Human Rights

Partisan Gerrymandering Case Makes its Way to the Supreme Court

Brennan Center - Mon, 03/20/2017 - 09:35
Partisan Gerrymandering Case Makes its Way to the Supreme CourtMonday, March 20, 2017 - 9:30amMedia Source: Matter of Fact with Soledad O'Brien Partisan Gerrymandering Case Makes its Way to the Supreme Court
Categories: Human Rights

The Fight Over Voting Rules Didn't Start with Trump's Tweets

Brennan Center - Mon, 03/20/2017 - 09:33
The Fight Over Voting Rules Didn't Start with Trump's TweetsMonday, March 20, 2017 - 9:30amMedia Source: Los Angeles TimesThe Fight Over Voting Rules Didn't Start with Trump's Tweets
Categories: Human Rights

Trump's Baseless Claims Are Undermining Confidence in Voting

Brennan Center - Mon, 03/20/2017 - 09:32
Trump's Baseless Claims Are Undermining Confidence in VotingMonday, March 20, 2017 - 9:30amMedia Source: The Sacramento BeeTrump's Baseless Claims Are Undermining Confidence in Voting
Categories: Human Rights

Neil Gorsuch Does Not Belong on the Supreme Court

Common Dreams - Mon, 03/20/2017 - 08:40
Elizabeth Warren

When Justice Antonin Scalia died last year, giant corporations and their right-wing buddies spent millions of dollars to keep the Supreme Court seat open so that Donald Trump could fill the vacancy. It was only the latest step in their campaign to tilt our courts in favor of big corporations and the wealthy. Now, the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court is their reward. Anyone who believes in a neutral Supreme Court guided by equal justice for all should oppose this nomination.

Categories: Human Rights

New Evidence that Poor Americans Pay the Highest Taxes and Get Little of the Safety Net

Common Dreams - Mon, 03/20/2017 - 08:24
Paul Buchheit

Before taxes on the rich are cut and social programs decimated, uninformed conservatives should consider who really benefits from U.S. tax laws and assistance programs.

The Wealthiest Americans Pay Very Little Tax On Their Full Income 

When ALL forms of taxes and income are considered, poor Americans pay higher tax rates than the richest 1%. 

Categories: Human Rights

What Neil Gorsuch Can Learn From His Grandfather

Brennan Center - Sun, 03/19/2017 - 21:20
What Neil Gorsuch Can Learn From His GrandfatherAndrew CohenMarch 19, 2017

The Supreme Court nominee comes from a long line of lawyers, the most prominent of whom was a compassionate, empathetic leader.

Categories: Human Rights

Migrant Justice Organizers Arrested by ICE; Response Needed

anti-Racism DSA - Sun, 03/19/2017 - 19:05
Our family needs your help now more than ever.On Friday, March 17th, Enrique “Kike” Balcaza and Zully Palacios were heading home after an organizational meeting when ICE agents arrested them and took them into custody. Kike and Zully are both leaders at Migrant Justice and Cosecher@s organizing towards “A Day Without Immigrants” in Vermont, and it’s clear that they were targeted because of their advocacy work.Sign Migrant Justice's petition to #FreeKike and #FreeZully.
Earlier today Zully was finally allowed to see a lawyer after 24 hours and sent a message to all her supporters:“To fight for our rights is nothing bad. It’s a right we all have. Thank you for your support and please don't be worried about me. That here inside I’m sending my energy to you to win our rights and keep fighting. Together we are more.”
This is the time for our movement to come out and support our family!
After you sign the petition, please share it along with a photo or video of yourself asking for Kike and Zully to be released.We will not be silenced or cave into fear, we will continue to organize for the permanent protection, dignity, and respect of all undocumented immigrants in this country.In Solidarity,Brenda and the whole Cosecha family
Atención Cosecher@s,Nuestra familia nos necesita ahora más que nunca. El Viernes, 17 de Marzo, Enrique “Kike” Balcaza y Zully Palacios estaban regresando a casa después de una reunión organizadora cuando agentes de ICE los arrestó y tomó en custodia. Ambos Kike y Zully son líderes en Justicia Migrante y Cosecher@s organizando para  “Un Día Sin Inmigrantes” en Vermont, y es claro que fueron blanco por su trabajo organizando.Firme esta petición de Justicia Migrante pidiendo la liberación de Kike y Zully.Movimiento Cosecha y Justicia Migrante están pidiendo que Cosecher@s a través del país firmen esta petición y suben una foto o video a sus redes sociales pidiendo la liberación de de Kike y Zully utilizando los hashtags #FreeKike and #FreeZully. Hoy temprano, Zully por fin pudo ver a su abogado después de 24 horas de no tener acceso y envió este mensaje a sus partidores:“Luchar por nuestros derechos no es nada malo. Es un derecho para todos que nos corresponde. Gracias por su apoyo y no tengan preocupación por mi. Que yo desde adentro mando mis energías para ganar nuestros derechos y seguir en la lucha .Unidos somos mas!”
Este es nuestro tiempo como miembros de Cosecha para apoyar a nuestra familia! 
No permitiremos que nos silencien o caer en el miedo, continuaremos organizando para la protección permanente, dignidad, y respeto de todos los inmigrantes indocumentados en este país.
Solidaridad,Brenda y toda la familia de Cosecha
Categories: Human Rights

