Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A Child Crying In The Night

From The Washington Post (via MSN):

A pediatrician visited a children's shelter in Texas full of children taken from their parents at the border:
But the first child who caught the prominent pediatrician’s attention during a recent visit was anything but happy. Inside a room dedicated to toddlers was a little girl no older than two, screaming and pounding her fists on a mat. One woman tried to give her toys and books to calm her down, but even that shelter worker seemed frustrated, Kraft told The Washington Post, because as much as she wanted to console the little girl, she couldn’t touch, hold or pick her up to let her know everything would be all right. That was the rule, Kraft said she was told: They’re not allowed to touch the children.
Stop and think. They're not allowed to touch the children. Babies left to cry with no comfort. Quote from the article, "America is better than this": What a doctor saw in a shelter for migrant children
 A Child Crying in the Night
(words and Families Belong Together Protest photos by C.A.Matthews) 

I know I don't have to paint the picture for you moms and dads out there... You know all about the sheer exhaustion of being awakened by a child crying in the middle of the night because of an earache, a toothache or other illness. You swear and sigh, and you say things like, "Never again! I want to sleep! Why did I ever think having a baby was a good thing?"

But, if someone would come to you at that very moment and say, "I'm taking your child away from you, and I don't care about your family's safety or your child's happiness," would you take back those words you spoke in sleep-deprived haste? Could you live with yourself if you were forced to hand your child over at gunpoint?

These are the feelings flooding my heart whenever I look at the photo of the

little girl crying beside the ICE vehicle. I had two little girls once, long ago and far away, and I would have done anything to protect them and keep them away from strangers who could possibly hurt or harm them (even if these strangers say they won't). I'm their mother, and I'm responsible for their safety and care. Why wouldn't I want to keep them beside me at all times? Why wouldn't I want to keep them safe and happy?

Human beings generally want to stay in their hometowns and home countries. They leave when they are forced to do so by dire circumstances and only then. If the circumstances are dire and deadly, why wouldn't they bring their children with them as they journey toward what they hope is a better life?

These human beings escaping death and hardship are not criminals. I hope it

goes without saying that their children are also not criminals. What "crime" would you charge the crying toddler in the top photograph with? Is she guilty of the "crime" of being brown, poor, or the wrong nationality?

That's why I will no longer tolerate anyone saying that these families "deserve" to be broken up, and their children "deserve" to be taken away from them and used as slave labor on farms or sold into sex trafficking or packed into an old Walmart building like dogs in a kennel. No family deserves to have their children locked in cages by anyone. It doesn't matter to me if these government officials who make these judgments without due process of law call themselves "Democrat" or  "Republican" or  "Nazi." These children don't deserve to be stuck in a concentration camp in the middle of the desert outside of El Paso in summer.  (Former First Lady Laura Bush agrees with me, too.)

I lived in West Texas for fifteen years. You do not want anyone--especially vulnerable children--being housed outside in that intense heat. We had temperatures of 122 degrees Fahrenheit in July. The heat was oppressive inside an air conditioned building. Can you imagine what it would be like inside of a tent? What will our government tell these families when they finally get a chance to ask what has happened to their children?

I have a sinking feeling our government's reply will be along these lines:

"Sorry, but your child died of heat stroke in our custody. Too bad. You shouldn't have been born brown and poor in a country where people threatened your lives. You shouldn't have tried to escape that awful life and attempted to build a new one in a new place. Have a nice day."

This week, the Poor People's Campaign's rally theme at your statehouse is Challenging Our Nation's  Distorted Moral Narrative. Ripping babies from their mother's arms--you can't get much more distorted or immoral than that, can you?


On June 23, the Poor People's Campaign will have its final big event at the National Mall in Washington DC. It's a culmination of these past six weeks of PPC rallies and events that focused on the poor, the homeless, our veterans, women and children, the disabled, the elderly,  immigrants and refugees among other peoples and issues. What better way to express our disgust and horror at our current immigration policy than by rallying in great numbers and protesting loudly that we refuse to become a 21st century Nazi Germany?


We hope to see you there.

