Bank Boycott?

Posted on 13. Oct, 2017 by .


Some advocacy leaders are asking how can we better identify what influences key political leaders in order to better move our policies toward justice for immigrants. As a complement to many common tactics, the idea of boycotting key banks, who are profiting from the rapid increase in detention of immigrants and funding key politicians, has been gaining traction.

Read this 1 pager of basic facts and leverage points

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UN: We’ll Give Trump’s Peace Efforts a Chance

Posted on 01. Oct, 2017 by .

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told the UN General Assembly on Wednesday that Israel was evading its responsibility to end the occupation.
“While we call to end the occupation, Israel incites and pretends there’s no Palestinian partner for peace,” Abbas said, addressing the UN General Assembly hours after U.S. President Donald Trump told him that now might be the Palestinians’  “best shot ever” to achieve peace.
Abbas said the United Nations bore a legal, political, moral and humanitarian obligation to end the occupation, adding that Israel knew that the occupation bred incitement and violence.
“Draining the swamp of Israeli occupation would greatly affect the fight on terror,” he said, adding that ending the occupation would deprive terror groups of a key rallying cry.

“We called on Israel’s prime minister to sit with us to negotiate. He rejected this offer,” Abbas said, adding that “Israeli policies stir religious animosity and may lead to a violent religious conflict.”

Abbas told the General Assembly that Jerusalem was an occupied city, saying that Israel’s decisions there were null and void and illegal. He added that “we cannot allow Israeli occupation to continue without cost.”
According to Abbas, “our problem is with the Israeli occupation and not with Judaism as a religion.” He pondered if “the world can accept an apartheid regime in the 21st century” and asked: “Has the international community surrendered to the fact that Israel is a country above the law?”
Abbas criticized Britain for “failing to rectify the grave injustice it inflicted on the Palestinians when it issued the Balfour Declaration in 1917.”
He urged countries that have not yet recognized the State of Palestine to do, noting that “Israel has no borders. How can you recognize a state with no borders?”
Abbas also called for a blacklist of companies operating in Israeli settlements, similar to terrorist blacklists.
He also saluted “our glorious martyrs and our courageous prisoners in Israeli jails.”
Earlier, Trump noted that Israeli-Palestinian peace was considered the “toughest deal of all” to achieve, but vowed to devote “everything within my heart and within my soul to get that deal made.”
Trump said Saudi Arabia and other Arab states were making efforts to advance the peace process. “Who knows, stranger things have happened, but we have a good chance,” he said, adding: “No promises, obviously.”
Abbas praised Trump and his team, saying that its efforts had given him  the confidence that “we are on the verge of real peace.”
Read full article here
Read the full text of the speech here.

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DEAR MRS. KAEPERNICK: Every son should have a mother like you

Posted on 28. Sep, 2017 by .


Usually I don’t post editorials. This is a “must read”….Bro. Mark

“Dear Mrs. Kaepernick,

We can’t imagine what it felt like to hear President Donald Trump call you a “bitch,” just to get some cheap laughs and cheers at a campaign rally. No woman deserves to be called that. But to those of us in the Central Valley, those of us who know your story, there’s something particularly egregious about insulting you, the proud Modesto mother of a proud Turlock son.

Thirty years ago, you and your husband, Rick, adopted Colin from a teenager who wasn’t ready to be a mother. He was 5 weeks old and you called him “our little Colin.” It didn’t matter that you were white, and he was biracial and would someday grow an Afro that would both inspire and enrage millions.

When Colin was still young, you moved from Wisconsin to California for a better life. You got him involved in sports and supported him as became one of the top quarterbacks in the country.

You cheered as he dazzled fans at the University of Nevada, Reno. You selflessly shared him with the ever-present eyes of the public and the press as he joined the NFL, leading the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl. And then, perhaps at the height of his popularity, you stood by Colin’s side as he chose to wade into the tumultuous national debate over police brutality.

By kneeling on the sidelines during the national anthem at each 49ers game, he challenged a cross-section of Americans to confront racism. Not surprisingly, many Americans didn’t like that. Colin made himself a target – both for the racist yahoos who are among Trump’s core supporters,and for the football fans who think kneeling is an insult to the American flag and the military. The NFL, meanwhile, has blackballed Colin, cutting short what had been a promising career.

Through all of this, the booing, the name-calling, you haven’t shied away. And what did you get for your sacrifice? The president went off-script on Friday and called your son a “son of a bitch.”

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now.’” he said. “‘Out! He’s fired!’”

This is the “son of a bitch” who is just shy of a pledge to donate $1 million to various charities. For that, the National Football League Players Association gave him an award. And this is Colin, who is helping fight famine in Somalia.

