Urgent Issues and Actions

Remember, it takes many small drops of water to create a wave!

 

Putin’s America?

Update 7/17/18

We have reached a pivotal moment in our Democracy. Never before has an American president stood side by side with a foreign adversary, shunned our allies, and demeaned our own country. You know it’s bad when even Fox news personalities stand agape. The whole world knows Donald Trump’s capitulation to Vladimir Putin is in some way a reward for the tilting of the election in his favor – or worse. It seems the whole Republican party has sold out and their refusal to apply the usual checks and balances on this administration borders on the sinister.

There is no doubt that Russian agents interfered with American elections. There is no doubt that Trump has sought to undermine independent investigations to hide the truth about that interference. And there is no doubt that Trump has pursued an agenda that has served Putin’s interests—from declaring the European Union a “foe” to threatening to upend NATO.

This is a clear moment that demands a reaction from every member of Congress—and especially from Republicans who have enabled Trump for too long. Make no mistake; Trump could be stopped if Congress chose to do so.

Here in Massachusetts, our members of Congress know this and are fighting to oppose Trump and the Republican majority who is complicit in his crimes. They still need to hear from us; tell them to stay strong and to loudly and repeatedly protest. Tell them to pressure others in Congress to do the same. If you have friends and family in other states, ask them to also call their members of Congress to demand that members of Congress act or else be branded as Putin Republicans.

What else can citizens do?

We must continue to defend Robert Mueller’s investigation. It has produced 36 indictments—including charges against 12 Russian agents just days before Trump acted as Putin’s sidekick. Now we have learned that a Russian agent has been arrested and indicted.

We must build momentum for Congress to pass bipartisan legislation defending the investigation—or else hold accountable Putin Republicans who block these protections and continue their Trump-cover-up crusade against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Be sure to ask your members of Congress to support this legislation.

Remember MoveOn.org’s Nobody Is Above the Law network of more than 900 events with 375,000 participants if Mueller or Rosenstein is fired and be ready to resist! If Trump does anything to compromise the investigation before 2 pm, we will rally at 5 pm; if he does so after 2 pm, we will rally the next day at noon.

https://www.trumpisnotabovethelaw.org/event/mueller-firing-rapid-response/search/?

Importantly, we must demand that Congress refuse to consider any lifetime appointments while Trump’s team is under criminal investigation. An illegitimate president should not get to appoint the judiciary, especially a hand-picked justice like Brett Kavanaugh, who has written extensively about the right of presidents to act above the law.

Lastly, we must hold Putin Republicans accountable—through impeachment or at the ballot box this November to kick Putin Republicans out of the Capitol and end GOP control of Congress.

We are in uncharted territory, folks, so let’s stay alert and stand strong together! Resist and persist to defend our America – not Trump’s and not Putin’s!

 

TRUMP’S NOMINEE TO THE SUPREME COURT

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Update 7/11/18

On July 9th, Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and set the stage for a monumental shift in the Court’s makeup. If Trump is successful at getting Kavanaugh confirmed, the Court will work to preserve the Trump agenda for decades to come.

Key issues that affect us all hang in the balance, including reproductive rights, access to health care, LGBTQ rights, environmental protections, and much more. Further, the next Supreme Court justice could rule on cases involving Trump himself, whether resulting from the Mueller investigation or otherwise.

OUR RIGHTS: REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE, ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE, AND LGBTQ EQUALITY

Just by the fact that Kavanaugh has been nominated, we already know two key things about them.

Trump has already told us what he wants out of a Supreme Court justice. His “short list” of potential nominees was written by far-right activists, with two key criteria:

  • Roe v. Wade will be overturned “automatically…because I will put pro-life justices on the court,” Trump told us
  • Affordable Care Act will fail asTrump has made clear that he is seeking a Supreme Court justice who would “do the right thing…on Obamacare.”

The Federalist Society—which created the “short list” of judges that Trump chose from—has advocated for overturning Roe since the organization’s founding in 1982 and Kavanaugh is actually a long-time member of the Federalist Society.

