September 2, 2020
Action Alert Digest
TAKE ACTION: Appeal to Pope Francis: Nonviolence Is the Way Forward Toward a Laudato Si’ Future

The Church is celebrating the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, the powerful encyclical which calls us to a new understanding of all of the connections to Creation. It is clear that nonviolence is a crucial pillar towards a more just and sustainable world. The Catholic Nonviolence Initiative invites us to sign a message to Pope Francis expressing our gratitude for his leadership and support for the teachings of Laudato Si’. TAKE ACTION
NBA Playoffs Will Resume, League and Players Announce New Social Justice Initiatives

The NBA and the NBPA announced last week that the NBA basketball playoffs would resume and that the league and players had agreed to commit to various social justice and police reform initiatives as well as the promotion of voting access. The news came after playoff games had to be postponed following a dramatic work stoppage by NBA players in protest over racial injustice following the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. MORE
Iran Allows International Access to Suspected Former Nuclear Sites

Iran has agreed to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) access to two sites where the agency suspects Iran carried out undeclared nuclear activity. The IAEA, which reports to the United Nations, has sought access to the sites for months. In June, it rebuked Iran for undeclared nuclear activities and for resisting IAEA inspections. The IAEA monitors Iranian compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement, which the US has accused Iran of violating. MORE
U.S. Modifies Arms Control Aims with Russia

The Trump administration has softened its demand that China immediately participate in trilateral nuclear arms control talks with the United States and Russia and says it is now seeking an interim step: a politically binding framework with Moscow that covers all nuclear warheads, establishes a verification regime suitable to that task, and could include China in the future. MORE
Nuclear Ban Treaty Nears 50th Ratification

Four nations used the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to announce their ratification of the 2017 Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The ratifications by Ireland, Nigeria, and Niue, Saint Kitts, and Nevis bring the number of states ratifying the accord to 44. The treaty will enter into force 90 days after the 50th state deposits its instrument of ratification. MORE
TAKE ACTION: Restore Refugee Resettlement in the US

It is disgraceful that the Trump administration only allowed for 18,000 refugees to enter the United States during FY 2020. This number represents less than twenty percent of the 95,000 that has been the quota norm since 1980.  The Sisters of Mercy ask us to urge our legislators to restore the U.S. refugee annual quota to at least 95,000 people in fiscal year 2021, which starts Oct. 1. TAKE ACTION 
More Than 200 New COVID-19 Cases at Arizona Immigration Detention Center
Immigration officials reported 233 new COVID-19 cases at one Arizona immigration detention center, raising the total there to 356. Advocacy groups across the country have filed several lawsuits seeking to release vulnerable populations during the pandemic, and ICE has on some occasions released detainees who have health conditions that make them susceptible to getting seriously sick from the coronavirus. MORE
What is the Season of Creation?

The Season of Creation is a monthlong prayerful observance that calls the planet's 2.2 billion Christians to pray and care for God's creation. It's a time to reflect on our relationship with the environment and how our lifestyles can endanger both the natural world and those inhabiting it. The Season of Creation begins Sept. 1, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and concludes Oct. 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology. MORE
President Donald Trump’s Climate Change Record Has Been a Boon for Oil Companies, and a Threat to the Planet

Legal experts and activists agree that President Trump, beginning with his decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord, has done more to roll back and weaken environmental laws and regulations than any president in history. Trump has scaled back or eliminated over 150 environment measures, expanded Arctic drilling, and denied climate science. Inside Climate News takes a hard look at his record. MORE
Pope Francis Denounces Endless Growth, Humanity's Assault on Nature

Pope Francis this week railed against humanity's exploitation of natural resources and pursuit of endless growth as he urged people across the world to act with urgency to protect the Earth and build back better from the coronavirus pandemic. The pope urged people to view the "disintegration of biodiversity, spiraling climate disasters, and unjust impact on the poor and vulnerable" as "a wakeup call in the face of our rampant greed and consumption." MORE
Missing Children Rescued in Georgia Sex Trafficking Bust

Nearly 40 missing or endangered children have been rescued by federal and state agents during a two-week operation centered on Atlanta and a city to its south, Macon. The missing children were considered to be “some of the most at-risk and challenging recovery cases” and some were likely victims of child sex trafficking, child exploitation, abuse and had medical or mental health conditions, authorities said. Nine people were arrested. MORE
Online Sexual Exploitation of Children: Hidden in Plain Sight

Advocates report a disturbing trend in human trafficking in which Filipino children are being sexually abused online for profit. The child sexual abuse material is paid for, directed, and viewed live by child sex offenders from around the world from the comfort of their homes in the U.S., Australia, Canada, the UK, and Europe. This sexual abuse is live-streamed for the offender’s consumption on a “pay-per-view” basis and documented in photos and videos.  MORE
Why Are Governments Weakening Protections Against Domestic Violence?

The coronavirus pandemic has brought about spikes in domestic violence around the world. Nevertheless, several European states have recently taken steps to leave the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, known in short as the Istanbul Convention. The conservative ruling governments have criticized the convention for endangering traditional family structures and gender roles. MORE
Military Sexual Assault Victims Say the System Is Broken

The death and alleged sexual harassment of Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen prompted widespread calls for both justice and change. The Army itself announced that five civilians would review the "command climate and culture" at Ford Hood after her killing. Yet for some women in the military, it was a breaking point -- a story all too familiar, they said. MORE
TAKE ACTION: No Student Should Go Hungry

For many parents, the struggle to keep food on the table and avoid evictions is overwhelming. But instead of offering support, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is refusing to extend the programs that provide access to our most vulnerable children while they learn remotely during the school year. Stand for Children invites us to tell Mr. Perdue to extend the programs that feed students who cannot be in a school building full time but need breakfast or lunch. TAKE ACTION
LA’s Homeless Communities Are Avoiding Cooling Centers, and It’s Not Just Because of COVID-19

Cities nationwide open cooling centers to mitigate the health impacts of heatwaves for populations without access to air conditioning. With the pandemic, cooling centers in many cities are operating at reduced capacity to promote social distancing. In L.A., despite the slashed capacity of the cooling centers, not a single one has been filled during the current heatwave. The reasons for that are complicated. MORE
600+ Jewish Groups Take Out Full-Page “Black Lives Matter” Ad in New York Times

Over 600 Jewish organizations published a full-page advertisement in Friday's New York Times with a joint letter "affirming unequivocally that Black Lives Matter." The signatories include three Jewish denominations that collectively represent more than half of all Jewish people in the U.S.  The joint letter was coordinated Jewish activists who saw attempts among some politicians and media outlets to drive a wedge between Jews and Black-led movements. MORE

William LeCroy is scheduled to be executed on September 22 by the U.S. Department of Justice for the murder of Joann Lee Tiesler. Please hold William, Joann, and their families in prayer. TAKE ACTION