Fun petition: Disbar Jeff Sessions!

[CONTENT NOTE: white supremacy.]

No, of course it won’t accomplish much of anything. Does anyone really believe the good ol’ boys of the Alabama Bar see any problems whatsoever with a white supremacist lying liar who lies as attorney general? Hahaha no I think not. But if this petition gathers just enough signatures to make a little noise, it will piss off the rabid racist asshole currently in charge of the U.S. Department of Injustice! FUN!

 

 

Conservatives, and particularly conservative men, are notoriously thin-skinned. If the numbers are big enough, maybe it’ll even yield some hot conservative tears – and, well. You all know how much I looooove those! Let’s doooo eeeet!

[via Color of Change]

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is Too Racist to Be a Lawyer #DisbarSessions

Jeff Sessions is a liar, a racist, and a white supremacist. Last week, Sessions testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and one thing is clear — enough is enough. Sessions’ entire political career has been to undo major progress hard fought and won from decades-long work by Black people and communities of color. And he continues to spread so many untruths just to maintain power that keeps him in close proximity to the ugliest and most dangerous White House administration. Sessions does not represent and never will represent any symbol of fairness and justice.

Jeff Sessions holds a prominent law license from the state of Alabama that gives him the power to be Attorney General. He should not be the Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice and he has no place in this country to practice law.It is long overdue to finally shut down his power and access as well as stop the harm that he continues to inflict. And the way we’re going to do it is by getting him disbarred from the Alabama State Bar. Bar associations are responsible for issuing licenses for lawyers to practice but just as importantly ensuring that the integrity of how lawyers use their role is upheld.

The Alabama State Bar should not allow Jeff Sessions to keep a license to practice law. He is dishonest and corrupt. It’s time to disbar him today.

Jeff Sessions has spearheaded Trump’s entire Law and Order agenda. As Attorney General, Sessions has built a false, racist narrative that crime has exponentially increased across the U.S. Right after being sworn in as Attorney General, Sessions said national crime rates were the highest they’d ever been–but it was a lie. According to FBI data, the national rate was decreasing.1 Sessions is following the eerie and distorted words of Trump who said, “In many of our biggest cities, 2016 brought an increase in the number of homicides, rapes, assaults, and shootings.”2 This in and of itself is a violation of the Alabama Bar Code of Ethics — Sessions is actively engaging in dishonesty as a chief law enforcer. This ignites fears and sets up a big platform for ruthless policies that directly impact Black people and many other marginalized groups.

This white supremacist narrative of Black people and immigrants as violent and dangerous has led to extreme changes and further violates another ethics code of being prejudice and bias. Sessions was determined to bring back the war on Black people by restarting the “War on Drugs.” This includes pushing prosecutors to issue the most severe punishment against people who commit drug offenses, giving local police departments more power to arrest and surveil with access to militarized equipment. He’s against any form of police accountability and has eliminated consent decrees. Sessions even went after Sanctuary cities by threatening to withhold federal funding for refusing to comply with harsh immigration laws. And Jeff Sessions reversed the ban on federal private prisons. Sessions said, “the ban on private prisons hurt the prison system’s ability to meet the future needs for housing.”3 This, of course, is all code for locking up more people for profit. This list goes on and on, and it will continue as long as Sessions has the power to keep his license.

Jeff Sessions does not represent the people. His job is to only target and criminalize our people. Alabama State Bar must take away his license now.

We already know who Jeff Sessions is. It is not just lies — but he is unapologetic in wanting to dismantle democracy and destroy the rights of all our communities. Plain and simple he is a White man with a lot of privilege and power he doesn’t deserve. He is incapable of upholding the integrity of his position in the U.S. Department of Justice. Jeff Sessions has abused his power long enough.

Sign the petition.

Until justice is real,

Scott, Rashad, Arisha, Scott, Anay, Clarise, Enchanta, Malaya, Kristen, Katrese, and the rest of the Color Of Change team

References:

1. “The ACLU says Trump’s executive order on crime aims to “stop national trends that don’t exist”,” Quartz, 02-09-2017 https://act.colorofchange.org/go/9697?t=9&akid=8090%2E2505660%2ErziDSw

2. “Sessions calls rise in crime a ‘dangerous permanent trend,’ but FBI data shows rate consistently falling,” Yahoo News, 02-09-2017 https://act.colorofchange.org/go/9698?t=11&akid=8090%2E2505660%2ErziDSw

3. “Justice Department Keeps For-Profit Prisons, Scrapping an Obama Plan,” New York Times, 02-23-2016 https://act.colorofchange.org/go/7973?t=13&akid=8090%2E2505660%2ErziDSw

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Color Of Change is building a movement to elevate the voices of Black folks and our allies, and win real social and political change. Help keep our movement strong.

