Suggestions/additions welcome. Don’t see your issue, event or organization? Send it to me.

#MarchForScience: “We have a unique chance to participate in scientific data collection! On Monday, August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will cross the continental United States, from coast to coast. The California Academy of Science invites citizen scientists like us to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to record eclipse-related animal behavior with the iNaturalist app. https://www.calacademy.org/citizen-science/solar-eclipse-2017  At iNaturalist, we can see that our data can contribute to science: “Every observation can contribute to biodiversity science, from the rarest butterfly to the most common backyard weed. We share your findings with scientific data repositories like the Global Biodiversity Information Facility to help scientists find and use your data. All you have to do is observe.”  Let’s take this unique opportunity to contribute and invite children in our lives to participate too.” http://roganslist.blogspot.com/

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • Wednesday Aug 23rd at 6 – 8 pm Castleton Indivisible meeting in Castleton Community Center, red barn, at top of the stairs

 

  • Saturday Aug 26th 10am-noon – TD Bank Rutland protests continue (we’re on the corner, at the apex of the streets – if you’re looking directly at the stand-alone booth or at the side of the building you may not see us) https://www.facebook.com/events/782080125284082/

 

  • Sunday Aug 27th at 1:30 pm Universal healthcare Rutland Vermont Workers Center coordinating meeting at UU Church 117 West St, Rutland (go around back and turn left at the top of the stairs)

 

  • Thursday Aug 31st at 6 pm Universal Healthcare Dinner – Vermont Workers Center is hosting a free dinner & discussion about local efforts for universal healthcare in Vermont – UU Church, 117 West St, Rutland (go around back and turn left at the top of the stairs) RSVP: kate@workerscenter.org or 802-825-8399

 

 

  • Tuesday Sept 5 at 6:30 pm Free screening: Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks in Jeffords Auditorium, Jeffords Center, 233 South Street, Castleton University, Castleton, VT 05735 – “Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Henrietta’s cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can’t afford health insurance. This film, based on the phenomenal New York Times bestseller, tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.”

 

 

  • Thursday Sept 7 at 6pm Rights and Democracy Meeting at Leahy Center at Rutland Regional Hospital room CR B – RAD in a Box (w/ new folks)/Runaway inequality training

 

SUCCESSES/GOOD NEWS 

 

NEW ITEMS REQUIRING ACTION in no particular order – there are a lot, but that’s because I know that people are interested in different things. Pick the issue that you’re most concerned about, and take action. (Commonly used contacts can be found here: https://mindsworth.blog/2017/07/14/vermont-important-contacts/)

1 Confederate flags were being sold at the Vermont State Fair in Rutland a few days ago.

  • Action: Call Northeast Concessions at 802-259-3491 Script: Hate is not welcome in Vermont. Please stop providing a venue for selling the Confederate flag. Thank you. (h/t Rutland NAACP leader Tabitha Pohl-Moore and RAD leader Elise Greaves)

 

2 Jeffrey Bartley, the Executive Director of the Vermont GOP, retweeted an article with the headline “Vermont Republicans condemn violence on the right and the left.” https://mobile.twitter.com/VTHouseDems/status/898586432859668481 This equivocation between Nazis and anti-Nazi protesters is the very statement that inspired so much of the outrage at 45 last week (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40948812). I believe Bartley deleted the tweet; however, his tweet inspired the following dialogue:

@VTHouseDems ON BOTH SIDES

@ GovPhilScott I’ve been clear. There is NO circumstance to equate the hate speech of Nazis & white supremacists w/ the protests of those who confront them

@VTHouseDems That’s @VTGOP executive director @JeffreyBartley parroting Angry Donny’s “both sides” line in his now deleted tweet

@JeffreyBartley You might want to read the statement I give. Stop trying to turn very serious situation into political gamesmanship… It’s a share from a story that I was quoted in. Headline isn’t accurate. But my statement was. Ever click the share button?

@VTHouseDems Ya but we generally check what auto fills the tweet to make sure it’s a statement we agree with. So you’re arguing incompetence, yes?

@JeffreyBartley Standing up and speaking out against white supremacy isn’t incompetency. You started the barrage without reading the my statement.

Governor Phil Scott has issued a statement condemning fascism and racism: https://www.facebook.com/GovPhilScott/videos/1497356010343528/. He indicated that 45’s response to Charlottesville was “unacceptable.” http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/politics/2017/08/17/governor-phil-scott-trump-response-charlottesville-unacceptable/575923001/?hootPostID=b96d61e75e4f00f6f938f192824e5914

 

3 Representative Peter Welch has joined the House effort to censure his “both sides” comments about Charlottesville https://mobile.twitter.com/RepJerryNadler/status/898609860719165440. and https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/08/house-democrats-mount-an-effort-to-censure-donald-trump/537180/. (Article about why this comment was so offensive: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40948812). House Congressional Resolution 77 has also been proposed to condemn fear-mongering, racism, anti-Semitism, bigotry, and violence perpetrated by hate groups. https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-concurrent-resolution/77/cosponsors?r=1

  • Action: Contact Congressman Peter Welch 802-652-2450 or https://welch.house.gov/contact/email to thank him for joining the congressional resolution to censure 45 for his comments about Charlottesville and to ask him to support C.Res.77 to condemn hate groups.

