January 19, 2022
Action Alert Digest
Iowa Lawmakers Must Strengthen Gun Laws to Lower Rising Rates of Violence
In 2021 Iowa lawmakers repealed two important gun safety measures: 1) the law requiring a permit, and therefore a background check, prior to every handgun sale and 2) the law requiring a permit to carry loaded, concealed handguns in the community. From 2019 to 2020, the state saw a 20 percent increase in firearm homicides, and gun-related deaths reached an all-time high in 2020, with an estimated 353 people killed. MORE
How Nonviolent Action Is Protecting the Earth
Nonviolence toward the Earth is neither a lofty dream nor a utopian vision. It is practical, necessary, and our only choice. As Dr. Martin Luther King said, “The choice before us is no longer violence or nonviolence. It’s nonviolence or non-existence.” Centuries of extreme violence toward the ecosystems, paired with the violent conquest and genocidal violence toward Indigenous Peoples, have led humanity to the brink of extinction. MORE
TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress to Advocate for the Elimination of ICBMs
More than 60 organizations have issued a joint statement calling for the elimination of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). “Rather than being any kind of deterrent, ICBMs are the opposite -- a foreseeable catalyst for nuclear attack,” the statement points out. Roots Action urges us to pressure our Senators and Representatives to shut down ICBMs. TAKE ACTION
Pakistan Welcomes P5 Statement on Preventing Nuclear War
The Pakistani government has welcomed a joint statement by the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, China, and France (the P5) on preventing nuclear war as “a positive development”, a week after regional rival India issued a similar statement. “As a responsible nuclear weapons state, Pakistan supports the objectives of global and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation,” a statement by the Pakistani foreign ministry said. MORE
Progress In 2021 Towards Universalizing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
January 22 will mark the first anniversary of entry-into-force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). The TPNW prohibits the possession, development, testing, use, and threat of use of nuclear weapons for the 59 countries that have so far ratified it. On December 23, 2021, Peru deposited its instrument of ratification, becoming the 59th state party to do so. MORE
Leaked Photos Reveal Inhumane Conditions in Border Processing Centers

New leaked photos of Border Patrol stations in Yuma, Arizona show Customs and Border Protection’s inhumane treatment of people apprehended at the border— revealing that years of overcrowded, unsanitary, and cruel conditions continue despite multiple deaths, legal challenges, and the Biden administration’s promise to create a humane immigration system. MORE
Families Separated at Border Fear Extortion

A Honduran woman was separated from her son at the U.S-Mexico border under the Trump administration. She is now reunited with her son and living in North Carolina. But she and other migrant parents are receiving extortion threats because of the erroneous belief that they received huge sums of money from the U.S. government. MORE
Hundreds of Detained Migrants In COVID-19 Isolation

COVID-19 outbreaks have again hit immigration detention centers where almost 1,800 migrants are in isolation around the country out of the almost 22,000 in detention. One immigration advocate said migrants shouldn't be detained during a pandemic as maintaining social distancing is difficult. MORE
TAKE ACTION: Tell President Biden to Keep Big Oil’s Destruction Out of Public Lands
The Biden administration has given Big Oil permits to drill on our public lands at a rate of 334 permits per month. That’s a higher monthly rate than the Trump administration gave out in his last two years in office. More drilling = more fossil fuels being burned = worsening the climate crisis. Friends of the Earth urges us to tell the Biden administration to stop selling off our public lands to Big Oil. TAKE ACTION
Europe Plans to Say Nuclear Power and Natural Gas Are Green Investments
The European Union plans to classify some nuclear power and natural gas plants as green investments if they meet certain criteria, according to a draft proposal. The proposal follows months of intense lobbying pitting a pronuclear bloc led by President Emmanuel Macron of France, Europe’s biggest atomic power producer. Some European lawmakers have objected to the move, saying neither energy source is sustainable. MORE
The Country’s Biggest Solar Farm Is Coming to One of the Coal-Friendliest States
Among vast fields of corn and soybeans in rural northwest Indiana, construction workers broke ground in October on what will be the largest solar farm in the United States. The project, known as Mammoth Solar, will cover 13,000 acres, spread across two counties, with 60 landowners involved. It will generate enough electricity to power nearly a quarter-million homes in an area with deep ties to the fossil fuel industry.  MORE
Ghislaine Maxwell Ends Fight to Keep Names of Eight ‘John Does’ Secret
Convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell is no longer protecting the names of eight men involved in Jeffrey Epstein’s operation. Maxwell’s attorney told a federal judge that she would no longer object to their identities being revealed. The men are listed as “John Does” in a 2015 civil lawsuit brought against Maxwell by Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Giuffre. MORE
Family Members Are Involved in Nearly Half of All Child Trafficking
According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, a family member is the second leading way a person is recruited into sex trafficking. Familial trafficking often starts at a much younger age than other forms of trafficking, and boys are more likely to be recruited by a family member than girls. MORE
TAKE ACTION: Ask the Senate to Support VAWA
The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2022 is a bipartisan Senate bill that will reauthorize this important legislation, which lapsed in 2018. The bill will include improvements in access to safety and services for survivors in rural, marginalized, and underserved communities. RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) urges us to ask our Senators to co-sponsor and pass the VAWA Reauthorization bill. TAKE ACTION
University of Michigan Reaches $490M Settlement with Dr. Anderson Sexual Assault Survivors
The University of Michigan has reached a $490 million settlement with former athletes and other U-M students who sued the school saying they had been sexually assaulted by the late Dr. Robert Anderson, a former football team doctor. There are 1,050 former athletes and other U-M students suing the university in federal court. The suits claim the university failed to act when it knew Anderson was sexually assaulting students. MORE
Florida Law Would Shield Whites From ‘Discomfort’ of Racist Past
A bill pushed by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that would prohibit public schools and private businesses from making white people feel “discomfort” when they teach students or train employees about discrimination in the nation’s past received its first approval this week. DeSantis has called critical race theory “crap,” and said he would seek legislation to allow parents to sue schools and employees to sue employers if they were subject to its teachings. MORE
Athletes Warned Against Speaking Up on Human Rights at Beijing Games
Athletes traveling to next month's Beijing Olympics are being warned about speaking up on human rights issues while in China for their own safety by speakers at a seminar hosted by Human Rights Watch. Rights groups have long criticized the International Olympic Committee for awarding the Games to China, citing the treatment by the Chinese government of the Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups. MORE
Nearly 4 Million Kids Could Fall Into Poverty This Month After End of Tax Credit Payments
Nearly 4 million children could fall into poverty this month following the end of pandemic-linked monthly child tax credit payments. That translates into a child poverty rate of roughly 17%, the highest level in more than a year. The poverty rate in December – when the final payments were delivered – was 12.1%. MORE
Donald Grant is scheduled to be executed on January 27 by the state of Oklahoma for the murders of Brenda McElyea and Suzette Smith. Please hold Donald, Brenda, Suzette, their families, and the people of Oklahoma in prayer. TAKE ACTION
Matthew Reeves is scheduled to be executed on January 27 by the state of Alabama for the murder of Willie Johnson. Please hold Matthew, Willie, their families, and the people of Alabama in prayer. TAKE ACTION