October 14, 2020
Action Alert Digest
TAKE ACTION: Urge Your Governor to Ban Guns Near and at Polling Locations

With less than a month away from Election Day, the widespread presence of guns at polling places, as well as armed groups aiming to intimidate voters, is a grave threat to our human right to participate in political processes. Our own president recently suggested sending armed law enforcement to the polls. Amnesty International urges us to demand that our governors ban guns at and near polling locations.  TAKE ACTION
Belarus Ramps Up Crackdown on Protests, Detains Over 700

Authorities in Belarus have detained 713 people during mass protests against the reelection of the country’s authoritarian leader in a disputed election — the harshest crackdown in weeks on demonstrators. Despite the detentions, protests in Belarus continued this week, with the elderly taking to the streets in several Belarusian cities, demanding Lukashenko’s resignation. The protests have spanned several cities, involving an estimated 100,000 people. MORE
Fratelli Tutti: A Foundation for Advancing Nonviolence in a Violent World

Pax Christi International describes Pope Francis’ new encyclical, “Fratelli Tutti: On Fraternity and Social Friendship” as a timely document that grapples with the realities of a polarized, violent and unjust world and envisions a way forward to a more peaceful and hopeful future. Although Fratelli Tutti, does not explicitly use the term nonviolence, the encyclical offers a foundation for integrating the practice of nonviolence in the teaching of the Church. MORE
TAKE ACTION: Advocate for a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World

The nuclear weapons possessed by nine countries threaten us all. The use of just a small fraction could end civilization as we know it. In addition, the $100 billion spent annually on nuclear weapons is sorely needed for environmental, economic, and human needs. Unfold Zero invites us to sign a global appeal to all governments to abolish nuclear weapons and shift spending to support public health, COVID-19 recovery, the climate, and sustainable development.   TAKE ACTION
Kim Jong Un Shows Off North Korea’s New ICBM

Kim Jong Un rolled out a new ballistic missile designed to carry nuclear warheads to the U.S., in a massive military parade that appeared calibrated to show strength at home and abroad. Weapons experts say the new intercontinental ballistic missile appears to be the largest road-mobile rocket of its type. The rare midnight parade confirmed weeks of speculation that Kim would use such a show to send a campaign-season message to the U.S. MORE
‘We Need to Take Away Children,’ No Matter How Young, Justice Dept. Officials Said

In May 2018, the public was enraged over President Trump's newly announced "zero tolerance" policy of seeking federal prosecutions for all migrants who illegally cross into the U.S. Five federal prosecutors stated they were "deeply concerned" about the practice of family separation and tried to push back, according to a new report. But then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions conveyed a message to the prosecutors from Trump: "We need to take away children." MORE
Restrictions on Foreign Workers Will Hurt America’s Recovery From COVID-19

The Trump administration issued two rules last week that, if not overturned, will further restrict legal immigration. A rule which applies to H-1B workers limits an employer’s ability to demonstrate that its job is in a “specialty occupation.” A second rule requires employers to agree to pay foreign workers significantly higher than the market rate—which would prevent many employers from seeking foreign talent in the first place. MORE 
Ex-Officials Denounce ICE Billboards of Undocumented Immigrants As "Wildly Inappropriate"

Former U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials criticized the Trump administration for erecting billboards of immigrants it seeks to arrest in a key 2020 battleground state, saying the public messaging campaign exacerbates concerns about the politicization of immigration enforcement. ICE announced it had placed several "WANTED" billboards across Pennsylvania include photos of individuals who ICE calls "public safety threats." MORE
Under Trump, Criminal Prosecutions for Pollution Dropped Sharply

Prosecutions of environmental crimes have "plummeted" during the Trump administration, according to a new report from the University of Michigan law school. The first two years of the Trump administration had a 70 percent decrease in criminal prosecutions under the Clean Water Act and a decrease of more than 50 percent under the Clean Air Act. MORE
Climate Change Was a Factor in Most of the Natural Disasters Over the Last 20 Years, UN Says

A new report from the United Nations has reaffirmed that the world is seeing significantly more natural disasters due to climate change. Between 2000 and 2019, there were 7,348 extreme weather events—a major increase over the previous 20 years—resulting in more than 1.2 million deaths and causing nearly $3 trillion in global economic losses. MORE
Great Barrier Reef Has Lost Half of Its Corals Since 1995

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has lost more than half its coral since 1995 due to warmer seas resulting from climate change, a study found. Scientists found all types of corals had suffered a decline across the world's largest reef system. The steepest falls came after mass bleaching events in 2016 and 2017. More mass bleaching occurred this year. "There is no time to lose - we must sharply decrease greenhouse gas emissions ASAP," the researchers said. MORE
Report Reveals Linkages Between Human Trafficking and Forced Marriage

Across the world, girls as young as 12 are being forced or tricked into marrying men who exploit them for sex and domestic work, in what the UN Office on Drugs and Crime has called an “under-reported, global form of human trafficking”.  Most cases of trafficking for the purpose of marriage involve young, female victims, many of whom come from disadvantaged family backgrounds, according to the report.  MORE
FBI Arrests 28 In Nevada Human Trafficking Sting

A week-long human trafficking sting led by the FBI has resulted in 28 arrests, including University of Nevada football player Chris Green. The FBI’s Northern Nevada Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, along with law agencies from across the area, targeted people trying to pay minors for sexual acts. All of the suspects went to a home in South Reno to knowingly engage in, and pay for, sex acts with a minor. MORE
TAKE ACTION: Support the VAWA During Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Staggering increases in domestic violence during the pandemic show that many people are not safe at home. Yet the Senate continues to sit on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act as well as the latest round of COVID relief legislation passed by the House. The United Church of Christ invites us to tell Congress to act quickly to provide more supports for survivors as well as funding for local governments to coordinate help for survivors. MORE
The Damaging & Lasting Impact of Domestic Violence on Children

Child abuse calls are down during the pandemic, but advocates say that's a troubling sign that cases may be going unreported or unnoticed. Advocates say the fact that kids aren't going to school again means there are fewer eyes on that family. When children are in school, teachers, staff and administrators, who suspect abuse, are legally required to report it, but with many kids at home, e-learning, they can't report what they don't see. MORE
TAKE ACTION: Tell your Congressperson to support the BREATHE Act

The BREATHE Act is a 21st-century Federal civil rights bill that will help communities of color not just survive but thrive.  The proposal calls for a redistribution of federal resources to support programs for alternative community-led approaches to non-punitive public safety. It would also ensure universal access to clean water and air that satisfies Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.  MomsRising invites us to tell Congress to support the BREATHE Act. TAKE ACTION  
COVID-19 to Add as Many as 150 Million Extreme Poor by 2021

The coronavirus pandemic is expected to force 88–115 million people into extreme poverty this year, the World Bank announced in its biennial report on global poverty. The total could rise to 150 million people next year. ​This would be the largest increase since the bank began publishing the data in 1990, and it would end a more than two-decade decline in extreme poverty, which is defined as living on less than $1.90 per day.  MORE

Orlando Hall is scheduled to be executed on November 19 by the U.S. Department of Justice for the murder of Lisa Rene. Please hold Orlando, Lisa, and their families in prayer. TAKE ACTION