July 29, 2020
Action Alert Digest
The Genius of John Lewis’ Unyielding Nonviolent Discipline

Author and educator, Mary Elizabeth King worked with John Lewis during the civil rights movement in the 1960s. In an article for Waging Nonviolence , she hails his uncompromising insistence on treating opponents with respect as one of his greatest attributes. John Lewis, she explains, deeply grasped that that nonviolent discipline determines the end result. MORE
A ‘Wall of Vets’ Joins the Front Lines of Portland Protests

A week after federal officers in Portland, Ore., brutally struck a Navy veteran who said he had approached them simply to ask a question, a group of military veterans joined the front lines of the city’s growing protests. Duston Obermeyer, a Marine Corps veteran, said he and other veterans were there to make sure federal officers did not infringe on the free speech of protesters, who numbered in the thousands.    MORE
How ‘Violence Interrupters’ Stop Gang Shootings

Since the 1990s community anti-violence initiatives – many of them run out of churches – have reduced crime locally, at least temporarily, by “interrupting” potential violence before it happens. One such group in Chicago helped to reduce shootings by as much as 28%. Often these programs help gang members and at-risk youth move beyond street life by finishing their studies, finding a job, or enrolling in drug and alcohol treatment.  MORE
TAKE ACTION: Support of the Appeal of the Hibakusha for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

Seventy-five years ago on August 6th and 9 th , the United States dropped the world’s first nuclear bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki - killing and wounding hundreds of thousands of people. The hibakusha are the survivors of those bombings and for 75 years they have fought to rid the world of nuclear weapons. The hibakusha invite us to join in their appeal to all State Governments to conclude a treaty to eliminate all nuclear weapons.  TAKE ACTION
Kim Jong-un Says North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Will Prevent Future Wars

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un said nuclear weapons were a solid security guarantee of the country’s survival and a “reliable, effective” deterrent that could prevent another war. He made the comments during a meeting with war veterans marking the 67th anniversary of the end of the 1950-53 Korean war. The remarks again showed he had no intention of abandoning his weapons as prospects dim for resuming diplomacy with the United States MORE
U.S., Russia Begin Three Days of Nuclear Arms-Control Talks

U.S. and Russian officials have opened three days of nuclear arms-control talks in Vienna less than a year before a treaty covering about 90 percent of the world's atomic weapons expires. During the first round of talks last month in the Austrian capital, the U.S. and Russia discussed their last remaining nuclear arms-control agreement, the 2010 New Strategic Arms Treaty (New START), which caps the number of nuclear warheads each of the two countries can have.  MORE
TAKE ACTION: Tell the Senate to Pass the No Ban Act

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the NO BAN Act to end the Muslim Ban. During the debate on the House floor, several members of Congress noted that it was due to Muslim Advocates and the NO BAN Act Coalition who worked with members of Congress to shape the bill and helped lead the effort. Now it's up to the Senate. Franciscan Action Network invites us to tell our Senators to pass the NO BAN Act.  TAKE ACTION
Administration Says It Won't Accept New DACA Applications
The Trump administration has declared it will not accept new DACA applications. They will allow current DACA recipients to renew their permits to work and remain in the United States for the next year, while the administration decides how to respond to a Supreme Court ruling that said the initial attempt to end DACA was improperly carried out. Roughly 66,000 people would meet age requirements to apply. MORE
ICE Offering 'Citizens Academy' Course with Training on Arresting Immigrants

ICE announced the launch of its inaugural six-week “Citizens Academy” that will provide scenario-based training on the responsibilities of ICE officers, including arresting undocumented immigrants. Immigrant advocates say the program will enable abuses and racial profiling by citizens who are not law enforcement. ICE said the course is not meant as law enforcement training, but rather to offer a glimpse inside a day in the life of an ICE agent.   MORE
TAKE ACTION: Defend the Clean Air Act