Support Justice for Migrant Workers

DSA: Talking Unions - Sun, 03/19/2017 - 14:23

by Paul Garver

When a repressive government wants to stifle organizing of migrant workers, it first strikes at those key leaders that are most effective in defending their rights..   

Talking Union posts last year pointed out how the Chinese government was closing migrant workers centers and jailing their volunteers to stifle the wave of organizing among internal migrant workers in China.

Now it appears that migrant worker organizers in Vermont are being targeted by the new Trump administration policies through ICE.

Please respond as quickly as possible to this plea from Migrant Justice. To sign the petition to

Demand the release of detained human rights leaders Kike and Zully!

Go to Migrant Justice website at:

Enrique “Kike” Balcazar, is a seasoned human rights leader in Vermont. Kike has lived in the state since 2011, when he became one of the many migrant dairy workers who make Vermont’s iconic dairy industry possible. He joined Migrant Justice in 2012, and soon became a spokesperson for his community, helping to lead the successful campaign for driver’s licenses for all Vermont residents. Kike has represented migrant workers at numerous national gatherings and coalitions, including the national Food Chain Workers Alliance, the Northeast Organic Farming Association’s recent convention, and in the Cosecha National Assembly in Boston. He has received an invitation to speak at Harvard University on April 1st.  Kike leads the nationally-acclaimed Milk with Dignity campaign, and is part of the Vermont Attorney General’s task force on immigration. Kike’s infectious smile has cheered all of us who have had the fortune to interact with him.

Zully Palacios is an active member of Migrant Justice. Zully has participated in Migrant Justice Assemblies, learning about the reality that dairy farmworkers face in Vermont. She has been an active member since 2015, leading presentations, participating in activities of an immigrant women’s group, and designing know-your-rights information for the immigrant community. Zully participated in the campaign to secure a commitment from Ben & Jerry’s to join the Milk with Dignity Program. Her work for human rights includes joining meetings and trainings about the rights of workers and immigrants at the national level. In November, Zully went to New York for the Food Chain Workers Alliance’s Justice in the Food Chain Training, and in February, Zully participated in the Cosecha National Assembly in Boston.

On Friday, March 17, Enrique and Zully were leaving the Migrant Justice office in Burlington, when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents targeted and arrested them. They are now in detention awaiting a court date. Neither has a criminal record. Their targeting appears to be political retaliation for their effective work in defending the human rights of workers and immigrants in this country.

Please sign to send the following letter to ICE Boston Field Office Director Todd Thurlow demanding the immediate release of Enrique and Zully, and calling for their deportation proceedings to be terminated!

Field Office Director Todd Thurlow


Boston Field Office

1000 District Ave

Burlington MA 01802

Director Thurlow:

I am writing to ask you to please grant Prosecutorial Discretion to Jose Enrique Balcazar Sanchez (birth date: 03/09/1993) and Zully Palacios (05/14/1993).

Mr. Balcazar is a seasoned community leader and spokesperson. He has lived in Vermont since 2011, where he is known for his advocacy to improve living and working conditions for all farm workers, particularly migrant workers. Enrique has lived in Vergennes, Burlington and South Burlington, where he has developed strong ties with his neighbors and peers. Mr. Balcazar has shown tremendous solidarity and integrity by traveling the state to listen to farmworkers’ problems, then sharing them with government and corporate leaders to develop solutions. He currently sits on the Vermont Attorney General’s task force on immigration, leads the Milk with Dignity campaign, and led Migrant Justice’s successful campaign to win access to driver’s licenses for all Vermonters.

Ms. Palacios is not a threat to the public or to her community. Rather, she is an outstanding community activist and human rights defender. ICE should not be spending resources keeping Ms. Palacios detained. She is an important figure in her community and her continued detention does harm not only to Ms. Palacios but to the farmworker movement for human rights of which she is a respected and beloved member.

I trust that this request will be promptly considered and that Mr. Balcazar and Ms. Palacios will soon be released.


