May 20, 2020
Action Alert Digest
TAKE ACTION: Urge the ATF to Regulate the Ghost Gun Market

Evidence shows that sales of ghost guns are surging amid the pandemic — and the risks to our public safety are grave. Ghost guns are readily available online. They are designed to avoid all gun laws, untraceable, and available to purchase by anyone – including minors- without a background check.   The Brady Campaign urges us to tell the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms to take immediate action to address the unregulated ghost gun market.   TAKE ACTION  
Activists Fought the US Military Draft for Decades — They May Soon Have to Again

In late March, a national commission urged Congress to mandate that all women between 18 and 25 enroll with the Selective Service System, the agency that oversees the military draft.  Congress may well ratify this proposal. But anti-war activists point out that women’s equality will not be achieved by including women in a draft system. There is only one way for draft registration to treat everyone equally: abolish draft registration.  MORE
Will the Trump Administration’s Accusations Doom the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty?

In April, the US State Department accused China of failing to adhere to a “zero-yield” nuclear testing standard, as called for by the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Although US accusations are unlikely to be true, they could give a convenient pretext to officials who want to withdraw the US signature from the treaty, allowing the United States to resume its own nuclear testing. In fact, that may be the entire point. MORE
Enough is Enough: Global Nuclear Weapons Spending 2020

In its report "Enough is Enough: Global Nuclear Weapons Spending 2020" the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons has produced the first estimate in nearly a decade of global nuclear weapon spending. ICAN estimates that the nine nuclear-armed countries spent $72.9 billion on their 13,000+ nuclear weapons in 2019, equaling $138,699 every minute of 2019 on nuclear weapons, and a $7.1 billion increase from 2018.   MORE
The Papal Vision: Beyond the Bomb

In a new article in the May 2020 issue of Arms Control Today, Maryann Cusimano Love describes how “[t]he Catholic Church pursues a multipronged, long-term effort to achieve nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation.” She also details the distinct strengths that the Catholic Church brings to bear on the issue and frames the Church’s approach in light of Pope Francis’s 2019 visit to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  MORE
TAKE ACTION: Stop Deportations During Pandemic and Beyond

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage around the world, the Trump administration is engaging in unconscionable behavior by continuing to deport people back to countries where healthcare resources are limited and not able to treat even small numbers of critically ill patients. Making matters even worse, the U.S. government is knowingly deporting people who are infected with the virus. The Sisters of Mercy invite us to tell Congress to halt deportations.  TAKE ACTION
Migrant Parents Asked to Choose Between Family Separation or Indefinite Detention
Immigration officials are giving migrant parents a choice between separation from their children or indefinite detention of the family. Immigration advocates said this is a government effort to get around rules governing the detention and release of minors. MORE
Only 2 Migrants Allowed to Seek Humanitarian Protection Under Trump's Coronavirus Border Order

Only two people have been allowed to pursue requests for humanitarian protection at the U.S. southern border under an emergency public health order issued in late March by the Trump administration. Officials at the southern border have removed more than 20,000 migrants since March 20.  In that same period, border officials allowed just 59 migrants to be interviewed by an asylum officer - the vast majority of whom were ultimately rejected.  MORE
42 Faith Groups In 14 Countries Announce Divestment from Fossil Fuels

More than 40 faith institutions committed to divest their finances from fossil fuels. The announcement was made from Rome, at the beginning of Laudato Si' Week, the Vatican-sponsored celebration of the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis' encyclical on ecology, "Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home." The institutions are a mix of Methodist, Anglican, Quaker, Buddhist and Catholic, the latter accounting for 24 of the divesting groups.   MORE
Biggest U.S. Solar Project Approved in Nevada Despite Critics

The largest solar energy project in the U.S. and one of the biggest in the world has been approved despite objections from conservationists who say it will destroy thousands of acres of habitat critical to the survival of the threatened Mojave desert tortoise in Nevada. The $1 billion Gemini solar and battery storage project about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Las Vegas is expected to produce enough to power 260,000 households. MORE
EU Plans to Plant 3 Billion Trees in 10 Years to Help Thwart Plummeting Biodiversity

The European commission has announced the launch of a sweeping effort to tackle the global biodiversity crisis, including a call for 3 billion trees to be planted in the EU by 2030 and a plan to better protect the continent's last primeval forests. MORE
Coronavirus Puts 4 Million Girls at Risk of Child Marriage

Advocates estimate that four million girls are at risk of child marriage in the next two years because of the new coronavirus pandemic. Deepening poverty caused by the loss of livelihoods is likely to drive many families to marry off their daughters early. Campaigners say the risks are exacerbated by the fact that schools have been closed and organizations working to combat child marriage are finding it harder to operate during lockdowns.  MORE
Trafficking Behind the Scenes in Our Favorite Restaurant’s Kitchen

The Polaris Project cites an increased need to be aware of restaurant workers - many of whom are "more isolated and vulnerable than ever", particularly immigrants and low wage staff.  Patrons are unlikely to see the signs since men and women at risk of exploitation are usually in the back of the restaurant performing tasks such as cooking or dish-washing. However, fellow workers, restaurant suppliers, and code inspectors are in a position to notice red flags.  MORE
Women Face Dilemma in a War Zone: Risk the Blasts or Sexual Assault

Shelling between Pakistan and India has intensified in recent months in Kashmir, sending families rushing to bunkers when the alarm sirens ring. But some families are leaving girls and young women behind in their vulnerable homes — choosing to risk the falling shells rather than face the sexual assault that is epidemic in the cramped bunkers.  MORE
In Lawsuit, NFL Player Says He Was Sexually Harassed, Assaulted During United Airlines Flight

An unnamed NFL player is suing United Airlines, alleging he was sexually harassed, assaulted and violated by a female passenger on a February flight from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey, and that the airline failed to properly respond to complaints. According to the lawsuit, the player and another passenger in the same row made four complaints to flight attendants that the woman was making "unwanted sexual advances" before she was moved to a different seat.  MORE
TAKE ACTION: Tell Senators to Boost SNAP

The House of Representatives' HEROES Act provides a much - needed boost to SNAP (food stamps) and struggling families. But not everyone is on the same page about the need for a boost to SNAP—Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and others have come straight out and said multiple times that they don’t want to boost SNAP in any way. MomsRising urges us to demand the Senate to boost nutrition assistance and SNAP in the next pandemic relief package.  TAKE ACTION  
The Coronavirus Broke the Food Supply Chain. Here’s How to Fix It.

Food waste might seem like an odd problem to have during a pandemic, but the shuttering of restaurants, arenas, schools, and other public institutions has created a glut of fresh produce stuck on farms with no buyers.  At the same time, with skyrocketing unemployment, the number of people in need of food assistance is also ballooning. Experts and advocates are cautioning that a coordinated, long-haul set of solutions is needed to solve both issues. MORE

Carlos Trevino is scheduled to be executed on June 3 by the state of Texas for the murder of Linda Salinas. Please hold Carlos, Linda, their families, and the people of Texas in prayer.  TAKE ACTION