 Check out these related stories:

An example of our distorted moral narrative--and this title is not a joke like "Three men walk into a bar," either.

An Abuser, a Brothel Owner and a Supporter of Confederate Symbols All Won Primaries Tuesday:
https://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/50619-an-abuser-a-brothel-owner-and-a-supporter-of-confederate-symbols-all-won-primaries-tuesday

The cruelty of separating immigrant families reaches an all-time low.

The Government Allegedly Ripped a Baby Away From Her Mother While She Was Breastfeeding:
https://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/50625-the-government-allegedly-ripped-a-baby-away-from-her-mother-while-she-was-breastfeeding 

Trauma at the Texas-Mexico Border: Families Separated, Children Detained and Residents Fighting Back: https://youtu.be/wrEAyne41iA


Federal judge tells distraught mother he doesn't know where her child is:
https://youtu.be/HtXd4QiVGXM

Watch and see how they're treating asylum seekers these days at the US border. We're breaking our own laws!
https://youtu.be/NzeAWFQCJVk
P.S. For those who wonder why I'm not bashing Trump by name:
This sort of travesty didn't start yesterday--it's been going on for years. You may recall only a few years ago that we had a Secretary of State who deported children seeking asylum from Honduras because of the hit squads and violence there. These children were sent back to be killed during the Obama Administration under the direction of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The writ of habeas corpus, which means a person can be thrown into jail without charges and held indefinitely,
was suspended under the Obama Administration as well.

So, we can't keep making excuses and blaming "one party over the other." Both establishment parties (or are they really one party?) are bought and sold by the mega-wealthy. (They make deals with for-profit private detention centers to house immigrants. No profits if they don't fill them up!) They have become the unified party of greed, war, and oppression. It even extends beyond our borders. Have you heard about the genocide happening in Yemen? (Probably not if you watch only mainstream media.) What was the name of the president who first helped Saudi Arabia to bomb Yemen? It started before Trump, so please don't tell me how the other "side" of the establishment is better than the current "side" in office. They are essentially the same and act similarly. They build upon each other's evil.

Americans need to wake up and stop financing the corrupt establishment. They need to kick out both "sides" of the status quo and replace these corporate-owned groups with people who care about us ordinary people. I suggest you vote for people, planet and peace over profit. Support your local and national Green Party , the only major party that does not accept corporate money or have super PACs. Greens are ordinary folk like you running for office--not billionaires trying to further line their pockets and discriminate against the poor and downtrodden. Greens know what it means to struggle, and they know we ordinary people need honest representation to be heard.

 ***
Challenging the Nation’s Distorted Moral Narrative -- a New and Unsettling Force (The Week of June 18th Poor People's Campaign theme). https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/
If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight. ~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his landmark speech at New York City's Riverside Church in 1967
Check out this following story and video on the Poor People's Campaign action in Washington DC. A group of homeless walked from Philadelphia to DC to set up Resurrection City II, a re-enactment of the first Resurrection City from 50 years ago.

http://www.dcmediagroup.us/2018/06/13/resurrection-city-ii-evicted-dupont-circle-park/
***
***

From Movement for a People's Party:

The Poor People’s Campaign began in 1968 with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a call for economic justice for America’s poor.

Five weeks ago, the reignited Poor People’s Campaign launched a national call for moral revival in the most expansive wave of nonviolent civil disobedience in U.S. history with thousands of poor people, clergy and advocates demanding policies that lift up the poor in this country. Every week hundreds of people have been arrested in state capitals from coast to coast, including Nick.

We officially partnered with the PPC on the Forty Days of Moral Action, which are coming to a close with the Rally to Fight Poverty Not the Poor on June 23 on the National Mall in Washington DC. So many of you have sent in photos, written to us and come on our monthly national call to share your profoundly moving personal experiences from the campaign. You have joined with over 30,000 people in this important endeavor for which the Forty Days is just the first phase.

Our political leaders are trying to keep us quiet because they don’t want anything to change. But they can’t keep us quiet anymore. On Saturday, June 23, the PPC is busing people into Washington, D.C. for a massive rally on the National Mall, and we need you to be there. 


