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ICE Locks Down Immigrant Detention Facility After Interfaith Group Holds Prayer Circle

NNIRR - Mon, 06/26/2017 - 2:08pm
Story Type:  Article Story Author:  Julia Wick Story Publisher:  LAist

On Tuesday, a group of more than 60 faith leaders and attorneys visiting an immigrant detention center in the high desert was refused entry, and the entire facility was put on lockdown shortly thereafter. Family members and lawyers who were already visiting detainees inside the Adelanto Detention Center were also forced to leave.

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Categories: Grassroots Newswire

How Texas' sanctuary cities ban compares to Arizona's 'show me your papers' law

NNIRR - Mon, 06/26/2017 - 2:05pm
Story Type:  Article Story Author:  James Barragán Story Publisher:  Dallas News

AUSTIN — Before Texas’ sanctuary cities ban even made it to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk, it had a not-so-flattering nickname: the “show me your papers” law, a reference to a similar Arizona measure that sparked national debate and a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

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Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Supreme Court Revives Parts Of Trump's Travel Ban As It Agrees To Hear Case

NNIRR - Mon, 06/26/2017 - 1:12pm
Story Type:  Article Story Author:  Joel Rose and Bill Chappell Story Publisher:  National Public Radio

The Supreme Court says it will decide the fate of President Trump's revised travel ban, agreeing to hear arguments over immigration cases that were filed in federal courts in Hawaii and Maryland, and allowing parts of the ban that's now been on hold since March to take effect.

The justices removed the lower courts' injunctions against the ban "with respect to foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States," narrowing the scope of two injunctions that had put the ban in limbo.

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Categories: Grassroots Newswire

A Global Call to Action Against Nike

USAS - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 12:59pm

 

Nike boasts of empowering women, but its garment workers tell a different story.  Can you imagine the irony of sowing Equality on a shirt for a brand which is complicit in the firing of pregnant women? Wage theft? Mass faintings? While Nike markets themselves as champions of women’s equality, the abuses behind their factory doors expose that the only thing they champion is their own bottom line.

In Vietnam, Mexico, and Guatemala, workers are outraged at Nike’s lack of accountability and lies. Instead of improving conditions, Nike is cutting and running from factories where their abuses have been reported  Nike has repeatedly backed out on their commitments to re-instate dignified work on the factory floor.

But across the country and around the world, we’re pushing back.  With massive contract cuts at major universities, the momentum against Nike is stronger than ever.  It’s time to take the fight from our campuses to the streets. Until Nike just does the right thing, no more business as usual.  The week of July 25th, people around the world are taking action at a Nike store near you.

Nike isn’t fooling workers, and they are not fooling us.  Will you join us?

Sign up here to participate in the Global Day of Action against Nike!

Participating U.S. Cities:

New York

Atlanta

Washington D.C.

Seattle

Spokane

Boston

and more..!

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

OpEd: Divisive politics distract from the urgency of universal health care

VWC - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 12:00am

Note: This OpEd by high school teacher, NEA and VWC member Tevye Kelman from Washington, VT, was published on June 23rd in VTDigger. Also, click here for Tevye's radio interview on Equal Time Radio. Photo credit: Isaac Grimm/RAD

If you’re someone who may need health care at some point in the next 10 years — i.e. all of us — it’s been a scary spring. In Washington, D.C., Senate Republicans are reportedly close to cutting a secretive deal to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a plan that nobody knows much about, except that it’s wildly unpopular and projected to leave tens of millions morbidly uninsured.

Closer to home, our governor has been holding the state budget hostage in an effort to force teachers to surrender their rights to bargain locally for health benefits. Although a last minute deal appears to have materialized to avert a government shutdown and preserve local bargaining, it’s troubling how successfully Gov. Phil Scott has been able to convince many working people that other unionized workers are their enemies.

When politicians are able to exploit legitimate anger over the inadequacy of our existing health care system to pit working people against each other, it undermines our collective ability to demand real reform. And real reform is still an urgent priority.

Despite the historic expansion of health care achieved under the Affordable Care Act, at least 28 million people remain uninsured. Millions more struggle to afford their premiums and out-of-pocket costs. The Republican plan would be catastrophic for working people, no doubt. But even if the bill never makes it out of Congress, we’ll still be faced with the problems caused by a dysfunctional, profit-driven health care system. Costs will continue to rise, more families will be unable to afford their premiums, and small businesses and towns will struggle to provide decent coverage to their employees.