 

4 Bannon is out of the White House. But “Donald Trump has at least 2 current White House advisors who support white supremacist ideologies: Sebastian Gorka and Steven Miller. Both men have a history of either promoting their own racist views or amplifying the views of other extremists. The White House needs to cut ties to these two divisive figures to show the nation and the world that the President does not endorse racism, white supremacy, the KKK or Nazism. It is now time for Congress to call for their resignation so we can begin to heal from the damage that has been done.” https://5calls.org/issue/recBJObrOidVQMIoY

 

5 “Before the appalling white supremacist rallies in Virginia, and the subsequent defense of them by Trump, the Trump Administration has been quietly moving to enable their rise. The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Community Partnerships supports an ongoing Countering Violent Extremism program (CVE) with millions of dollars in funding every year. The program is designed to battle all forms of domestic extremism, including white supremacist organizations like the KKK. But in February, the administration discussed the possibility of changing the name and mission of the program to reflect an exclusive focus on radical Islamic sources, and eliminate any targeting of white nationalism. More strikingly in June, Trump’s DHS canceled a grant approved by the Obama Administration to Life After Hate, an organization that educates communities on the dangers of white nationalism and helps to de-radicalize individuals seeking to leave white supremacist groups. In previous years, CVE allocated $10 million in program grants, including $400,000 to Life After Hate, the only grant-seeking group dedicated to combating white supremacy. While DHS has not commented on why Life After Hate did not receive a grant, there are reports that Katharine Gorka, Trump aide and wife of controversial Trump advisor Sebastian Gorka, met with the head of the CVE and encouraged the decision to veer focus away from white supremacy. The overall number of hate groups has skyrocketed in 2017, and the prevalence of white supremacy in this country was made clear by the rally in Virginia. It is vital that the CVE is sufficiently funded and focused on combatting the real threats of white supremacy and domestic terror.” https://5calls.org/issue/recd5zbnXwcRrcK0P

  • Action: Call Department of Homeland Security 202-282-8495 Script: Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a citizen from ____. I’m calling to express my grave concern that the Countering Violent Extremism program canceled a grant to Life After Hate, and may redirect focus away from the threat of white supremacy. As we saw in Virginia, the threat of white supremacy and domestic terrorism is real and rising in this country, and I ask that the department maintain a robust focus on countering this threat. Thank you for your time and attention.

 

6 “The real threat of domestic terrorism by white nationalists was known prior to the horrifying “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA. The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) briefed Trump earlier this year about the risk of attacks by ultra-conservative groups and stated that they “likely will continue to pose a threat of lethal violence over the next year.” Democrats on the House Committee on Homeland Security twice requested hearings on the growing threat of domestic terrorism in 2017. It wasn’t until after Trump’s unhinged press conference, defending the white supremacists at the Charlottesville rally, that Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) announced that the FBI, DHS, and the National Counterterrorism Center will attend a House Homeland Security committee hearing on Sept. 12. Similar requests for hearings have been made to the House Judiciary Committee and the Senate, but none have been scheduled. While Republicans have been quick to issue statements of condemnation for violence and extremism there has been little accompanying action; this is unacceptable. According to the FBI, white supremacists are to blame for the majority of domestic extremism. According to researchers at California State University, hate crimes are on the rise. Furthermore, there have been reports that the Trump administration has de-emphasized resources for combating domestic terrorist threats, and it appears that the Charlottesville rally will be the first of a series of events held by white supremacists to draw attention to their views. Holding congressional hearings on the ongoing and rising threat of white supremacy and domestic terrorism is a critical first step towards giving this threat the attention and response it requires.” https://5calls.org/issue/recofOaliXg94WMWB

  • Action: Call Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee 202-224-4751 Script: Hello, my name is [NAME] and I’m a citizen from ___. I’m calling to ask that the committee hold hearings on the growing threat of white supremacy and domestic terrorism. As the horrifying events in Charlottesville underline, failure to address this issue puts the safety and security of Americans at risk. Hearings must be held to thoroughly examine and stop this very real threat. Thank you so much for your work answering calls.

 

7 Sam Clovis, a racist, non-scientist, climate change denier, has been nominated to lead the USDA. http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/30/usda-sam-clovis-influence-trump-241114 and https://twitter.com/brianschatz/status/897198904277573632

  • Action: Contact
    • Senator Sanders Local office 802-862-0697 https://www.sanders.senate.gov/contact/comment
    • Senator Leahy: Local office 802-863-2525 https://www.leahy.senate.gov/contact/
    • Script: I’m one of the Senator’s constituents in Vermont and I’m calling to ask him to vote against Sam Clovis to lead the USDA. He is a racist, a non-scientist and a climate change denier. He has no place in our administration. Thank you.

 

The following three items are taken verbatim from http://jenniferhofmann.com/home/weekly-action-checklist-democrats-independents-republicans-conscience/

8 Action: Support S. 1425, the Coordinated Ocean Monitoring and Research Act, to reauthorize the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System.  (The ICOOS Act of 2009 created a national system for integrating data from all ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes areas, monitoring things like temperature and ocean acidification.) (hat tip) Call: Your two U.S. senators (lookup or leave message) — ASAP — this bill can be scheduled for a vote any time! Script: Hi, I’m [name] from [ZIP].  I’m calling today to ask [senator] to support S. 1425, the Coordinated Ocean Monitoring and Research Act. The ocean observation system established by the 2009 bill is an extremely valuable resource, and I want to see its work continue.  As S. 1425 has passed committee and moved to the floor, do you know how [senator] intends to vote?