After the Trump administration gutted the individual mandate in the Tax Scam, 20 states sued to overturn the ACA. Trump’s Department of Justice announced in June that they would not defend major portions the law in court, including provisions concerning pre-existing conditions. Thus, the fate of health care coverage for millions of Americans could lie once more in the hands of the Supreme Court.

Further, Kavanaugh will dramatically shift the Court’s balance, placing LGBTQ rights in jeopardy. While on the Supreme Court, Anthony Kennedy was often the deciding vote in advancing rights for gay and lesbian Americans. He authored four major decisions, including striking down laws criminalizing same-sex conduct and affirming marriage equality as a constitutional right. If confirmed, Kavanaugh will dramatically shift the balance of the Court by replacing swing voter Kennedy with an extreme justice, placing the far-right conservatives in the majority.

This shift will threaten these hard-won advances, and will pose a threat to future pushes for LGBTQ equality, from nondiscrimination to equal rights for transgender Americans.

PROTECTING THE WEALTHY AND POWERFUL INSTEAD OF ALL OF US

A Supreme Court with five far-right extreme justices will side with the wealthy and powerful, instead of protecting the rights of workers, consumers, and all Americans.

Judge Kavanaugh has asserted that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which protects consumers from the predatory practices of banks, credit card companies, and student loan servicers, is unconstitutional. He has sided with corporations that deny their workers collective bargaining rights and protections against workplace discrimination. Further, he has ruled against net neutrality, siding with big telecommunications companies in an effort to undermine the free and open internet as we know it.

CORE PROTECTIONS TO THE ENVIRONMENT ARE IN DANGER

An extreme right-wing Court will be hostile to environmental protections, placing EPA regulations and efforts to curb climate change in peril.

Brett Kavanaugh is considered one of the most anti-environment judges in America. He has consistently ruled against EPA regulations aimed at curbing pollution and harmful emissions. He has also ruled against efforts to combat climate change. The Supreme Court has already upheld one of his anti-environment opinions, paving the way for a generation of environmental damage if he were to join the conservative justices to form a majority on the Court.

HOLDING TRUMP ACCOUNTABLE

The next Supreme Court justice very well may hear cases pertaining to Trump himself. Trump and his enablers have advanced numerous ludicrous arguments designed to derail Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and shield Trump from being held accountable for corruption, abuse of power, and obstruction of justice.

Whether resulting from the Mueller investigation or otherwise, it’s likely that the Supreme Court will eventually weigh in on these questions. This means that Kavanaugh is likely the person who will decide whether Trump is held accountable for his corruption and crimes.

THE APPOINTMENT OF KAVANAUGH WOULD GO AGAINST ALL OF OUR GOALS AND VALUES!

It would turn back the clock on equality, health, and our environment for generations, taking rights away from all but the rich and powerful and making America a dangerous place to live. But perhaps even worse, it will damage our democracy by removing any checks on the president, possibly paving the way for a Trump dictatorship.

WHAT CAN WE DO?

We must stall any appointment until after November and then, not only must we flip the House, but now we must flip the Senate too! This is only possible if we can convince all Senate Democrats and one Senate Republican to block any Trump appointees and the only way to do that is if the American public comes out IN FORCE and makes it abundantly clear that we will not stand for another Trump appointee. We feel the shift in momentum and so do Senators who worry about keeping their jobs; the louder we shout, the better they listen.

First and foremost, we must mobilize. If you have not been moved yet into action, now more than ever, is the time. Many of us in the resistance have noticed a shift in momentum over the past few months and organizers are more determined than ever.

This is the plan:

  1. Get to 51 votes. To start, we need 49 “no” votes from EVERY SINGLE SENATE DEMOCRAT to have a fighting chance. That means we need Minority Leader Schumer whipping as hard as he can and as long as he can to keep his caucus in line. And it means we need the three Democratic Senators who voted for Justice Gorsuch—Senators Manchin (WV), Heitkamp (ND), and Donnelly (IN) to stand with us this time. If we lose any of these Dems, we will lose.

Call/Email our Senators Warren and Markey immediately and repeatedly! EVEN IF YOU KNOW THEY ARE SUPPORTIVE OF US! They need to be able to say to their colleagues, “I get xxxxx many calls a day on this!” and they need to pressure their Democratic colleagues in red states to stay firm (as well as persuade any Senate Republicans to join them). Ask them to tell Schumer to do his job and “whip” those Democrats on the fence into shape!