Rally to Fight Poverty Not the Poor
Saturday, June 23
10 am - 2 pm EST
Washington D.C.
National Mall by Jefferson Dr. and 7th St. SW

Nick and many other members of our MPP family are coming. Click here to RSVP for an MPP get together right before the rally. We'll have swag for everyone! Because a Poor People's Campaign needs a People's Party.

The rally will feature music, speeches and next steps by PPC Co-Chairs the Revs. Dr. William Barber and Dr. Liz Theoharis. People are ridesharing to D.C., buying train tickets and getting on free buses organized by activist groups across the country to pack the Mall and demonstrate unprecedented grassroots strength. Register here if you can provide transportation by bus, van or carpool.

If you went to a Poor People’s Campaign action in your state, MPP and the PPC want to hear about it. Please write a short one or two-paragraph testimonial about your experience and why the Poor People’s Campaign resonates with you. Send your testimonial and photos as a reply to this email or to Organize@ForAPeoplesParty.org. We’ll share your story on social media ahead of the final rally and the PCC may email it to all of their supporters.

It’s been 50 years, and there are 60 percent more people living under the poverty line than in 1968, the Voting Rights Act has been dismantled, and children in our poorest cities drink lead with their water. This is our last chance to act. We need you to show up and let politicians know there are consequences to undermining access to the ballot box, destroying healthcare and the social safety net, and slashing wages.

In Solidarity,

Carol Ehrle
Political Director
Movement for a People’s Party 


***
From National Resources Defense Council:


We're at a critical moment in our fight to stop the climate-wrecking Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

Trump's State Department, which must review the pipeline because it crosses the international border with Canada, is inviting public comments on its plan until June 25. So, we must flood the agency with tens of thousands of letters of opposition.

Submit your public comment before June 25 and tell the State Department that you oppose the Keystone XL pipeline.

Keystone XL would transport 830,000 barrels a day of dirty tar sands oil from Canada's boreal forest through America's heartland.

That's why, when the Trump administration illegally approved the cross-border permit for this horrendous pipeline last year, NRDC sued to stop it.

But as we continue to fight in court, we also need concerned NRDC activists like you to help keep the pressure on the State Department to kill Keystone XL for good.

Tell the State Department to revoke the cross-border permit for the Keystone XL pipeline immediately.

Keystone XL threatens our land, climate, and drinking water supplies for farmers, ranchers, indigenous people, and other communities. The pipeline keeps us rooted in the dirty fossil fuels of the past instead of moving us toward a clean energy future.

Please make your voice heard before June 25, even if you've spoken out against the Keystone XL pipeline in the past. Together we can stop this irresponsible project once and for all.

Thank you for standing with us during this critical time.

Sincerely,

Rhea Suh
President, NRDC


***
From Credo:

Four years after it began, Flint, Michigan's water crisis is not over. Earlier this year, tests showed lead levels above the federal limit in the water at five of nine Flint schools.1

But we now know that the crisis goes far, far beyond Flint – and the children poisoned in Flint are not alone. Over 3,000 American neighborhoods have childhood lead poisoning rates at least double those in Flint during the peak of its contamination crisis.2 Over 1,000 areas tested with a rate of elevated blood levels at least four times as high as Flint’s at the height of the crisis.3 In one neighborhood in Cleveland, nearly half the children have lead poisoning.4

No family should fear that turning on the tap could poison their child and harm them for life – no matter what their zip code is. Reps. Keith Ellison and Ro Khanna recently introduced the Water Affordability, Transparency Equity and Reliability (WATER) Act of 2018, which would start the process of addressing this crisis. We must build grassroots support for this crucial legislation now.

Tell Congress: Pass the WATER Act. Click here to sign the petition.
 
Lead is a cumulative toxin particularly harmful to young children, who can suffer profound and permanent damage to the brain and nervous system.5 There is no known level of lead exposure that is considered safe. In the wake of its water contamination crisis, Flint saw a measurable rise in miscarriages, fetal deaths and illnesses.6

In 2016, Congress finally directed $170 million in aid to Flint.7 But the Center for Disease Control's entire budget for assisting states with lead poisoning this year is just one-tenth of that.8 We must do better.