9 Thank State Senator Don Harmon for introducing legislation that would identify neo-Nazi groups as terrorist organizations in Illinois. I am inspired by your leadership and will advocate that my state adopt the same! Thank you. Address: 329 Capitol Building, Springfield, IL 62706

10 Thank U.S. Representative Luis Gutierrez for his willingness to put himself on the line for immigrants and his continued leadership in fighting for the rights of our undocumented friends and neighbors. We would be better off if more members of Congress had his dedication to our values! Address: 2408 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515.

The following items are taken verbatim or nearly verbatim from http://roganslist.blogspot.com/

11 Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin responded to a letter from 350 members of his graduating class at Yale calling on him to resign with a statement about why he will not resign: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/mnuchin-rebuffs-calls-yale-classmates-resign-defends-trump/story?id=49316136 Let’s let Secretary Mnuchin know that we strongly disagree with his characterization of Trump as someone who opposes the white supremacist hate groups (his third point in his statement): https://www.treasury.gov/connect/Pages/contact-us.aspx

12 Sinclair Broadcasting’s proposed acquisition of Tribune Media would concentrate a large majority of local news stations, 72 percent nationwide, under a single company with a blatant conservative bias and a history of open favoritism towards Trump and Islamophobia. The FCC wants to bring back an exemption that allows media companies like Sinclair to exceed restrictions on the number of broadcast stations they own (http://thehill.com/policy/technology/346478-house-dems-press-fcc-for-answers-on-sinclair). Let’s join Rise Stronger and tell the FCC we oppose Sinclair’s acquisition of Tribune Media, which we can do at this link by hitting the +New Filing option in the grey box on the top left side of the screen: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/search/filings?proceedings_name=17-179&sort=date_disseminated,DESC

13 Mayor Marty Walsh was also vocal and welcoming of the counter-protestors. Let’s thank Commissioner Evans and Mayor Walsh for safely navigating a challenging situation that drew the attention of the President:https://www.boston.gov/departments/mayors-office  and https://www.boston.gov/departments/police

14 On Tuesday, August 22nd, Teaching Tolerance, the American Federation of Teachers, the Anti-Defamation League, and Facing History, will be hosting a webinar, “When Hate is in the Headlines: Resources for K-12 Educators.” The webinar will discuss “the so-called alt-right, the history of hate and white supremacy, how to talk about race and religion, memorials and monuments, the First and Second amendments, and the emotional impact on our students. “We can sign up for the webinar, then check out the included resources http://bit.ly/2v3Wc57 Those of us who are educators can also receive one hour of professional development credit for attending the webinar, as well as completing the poll questions and survey (please see registration page for details).

15 MomsRising is asking that we sign onto their form letter addressed to Judge John B. Stevens, who oversees the case of Kandace Washington. Kandace, who has not yet been convicted of a crime, is 7.5 months along in a high-risk pregnancy. She is currently being held at the Jefferson County Correctional Facility and was just denied a release on bail or personal recognizance bond. Let’s contact Judge Stevens and ask that he release Kandace Washington on bond, so that she may be able to receive the prenatal care that she and her baby need. We can read more about the situation and sign the letter here: http://action.momsrising.org/sign/Kandace-Washington_TX

16 One effective way to speak out against, or in support of, legislation, is by writing a letter to the editor of our local newspaper. MomsRising has simplified the process on their website, where we fill in our information, write our letter, then they’ll send it to our community newspaper. Right now, they are asking that we concentrate our efforts on supporting DREAMers, and speaking out in favor of the DREAM Act of 2017. We can read more about the DREAM Act https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s1615 then send a letter through the MomsRising site http://action.momsrising.org/lte/LTE_DREAMER/

17 “In the wake of Charlottesville, The Daily Constitutional is compiling information on upcoming white supremacist rallies. In order to respect the First Amendment while still discouraging white supremacy, The Daily Constitutional will be transforming their hateful rallies/marches into fundraisers for anti-racist causes.”  Let’s learn more and help identify rallies: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdFzNePXp-dvVdv1RnANgLixbvDckL_MKrHZjuVc9caKIvIXw/viewform?edit_requested=true

18 From Action Together Long Island:  Howard Lorber, Chairman of Douglas Elliman, was appointed by Donald Trump to serve as Chairman to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum earlier this year. Lorber, a Jewish American, business leader has yet to speak out against Trumps disdainful rhetoric equating Nazi and White Supremacist groups with opposition groups who came to counter protest in Charlottesville VA – an event which lead to the terrorist style killing of Heather Heyer and the injury of dozens of others. Let’s see how we can encourage him to speak out:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0k1qCMVpKZpY0ZUMlVmLXlrd3M/view

19 Oddly enough, while Trump’s business and arts councils have resigned and disbanded themselves over the inability to reconcile their beliefs with Trump’s following his reaction(s) to the Charlottesville tragedy, only one member of his evangelical council has resigned.  http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/347179-member-of-trumps-evangelical-advisory-board-resigns-over-conflict-in Could it be true that the others do not see a conflict in values as this one pastor does?  Let’s check in with them to see where they stand on this overt racism and ask them to resign.  Contact info here:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1i4tAyW44TECIgzUs5tqH0vZHTK4ll3r5snNFRFYff9g/htmlview