The savage inequalities produced by for-profit health care are as real here in Vermont as anywhere else. Thousands remain uninsured or underinsured in our state, yet Blue Cross-Blue Shield has just asked for a 12 percent average rate increase in next year’s premiums. Poor people in Vermont will shoulder more than their fair share of these rising costs: a 2015 study found that low-income people pay an average of 20 percent of their earnings toward health care costs, while the wealthy pay 13 percent. It also found wide disparities in health care costs among people with comparable incomes, depending on whether they received coverage through their employer, the state exchange, or through government-sponsored health care.

I suspect that anger over these inequities drives much of the support for the governor’s tactics. That anger is real and valid. It’s not fair that we teachers have better coverage at lower cost than many of our students’ parents. It’s not fair that we have better care than our colleagues who work as paraprofessionals, in food service or in maintenance.

But we can’t fix this by weakening teachers unions, or making it more difficult for any workers to organize and bargain for a better deal. We all deserve to have health care we can afford. We need to resist attempts to scapegoat any of us as exploiting the system, when the reality is we’re all being exploited. We shouldn’t be angry with each other; we should be angry at a system that generates massive profits for pharmaceutical and insurance companies by putting a steadily rising price on our health.

When we argue whether teachers’ insurance plans are too generous, or if health care should be contingent on citizenship or employment status, or which pre-existing conditions are acceptable grounds for denying coverage, we are accepting the premise that some people don’t deserve health care. Arguing that we can’t “afford” single-payer, or believing that former Gov. Peter Shumlin’s bungling of financing universal health care “proves” it can’t work, assumes what we have now works and is affordable. Clearly that’s not the case.

There is a growing consensus in this country that health care is a human right. In Vermont, where public support for a single-payer system is particularly high, this right has been enshrined in law since 2011, when people got organized and successfully pushed the legislature to pass Act 48. But six years later, we are still stuck with an inefficient, inequitable and fundamentally unjust system that ensures insurance companies remain profitable, but fails to ensure universal access to affordable, quality care. Perpetuating a system that denies people access to care violates our collective values and the laws of our state. But that’s exactly what we’re doing when we engage in partisan battles for small dollar tax savings, pitting taxpayers and school boards against teachers and their union.

Whatever happens in this week’s veto session, I hope that it doesn’t mark the beginning of a new, ugly era in Vermont politics where the demonization of public-sector employees becomes justification for rampant privatization and union-busting. I hope, instead, it will be a turning point where working people in Vermont will see how damaging these divide-and-rule tactics are to our democracy and will reject them, recognizing that we’re all on the same side in the fight for universal health care. To get there, teachers like me need the support of the communities we serve as we struggle to protect our rights to affordable care and collective bargaining. But we also need to step up to demand that those rights are extended to our neighbors and the families we serve, who deserve them no less than we do.

Until that happens, we’ll stay divided and the health care system we all deserve will remain out of reach.

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

OpEd: Divisive politics distract from the urgency of universal health care

VWC - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 12:00am

Note: This OpEd by high school teacher, NEA and VWC member Tevye Kelman from Washington, VT, was published on June 23rd in VTDigger. Photo credit: Isaac Grimm/RAD

If you’re someone who may need health care at some point in the next 10 years — i.e. all of us — it’s been a scary spring. In Washington, D.C., Senate Republicans are reportedly close to cutting a secretive deal to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a plan that nobody knows much about, except that it’s wildly unpopular and projected to leave tens of millions morbidly uninsured.

Closer to home, our governor has been holding the state budget hostage in an effort to force teachers to surrender their rights to bargain locally for health benefits. Although a last minute deal appears to have materialized to avert a government shutdown and preserve local bargaining, it’s troubling how successfully Gov. Phil Scott has been able to convince many working people that other unionized workers are their enemies.

When politicians are able to exploit legitimate anger over the inadequacy of our existing health care system to pit working people against each other, it undermines our collective ability to demand real reform. And real reform is still an urgent priority.

Despite the historic expansion of health care achieved under the Affordable Care Act, at least 28 million people remain uninsured. Millions more struggle to afford their premiums and out-of-pocket costs. The Republican plan would be catastrophic for working people, no doubt. But even if the bill never makes it out of Congress, we’ll still be faced with the problems caused by a dysfunctional, profit-driven health care system. Costs will continue to rise, more families will be unable to afford their premiums, and small businesses and towns will struggle to provide decent coverage to their employees.