The WATER Act would provide $35 billion a year in federal funding to improve community drinking water and wastewater services.9 It would also provide grants to replace lead service lines going into homes, remove lead pipes and plumbing in schools, and upgrade home wells and septic systems.10

In thousands of neighborhoods across the country, systematic neglect and denial of basic infrastructure are limiting children's futures. No one bill will solve the problem, but we have the opportunity to make a meaningful difference – if our legislators act.

Tell Congress: Pass the WATER Act. Click the link below to sign the petition:
https://act.credoaction.com/sign/save-our-water?t=7&akid=28936%2E7206293%2EHaOrB4

Thanks for fighting back,
Brandy Doyle, Campaign Manager CREDO Action from Working Assets

Add your name:

Sign the petition ►
References:

  1. Ron Fonger, "Most Flint schools water tests OK for lead, but problems found in 5 of 9 buildings," MLive, Feb 13, 2018.
  2. M.B. Pell and Joshua Schneyer, Special Report: Thousands of U.S. areas afflicted with lead poisoning beyond Flint's," Reuters, Dec. 19, 2016.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. World Health Organization, "Lead poisoning and health: Key facts," Feb. 9, 2018.
  6. Ayana Byrd, "New Legislation Aims to Prevent the Next Flint Water Crisis," Colorlines, April 25, 2018.
  7. M.B. Pell and Joshua Schneyer, Special Report: Thousands of U.S. areas afflicted with lead poisoning beyond Flint's," Reuters, Dec. 19, 2016.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Byrd, "New Legislation Aims to Prevent the Next Flint Water Crisis."
  10. Ibid.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Unnatural Capitalism

We Can Change Things

Other things, like capitalism... are not forces of nature; we invented them. They are not immutable and we can change them. --Dr. David Suzuki, Canadian environmental activist

It's the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, so here's a meme giving us a glaring example of capitalism gone off the deep end and the damage it has done--and continues to do--to our planet:
All the waste of water, pollution of the soil and air, and the degradation to our environment--and for what? To make a handful of predominantly white males billions of dollars  in profits each year. A monoculture lawn of non-native grass sprayed with cancer-causing Round-Up doesn't exactly feed your family like a vegetable garden would. It doesn't help with massive rain run off or prevent drought that a stand of trees would in the same place, either. Why have we allowed ourselves to be fooled into supporting billionaires at the expense of our health and future by becoming lawn mower jockeys?

After I read Ruth's comments (below) on "unnatural capitalism"  many seemingly disparate things gelled in my mind. The unnatural, immoral aspects of late-stage capitalism are at the root of most (if not all) of our problems. Can you see how this selfish concept of making profits off the misery of our fellow human beings plays out in the following news items?

Killing Gaza--A documentary film about life for Palestinians under siege in Gaza. Watch the movie here:   https://killinggaza.com/ 

US Suicide Rates Have Climbed Dramatically:
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/06/07/617897261/cdc-u-s-suicide-rates-have-climbed-dramatically?utm_campaign=storyshare&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social
Immigrant families separated and deported without due process:
https://www.salon.com/2018/04/24/do-immigrants-in-ice-detention-centers-have-any-human-rights-at-all/

Border Control Kicked, Punched Immigrant Children, Threatened Some with Sexual Abuse:
http://www.newsweek.com/customs-and-border-control-beat-kicked-and-threatened-migrant-children-under-941385

Sandusky, Ohio--114 workers arrested in an immigration raid, leaving young children behind
https://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/50491-utter-chaos-ice-arrests-114-workers-in-immigration

(Dirk Droll covers the immigration topic well at his Beanstock's World blog:  https://beanstocksworld.wordpress.com/2018/06/08/ending-mass-migration/#more-6650 )
CEO Pay: Rewarding or Hoarding? (Or how CEOs make 300+ times more than their employees):  https://youtu.be/IUTcuB5TZdY

4,645 Deaths in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria were "State-Sponsored Mass Killing":
https://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/50534-naomi-klein-4645-deaths-in-puerto-rico-from-hurricane-maria-were-qstate-sponsored-mass-killingq