20 Let’s mitigate climate change by stopping tree-wasting junk mail from filling up our postal mailboxes. Catalog Choice is a free service that helps us opt-out of junk mail, including merchant catalogs, for good. Since their founding eight years ago, Catalog Choice claims that their users have help to save 511,597 mature trees, more than 1 billion pounds of greenhouse gases, 407,235,154 pounds of solid waste, and more than 3.5 billion gallons of water. Let’s participate by visiting their website and following the instructions. https://www.catalogchoice.org/

21 We can weaken hate groups by shutting down the money that flows to them. “ProPublica surveyed the most visited websites of groups designated as extremist by either the Southern Poverty Law Center or the Anti-Defamation League. We found that more than half of them—39 out of 69—made money from ads, donations or other revenue streams facilitated by technology companies. At least 10 technology companies played a role directly or indirectly in supporting these sites.” https://www.propublica.org/article/leading-tech-companies-help-extremist-sites-monetize-hate Some of these tech companies have anti-hate policies, but they don’t do a good job of monitoring and enforcing those policies. Let’s let the CEOs of the following companies know that we’re watching them, and that we expect them to sever their financial partnerships with hate groups and to do a better job of blocking such partnerships in the future:  1)  Daniel Schulman, CEO, PayPal, 2211 North First St., San Jose, CA 95131, 2) Christopher Ruddy, CEO, NewsMax Media, Inc., 560 Village Blvd., Ste. 120, West Palm Beach, FL 33409, and 3) Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon, 1200 12th Avenue South, Suite 1200, Seattle, WA 98144

22 Over 2500 companies have pulled their advertising from Breitbart  http://bit.ly/2hbUgkX Let’s keep up the effort and join Sleeping Giants in taking away ad dollars from the white supremacist news site. Per Sleeping Giants: “1. Go to Breitbart and take a screenshot of an ad next to some of their content. 2. Tweet the screenshot to the company with a polite, non-offensive note to notify them of the placement. 3. Tag @slpng_giants so we can keep track of the progress.” We can also follow Sleeping Giants on Twitter (@slpng_giants) and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/slpnggiants/

23 As Trump continues to defend the “beauty” of memorials to white supremacy, activists across the country are working to get them taken down (http://www.npr.org/2017/08/17/544137751/trump-defends-beauty-of-confederate-memorials). The Southern Poverty Law Center has put together a report on the monuments, schools, holidays and other public spaces across the United States dedicated to the Confederacy, including a list of more than 1,500 of them. We can read this report here, and use this tool from Quartz to find which is closest to us – and then start organizing.

24 “In a group letter first reported by NPR, a small group of alumni is criticizing Falwell for supporting the president in the wake of Trump’s remarks blaming “many sides” for violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend. The letter slams Falwell for defending Trump’s comments, specifically for his saying there were “very fine people” protesting on both sides…. This is incompatible with Liberty University’s stated values, and incompatible with a Christian witness,” the letter says.  One former student government president told NPR that Falwell was “complicit” in Trump’s support for “Nazis and white supremacists.” We can join them by letting Falwell know there is only one side to this issue and the white supremacists are not the right side.  http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/347258-evangelical-students-returning-university-diplomas-to-protest-trump?amp  Contact @JerrryFalwellJr. or Jerry Falwell, Liberty University, 1971 University Blvd, Lynchburg, Va. 24515

25 The Director of the United States Census Bureau position has still not been filled since former director John Thompson resigned back in May http://n.pr/2q5Qpub Meanwhile, funding for the 2020 Census in both the Senate and House 2018 appropriations bills is insufficient http://bit.ly/2vfUPTO This is especially a concern, as the census guides allocation of funds, as well as redistricting efforts (ensuring each vote gets counted and each voter is fairly represented). Let’s call our MoC and emphasize the importance of a fully-funded census in H.R. 3267 and S. 1662. 5Calls has more information, a call script, and phone numbers we can use to specifically address the issue of funding, but let’s make sure we’re also asking that our MoC bring attention to the need for a qualified individual to fill the position for Director of the U.S. Census Bureau https://5calls.org/issue/recDcn4wSNH9gBaBR

26 From RISE Stronger:  The Department of Labor is asking for information on the impact of its 2016 overtime rule, which would increase postdoc salaries, among other benefits. You can read more about the rule here and submit your comments at Regulations.gov  before September 25.

27 From RISE Stronger:  The FCC has extended its deadline for public comments on its move to eliminate net neutrality rules. Learn more here, and submit comments directly here. Comments must be submitted by August 30.