The savage inequalities produced by for-profit health care are as real here in Vermont as anywhere else. Thousands remain uninsured or underinsured in our state, yet Blue Cross-Blue Shield has just asked for a 12 percent average rate increase in next year’s premiums. Poor people in Vermont will shoulder more than their fair share of these rising costs: a 2015 study found that low-income people pay an average of 20 percent of their earnings toward health care costs, while the wealthy pay 13 percent. It also found wide disparities in health care costs among people with comparable incomes, depending on whether they received coverage through their employer, the state exchange, or through government-sponsored health care.

I suspect that anger over these inequities drives much of the support for the governor’s tactics. That anger is real and valid. It’s not fair that we teachers have better coverage at lower cost than many of our students’ parents. It’s not fair that we have better care than our colleagues who work as paraprofessionals, in food service or in maintenance.

But we can’t fix this by weakening teachers unions, or making it more difficult for any workers to organize and bargain for a better deal. We all deserve to have health care we can afford. We need to resist attempts to scapegoat any of us as exploiting the system, when the reality is we’re all being exploited. We shouldn’t be angry with each other; we should be angry at a system that generates massive profits for pharmaceutical and insurance companies by putting a steadily rising price on our health.

When we argue whether teachers’ insurance plans are too generous, or if health care should be contingent on citizenship or employment status, or which pre-existing conditions are acceptable grounds for denying coverage, we are accepting the premise that some people don’t deserve health care. Arguing that we can’t “afford” single-payer, or believing that former Gov. Peter Shumlin’s bungling of financing universal health care “proves” it can’t work, assumes what we have now works and is affordable. Clearly that’s not the case.

There is a growing consensus in this country that health care is a human right. In Vermont, where public support for a single-payer system is particularly high, this right has been enshrined in law since 2011, when people got organized and successfully pushed the legislature to pass Act 48. But six years later, we are still stuck with an inefficient, inequitable and fundamentally unjust system that ensures insurance companies remain profitable, but fails to ensure universal access to affordable, quality care. Perpetuating a system that denies people access to care violates our collective values and the laws of our state. But that’s exactly what we’re doing when we engage in partisan battles for small dollar tax savings, pitting taxpayers and school boards against teachers and their union.

Whatever happens in this week’s veto session, I hope that it doesn’t mark the beginning of a new, ugly era in Vermont politics where the demonization of public-sector employees becomes justification for rampant privatization and union-busting. I hope, instead, it will be a turning point where working people in Vermont will see how damaging these divide-and-rule tactics are to our democracy and will reject them, recognizing that we’re all on the same side in the fight for universal health care. To get there, teachers like me need the support of the communities we serve as we struggle to protect our rights to affordable care and collective bargaining. But we also need to step up to demand that those rights are extended to our neighbors and the families we serve, who deserve them no less than we do.

Until that happens, we’ll stay divided and the health care system we all deserve will remain out of reach.

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Register Today for the USAS 2017 Summer Convention!

USAS - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 1:47pm

The annual USAS Summer Convention is where experienced student organizers from USAS affiliates around the country come together to talk strategy, decide campaign priorities, and build relationships with other student leaders who will support each other in another year of powerful movement building.

Once again, our Summer Convention will take place August 12-13, at the Amalgamated Transit Union headquarters — the George Meany National Labor College Campus — in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Each USAS local should plan to send ONLY TWO members of their group in addition to 2017-2018 national leadership. This is done to keep conversations as constructive and productive as possible given the short time frame that we’ll be together. We’ll be voting on any proposals brought by membership, and these two individuals will be expected to act as representatives for their group and submit votes on their behalf.

Food and housing for the retreat will be provided on both days through registration fees, but feel free to bring personal spending money. Plan your trip early, especially booking flights, and do as much of your own fundraising as possible! Travel scholarships to attend the USAS Summer Convention are available but also very limited and offered to individuals with the most financial need —in the registration form below, please indicate if you’d like to request a travel scholarship.

