Sign a Petition: Demilitarize Standing Rock

Add your name to the petition here. From the ACLU:

In below-freezing weather last night, law enforcement deployed tear gas, water cannons, percussion grenades, and rubber bullets against hundreds protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline.

News reports confirm more than 300 people have been injured.

Tell the DOJ to investigate and demilitarize police responses to nonviolent #NoDAPL water protectors.

Right now on a North Dakota prairie, nonviolent protesters are being confronted by police in riot gear with armored military vehicles, automatic rifles, sonic weapons, concussion grenades, attack dogs, pepper spray, and beanbag bullets.

This sovereign nation of the Standing Rock Sioux – one of many constantly threatened by environmental injustice – is fighting to keep its water safe and clean by means of an historic protest.

But law enforcement agencies are treating them like wartime enemies. Riot police raiding a protest camp even yanked indigenous people from prayer in sweat lodges.

North Dakota has received $3 million worth of military equipment from the federal government through the Defense Department’s 1033 program. On top of that, more than a half dozen states have sent equipment and officers to North Dakota.

The Department of Justice can help stop this militarized response to indigenous activists and their allies fighting for clean water. It oversees the various federal programs that may have supplied much of the equipment being used against protesters – and it can put those oversight measures to use.

Thousands from across the globe have joined in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The pipeline could destroy ancestral burial grounds and poison the water supply for an entire sovereign nation and millions of Americans downstream who rely on the Missouri River. This is worth standing up for – these brutal police tactics are not appropriate or just.

Tell the DOJ to investigate possible constitutional violations and suspend police use of federally supplied military equipment.

Support the ACLU and other critical organizations here.


Subscribe to the re:act Newsletter and Do Everything In It

I saw this amazing weekly newsletter by Derek Nelson on Twitter the other day. It’s called re:act, and you can sign up here. If you do, you’ll get a weekly email with several concrete statements/actions by the Trump administration, and specific instructions for how to push back on them. Obviously, that’s very similar to what I’m trying to do with this blog, but I don’t think this is an area where competition should be viewed as the enemy. I urge everyone who’s enjoying this blog to sign up for this newsletter and follow all of the suggestions each week! And then, of course, come to the blog and see what my suggestion(s) of the day are.

Here’s a sample of the content of re:act from the Nov. 15th newsletter:

1. “Trump draws sharp rebuke, concerns over newly appointed chief White House strategist Stephen Bannon”

What’s happening:
Bannon is a white nationalist who has published stories like “The Solution to Online ‘Harassment’ Is Simple: Women Should Log Off,”  “Bill Kristol: Renegade Jew,” and “Gabby Giffords: The Gun Control Movement’s Human Shield”. His ex-wife said in a court declaration that he “he didn’t want the girls going to school with Jews.” He will now have a desk next to the Oval Office. Pressure is mounting for Trump to rescind the appointment.

What you can do #1: (Approx 8 minutes)
Call Paul Ryan’s office at (202) 225-0600. There is no vote on this position, but this clearly passes any previous precedent for withdrawing.

Read and act on “How To Call Your Representative To Protest Steve Bannon’s White House Appointment”

Donate to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has already denounced Bannon:

2. “Donald Trump plans to immediately deport 2 to 3 million undocumented immigrants”

What’s happening:
Trump now plans to immediately deport up to 3 million undocumented immigrants who he says are criminals, a figure given “two pinocchios” by the Washington Post.

What you can do #2:  (Approx 6 minutes)
Join the ACLU, which promises to be “be eternally vigilant every single day of your presidency” on the issue of deportations.

Send along 5 Important Things You Need To Know About DACA During a Trump Presidency”  to any immigrant youth that may be impacted.

Sign the United We Dream petition to stop specific deportations.

3. “Attacks on Muslim Americans Fuel Increase in Hate Crime, F.B.I. Says”

What’s happening:
There were a total of 5,818 hate crimes in the U.S. in 2015, including a 67% jump in crimes against Muslim-Americans, the highest since 2001. Attacks against transgender people also sharply increased.

What you can do #3:  (Approx 2 minutes)
Review the Anti-Defamation League’s Action Center, and sign up for updates.

Consider giving Muslim-Americans a powerful voice by supporting Keith Ellison for the next DNC Chair. Ellison is a six-term progressive Minnesota representative and one of two Muslims in Congress. Bernie Sanders can deliver your signature for support here.

4. “Ryan Plans to Phase Out Medicare in 2017”

What’s happening:
“I’ve heard a few people say that it’s not 100% clear here that Ryan is calling for Medicare Phase Out. It is 100% clear. Ryan has a standard, openly enunciated position in favor of Medicare Phase Out. It’s on his website. It’s explained explicitly right there.” – Josh Marshall, TPM

What you can do #4: (Approx 15 minutes)
Let these purple state Republican Senators who serve on the Finance Committee (which oversees Medicare) know if you find a Medicare phase-out acceptable. Calls are much more likely to spur action than email.

Iowa: Chuck Grassley – (202) 224-3744
Georgia: Johnny Isakson – (202) 224-3643
Ohio: Rob Portman –  (202) 224-3353
Nevada: Dean Heller –  (202) 224-6244

5. “Facebook is taking steps to eliminate fake news and hoaxes that some critics have suggested might have influenced the 2016 presidential election, CEO Mark Zuckerberg says”

What’s happening:
This may seem trivial with everything else that’s going on, but fake news is having real consequences. Google’s top result for “final election results” goes to a fake news site with manufactured numbers saying Trump won. A false story of Pope Francis endorsing Donald Trump was seen by 1.2 million people. This is important, and Mark Zuckerberg needs to be challenged when he says that “the idea fake news on Facebook… influenced the election in any way is a pretty crazy idea.” Social media outlets cannot have it both ways: they can’t say they influence buying decisions and democratic uprisings, while also saying that they can’t affect elections here at home by serving as a platform for misleading content.