28 “Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) on Thursday defended President Trump’s claim that “both sides” were responsible for the violence that erupted at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend, comparing Confederate memorials to those put up to honor the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. ”  Let’s remind the Gov that the memorials to 9/11 victims commemorates an attack on all Americans and our freedoms.  The confederate memorials commemorate an attack on the United States by its own people trying to preserve slavery and demoralize Black Americans.”   http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/346950-lepage-removing-confederate-statues-is-like-taking-down-9-11  CONTACT:  Office of the Governor,  #1 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0001 or Phone 207-287-3531.  Toll-free: 1-855-721-5203 or TTY: Maine relay 711 (for Deaf and hard of hearing)

29 Chris Long, Philadelphia Eagles defensive end, feels strongly about supporting people fighting for equality.  So, during the national anthem before Thursday’s game against Buffalo, Long put his arm around fellow player Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins who has been raising a fist over his head during the national anthem as a way to protest social injustice for the last year.  “I’ve heard a lot of people say you need white athletes to get involved in the anthem protests,” Long said. “I’ve said before I’ll never kneel for an anthem, because the flag means something different for everybody in this country, but I support my peers. And if you don’t see why you need allies for people that are fighting for equality right now, I don’t think you’ll ever see it.”  https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/eagles-chris-long-on-anthem-embrace-im-here-to-show-support-as-a-white-athlete/  Let’s thank Long and Jenkins:  http://www.philadelphiaeagles.com/footer/contact-us.html

30 Condemnations by congressional leaders against the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville are meaningless unless they are accompanied by actual action. One easy thing they can do is listen to the voices of members of the Congressional Black Caucus and remove statues of Confederate leaders from the statuary hall at the U.S. Capitol (http://thehill.com/homenews/house/346710-black-lawmakers-say-confederate-statues-should-come-out-of-capitol). As Rachael Payton writes, “thousands of white supremacists gather across the country and commit violent acts of terror and intimidation in the name of these Confederate symbols… While Trump has inflamed these white supremacists, the statues honoring Confederates in the halls of the United States Congress are proof that white nationalism has long needed to be confronted in America.” Let’s call our members of Congress and demand that they be removed. (We can also sign Rachael Payton’s petition to Congress with the same ask here:https://campaigns.organizefor.org/petitions/take-em-all-down-no-confederate-statues-in-the-us-capitol?akid=7787.1993486.W9qkQn&bucket=COC&rd=1&source=mailing&t=7.)

31 Many of our Members of Congress who are standing up against the hate displayed in Charlottesville are taking heat on their Facebook pages.  Let’s make sure we “like” our legislators FB pages and speak up (peaceably) against the far-right negative comments.

32 EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt is avoiding oversight, avoiding environmentalists, avoiding agency staff, and avoiding mainstream media. He is taking steps to corrupt agency science and science communication and loosen regulatory burdens on fossil fuels, in close consultation with industry groups and right-wing media, with as little public scrutiny as possible. https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/8/14/16142150/scott-pruitt-epa-secrecy-republican  Let’s share this information with friends and family who may not be aware of the creeping changing to the EPA and the health and wellness of our communities.  We need to push back on Pruitt (Scott Pruitt, EPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC 20460) and also let our Members of Congress know that we do not approve of loosening regulations that were put in place to protect the American people.

33 The Department of Health and Human Services has cut funding for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP), shortening grants from five years to three years long http://bit.ly/2vpUCNE This is especially concerning, as it marks a possible shift in focus under the management of Valerie Huber; a supporter of abstinence-only education. Let’s contact HHS Secretary Tom Price, and ask that he reinstate full funding for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program: 202-690-7000Secretary@HHS.gov U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20201.  We can also contact our Members of Congress and ask that they include funding for the TPPP in the 2018 appropriations bill.

34 Every child deserves a family, and bigotry should not prevent a potential loving parent from giving them a good home. Members of Congress led by civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis have proposed legislation to prevent discrimination against LGBT Americans who want to foster and adopt children (http://thecolu.mn/26680/franken-mccollum-introduce-bill-bar-discrimination-adoption-foster-care). Let’s call our members of Congress and express our support for S. 1303 and H.R. 2640, the Every Child Deserves A Family Act.

35 Environmental justice is a civil rights issue, one that the EPA has a record of ignoring—and it’s only gotten worse under Trump. https://theintercept.com/2017/08/13/exxon-mobil-is-still-pumping-toxins-into-black-community-in-texas-17-years-after-civil-rights-complaint/ Predominantly minority or low-income communities suffer terrible health consequences because of the unequal application of environmental protection laws and regulations. Let’s contact our Members of Congress and ask them make environmental justice a priority of legislation and oversight, and let’s demand that EPA administrator Scott Pruitt ensure environmental justice for all communities in the US. 202-564-4700

36 Go to Shaun King’s new Woke Folks Facebook page and follow it. He’s doing important racial justice work and needs our help. For today let’s do an action he’s recommended for one of the activists savagely attacked by white supremacists this weekend:  Contact the Attorney General of Virginia, Mark Herring.  Demand that he prosecute the five white supremacists who brutally attacked Deandre Harris. PHONE: (804) 786-2071  email: mailoag@oag.state.va.us  & mkelly@oag.state.va.us (Michael Kelly, Director of Communications)

37 With so many students heading off to college soon, the events of the past weekend are undoubtedly on their minds and their parents’, too.  Let’s pass along this advice to students and their families:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0k1qCMVpKZpRzFwT0N1QVJhNW8

38 Trump has threatened to pull the insurance subsidy several times. “Insurance premiums for Obamacare plans would rise 20 percent next year and people in small pockets of the country wouldn’t have any insurance options if President Donald Trump scraps a key insurance subsidy, according to a new analysis from the CBO.  The nonpartisan CBO also found eliminating the payments would increase the deficit by $194 billion over a decade because of higher spending on premium subsidies.”  http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/15/cutting-obamacare-payments-would-boost-insurance-premiums-241655?cmpid=sf Let’s call our representatives to ask them to tell trump to continue the subsidy to save health insurance options for Americans. Let’s tell trump the same thing.