Puerto Rico Deaths Post-Maria: Nearly 70% Were Over 70 Years
https://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/50592-puerto-rico-deaths-post-maria-nearly-70-were-over-70-years 

In each of these stories and videos, it's  clear what has caused (or exacerbated) the suffering of our fellow human beings--greed. A small handful of individuals stand to make a lot of money off of ongoing wars for oil and resources and selling military grade weapons to Americans who shouldn't have them in the first place. Profits flow like unpolluted, unblocked streams for those who take advantage of immigrant labor/human trafficking/slave wages. And "disaster capitalism"  makes wealth from the pain and despair of others when, through no fault of their own, they lose their homes and livelihoods because of a hurricane or similar destructive natural event (which are predicted to become more intense in severity due to climate change).

If you don't see what I mean, read Ruth's article and think on it awhile. The pieces of the puzzle might just come together. --C.A.M.
Unnatural Capitalism
by Ruth Ann Oskolkoff

Traveling on a bus for over ten hours this weekend, and seeing lots of road, I had a lot of time to think. What really struck me is how unnatural capitalism seems. That's right. UNNATURAL.

The same stores all over--bilking ordinary people from their hard earned money. The same restaurants all over charging exorbitant prices for unhealthy food. The same environmental destruction everywhere. Yes, it makes the one-percent even wealthier, but it leaves the rest of us tired and damaged from working so hard...and sick, then bankrupt. We try to remedy all this with expensive healthcare.
 

Of course, the one-percent actively controls the world to make it increasingly impossible to change anything. Police enforcement becomes terror. Protest is increasingly illegal. Media is shunted off into the back roads, or in the case of Julian Assange put in solitary confinement. Tortured really. Even a highly popular politician like Bernie is just plain cheated--differently in each state. Though so many turned out to vote for him it was already decided.

The way forward is hard, but one thing is certain. Many many of us are wide awake now. Eyes wide open. I'm personally not so sure what tactic will fail or succeed, and I have doubts the old playbook is even that relevant anymore. I've long been a proponent of trying to figure out things in the moment.

I am really only certain of one thing: We can't rely on elected leaders. We the people are the revolution, and the big lie is that some people are better and some are lesser. Why can't we all be artists part of the time after working a four or five hour shift? Who says some people are gifted but most of the rest are not? Why are only some allowed to fulfill their dreams? Why are only some people seen as special or gifted or talented? The rest are left to labor to build a world to profit the one-percent and the rulers with their vision of the complete enslavement of mankind.

BIO: Ruth is a progressive activist in Seattle and a frequent commentator on Facebook.

Here's another good piece to think on.
Character Building
by Sean Nestor

People who experience difficult and even traumatic events tend to be better at developing empathy and compassion
-- traits we consider virtuous. They also tend to suffer from depression and suicidal inclinations - traits we consider unfortunate. There is a deep irony and tragedy to all of this.

From personal experience, the desperation I feel from suicidal inclinations has given me the motivation to take risks that have in turn helped me do great things, both for myself and others. And it's never been lost on me that people love what I am motivated to do, but saddened by what motivates me to do it.

I think this dynamic is more important than we think, because people who architect societies often take advantage of this difficult truth. Historically, the powerful have always said that it's actually good to have a society of miserable people, because being miserable is what motivates people to improve themselves -- "It builds character." That's why it makes sense for a few people to get everything while everyone else suffers, or so they say.

Personally, I think that between illness, death, and natural disasters, life is hard enough that we don't need governments and economies manufacturing more "character building" exercises for us. But, that's me
-- and that's why I use the desperation I feel as a motivating force to dismantle the power structures behind it.

BIO:
Sean Nestor is an educator and activist from Toledo, Ohio. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Single Payer Action Network and Co-Chair of the Lucas County Green Party.



***
The Revolution Continues blog turns three years old this month, and we are sad to inform you that one of its co-creators, Barb McMillen, has passed away. Barb will be sorely missed by her family and friends in the political revolution. Barb was a Bernie delegate at the Philadelphia convention in 2016, and she never lost her enthusiasm for the progressive senator from Vermont. 