__________

Sign the petition! Forward it! Blast it on your social media! Share far and wide the joy of imagining Jeff Sessions’ epic CBF* as he reads all about it in his morning paper.

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* Cat Butt Face.

Petition to Congress: Stop the militarization of local police.

Please sign and share this petition if you are willing and able (via CREDO* Action):

Donald Trump recently rewarded the country’s biggest police union for their endorsement of his dangerous, racist candidacy. He is going to give state and local police military-grade weapons of war.1

In 2014, police in combat gear driving mine-resistant tanks violently confronted people protesting the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The national outrage and organizing, including from more than 100,000 CREDO members, helped force President Obama to dramatically scale back the 1033 program.

Recently, police in St. Louis in full riot gear were chanting “whose streets, our streets” as they violently confronted people protesting yet another not guilty verdict for another police killing of a Black man.3 But Trump, whose racist, xenophobic agenda depends on demonizing communities of color and unleashing law enforcement, wants to bring 1033 back in full force.

Fortunately, there is a bill that would stop Trump’s dangerous escalation and help keep weapons of war out of our communities, the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act. The more of us who speak out, the more pressure on Congress to act.

Tell Congress: Pass the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act and block Donald Trump’s attempt to militarize local police.

Police militarization contributes to the over-policing of communities of color and the erosion of trust between communities and police. When police departments are armed with military-grade weapons and trained to use military tactics, they are more likely to treat the people they are meant to serve as enemy combatants.4 In many communities, fully militarized SWAT teams routinely issue search warrants, terrorizing people in their homes and neighborhoods.5

Police militarization also undermines people’s right to peacefully and safely protest. The hyper-militarized and clearly disproportionate police response to largely peaceful protesters in Ferguson is far from the only example. In the summer of 2016, Baton Rouge, Louisiana police responded to peaceful protests of Alton Sterling’s murder as if they were going to war.6 Last fall in North Dakota, police in riot gear confronted peaceful Standing Rock protesters with armored vehicles, automatic rifles, sonic weapons, concussion grenades, pepper spray and beanbag bullets.7 Surveillance devices like the Stingray, which can secretly download cell data and disrupt cell service, are also part of the 1033 program.8

It is no surprise that Trump, who condoned white supremacist Nazi violence against peaceful protesters last month in Charlottesville, wants to further weaponize police, terrorize communities of color and stifle peaceful dissent to his hateful regime. That is why it is more important than ever to pass the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act now. The bill would shut down the direct pipeline between the Department of Defense and police, ban the transfer of a long list of military equipment, require extensive documentation and reporting, and prohibit the militarization of departments under investigation for civil rights violations.9

Donald Trump’s extreme agenda has already emboldened law enforcement agents across the country, at the local, state and federal level. Making sure that his administration cannot arm police with weapons of war is a powerful way to fight back.

Can you add your name today to tell Congress to pass the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act and block Donald Trump’s attempt to militarize local police?

Thank you for everything you do.

References:

  1. Tom Jackman, “Trump to restore program sending surplus military weapons, equipment to police,” The Washington Post, Aug. 27, 2017.

  2. Matt Apuzzo, “War Gear Flows to Police Departments,” The New York Times, June 8, 2014.

  3. Nicole D. Nelson, “When Will Black Lives Matter in St. Louis?” The New York Times, Sept. 20, 2017.

  4. ACLU Foundation, “War Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing,” June 2014.

  5. ibid.

  6. Tess Owen, “Baton Rouge cops dressed for war to confront protesters,” Vice News, July 11, 2016.

  7. Standing Rock Special: Dallas Goldtooth on Police Violence & Repression of Movement Against DAPL,” Democracy Now, Nov. 24, 2016.

  8. Jeremy Scahill and Margot Williams, “Stingrays: A Secret Catalogue of Government Gear for Spying on Your Cellphone,” The Intercept, Dec. 17, 2015.