39 “The Trump administration appears poised to roll back ObamaCare’s anti-discrimination protections for transgender patients, a move that has activist groups girding for a fight.”  http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/346246-trump-expected-to-roll-back-lgbt-protections-in-obamacare  Let’s let the White House and our legislators know that we want equal protection for all our brothers and sisters.

40 The language that the media uses to create the narrative surrounding the events of Charlottesville has been watered down; using terms such as “white nationalism,” “alt-right” or “right wing,” rather than “white supremacy.” The distinction is important, as some may see “alt-right” merely as an alternative political movement, instead of extremist, hateful ideology. As writer Lindy West pointed out, “Words have power. Weak, noncommittal language allows readers and listeners to hide from reality, weasel out of accountability, interpret facts in whatever way flatters them most. Stark truths demand either action or an admission of complicity.” http://bit.ly/2gz166P Let’s be sure that we’re calling out our local news sources on the language that they use.

41 “…the Department of Justice and the FBI have opened a joint federal civil rights hate crime investigation. They will not only look at suspect James Alex Fields Jr. who is blamed for killing Heather Heyer, 32, and injuring numerous others, but also anyone else who may have been involved in planning the attack.” http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2017/08/13/feds-launch-civil-rights-investigation-into-charlottesville-violence/.  This will be a real test for Sessions and the DOJ as Sessions has been accused for years of being racist himself.  Let’s contact Sessions and tell him we are watching him and expect him to be objective:  https://www.justice.gov/contact-us

42 American citizens are being forced to hand over their phone and laptop passwords to security officials when they try to enter the United States (https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/04/the-steady-rise-of-digital-border-searches/522723/). We need to say enough is enough. A bipartisan group of members of Congress has proposed the Protect Data at the Border Act (S.823/H.R.1899) to prohibit these practices and ensure our digital devices are legally protected from unlawful search. Let’s see if our senators and representatives are on board, and if not contact them to ask them to support this bill.  – Note: Welch, Sanders and Leahy are NOT co-sponsoring, so we need to ask them to support it.

43 National Security Advisor, H.R. McMaster, said on Sunday that the Charlottesvills crash was terrorism.  http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/346394-mcmaster-calls-charlottesville-attack-terror  Let’s thank him for speaking up and calling it what it was.  Contact McMaster via the White House:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

44 If you’re deported to Mexico, the US takes your personal belongings, and under an agreement with Mexico, is supposed to return them to you once you’ve crossed the border. But each year, around 120,000 people are deported to Mexico without having their cash, IDs, and cell phones returned to them. Without these items, these people are at greater risk of harassment, extortion, kidnapping, and sexual assault. https://www.themarshallproject.org/2017/08/08/when-the-u-s-deports-you-and-keeps-all-your-stuff#.2ys7vItOR Let’s contact our Members of Congress and ask them what they are doing to ensure that the US meets its obligations under its agreement with Mexico, and let’s tell Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke that the failure of the US to protect these people is unacceptable and we expect them to receive the personal belongings that are rightfully theirs. https://www.dhs.gov/contact-us

45 Let’s thank Airbnb for canceling the accounts of neo-Nazis who tried to use their site to book housing reservations/organize for yesterday’s protest in Charlottesville, VA. http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2017/08/airbnb_s_ban_of_nazis_in_charlottesville_sets_an_important_standard_for.html. Let’s also call on other tech companies to follow their example! We can start by following/supporting Sleeping Giants on Twitter or Facebook (@slpnggiants), an organization that has been doing good work “trying to stop racist and sexist ad media by stopping its ad dollars.”

46 Team Internet, a group of volunteers from Battle for the Net (https://www.battleforthenet.com/teaminternet/ ) is looking for more volunteers to call and check in on net neutrality activists, to offer support and follow up on local events. We can sign up to become a Team Internet Call Team member and join the effort to maintain Title II Net Neutrality https://act.demandprogress.org/sign/sign-up-call-team-internet/

47 Sinclair Broadcasting will reach 72% of American households after their expansion with the Tribune Media with a little help from the FCC. Sinclair is known for providing right-leaning must-play stories to local news stations.  http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/06/trump-fcc-sinclair-broadcast-expansion-241337  Sinclair hopes to use this propaganda to move views to the right. We cannot stop their broadcasts from happening. We CAN become aware of which of news stations will be affected. Our power comes from changing the channel. Yes, we know we like the local newscasters and their familiarity. This is a price we must pay in these times. Let’s make new TV friends.  PBS is always a good option.  We can also target advertisers for specific Sinclair programming.  Let’s check the Sinclair site to find out which of our local stations has been compromised prior to the expansion: http://sbgi.net/tv-stations/.  and here are the Tribune Media brands they will be adding: http://www.tribunemedia.com/our-brands/

48 Republicans may be plotting to up their numbers in the Senate by appointing Manchin, a democrat to Energy Secretary so they can get another republican in the senate. “If Manchin were to take over at the Energy Department, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, a former Democrat who earlier this month switched to the GOP, would be able to appoint a Republican to replace Manchin in the Senate. Such a move would expand the GOP’s majority in the chamber, potentially boosting Republicans’ efforts to repeal and replace ObamaCare http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/346264-manchin-floated-as-potential-pick-for-energy-secretary-report  ” Let’s contact senator Manchin and ask him to stay put and fight for us in the Senate:  https://www.manchin.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact

