

The Trump administration has launched a pilot initiative in 10 cities across the United States — including Baltimore and Los Angeles — “aimed at fast-tracking court hearings to discourage migrants from making the journey to seek refuge in the United States.” The 56,000 chosen family cases fall within a 10-month time frame.  MORE
There Are No Kids Left At The Homestead Detention Center, But Has It Truly Shut Down?

Two days after the federal government officially emptied out all migrant teens from the Homestead detention center, advocates of immigrants and protesters against the facility, who have camped outside it for months at a time, weren’t quite sure if they should celebrate just yet. In less than four weeks, about 2,700 children were rapidly transferred to other detention centers across the country or reunited with a sponsor when a hurricane was forecast.  MORE
Pay or Die: Understanding a Root Cause of Migration

In Honduras, corruption is rampant. Sonia Nazario, writing in The New York Times , takes readers along on one bus driver's journey as he delivers his extortion payments. The MS-13 gang, she writes, "requires you to walk toward youths holding AK-47s to pay your ‘taxes.’" Nazario argues that submitting to this type of corruption is at the root of despair - and the drive to move north.   MORE
TAKE ACTION: Tell Oil Company CEOs That Arctic Drilling Is Bad Business

The Trump administration is still pushing to open the Arctic Refuge to oil drilling. None of the four major oil companies - BP, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Chevron - will confirm or deny any of their plans. Drilling in a remote place like the Arctic Refuge is already incredibly risky and expensive -- and oil companies also weigh the risk of bad publicity. The Sierra Club invites us to tell the big four oil company CEOs that Arctic drilling is bad business. TAKE ACTION
Greenland's Melting: Heat Waves Are Changing the Landscape Before Their Eyes

Greenland, home to the world's second-largest ice sheet, has faced a summer of extreme heat. It saw exceptionally high temperatures in July. Now, the same heat dome that cooked Europe is forecast to raise temperatures in Greenland into the 70s Fahrenheit on parts of the coast, and the ice sheet is in the midst of one of its most extreme melts on record.  MORE
New York Makes Trafficking Survivors' Addresses Private

New York has become the latest US state to allow survivors of human trafficking to make their addresses private. The move is intended to protect them against violence or retaliation. Survivors often attempt to escape such violence by moving, and this new law should help if their former trafficker tries to track them down.    MORE
UK Found Sending Home Dozens of Slavery Victims Despite Re-Trafficking Fears

Britain has sent home or aided the return of dozens of slaves to trafficking hotspots including Albania, Nigeria, and Vietnam in recent years, raising concerns this put people at risk of being re-trafficked due to a lack of support in their home countries. Another 41 ex-slaves were found to have undergone “voluntary returns” in this period although activists said they likely saw no other choice without the right to remain in Britain.  MORE
New Pentagon Program Aims To Capture Serial Sex Offenders With Victims' Confidential Help

The Pentagon is targeting serial sex offenders with a new program that tracks confidential information provided by victims. The Pentagon, which has long struggled with sexual assault in its ranks, is hoping that victims who have been reluctant to file formal complaints will do so if they know their assailant has assaulted another victim.  MORE
Why It Took Ashley Wagner a Decade to Talk About Her Sexual Assault

That figure skater Ashley Wagner waited more than a decade to go public with allegations of her sexual assault is neither surprising nor unusual. In fact, that she’s going public at all makes her a rarity.  Only about one in four survivors report being abused and, of those who do, delayed reporting is “definitely the norm,” said Scott Berkowitz, founder and president of RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization.  MORE
Study: The US Could Have Averted About 15,600 Deaths If Every State Expanded Medicaid

A study by economists has just been published at the National Bureau of Economic Research which finds that states that adopted the Medicaid expansion experienced a lower mortality rate than states which did not. Based off of their data, it is estimated that had all the states in the U.S. opted for Medicaid expansion, over 15,000 deaths could have been prevented.  MORE
17 Million Americans Purged From Voter Rolls Between 2016 and 2018, Analysis Finds

Millions of Americans are still suffering the consequences of the 2013 Supreme Court decision that loosened restrictions of the Voting Rights Act, giving states with long histories of voter discrimination-free reign to purge voters from their rolls without federal oversight. The Brennan Center for Justice released a study Thursday showing that 17 million Americans were dropped from voter rolls between 2016 and 2018. MORE
TAKE ACTION: Don't Bring Back the Federal Death Penalty

Attorney General William Barr has recently directed the Justice Department to bring back the barbaric and ineffective death penalty -- and to immediately schedule the first five federal executions in 16 years. Faithful America provides an opportunity to tell the Justice Department that Americans do not want the federal death penalty.  TAKE ACTION

Stephen Michael West is scheduled to be executed on August 15 by the state of Tennessee for the murder of Wanda Romines and Shelia Romines. Please hold Stephen, Wanda, Shelia, their families and the people of Tennessee in prayer.  TAKE ACTION

Dexter Johnson is scheduled to be executed on August 15 by the state of Texas for the murder of Maria Aparece.  Please hold Dexter, Maria, their families and the people of Texas in prayer.  TAKE ACTION

Larry Swearingen is scheduled to be executed on August 21 by the state of Texas for the murder of Melissa Trotter . Please hold Larry. Melissa, their families and the people of Texas in prayer.  TAKE ACTION

Gary Ray Bowles is scheduled to be executed on August 22 by the state of Florida for the murder of Walter Hinton . Please hold Gary, Walter, their families and the people of Florida in prayer.  TAKE ACTION