Categories: Human Rights

Right Now, Trump Can Start a Nuclear War

Common Dreams - Sun, 03/19/2017 - 14:21
Olivia Alperstein

Right now, Donald Trump could start a nuclear war on a whim, and no one could stop him.

Under any circumstances, the prospect of nuclear war is terrifying, the deadly consequences irreversible. Yet with a single order, the president — any president — could effectively declare a nuclear war that would wipe out entire nations, including our own.

Categories: Human Rights

Trump’s Budget Assault on the Environment Packs a Wallop

Common Dreams - Sun, 03/19/2017 - 12:05
Harvey Wasserman

Donald Trump’s first budget makes his antipathy to the environment clear—and his love for fossil fuels and nuclear power even clearer.

Categories: Human Rights

Architect of Federal Fracking Loophole May Head Trump Environmental Council

Common Dreams - Sun, 03/19/2017 - 11:25
Steve Horn, DeSmogBlog

Confidential sources have told Politico that Bill Cooper — current congressional staffer and former fossil fuel industry lobbyist and attorney — is under consideration to head President Donald Trump's White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).

Categories: Human Rights

Trump Picks Fights with US Allies: Germany, NATO, EU, Britain etc.

Common Dreams - Sun, 03/19/2017 - 10:37
Juan Cole

After Trump falsely accused President Obama of having him wiretapped at Trump Tower during the campaign, Sean Spicer upped the ante by charging that Obama could have used the British GCHQ electronic surveillance agency to carry out the monitoring. GCHQ does in fact outrageously invade people’s privacy online, but there is no reason to think it targeted Trump or that President Obama could have ordered them around.

Categories: Human Rights

Trump Budget Brings Harsh Cuts to Indian Country

Common Dreams - Sun, 03/19/2017 - 10:08
Mark Trahant

Remember the sequester? Ah, the good old days. The new Trump Administration budget is short on details, but clear on direction. And we do know two things. First: If enacted, this budget would shrink the federal government to a much smaller size. Except for the military and the Veterans Administration. And, second, this budget guarantees chaos ahead.

Categories: Human Rights

US Pressures G20 Into Dropping Climate Reference from Joint Statement

Common Dreams - Sun, 03/19/2017 - 09:38
Nadia Prupis, staff writer

Finance ministers for the Group of 20 (G20), which comprises the world's biggest economies, dropped a joint statement mentioning funding for the fight against climate change after pressure from the United States and Saudi Arabia.

A G20 official taking part in the annual meeting told Reuters that efforts by this year's German leadership to keep climate funding in the statement had hit a wall.

Categories: Human Rights

Evaluate New Travel Ban in Light of International Law

Common Dreams - Sun, 03/19/2017 - 09:17
Marjorie Cohn

After a federal district court judge and a unanimous three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Donald Trump's Executive Order (EO) instituting a travel ban was likely illegal, the president suspended it and issued a new EO on March 6, 2017.

Categories: Human Rights

RESIST DAY #59: What You Can Do Today

Common Dreams - Sun, 03/19/2017 - 07:35
Common Dreams staff

Resistance in your community, across the country, and around the globe

Categories: Human Rights

Most Young Americans See Trump as 'Illegitimate President': Poll

Common Dreams - Sat, 03/18/2017 - 13:37
Nadia Prupis, staff writer

Most young Americans see President Donald Trump as illegitimate, according to a new poll out Friday.

The survey by GenForward, conducted by the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago with the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, found that 57 percent of adults between 18-30 years old—including three-quarters of black Americans and a large portion of Latinos and Asians—see Trump's presidency as illegitimate.

Categories: Human Rights

Trump Lies; Ethics Dies

Common Dreams - Sat, 03/18/2017 - 12:22
Adil E. Shamoo

In the White House, anti-science, alt-facts and frequent lying are commonplace, and it is taking a toll on our youngest generation.

Categories: Human Rights

Fear and Loathing on the Border

Common Dreams - Sat, 03/18/2017 - 12:12
Belén Fernández

As Donald Trump's sordid vision of a "big, beautiful wall" on the United States-Mexico border begins to take shape, The Guardian has revealed that - of the more than 600 companies currently vying to get in on the wall-building action - 10 percent are identified as "Hispanic-American-owned" businesses.

Categories: Human Rights

Facing Famine, 20 Million People Need Food, Not Bombs

Common Dreams - Sat, 03/18/2017 - 11:49
Amy Goodman, Denis Moynihan

The world is facing the most serious humanitarian catastrophe since the end of World War II. Twenty million people are at risk of starving to death in Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria and South Sudan. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is responding by slamming the door on refugees and cutting aid funding while proposing a massive expansion of the U.S. military.

Categories: Human Rights