  9. H.R.1556 – Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act

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*CREDO is a lefty activist mobile telecom company: every month it allocates a portion of its revenue to various activist non-profits, as voted and allocated by its customers. CREDO is, for example, Planned Parenthood’s largest corporate donor. Please consider switching to CREDO as your mobile carrier, and stop supporting anti-democratic corporations that fund conservatives like AT&T. Yes it is true that CREDO runs on Verizon’s network and it’s also true that Verizon is a ginormous shitweasel, so some of CREDO’s revenue is indeed funding conservative shitweaselry. But compared to the telecom behemoths CREDO is a tiny company, and yet it still manages to donate $150-200k per month to well-vetted, worthwhile organizations.

Well played.

As I’ve mentioned, I loathe U.S. men’s sportsball with the burning intensity of ten thousand suns. #yesallmenssportsball. The reasons are legion, but a big one is the cloying stench of jingoist militarism that pervades the realm. And of course that is no accident: a 2015 Senate report released to little fanfare detailed U.S. military contracts worth millions of taxpayer dollars with pro sports teams for “paid-for patriotism,” from solemn “salutes to service” to flag-waving pageantry to ceremonies honoring hometown war heroes on the field. Worse still, the NFL alone receives about $1 billion a year in public subsidies to build and operate stadiums and other handouts, thereby enriching obscenely wealthy team owners at taxpayers expense.

Unlike other temporary expenditures on infrastructure or even businesses in which state and local governments might invest to ultimately benefit the public and/or their treasury’s bottom line,

[p]ublic handouts for modern professional football never end and are never repaid. In return, the NFL creates nothing of social value—while setting bad examples, despite its protests to the contrary, regarding concussions, painkiller misuse, weight gain, and cheating, among other issues.

Other issues indeed. Like, oh, say, sexual assault and domestic violence, for which career-ending consequences are virtually unheard of. But a player sitting out the national anthem to protest racism and police murdering people of color? GAME OVER.

Now I don’t know about you, but I always have to wonder: what does our Sexual-Assaulter-In-Chief think about all of this? Fortunately for inquiring minds like mine, he has not shut up about it since his Nazi-fest on Friday night.

Trump told the Republican rally that such actions “disrespect our heritage.”

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired,'” Trump said… He went on to encourage spectators to boycott games where national anthem protests take place.

He’s been completely obsessed with these anti-racist NFL protests for three days now, tweeting yesterday:

“If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem,” Trump wrote. “If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!”

And this morning:

Can I tell you how much I looooove all of this? Because the backlash is just a beautiful fucking thing to behold. Ever since Commander Cheetohead started his fascist little crusade on Friday, NFL players, coaches and even team owners – who collectively contributed $7 million to Trump’s campaign and some of whom are his personal friends – have responded overwhelmingly, negatively and vociferously. Yesterday, the protests spread from the NFL to major league baseball when some d00d who plays for the Oakland As knelt during the national anthem. And this just came over my news feed, just as the Sunday games begin to get underway:

Dozens of players kneel, coaches link arms in solidarity as Trump asks NFL teams to ‘fire or suspend’ protesting players

SOMERSET, N.J. — As President Trump called for NFL owners to suspend or fire players who protested the national anthem, players and coaches answered defiantly Sunday morning, with most members of the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars either standing with their arms locked in solidarity or taking a knee on the field.

Ravens Coach John Harbaugh joined his players, locking arms, and Jaguars owner Shahid Khan, a Pakistani American billionaire and businessman, joined his players before the game’s kickoff at 9:30 a.m. in London’s Wembley Stadium. Ravens Hall of Famer Ray Lewis also took a knee during the anthem.

Most members of both teams, the Ravens’ coach and the Jaguars’ OWNER. On an international stage, no less.

LOLOL!

Keep it up, Mr. President! Heckuva job! Now if we could just get you to piss yourself silly over all the sportsball players kneeling to protest domestic abuse and sexual violence against women, that would be super.

Oh wait. There aren’t any.

[edited because rage typo.]

Petition to St. Louis Mayor: Protect protesters, investigate cops.

[CONTENT NOTE: white supremacy, racist police violence (no images).]