What you can do #5:  (Approx 3 minutes)
Respond to Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook post addressing the controversy:

Let Facebook’s feedback team know directly how urgent of a task this is:

Sign a Petition: Tell President Obama to Permanently Stop Arctic and Atlantic Drilling

Send a message to President Obama via NextGen Climate.

From their website:

Millions of Americans are wondering what they can do right now to fight climate change and push back on a Trump presidency.

Here’s our first call to action: Tell President Obama to permanently protect the Arctic and Atlantic from hazardous offshore oil and gas drilling.

Offshore drilling is a serious threat to our climate, marine wildlife, and our coastal communities. The risks are just too high — we must keep these fossil fuels in the ground for good.

In March, President Obama only temporarily protected the Atlantic and parts of the Arctic from dangerous oil and gas drilling. Trump can easily undo this temporary measure.

Ask President Obama to give these areas the permanent protection they deserve. 

Send your own message here. See organizations, including NextGen Climate, that could use donations and volunteer time here.

Reject the Russell Amendment

From the ACLU:

Some members of Congress are trying to use tax dollars to fund discrimination. They’re hijacking the National Defense Authorization Act to push sweeping discrimination that targets women, LGBT people, and religious minorities in the workplace.

This amendment would jeopardize existing non-discrimination policies that protect 28 million workers – one-fifth of the country’s workforce.

The Russell Amendment would allow religiously-affiliated organizations that receive federal grants and contracts – like hospitals and universities – to discriminate against a broad swath of our society. You could be fired for marrying your same-sex partner – or denied benefits afforded to other married couples. You could be fired for being a single woman and taking birth control. You could be fired for being transgender. Or you could be refused a job interview if you don’t practice the “right religion.”

The Russell Amendment was added to the NDAA late at night with no debate. They thought we wouldn’t notice, but they were wrong. We’re taking action to stop it in its tracks, working together with Planned Parenthood, NARAL, Lambda Legal, CREDO, and more.

You can add your signature here. This would also be a great thing to Contact Your Elected Officials over! Let them know that you don’t stand for legal discrimination.

Contest the Appointment of Racist & Anti-Semite Stephen Bannon as Chief Strategist

Stephen Bannon, from Breitbart, is a racist, anti-semite, misogynist… the list goes on. His appointment is a clear indicator of how the Trump administration really feels about the rights and human dignity of million of Americans – at the minimum apathetic, and probably actively hostile. I’m already seeing people saying that Bannon’s words have been rhetoric at his journalism job. Great if true, but I’m planning on taking him at his vile word until proven otherwise.

So how to push back? I’ve seen the following list floating around Facebook:

Here’s a concrete action a friend of a friend proposed: Friends, let’s seek a tactical victory this week. Let’s try to stop the Bannon appointment. Presidents have had to back down before, for comparatively minor reasons. (Some of us are old enough to remember Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood, Bill Clinton’s two AG appointments, who had to withdraw for failing to pay Social Security taxes.) Let’s not assume this is a done deal.
Let’s do what we can to stop this. I have enclosed a list of actions below. Please feel free to add to this, especially those of you with organizing experience (some of whom I’ve tagged).

1) If you live in the US, call your Representatives and Senators and tell them this is unacceptable.
2) Paul Ryan is feigning ignorance again. Call his office at (202) 225-3031 and let him know that this is not ok. Same with Majority Leader McConnell, (202) 224-2541.
3) Call out the media when they report the Bannon appointment as a straight news story or refer to him as a “Breitbart executive” or a “provocateur,” but don’t call him what he is: a white supremacist, anti-semite, misogynist. Don’t let them normalize.
4) Where protests are ongoing, make this the focus, with signs, chants, etc. Next week we can turn out attention to other things. But for now let’s focus like a laser on this.
5) Let’s get religious groups on board; maybe even mainstream business groups, like the Chamber of Commerce (202-659-6000).
6) Contact other people of influence–College presidents, high-profile coaches and anyone else who has a public megaphone.
We can do this. #stopbannon

An additional step proposed by one of my Facebook friends was to sign this petition by Southern Poverty Law Center. Calling reps and other Senate/House leaders is more effective, but every little bit can help.

Sign a Petition: Tell Donald Trump to Renounce Hate and Bigotry

From the petition, by Southern Poverty Law Center:

During your campaign, you denigrated people because of their race, their religion, their ethnicity, their gender, their disability, and more.

You circulated racist and anti-Semitic tweets, and refused to immediately disavow the endorsement of a known neo-Nazi .

Now, haters of all stripes – from white nationalists  to anti-Muslim,  and anti-LGBT  extremists – are celebrating your victory.

You must distance yourself from them.

You have pledged to be a president for “all Americans” and to “bind the wounds of division” in our country.

If you mean what you say, you must do two things.

  • First, you must publicly disavow all forms of bigotry.

  • Second, you must assure the country that no one associated with a hate group or any form of extremism will have a position, a voice or influence in your administration.

 Honor your pledge. The American people deserve no less from their president.

Sign the petition here.

Sign a Petition: Do Not Allow Myron Ebell to Lead the EPA Transition

From the petition:

Donald Trump has chosen a leading climate skeptic to head the EPA transition. Do not let a man who denies science in the name of profit lead the nation in environmental protection.

Sign the petition here, and don’t forget to verify your signature in the email that you will be sent after signing.