RIP Barb. May we fight on in your name to build a future to believe in!
BARBARA FIALKOWSKI MCMILLEN (1946-2018)
Barbara Ann Fialkowski McMillen passed away on June 2, 2018, at the age of 71 following a long and brave battle against heart failure.

Barbara was born on July 18, 1946, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the first of eleven children born to Marion Fialkowski and Leona Lankford Fialkowski.

Following high school, she spent half a year working at the Sears store near her home on James Street and then volunteered for VISTA, the federal Volunteers in Service to America program. She was assigned to rural West Virginia where she lived with a large family and taught in a one-room schoolhouse.
Returning to Philadelphia, she lived at home while attending Temple University where she majored in English in the College of Education. Four years later she completed her undergraduate degree and decided to apply to graduate schools. Ohio University in Athens offered her a teaching assistantship in English beginning in the fall of 1969. There she met another first year graduate student William (Bill) McMillen. They fell in love and were married on January 17, 1970, a scant four months after they met. At the time of her death, they had been married for more than 48 years.
She received her Master’s degree in 1972 and her doctorate in 1976 from Ohio University.

Barbara and Bill adopted a second son, Mark, who was nearly four when he came to live with his new family. Mark had special education needs that Barbara recognized because she had two younger brothers who were severely mentally and physically disabled. In the sixties, Barbara’s parents had challenged the Philadelphia school system and the state of Pennsylvania that they could not discriminate against the two boys and deny them a public education. The Fialkowski law suit became the legal cornerstone of the ground-breaking federal law PL 94-142 establishing free and equal public education for all children.

Barbara always had a keen interest in politics and as a teenager in Philadelphia shook hands with President John F. Kennedy. She was a supporter of President Barack Obama. In 2016, she supported presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and was elected to be a delegate for Bernie at the Philadelphia Democratic National Convention. It was one of the great experiences of her life.

In loving memory of Barbara, please consider making a donation to her personal charity of choice, the Fialkowski Scholarship at Temple University, which grants yearly scholarships to students majoring in disability studies. Checks should be made out to Temple University Institute on Disabilities (denote: Fialkowski Scholarship). The mailing address is Institute on Disabilities, Temple University, Fialkowski Scholarship, 411 Student Center South, 1755 N. 13th St., Philadelphia, PA 19122.
***

The Revolution Continues has set up an easy way to donate to the cause of keeping it ad-free. Three years without obnoxious ads (that many  sites have to cover costs) has been great, but there are overhead costs such as internet, electricity, etc. Any amount you can donate to keep this progressive site going without those awful ads is appreciated. Thank you.

You can donate via Paypal at http://paypal.me/camatthews 
Power to the people and not the corporations!

***


From Credo:

Four years after it began, Flint, Michigan's water crisis is not over. Earlier this year, tests found lead levels above the federal limit in the water at nine percent of Flint’s high schools.1

But we now know that the crisis goes far, far beyond Flint – and the children poisoned in Flint are not alone. Over 3,000 American neighborhoods have childhood lead poisoning rates at least double those in Flint during the peak of its contamination crisis.2 Over 1,000 areas tested with a rate of elevated blood levels at least four times as high as Flint’s at the height of the crisis.3 In one neighborhood in Cleveland, nearly half the children have lead poisoning.4
No family should fear that turning on the tap could poison their child and harm them for life – no matter what their zip code is. Reps. Keith Ellison and Ro Khanna recently introduced the Water Affordability, Transparency Equity and Reliability (WATER) Act of 2018, which would start the process of addressing this crisis. We must build grassroots support for this crucial legislation now.

Tell Congress: Pass the WATER Act. Click here to sign the petition.
 
Lead is a cumulative toxin particularly harmful to young children, who can suffer profound and permanent damage to the brain and nervous system.5 There is no known level of lead exposure that is considered safe. In the wake of its water contamination crisis, Flint saw a measurable rise in miscarriages, fetal deaths and illnesses.