Please sign and signal boost if you are willing and able. Thank you.

via Color of Change:

Police are out of control in St. Louis, and the Mayor has done nothing to stop them. Over the weekend of protests following the not-guilty verdict absolving Jason Stockley of accountability in the killing of Anthony Lamar Smith, police have taunted protesters saying Ferguson-era chants like “Whose streets? Our streets?”1–in the same manner of neo-nazi terrorists in Charlottesville2–and police even trampled over an older woman and pepper-sprayed the people who tried to help her.3

Mayor Lyda Krewson still has not condemned the rampant excessive force police are using to suppress the peaceful protesters she claims to support. After the verdict came down, Krewson was quick to express her disappointment and also made a statement in support of the peaceful protest.4 And today she said internal affairs division of the St. Louis police would investigate misconduct. But we know we can’t rely on the police to investigate themselves. We need Krewson to take REAL action to protect protesters. That’s why we’re calling on her to widely condemn any use of excessive force against protesters and call an independent commission to investigate the actions of police during this time. She won’t have a choice if enough of us join together in making the demand. Will you sign the petition?

Tell the St. Louis Mayor: Take a stand against police violence. Protect the right to protest in your city.

This weekend’s events are history repeating itself again and again since the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement. When Black people gather to demand an end to state violence, the state doubles down on the violence people were there to protest in the first place. We saw the St. Louis Police Department’s militarized response to protest in Ferguson in 2014, and we’re seeing it again today. St. Louis police department has one of the highest rates of police-involved killings.5 And instead of encouraging peaceful protest, St, Louis police invoked fear and provoked the confrontation. Using tear gas and riot gear, the police in St. Louis have arrested over 100 people since Friday that the police chief called “criminals.”6

In fact, the St. Louis Police Department has been overstating the supposed crime and vandalism to excuse their overly aggressive actions against mostly peaceful protests. Just yesterday, the police department tweeted a picture of a spray bottle filled with apple cider vinegar–a remedy protesters use to alleviate the symptoms of tear gas–and called it a “chemical agent” they confiscated from people trying to use it “against police officers.”7 The truth is that St. Louis police agitated protesters, and none of their actions were centered in de-escalation. They came dressed for a riot. And it’s what they got. Taunting at protesters is not how police officers should be engaging during this time.

It’s unacceptable. Mayor Krewson has said she wants to come together as a united St. Louis–and that means speaking out against behavior that seeks to divide us and push back against the change our communities need. Protest is a right that should be protected. And the actions of St. Louis police need to be investigated by an independent commission immediately.

Sign the petition.

Until justice is real,

— Arisha, Rashad, Scott, Clarise, Anay, Malaya, Enchanta, Katrese, and the Color Of Change team

References:

1. “St. Louis officers chant ‘whose streets, our streets’ while arresting protesters,” Washington Post, 09-18-2017

2. “A new generation of white supremacists emerges,” Louisiana Weekly, 08-21-17

3. “St. Louis cops trample, arrest woman at protest,” New York Post, 09-16-2017

4. “Mayor Krewson’s statement on verdict,” Twitter @LydaKrewson, 09-15-2017

5. “Letter to Mayor Krewson re: Police Conduct at Sunday Night Protest,” ACLU of Missouri, 09-18-2017

6. “St. Louis protests continue, police arrest more than 100 people and vow: ‘This is our city,'” Washington Post, 09-18-2017

7. “St. Louis Police Claim an ‘Unknown Chemical’ Labeled ‘Apple Cider Vinegar’ Maliciously Used Against Them,” The Root, 09-19-2017

__________
Color Of Change is building a movement to elevate the voices of Black folks and our allies, and win real social and political change. Help keep our movement strong.

Petition to Las Vegas PD: Release the video.

[CONTENT NOTE: white supremacy, racist police violence.]

Full disclosure: I have no idea who Michael Bennett is. I loathe men’s sportsball with the burning intensity of ten thousand suns. This campaign is the only reason I know that Bennett is a black man—but of course that is the only thing that matters to far too many police officers in this country. Please consider signing this petition, and signal boosting. Thank you.

via Color of Change:

Campaign created by
Patrisse Cullors-Brignac, Black Lives Matter Global Network

Release the names of the officers and footage from the police assault on NFL player Michael Bennett on Saturday, August 26, 2017.

Why is this important?

[Read more…]

Petition: Tell ABC and Tom Llamas to apologize. UPDATED.

[CONTENT NOTE: Anti-black media reporting and anti-black violence.]

UPDATED BELOW.

via Color of Change (email):

Dear Iris,

He called the police on them for trying to get food.

ABC News anchor, Tom Llamas, in Houston to report on Hurricane Harvey, spotted Texans who had recently lost everything entering a grocery store. Instead of reporting on the desperate circumstances with compassion, he actually diverted first responder resources that could be used to save stranded families–and called the police.1

That’s right. Houstonians desperately searching for uncontaminated food and water in order to survive were not only shamed and blasted on social media, but confronted with police as they fought for their lives.

