National Day of Service for 9/11, resist the criminalization of protests, break a GOP trifecta, and more ways to help
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- NATIONAL DAY OF SERVICE TO REMEMBER 9/11
The September 11th attacks on our country continue to reverberate in so many lives, from the families of victims whose remains are still being identified to the first responders burdened by physical and mental health trouble as a result of their bravery. For those of us who wish to participate in the National Day of Service remembering this tragedy, we can find opportunities and ways to help here.
- GEORGIA IS CRIMINALIZING PROTEST TO STOP COP CITY
Law enforcement has stopped at nothing in their effort to crack down on the #StopCopCity movement, and this week saw another escalation: having already pressed domestic terrorism and financial crimes charges against protesters and organizers, Georgia’s Republican Attorney General Chris Carr has indicted 61 activists on racketeering charges – treating the political effort to stop the police training facility as a criminal enterprise. This case, part of an ominous trend of the abuse of the law to crush protest movements and activity clearly protected by the First Amendment, should have the attention of any politically engaged person in the country. Acts cited as part of a criminal conspiracy include handing out flyers, taking part in mutual aid and working at a jail solidarity fund, and it sets a precedent for prosecuting abortion fund donors. One constitutional law expert said “it seems like an indictment of an ideological disposition as much as identifiable criminal acts.” We can a) contact Attorney General Carr to demand he drop these charges, along with all other efforts to imprison the protesters; b) donate for bail to the Atlanta Solidarity Fund, to the Southern Center for Human Rights who are coordinating legal defense for the protesters, or directly to support funds for arrestees; c) reach out to the Justice Department and tell them we agree with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s call for an investigation into the criminalization of these protests; or d) volunteer to phonebank with the effort to Stop Cop City at the ballot box.
- BREAK THE GOP TRIFECTA IN NEW HAMPSHIREIn New Hampshire, “the Republican Party controls the offices of governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and both chambers of the state legislature.” But control of the NH House is by the slimmest of margins: 197 Democrats to 199 Republicans. An upcoming special election could cause a tie in the NH House and break the unchecked power of the state’s GOP. The special election takes place September 19, 2023, with Democrat Hal Rafter facing off against Republican James Guzofski. We can learn more about the candidates and what’s at stake here. And we can phonebank to help elect Hal Rafter by signing up here.
- SHUT DOWN BAKER COUNTY DETENTION FACILITY
In July of 2022, 16 organizations filed a federal complaint against Florida’s Baker County Detention Center, citing inhumane conditions, medical neglect, targeting and retaliation, assault, and more. A year later, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has still not terminated its contract with Baker County Sheriff’s Office (who owns the facility), and several more complaints have been filed. Let’s contact ICE’s Miami Field Office Director Garrett Ripa and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and ask them to terminate ICE’s contract with the Baker County Sheriff’s Office, and to shut down the Baker County Detention Center: Field Office Director Ripa email: Garrett.firstname.lastname@example.org, Secretary Mayorkas mailing address: Hon. Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2707 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20500. We can also send a form email to ICE officials via the ACLU.
- 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE COUP IN CHILE
With the 50th anniversary of the coup that overthrew Salvador Allende in Chile upon us, there’s renewed attention on America’s efforts to undermine the Allende government and its cooperation with the dictator Augusto Pinochet in its aftermath. Chilean President Gabriel Boric’s government has formally asked President Biden to release documents detailing Oval Office conversations on Chile in 1973 and 1974, and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has pushed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would declassify all CIA and State and Defense Department documents related to the coup. Let’s add our voices to the call by asking the White House to grant Chile’s request and urging our members of Congress to join the legislative effort to require transparency.
- MA — PROTECT STATE-OWNED FORESTSThe UN Convention on Biological Diversity seeks the permanent protection of 30% of the world’s land and water by 2030. Two bills in the Massachusetts legislature aim to advance these goals, according to Save Massachusetts Forests. HD.4430 would permanently protect 412,000 acres of land administered by the Department of Conservation and Recreation. H.904 would permanently protect 51,000 acres—30% of the land administered by the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife—by 2030. In this time of climate crisis and biodiversity collapse, let’s tell our Massachusetts legislators to co-sponsor these bills and see them to passage. h/t LexCAN
AND FINALLY, SOME GOOD NEWS
- LAST WEEK’S WINS
We’re in this battle for the long haul, so it’s important to acknowledge the victories we’re earning along the way. Here’s a summary of some of the best news from the last week from our friend and ally Jessica Craven at Chop Wood, Carry Water, including victories against racial gerrymandering in Florida and Alabama, another co-sponsor for the assault weapons ban in the Senate, and the Biden Administration canceling oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
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