In 2016, Congress finally directed $170 million in aid to Flint.7 But the Center for Disease Control's entire budget for assisting states with lead poisoning this year is just one-tenth of that.8 We must do better.

The WATER Act would provide $35 billion a year in federal funding to improve community drinking water and wastewater services.9 It would also provide grants to replace lead service lines going into homes, remove lead pipes and plumbing in schools, and upgrade home wells and septic systems.10

In thousands of neighborhoods across the country, systematic neglect and denial of basic infrastructure are limiting children's futures. No one bill will solve the problem, but we have the opportunity to make a meaningful difference – if our legislators act.

Tell Congress: Pass the WATER Act. Click the link below to sign the petition:
https://act.credoaction.com/sign/save-our-water?t=7&akid=28841%2E9999572%2EI6e2LH

Thanks for fighting back,
Brandy Doyle, Campaign Manager CREDO Action from Working Assets

Add your name:

Sign the petition ►
References:

  1. Joe Diazo, "Flint, Michigan, water crisis update: Government spends thousands per day for bottled water," Newsweek, March 14, 2018.
  2. M.B. Pell and Joshua Schneyer, Special Report: Thousands of U.S. areas afflicted with lead poisoning beyond Flint's," Reuters, Dec. 19, 2016.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. World Health Organization, "Lead poisoning and health: Key facts," Feb. 9, 2018.
  6. Ayana Byrd, "New Legislation Aims to Prevent the Next Flint Water Crisis," Colorlines, April 25, 2018.
  7. M.B. Pell and Joshua Schneyer, Special Report: Thousands of U.S. areas afflicted with lead poisoning beyond Flint's," Reuters, Dec. 19, 2016.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Byrd, "New Legislation Aims to Prevent the Next Flint Water Crisis."
  10. Ibid.
***

Why stand apart, when we can rise together
Labels for GMOs are coming to a grocery store near you. When the USDA proposed the symbols below to indicate that a food product is genetically engineered, the agency specifically requested research on how people interpret the symbols.

Let's give 'em what they wanted! Take our survey and tell the USDA how you interpret these symbols for genetically engineered food.
GMO symbols
TAKE SURVEY
We'll be submitting these (anonymized) survey results with the rest of your public comments on the USDA's overall plan to label genetically engineered food.

In it together,
The SierraRise Team

***
Image
A single banana wrapped in plastic? Seriously?
Have you noticed how much ridiculous plastic packaging is on the shelves of your local grocery store? A single potato wrapped in plastic. A cucumber. A banana. Seriously?

Not only is it absurd to wrap produce that already has a peel in plastic, this excessive single-use plastic pollutes our communities, rivers, and oceans. Plus, plastic isn’t actually keeping our food clean and many types of plastics leach harmful chemicals into our bodies.  

But it doesn't have to be like this. When supermarkets realize that people like you are rising up and demanding that they do better, we've seen them change. Ten years ago, every supermarket had a failing score on selling unsustainable seafood — but after years of corporate campaigning, we've seen massive improvement across the sector that has lead to real protections in the ocean. 

We know the same thing can happen for plastic pollution if retailers hear from enough of us — and that's where you come in.

We are preparing to launch a new campaign challenging supermarkets to cut single use plastic and we want our most committed plastic pollution fighters — folks like you — to help lay the groundwork by calling out the #PointlessPlastic you see on the shelves. 


It’s a simple action that can have major reverberations through the supermarket industry. Companies care about their brand image and what their customers think, and if enough of us push them to reduce their plastic footprint they will. 

It’s an exciting moment to take on this issue — cities are passing laws to transition away from single-use plastic packaging and big corporations are stepping up too. Bon Appétit Management Company just announced that it would ban plastic straws and stirrers in its 1,000 cafés and restaurants throughout 33 states. Ikea just committed to phasing out single-use plastics by 2020, and Iceland supermarket in the UK is phasing out single-use plastic in all its own-brand products. If they can do it, so can your local grocery store. 

The tide is turning, and when we all work together we can make massive change happen. 
So let's get rid of #PointlessPlastic once and for all!

Anna Wagner
Senior National Organizer, Greenpeace USA