This is also the “son of a bitch,” who went around the country putting on “Know Your Rights” camps to teach kids about how to interact with police. And Colin, who spends time with kids at Camp Taylor, a Salida charity that helps kids with heart disease. He has a soft spot for the organization because you lost two kids to heart disease before adopting him.

So what did you do as Trump repeated his comments on Sunday? Being the fierce mother that you are, you gamely tweeted: “Guess that makes me a proud bitch!”

We know what the president thinks about women. But you, Mrs. Kaepernick, are a great mother. You don’t deserve to be called anything less. Nor do the sons of other moms deserve to subjected to brain-damage. Trump thinks preventing CTE is “ruining” the NFL. You know, because he’s tougher than they are.

We know the NFL is popular, but moral courage isn’t found as much on the gridiron as it is in communities that have moms like you. So here’s to you Mrs. Kaepernick.”

[Sacramento Bee, Sept. 26, 2017]

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Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and Impact on Human Trafficking

Posted on 28. Sep, 2017 by .


During the recent hurricanes first responders have been warned to “look beneath the surface” and to be aware that many people become trapped in human trafficking after natural disasters.

U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking is a collaborative, faith-based network that offers educational programs and materials, supports access to survivor services, and engages in legislative advocacy to eradicate modern-day slavery. They have put together this informative piece on the connection between those displaced by environmental disasters and human trafficking.

We encourage you to visit their website for many more resources including an Interfaith Toolkit on Human Trafficking and the Stop Trafficking Newsletter.



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Paramedic Who Rescued Harvey Victims May Be Deported

Posted on 06. Sep, 2017 by .


From Buzzfeed.com –

Houston-area paramedic Jesus Contreras worked six days straight after Hurricane Harvey hammered through southeast Texas, rescuing people from floodwaters and taking some of them to local hospitals.

“It was emotional because you’re seeing people go through some of the hardest moments of your life,” Contreras told BuzzFeed News. “It shook up our entire community.”

In between rescuing people and helping people who needed dialysis, insulin, or reach life-saving medical machines, Contreras didn’t have a lot of time to think about himself. That changed when he came home on Thursday to shower and saw the news that President Trump may end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

The Obama-era program protects undocumented immigrants who, like Contreras, were brought to the US as children from deportation, while also granting them permits to legally work.

“Hearing that my future in the United States is being threatened and possibly taken away was disheartening, it was disappointing,” the 23-year-old said. “It was like getting an extra kick to the face when you’re already down.”

Frefighter/paramedic Allen Jacobs shouts for people wanting to be evacuated from the Hurricane Harvey floodwaters in Dickinson, Texas.
Rick Wilking / Reuters.

Artemio Muniz, chair of the Texas Federation of Hispanic Republicans, said DACA recipients in the areas affected by the hurricane were hit with a double whammy over the last few days.

“The timing is just so bad,” Muniz told BuzzFeed News. “Some of them lost their homes and are trying to recover from the hurricane.”

Nearly 790,000 young undocumented immigrants received work permits and protection from deportation under DACA, according to the latest figures from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Jesus Contreras

The program, created by Obama in 2012, faces an uncertain future in the coming days, with Trump expected to announce a decision about its fate on Tuesday.

During the campaign, Trump vowed to end DACA and another similar program for parents, created through an executive order, referring to them as “illegal amnesties.” Since taking office, however, his conviction on ending it has wavered, saying he wants to treat the young immigrants with “heart.”

But the Trump administration faced pressure recently from attorneys general and officials in multiple states, including Texas, to dismantle the program by Sept. 5 or face a lawsuit.

Had DACA been rescinded during the six days he spent helping people from the hurricane, Contreras said he would have immediately been pulled away from his ambulance.

“To think that could’ve happened potentially at a time like this when people need us is terrible,” Contreras said.

Yessenia Lopez stands with supporters of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipient during a rally outside the Federal Building in Los Angeles, California.
Kyle Grillot / Reuters

Contreras was brought to the United States when he was 6 years old by his mother from the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. He said he was fleeing violence and local drug crime at home.

“We came here with the hope of being free and being able to work and make a productive life,” Contreras said. “My mom came here with the intention of giving me the best opportunities I could have and DACA has allowed me to do just that.”

The paramedic called the DACA program a “huge life-changing experience” without which he would never have been licensed.

“There are countless people with DACA that are out here volunteering, coordinating with shelters and relief,” Contreras said. “I have this opportunity to share my story but I’m far from the only one and there are millions of people just like me doing even bigger things.”

On Tuesday, when the Trump administration is expected to announce its decision on DACA, Contreras will be coming home from another shift at the Montgomery County Hospital District.

“I’m a man of faith and I have faith and hope that things will work out for us and we can rest easy,” he said. “I want people who are against us to know that we are proud Americans, we have a lot of pride in this country, and that we’re going to stay here to fight and to help each other.”

Video: Watch Contreras tell his story here:

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