49 The Trump administration has proposed cutting $7 billion from the Housing and Urban Development budget, including deep cuts to homeless assistance grants and rental assistance that helps millions of low-income families keep a roof over their heads (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/carson-pledges-fight-homelessness-despite-deep-proposed-budget-cuts/). Let’s make sure our members of Congress know where we stand on these cuts. We can use the follow script from our friend and ally Jen Hoffman: “Hi. I oppose cutting $7 billion to the Department of Housing & Urban Development. I believe in an America where we take care of each other. I am happy to see my tax dollar support people who rely on housing programs like Section 8. I’m most upset that these cuts would give tax breaks to America’s richest. I would like [name] to oppose efforts to cut HUD funding and instead support Americans trying to succeed.”

 

PETITIONS/SURVEYS/ETC

The following items were taken verbatim from http://roganslist.blogspot.com/

  • CREDO Action claims that when traditional corporate media outlets call today’s white supremacists “alt-right,” they sanitize and normalize a movement that seeks to reverse decades of civil rights gains and solidify white power and privilege, using violence if necessary. If you agree, here’s a petition:  https://act.credoaction.com/sign/No_More_AltRight
  • “Whether it’s racism, homophobia, misogyny, transphobia, xenophobia, religious intolerance or other bias — we demand to live in a country where we can be safe to be who we are, believe in what we want and love whomever we choose.” Let’s sign Everytown’s petition asking Congress “to disarm hatred and keep guns out of dangerous hands”http://act.everytown.org/sign/disarm-hate-tell-congress-p/
  • In Trump’s speech in May to the Arab Islamic American Summit, he said, “A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and drive out the extremists. Drive them out. Drive them out of your places of worship, drive them out of your communities, drive them out of your Holy Land and drive them out of this Earth.” We agree that this also holds true for terrorists in our own country.  Let’s join in this petition calling on Congress and other agencies to define and criminalize domestic terrorist organizations:  KKK and white supremacists.  https://www.change.org/p/create-criminal-law-for-domestic-terrorism-and-reestablish-funding-to-prevent-violent-extremism
  • Let’s join in the Southern Poverty Law Center’s petition telling Trump to take responsibility for the hate he’s unleashed: https://www.splcenter.org/tell-president-trump-take-responsibility-hate-hes-unleashed

 

GROUPS TO FOLLOW/SUPPORT (List of Vermont-based activism/political groups https://mindsworth.blog/2017/07/14/vermont-activismpolitical-groups/ )

LISTENING

“The Actual Voices Of Black Slaves Recorded From The 1800s” https://www.unitedblackbooks.org/blogs/news/the-actual-voices-of-black-slaves-recorded-now-revealed

WATCHING

Vice News coverage of the white supremacists at Charlottesville has gotten a great deal of praise: http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/television/charlottesville-vice-news-elle-reeve-christopher-cantwell-hbo-20170816.html   h/t http://roganslist.blogspot.com

“ ““Don’t Be A Sucker” is a 17-minute cautionary tale about complacency in the face of hatred and xenophobia. Produced by the U.S. War Department in 1943 and rereleased in an updated form in 1947, it found new relevance with a 21st century audience horrified by the neo-Nazis and white nationalists gathering in central Virginia.””  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/08/14/after-charlottesville-violence-world-war-ii-anti-fascist-propaganda-video-finds-new-relevance/?tid=ss_fb&utm_term=.431df64ffb5a h/t http://roganslist.blogspot.com

READING

Hate groups in Vermont: https://www.sevendaysvt.com/OffMessage/archives/2017/08/14/no-neo-nazi-website-the-daily-stormer-is-not-based-in-burlington

IMPORTANT ARTICLE: “Nice white people” don’t need to carry a tiki torch for racism to benefit from Charlottesville and white supremacy http://www.teenvogue.com/story/complacency-racism-white-supremacy-charlottesville-thigh-high-politics-lauren-duca

An employee at the Burlington Uno’s has been fired for participating in the Nazi rally in Charlottesville. Whatever your opinion, it is important to know what people are saying about this: https://vtdigger.org/2017/08/18/margolis-firing-unos-white-nationalist-pizza-cook-overreach/ and http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/local/vermont/2017/08/16/free-speech-rights-get-complicated-vt-workplace/572766001/?hootPostID=c2514ce37ea89605707e5cf89eca6a14 and https://www.sevendaysvt.com/OffMessage/archives/2017/08/15/hoods-off-burlington-white-nationalist-attended-charlottesville-rally?utm_content=buffer9a876&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer This is a complicated issue – I recognize this as one of the 1.3 million people that the DOJ is suing to identify after visiting a website devoted to protesting the inauguration (http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/346544-dreamhost-claims-doj-requesting-info-on-visitors-to-anti-trump-website note: I protested, but didn’t participate/witness any violence and didn’t block the entrée of any attendees). But the most compelling comment I’ve seen on this is from @beardedstoner: “”If you restrict Nazi speech, you’re next” isn’t a compelling argument to people who, if Nazism is tolerated, will be first.”