That gets us to 49. To get to 51, we need a couple Republican Senators. The two most logical targets are Senators Collins (ME) and Murkowski (AK). This nomination has extraordinary implications for Roe v. Wade and reproductive rights—and both of these Senators are pro-choice, with a history of bucking their party to stand up for women’s health. They would deal a devastating blow to women everywhere if they supported any of Trump’s nominees. Encourage our Senators to pressure them to hold to it. Indivisible’s networks will allow us to coordinate with other groups in ME if they should need our help.

  1. Take back the Senate. If we accomplish that first step, that will extend the fight past November. But that’s not enough. In order to actually win this fight, we have to retake the Senate, otherwise Trump will just appoint an extremist after the election. Democrats need to hold all of their seats and PICK UP TWO MORE SEATS. There are 5 pickup opportunities this year:
  • Defeat Ted Cruz (Texas)
  • Defeat Dean Heller (Nevada)
  • Defeat Cindy Hyde-Smith (Mississippi)
  • Replace retiring Republican Bob Corker (Tennessee)
  • Replace retiring Republican Jeff Flake (Arizona)

Are these tough? Yes. Are they impossible? No—we’ve got a chance. And we just need 2 of them.  If we do the work now – if we phone bank, knock on doors, and send texts to voters—we can retake the Senate and stop confirmations of bad judges for the rest of Trump’s term.

We need people power to retake the Senate—not just in November, but NOW.  There are hundreds of Indivisible groups throughout our five target states—Arizona, Mississippi, Nevada, Texas, and Tennessee. They’ve been working their butts off and we need to lend them a hand.

So what can you do from where you live? Indivisible is going to be running a GINORMOUS phonebank for out-of-state volunteers to help flip these seats and retake the senate. We absolutely cannot wait until November to start helping in these races—if we want to win, we have to get moving. We need you to sign up NOW. The Indivisibles in these states need your help—sign up here to start phonebanking to help retake the Senate.

Flip these seats.

Work in these races.

Join the fight of our lifetime by signing up here.

 

THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION

For once we can agree with Republican Trey Gowdy (SC) who this week told Rosenstein to “finish it the hell up.” Ironically, this is from the man who held Benghazi hearings ad infinitum with no result.

Of course, House Republicans want the investigation finished for different reasons. And it appears that in illegally ordering Rosenstein to hand over sensitive information on a still yet open investigation, they are trying to force the hand of Rosenstein and Mueller. If they do it, they compromise evidence and the entire investigation. If they refuse, the House seems intent on impeaching Rosenstein. At which point, the president may fire him and hire a new Deputy AG to act as his minion in the hopes of firing or stymying Mueller.

If this should happen, groups across the country are ready to mobilize and hit the streets with spontaneous protests.  MoveOn.org has registered thousands across the country to do just that. Our nearest rallying points are Brewster and Hyannis. If Trump makes any move to hamper the investigation before 2 p.m., we will rally at 5 p.m. that day. If it happens after 2 p.m., we rally at noon the next day.

Check out Nobody’s Above the Law for details.

 

National Actions & Issues:

The Fight to keep families together:

Update 7/12/18

Our march to reunite refugee families and to keep families together was a huge success! Indivisible and other groups organized rallies at 16 locations from the tip of the Cape to the bridges! We have heard back from all of them and done the math: Cape Cod saw over 2500 protestors!! Our outer Cape towns had over 200 in Ptown, over 100 in North Truro, and over 200 in Wellfleet! Well done to all of you who came out!

But we are not finished. You may remember that in response to the outrage concerning the family separation policy, the Trump Administration signed an executive order that he claimed would end the family separation crisis at the border. But is it an acceptable solution? NO.

First and foremost, the zero tolerance policy is still in place, meaning that people who cross the border are still being prosecuted. However, the executive order directs the Department of Homeland Security to keep families together while their cases are being processed. That means that our government is now detaining immigrant families. The executive order additionally directs the Department of Defense and other agencies to support DHS in detaining immigrants, meaning that the U.S. government will be creating a massive family immigration detention system.