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler has proposed a new rule that would seriously undercut clean air protections under the Clean Air Act.  The EPA is seeking public comments on this proposal. Union of Concerned Scientists urges us to submit a comment to the EPA and reject this attack on science and clean air protections.   TAKE ACTION
How to Bring About Catastrophic Success in the Face of Climate Change

With the dire predictions of humanity’s prospects in the face of a changing climate, it’s no wonder most coverage of the climate crisis is depressing. But it doesn’t have to be. There’s still a small, but closing, window of possibility in which society can come together to create radical change that begets a better future. Eric Holthaus—a meteorologist by training and a climate journalist by trade—offers a vision of hope and healing.  MORE
Between PPE and Takeout, Are Single-Use Plastics Back to Stay?

With legislation restricting disposables suspended due to the pandemic, many food vendors and grocery stores have shifted entirely to disposable bags, plates, and cutlery. Grocery stores have sharply increased plastic bag usage. Households are generating up to 50% more waste by volume than they did pre-COVID-19 – ostensibly due to an excess of single-use disposable items. But studies show that these products are not necessarily safer than reusables. MORE
How Unproven Trafficking Stories Spread Online and Why Stopping Them Matters

Recently, a story went viral claiming online retailer Wayfair is part of a complex child sex trafficking scheme. Unfortunately, say experts, the Wayfair situation in many ways echoes the Pizzagate conspiracy in 2016. What was learned at that time was that unsubstantiated claims and accusations about child sex trafficking can spin out of control and mislead well-meaning people into doing more harm than good.   MORE
Coalition Brings Pressure to End Forced Uighur Labor

Last week, organizations in 36 countries issued a call to action, demanding clothing brands cut all ties with suppliers implicated in forced labor in the Xinjiang region of China. Roughly one in five cotton garments sold globally contains cotton or yarn from Xinjiang where authorities have used coercive labor programs and mass internment to force as many as one million Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other largely Muslim minorities into factory work with little or no pay.  MORE
Suspect in Ambush on Judge's Family Was Entrenched in Male Supremacy Movement

A self-described “anti-feminist” attorney who espoused a particularly virulent strain of misogynistic ideology shot and killed the son of a federal judge in New Jersey and wounded her husband. The lawyer, Roy Den Hollander, left behind scores of online screeds, legal filings, a website, and a self-published a 1,700-word book describing his unabashed hatred of women.  MORE
How Colleges Are Supporting Students Leaving Abusive Relationships

Relationship violence threatens not only students’ physical safety and emotional well-being, but also their academic prospects. Recent changes to federal guidelines under Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have reduce the obligation of colleges to investigate complaints and require trial-like investigation proceedings in which victims are cross-examined. Nevertheless, several larger universities have improved support for survivors in recent years. MORE
HEALS Act Explained: Will It Lead to Greater Income Inequality?

This week, the GOP unveiled their proposed stimulus plan. In keeping with the administration's track record of protecting businesses, it reduces unemployment benefits while giving companies protection against lawsuits. Americans will gladly welcome another round of direct payments, but experts were quick to point out what the bill is missing. Namely, no protections for renters or frontline workers, and no funding for states or local governments.  MORE
With 'Economic Calamity' Looming, Progressive Groups Demand Unemployment Insurance Benefit Remain in Place

Two dozen leaders of progressive research and advocacy groups in a letter to Congress have urged federal lawmakers to ensure the federal unemployment benefit of $600 a week is kept in place for the duration of the pandemic, arguing that to allow it to expire would be to risk "economic calamity." The increase in unemployment income has helped ease the pain of this crisis by providing much-needed income to families and boosted the economy overall.  MORE   
Fourth Federal Execution Scheduled

Keith Dwayne Nelson is scheduled to be executed on August 28 by the U.S. Department of Justice for the murder of Pamela Butler. Please hold Keith, Pamela, and their families in prayer. This is the fourth of four executions scheduled by the Department of Justice in July and August. Previously, there had been no federal executions since 2003.  MORE