And when we asked Tom Llamas to apologize for his biased and possibly dangerous treatment of Hurricane Harvey victims; instead of owning up to it, he blocked us on Twitter.

Tell ABC News and Tom Llamas to issue an apology now!

Tom Llamas didn’t only wrongfully criminalize disaster victims– he put them in harm’s way. Local authorities recently announced that anyone found “looting” will be faced with mandatory jail time.2 And the District Attorney has escalated burglary charges all the way up to life imprisonment–of course this disproportionately affects poor and Black people who may not have had the money to purchase goods in advance, and will be on the hunt for clean water and food.3

In times of emergency and natural disaster, television news is often the only way that bystanders can ascertain what’s happening. News media has the sacred duty of framing tragedies in an honest, unbiased, and compassionate manner. Unfortunately, we saw this same dishonest and biased reporting during Hurricane Katrina, when thousands of Black families were shamed and criminalized as “looters” while trying to feed their families. Meanwhile, white families were simply characterized as searching for food. And and we know that media representations can have a profoundly negative impact on the ways that people in positions of power and privilege interact with Black people. Research has shown that negative media portrayals can engender antagonism toward people of color and lead to higher tolerance for race-based societal disparities.

Tell ABC News, Tom Llamas to apologize now!

The victims of Hurricane Harvey need compassionate and unbiased reporting in the wake of this horrific natural disaster–not criminalization and unnecessary police intervention. It’s time for Tom Llamas and ABC to stop running and apologize.

Sign the petition.

Until justice is real,

— Brandi, Arisha, Rashad, Anika, Jade, Evan, Corina, the rest of the Color Of Change team

References:

  1. “ABC News reporter covering Hurricane Harvey gets slammed online after reporting alleged looters to police.” Business Insider, 28 August 2017. http://act.colorofchange.org/go/8690?t=9&akid=7843%2E2505660%2Eyv_d6J
  2. “In Houston, Authorities Are Toughening Penalties As Warning To Would-Be Looters.” NPR, August 2017. http://act.colorofchange.org/go/8691?t=11&akid=7843%2E2505660%2Eyv_d6J
  3. “Race and class are the biggest issues around Hurricane Harvey.” The Root, 31 August 2017. http://act.colorofchange.org/go/8692?t=13&akid=7843%2E2505660%2Eyv_d6J


Color Of Change is building a movement to elevate the voices of Black folks and our allies, and win real social and political change. Help keep our movement strong.

__________

UPDATE [h/t Alyssa Gonzalez]: If you want to know why this is so urgent and important, here’s why.

Armed Fascists Are Roaming Texas Floods Looking For Looters

Armed right-wing paramilitary groups are patrolling parts of Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey under the guise of helping hurricane victims.

A group of “Proud Boys” — a men’s rights group with fascist leanings — photographed themselves wading through flooded neighborhoods with assault weapons and flashing a hand signal associated with extremist militia groups. They refer to themselves as an “anti looting patrol.”

Of course they do. And that headline should read: Armed White Men Are Roaming Texas Floods Looking For Black People To Shoot. See, starving white people are not looters by definition. They’re simply “finding food.” Starving black people? Well, not so much.

Ladies and gentlemen, behold the power of YOUR LIBERAL MEDIA.

Sign the petition.

Dances with trolls.

[CONTENT NOTE: casual ableism]

Our troll story today begins as they almost always do: with an unprompted comment on an oooooold post. Behold my Facebook status from November 10, 2016:


Iris Vander Pluym
November 10, 2016 

JUST TO BE CRYSTAL CLEAR: If you voted for Donald Trump, or you live in a swing state and voted for a third party candidate or declined to vote entirely, UNFRIEND ME. You are now and always will be dead to me.

Now I thought I was being clear and fair. Kind, even, if not particularly nice. I felt that not only was I was doing a service to myself and my own online spaces, but to those who would interact with me, or decide not to. I then went ahead and proactively blocked some people, and apparently I did a pretty good job since only one Trump voter slipped by:

[Former IRL “friend”] Really

Iris Is a dead person trying to communicate with me? No, that cannot be. I don’t believe in ghosts. (Unfriended/blocked)

THE END.

Oh, wait no. NOT the end. Eight months later:

[Read more…]