Under the 1997 Flores Settlement (which has been wrongly cited as the reason for the family separation crisis by Republicans in the past), immigrant children cannot be held in detention indefinitely. This executive order is seeks to skirt around these protections and allow families to be detained indefinitely. It’s cruel and inhuman and not a solution.

Additionally, infants and children have still not been reunited despite court orders that they be reunited by July 10.

This is not the only policy threatening to tear immigrant families apart. The termination of temporary protected status (TPS) for 406,000 immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and Honduras is also a dire threat to immigrant families. 

TPS allows immigrants from countries affected by natural disasters, violence, and other dangers to remain in the US until conditions in their home nations improve. The designation is reviewed regularly and has been renewed 14 times for Hondurans, 13 times for Salvadorans, and 4 times for Haitians. Nevertheless, the Trump administration has terminated TPS protections; TPS ends first for Haitians in late July 2019, for Salvadorans in mid-September 2019, and for Hondurans in January 2020.

273,000 children of TPS recipients are US-born citizens who have never lived in their parents’ home countries. With the end of TPS, however, parents will have to choose between uprooting their children’s lives to move back to their dangerous home countries, remaining in the US illegally, or leaving their children behind altogether. No parent should ever have to face this impossible choice. 

Congress must call upon the president to reverse the TPS termination decisions and craft legislation to authorize permanent residency and a pathway to citizenship for TPS recipients who have called this country home for years.

Trump created the family separation crisis, and like so many other Trump-created crises, Republicans in Congress are letting it happen. Some may have expressed concerns about the policy, but none have done anything about it. That’s where you come in.

We must keep the pressure up on Congress for a real solution to the immigration problems and to hold the administration accountable for human and civil rights abuses at the border, or any where!

Here in MA: Support Immigrant Rights

At this time, Amendment #1147 has not yet made it into the final MA State budget. There’s still a chance! Please call/email your Rep. this week to insist it be included.

Unfortunately, Governor Baker has said he will veto the bill if it comes to his desk. Send him a message now that we want detainees, regardless of their immigration status, to be treated with decency and afforded due process. Tell him we do not approve of our resources being used to fund ICE or the federal government’s inhumane treatment of refugees! Tell him to NOT veto the bill should it come to his desk!

Here, in MA, the Safe Communities Act failed in the legislature this Spring, but the MA Senate has revived key elements of it in a budget amendment which could offer some of the safeguards of the Safe Communities Act and neutralize Sheriff Cummings’ 287g powers.

Only the Senate version of the budget contains Amendment 1147; the House version does not. A Conference Committee is working to reconcile the two versions and we need to focus the pressure on the House Speaker and House Leadership so the final version retains Amendment 1147.

Unfortunately, the Baker Administration has declared open season on immigrants and Governor Baker has said he will veto the bill when it comes to his desk. We must pressure the House to pass Amendment 1147 and then make our voices heard by Governor Baker!

So, what can we do NOW?

1. CALL Representative Peake at (617) 722-2040: Tell her to urge Speaker DeLeo and the budget Conference Committee to include protections for immigrant families in the final FY2019 state budget. We do not want to help ICE break up families.
2. CALL House Speaker DeLeo at (617) 722-2500: Tell him to urge the budget Conference Committee to include protections for immigrant families in the final FY2019 state budget. MA resources should be used to fight crime, not to assist in federal deportation programs. Tell him to guarantee that people in local custody are informed of their rights. We do not want to help ICE break up families.
3. CALL House Ways and Means Chairman Sanchez at (617) 722-2990: Ask him to fight for basic protections for immigrant families in the final FY2019 budget. Demand that MA resources are used to fight crime instead of in federal deportation programs. Tell him to guarantee that people in local custody are informed of their rights. We do not want to help ICE break up families.
4. CALL Governor Baker at (617) 725-4005: Insist that he sign the budget with Amendment 1147. Tell him you are opposed to using MA resources for federal deportation programs. Demand that all people in local custody are informed of their rights and that those rights are respected. We do not want him to help ICE break up families.

 

 

 

 

 

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