So as your USAS local starts to make plans to attend we’ve got just a few questions for you to start thinking about:

  • Have you cleared your calendar for August 12th and 13th?
  • Do you have any idea how you’re going to get to Silver Spring, MD? To help you out, check out our handy fundraising tool kit! And again, contact email hidden; JavaScript is required /* */ if you need any additional advice.
  • Has your local formally affiliated and received a USAS local number? If you’re not already, fill out the affiliation form here. Only locals with official local numbers will be permitted to vote on proposals.
  • Are you a dues paying member? Well it’s tough as heck doing what we do so if you got a minute to help our movement grow, hop to it. It can be as little as the cost of a pack of gum! Sign up for membership here.

After you register, keep checking your email for follow up information on travel details, housing locations and other logistical details. In the meantime, remember to get the other members of your local registered today!

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Categories: Grassroots Newswire

For Struggling Families in San Ysidro, Immigration Status and Housing Work Against Each Other

NNIRR - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 1:41pm
Story Type:  Article Story Author:  Maya Srikrishnan Story Publisher:  Voice of San Diego

San Ysidro, a community perched on the U.S.-Mexico border, attracts people who are often in flux.

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Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Former immigration detainees challenge labor practices

NNIRR - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 1:40pm
Story Type:  Article Story Author:  Colleen Slevin Story Publisher:  The Associated Press

A group of former detainees says the system borders on modern-day slavery. They are challenging it in federal court and have won the right to sue the Denver-area detention center’s operator on behalf of an estimated 60,000 people held there over a decade.

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Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Scores of farm workers, activists march on Ben & Jerry’s

NNIRR - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 1:55pm
Story Type:  Article Story Author:  Wilson Ring Story Publisher:  Burlington Free Press

MONTPELIER, Vt. - Scores of dairy farm workers and activists marched Saturday to a Ben & Jerry’s factory to push for better pay and living conditions on farms that provide milk for the ice cream maker that takes pride in its social activism.

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Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Federal prosecutors inaugurate ‘express’ deportations

NNIRR - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 1:53pm
Story Type:  Article Story Author:  Alfonso Chardy Story Publisher:  Miami Herald

Until recently, foreign nationals convicted of a crime in federal court were told that immigration authorities would put them in deportation proceedings upon completion of their prison terms.

Not anymore.

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Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Border Patrol arrests 4 Mexicans at humanitarian-aid group's Arivaca camp

NNIRR - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 1:46pm
Story Type:  Article Story Author:  Carmen Duarte Story Publisher:  Arizona Daily Star

Border Patrol agents served a warrant and arrested four people at a No More Deaths camp in Arivaca, Customs and Border Protection announced Thursday night. The four are Mexican nationals arrested for immigration violations, the agency said.

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Categories: Grassroots Newswire

NYC Pension Funds Made a $48 Million Statement About Private Prisons

NNIRR - Wed, 06/14/2017 - 1:21pm
Story Type:  Article Story Author:  Oscar Perry Abello Story Publisher:  Next City

In the final divestment announcement last week, the comptroller’s office cited reputational risks (poor conditions, high rates of violence, improper staffing levels, inmate abuse and other human rights concerns), legal risks (lawsuits stemming from human rights abuses can lead to high payouts, making private prison companies less profitable)

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Categories: Grassroots Newswire

CVH is looking for an Individual Giving & Events Associate!

CVH - Tue, 06/13/2017 - 2:00pm

Community Voices Heard is seeking an experienced organizer who is excited about engaging new people to build a coterie of faithful funders through individual donor cultivation, events and appeals. Successful applicants will have experience creating and implementing a fundraising plan to build stronger relationships, raising revenue from individual donors, and overseeing signature fundraising events.  For full details and how to apply, download the job description.

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

VWC stands in solidarity with Vermont's teachers.

VWC - Tue, 06/13/2017 - 1:15pm

Remarks by VWC president Ellen Schwartz at 6/8 Brattleboro rally to support Vermont's teachers. Photo credit: Ann Braden

Governor Scott has been using divide and conquer tactics around education since he took office. Earlier this legislative session, he proposed cuts to K-12 education in order to fund increases in early education and higher education. While those increases are sorely needed, the target of the cuts were public schools and their unionized teachers. By offering increases to early ed and higher ed, he was attempting to divide educators by which sector they work in.

Fast forward to May, with the legislative session winding down and the budget nearly settled. Enter Governor Scott, announcing that he would veto the budget if health insurance isn’t removed from collective bargaining between teachers and their employers, the local school districts. Yesterday he did just that.