While for most of us it isn’t “hard to condemn the white supremacists and Nazis who descended upon Charlottesville. What is more difficult is owning and addressing the implicit bias and prejudices that we all have.

  1. Read this article, and this one to learn about implicit basis and racism.
  2. Watch this video (part of a series on bias) from the NYT to understand how we all have bias, how it is different than racism, and how it might contribute to racism.
  3. Take the Harvard Race Implicit Bias Test.” https://www.wallofus.org/posts/169/look-in-the-mirror-and-face-our-ugly-implicit-bias

For concrete tips on being inclusive: https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resource/how-to-be-inclusive-an-introduction/

“German tips for defeating neo-Nazi demonstrators … by making fun of them.” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/17/opinion/how-to-make-fun-of-nazis.html?smid=tw-nytopinion&smtyp=cur

Article on the erection of Confederate statues and the connection to the Civil Rights movement: “Yes, these monuments were put up to honor Confederate leaders and soldiers. But the timing of the monument building makes it pretty clear what the real motivation was: to physically symbolize white terror against blacks. They were mostly built during times when Southern whites were engaged in vicious campaigns of subjugation against blacks, and during those campaigns the message sent by a statue of Robert E. Lee in front of a courthouse was loud and clear. No one should think that these statues were meant to be somber postbellum reminders of a brutal war. They were built much later, and most of them were explicitly created to accompany organized and violent efforts to subdue blacks and maintain white supremacy in the South.” http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/08/the-real-story-of-all-those-confederate-statues/ Also see http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2017/aug/15/joy-reid/did-confederate-symbols-gain-prominence-civil-righ/

@VTHumanities: “Terrific resources from @VAHumanities about race, immigration, and how we memorialize history:” http://virginiahumanities.org/2017/08/a-commitment-to-inclusion/

Sanctuary legislation in Vermont and our reliance on migrant farm workers: https://www.circa.com/story/2017/08/10/nation/vermont-leaders-passed-sanctuary-policy-to-protect-its-best-kept-secret-migrant-farm-workers

@EricDavisMiddVT: “Trump Admin opposes alternatives to fee-for-service health care; could have big impact in VT.” http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20170816/NEWS/170819919

“11 steps states could take to rein in healthcare costs while building toward single-payer” http://www.salon.com/2017/08/14/the-essentials-11-steps-states-could-take-to-rein-in-healthcare-costs-while-building-toward-single-payer-universal-coverage_partner/

An article on what it will take for Democrats to take the House: http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/democrats-could-win-50-house-seats-here-s-how-n792061?cid=sm_npd_nn_tw_ma

DNC is way behind RNC in fundraising but Democrats are slightly ahead when it comes to fundraising for candidates themselves http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/346680-post-election-chaos-leaves-dnc-far-behind-in-fundraising

“Teacher of high school or college students? Or just a concerned American trying to make sense of the hate on display in Charlottesville this past weekend? The Modern Languages Association (the largest association of literary scholars in the country) suggests some resources for us: 1) “Charlottesville Syllabus: Readings on the History of Hate in America” https://daily.jstor.org/charlottesville-syllabi-history-hate-america/; 2) A documentary, “Charlottesville: Race and Terror” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P54sP0Nlngg; and 3) a teacher’s guide to “Teaching the Literatures of the American Civil War,” an ebook free for download https://www.mla.org/Publications/Bookstore/Options-for-Teaching/Teaching-the-Literatures-of-the-American-Civil-War. We can also uncover additional materials circulating on Twitter under the #CharlottesvilleCurriculum hashtag. Let’s educate ourselves and others on how to address and fight against white supremacy in our country.” http://roganslist.blogspot.com/

“Knowing what to do when you find yourself in a hateful situation is essential.  Here is a Primer on Responding to Hate in Your Own Backyard:  https://500pens.org/2017/08/12/a-primer-on-responding-to-hate-in-your-backyard/ Let’s read up!” http://roganslist.blogspot.com/

“Many of us are looking for suggestions on what to read to help us understand race issues better.  Let’s take a look at this list and get reading!  https://www.bustle.com/p/17-books-on-race-every-white-person-needs-to-read-76401  While we are at it, here’s a book list for kids to share with families, friends, and teachers:”  http://www.readbrightly.com/books-to-help-kids-understand-the-fight-for-racial-equality/ h/t http://roganslist.blogspot.com/

“No doubt, as school starts again, there will be thoughts on how to address Charlottesville in the classtoom.  Fortunately, some tools have been prepared.  http://www.npr.org/2017/08/14/543390148/resources-for-educators-to-use-the-wake-of-charlottesville?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20170814 and http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/teaching_now/2017/08/resources_for_teachers_charlottesville_students.html?cmp=soc-tw-edit-tm  Let’s make sure our teacher friends know about these.  For similar resources, search Twitter with the hashtag #CharlottesvilleCurriculum.” h/t http://roganslist.blogspot.com/

“Ten Ways to Fight Hate:  A Community Response Guide” https://www.splcenter.org/20170814/ten-ways-fight-hate-community-response-guide

“We’ve heard a lot lately about the Antifa.  Here is info about who they are:” https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2017/08/16/who-are-the-antifa/?tid=ss_fb-bottom&utm_term=.cf96c1ab23bf h/t http://roganslist.blogspot.com/