January 6, 2021
Action Alert Digest
TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress to Block Trump’s Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

As millions were celebrating the holidays, the Trump administration announced it would sell Saudi Arabia nearly $800 million in weapons — 10,500 of the same bombs that they and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have used to kill Yemeni civilians for the last five years. Trump could wrap up the deal by the time Biden takes office on January 20th. Win Without War invites us to tell Congress to block these sales. TAKE ACTION
Confronting the Dangers of Disdain

When people call themselves “the Proud Boys” and say things like “Politically Incorrect and Proud of It”, what they’re telling us, between the lines, is they feel disrespected.  We had better listen to them. Psychiatrist James Gilligan, who worked with men incarcerated for violent crimes for 25 years, reported that “I have yet to see a serious act of violence that was not provoked by…feeling shamed and humiliated, disrespected and ridiculed.” MORE
TAKE ACTION: Appeal for a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World

The nuclear weapons possessed by nine countries threaten us all. Any use of these weapons by accident, miscalculation, or malicious intent, would have catastrophic human, economic, and environmental consequences. Unfold Zero invites us to endorse a global appeal for the elimination of nuclear weapons by 2045, to cut nuclear weapons budgets, and to affirm policies never to initiate a nuclear war. TAKE ACTION
Under Trump, America’s Nuclear Weapons Industry Has Boomed

While the country has been preoccupied with the COVID-19 pandemic, economic decline, and the election, President Trump’s administration quietly and steadily steered America’s nuclear weapons industry to its largest expansion since the end of the Cold War, increasing spending on such arms by billions of dollars. Overall, the budget for making and maintaining nuclear warheads has risen more than 50% since Trump was elected in 2016. MORE  
Georgia Sheriff Ends Enforcement Cooperation with Immigration Authorities
A newly-elected sheriff in a Georgia county ended participation in a controversial program allowing warrantless detention of arrestees at the request of immigration authorities. This is an important change in a county that holds one of Georgia's largest undocumented immigrant population. MORE
'The US Isn't an Option Anymore': Why California's Immigrants Are Heading Back to Mexico

California’s most vulnerable immigrants have faced unprecedented challenges this year, with some weighing whether it’s worth staying in the United States altogether. A pandemic that has disproportionately sickened immigrants and devastated industries that rely on immigrant labor, combined with years of anti-immigrant policies by the Trump administration has exacerbated insecurities for immigrants working low-wage jobs across California. MORE
Many Scientists Now Say Global Warming Could Stop Relatively Quickly After Emissions Go to Zero

Global warming could halt relatively quickly as soon as greenhouse gas emissions go to zero. That’s one of several recent conclusions about climate change that came more sharply into focus in 2020. Other research has shown climate change accelerating, with last year on pace to be either the hottest, or second-hottest, on record for the planet. Here are five climate science surprises from last year. MORE
Last-Minute White House Decision Opens More Arctic Land to Oil Leasing

The Trump administration has announced that it has finalized its plan to open up vast areas of once-protected Arctic Alaska territory to oil development. The decision, which opens 23 million acres of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska to drilling, is the latest mad-dash effort from President Trump to push his fossil fuel agenda during his final days in office. MORE
EPA Finds Fuel Efficiency Dropped, Pollution Spiked For 2019 Vehicles

Automakers' fuel efficiency went down and vehicle pollution went up for the first time in five years in 2019, according to a report released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The report, which analyzed data for 2019 vehicles, found fuel economy dropped by 0.2 percent in the U.S. when automakers were instead expected to increase their fuel efficiency by 5 percent. Carbon pollution went up 3 grams per mile. MORE
TAKE ACTION: Free Uyghurs From Forced Labor in China

People belonging to minority groups in northwestern China, including Uyghurs, are the target of the largest organized detention of an ethnoreligious minority the world has seen since World War II. Detainees are made to work under constant surveillance, with no freedom to leave. Freedom United urges us to tell the Chinese government to end the persecution and exploitation of Uyghurs and other marginalized groups. TAKE ACTION
18 People in Weber County, Utah Arrested in Undercover Sex Trafficking Sting

Eighteen people were arrested in an undercover sex trafficking sting over the week leading up to Christmas in Weber County, Utah. All 18 people arrested met with the undercover detectives at a local motel "to exchange money for sexual acts." Potential charges facing the suspects include patronizing a prostitute, solicitation of a prostitute, prostitution, and possession of a controlled substance. MORE
FSU Launches New Professional Certification in Human Trafficking Prevention and Intervention

Florida State University has launched a new online certification in human trafficking prevention and intervention to help professionals develop skills to better understand the dynamics of the various types of human trafficking. Professionals also will learn of the effect of trauma on victims/survivors and how to provide victim-centered trauma-informed services. MORE
The Parallel Pandemic  

One pandemic has outlasted COVID-19 and every virus that came before it: sexual and gender-based violence. In a Devex op-ed, Sharon Cohn Wu, International Justice Mission’s Principal Advisor on Violence Against Women and Children, shares why rebuilding in 2021 must include “building back safer” — committing to measurable reductions in sexual assault, murder, and battery of women and children. MORE
Lebanon Passes Landmark Sexual Harassment Bill

The Lebanese Parliament has passed a law criminalizing sexual harassment, under which perpetrators could face up to four years in prison. It also broadened the scope of a law on domestic violence. But some activists said lawmakers did not go far enough; marital rape remains legal in Lebanon. MORE
TAKE ACTION: Support the For the People Act

The President-elect and the 117th Congress must prioritize the For the People Act in 2021 — an overhaul of voting, elections, money-in-politics, and ethics laws that will make our democracy more inclusive, more representative, and less partisan. Franciscan Action Network and others urge us to sign a petition to President-elect Biden and Congress to demand that the For the People Act be a first order of business in the new administration. TAKE ACTION
Wall Street Vultures Are Ready to Get Rich from Water Scarcity

California water futures are now officially on the Wall Street markets. The “commodity” was most recently going for $496 per acre-foot with the main purchasers of the futures expected to be large-scale water consumers, chiefly utility companies and the states’ Big Ag corporations. The move to sell water futures in California stands as a foreboding indicator of the transformation of water from a basic right into a luxury good.  MORE
Why Can’t CEOs Pay for Their Own 3-Martini Lunch?

While the world is reeling from the pandemic, corporate lobbyists have been focused on making taxpayers subsidize lavish lunches for wealthy executives. And their work has paid off in the new Covid relief deal. Buried in the details of this modest aid plan is a provision to give executives unlimited tax deductions for their business meals for two years.   MORE

Lisa Montgomery is scheduled to be executed on January 12 by the U.S. Department of Justice for the murder of Bobbie Jo Stinnett. Please hold Lisa, Bobbie Jo, and their families in prayer. TAKE ACTION

Corey Johnson is scheduled to be executed on January 14 by the U.S. Department of Justice for the murders of Peyton Johnson, Louis Johnson, Bobby Long, Dorothy Armstrong, Anthony Carter, Linwood Chiles, and Curtis Thorne. Please hold Corey, Peyton, Louis, Bobby, Dorothy, Anthony, Linwood, Curtis, and their families in prayer. TAKE ACTION

Dustin Higgs is scheduled to be executed on January 15 by the U.S. Department of Justice for the murders of Tamika Black, Tanji Jackson, and Mishann Chinn. Please hold Dustin, Tamika, Tanji, Mishann, and their families in prayer. TAKE ACTION