Make no mistake, this is not about healthcare. Rather, Scott is taking advantage of the ‘Cadillac plan’ clause of the ACA—which means that all school districts need to renegotiate contracts this year—to weaken collective bargaining rights for teachers.

Scott knows that our healthcare system is broken. He knows that it’s easy for people who are uninsured or underinsured to turn on those whom they perceive as having a better deal, such as teachers and public employees. But he is not proposing a real solution to healthcare, such as the full implementation of Act 48, which would ensure that we all have access to healthcare through a universal, equitably funded system.

Instead he is using health insurance to sow division: to divide unionized from non-unionized workers, public sector employees from those in the private sector, people with health insurance from those without. Like so-called “right to work,” Scott’s proposal seeks to hamstring unions’ ability to bargain collectively. But here’s the thing: we all benefit from any group of workers having collective bargaining rights. The surest evidence for this is in comparisons between overall wages and benefits—including health insurance—for workers in RTW vs. non-RTW states. Non-RTW states, like Vermont, have on average 3.2% higher wages and higher levels of employer-sponsored health insurance than RTW states.

“An injury to one is an injury to all.” Today teachers are under attack. Let’s send a strong message to Governor Scott—that we stand in solidarity with our public school teachers, that we are united—not divided— and that we will not allow him to weaken collective bargaining rights.

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

VWC stands in solidarity with Vermont's teachers.

VWC - Tue, 06/13/2017 - 1:15pm

Remarks by VWC president Ellen Schwartz at 6/8 Brattleboro rally to support Vermont's teachers. Photo credit: Ann Braden

Governor Scott has been using divide and conquer tactics around education since he took office. Earlier this legislative session, he proposed cuts to K-12 education in order to fund increases in early education and higher education. While those increases are sorely needed, the target of the cuts were public schools and their unionized teachers. By offering increases to early ed and higher ed, he was attempting to divide educators by which sector they work in.

Fast forward to May, with the legislative session winding down and the budget nearly settled. Enter Governor Scott, announcing that he would veto the budget if health insurance isn’t removed from collective bargaining between teachers and their employers, the local school districts. Yesterday he did just that.

Make no mistake, this is not about healthcare. Rather, Scott is taking advantage of the ‘Cadillac plan’ clause of the ACA—which means that all school districts need to renegotiate contracts this year—to weaken collective bargaining rights for teachers.

Scott knows that our healthcare system is broken. He knows that it’s easy for people who are uninsured or underinsured to turn on those whom they perceive as having a better deal, such as teachers and public employees. But he is not proposing a real solution to healthcare, such as the full implementation of Act 48, which would ensure that we all have access to healthcare through a universal, equitably funded system.

Instead he is using health insurance to sow division: to divide unionized from non-unionized workers, public sector employees from those in the private sector, people with health insurance from those without. Like so-called “right to work,” Scott’s proposal seeks to hamstring unions’ ability to bargain collectively. But here’s the thing: we all benefit from any group of workers having collective bargaining rights. The surest evidence for this is in comparisons between overall wages and benefits—including health insurance—for workers in RTW vs. non-RTW states. Non-RTW states, like Vermont, have on average 3.2% higher wages and higher levels of employer-sponsored health insurance than RTW states.

“An injury to one is an injury to all.” Today teachers are under attack. Let’s send a strong message to Governor Scott—that we stand in solidarity with our public school teachers, that we are united—not divided— and that we will not allow him to weaken collective bargaining rights.

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Trump gets another travel ban defeat — and the clock is ticking

NNIRR - Mon, 06/12/2017 - 2:49pm
Story Type:  Article Story Author:  Dara Lind Story Publisher:  Vox

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Hawaii judge’s ruling barring Donald Trump’s travel ban — which would prevent all entries from six majority-Muslim countries for 90 days, and nearly all refugee admissions for 120 days — from going into effect on Monday.

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Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Stand with Refugees

NNIRR - Mon, 06/12/2017 - 2:28pm
Story Type:  Blog Story Publisher:  NNIRR

Stand with Refugees

Join NNIRR and so many others this week to urge support for refugees, in advance of World Refugee Day on June 20. 

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Categories: Grassroots Newswire

The Supreme Court just made our ugly, messed up immigration law even uglier

NNIRR - Mon, 06/12/2017 - 2:10pm
Story Type:  Article Story Author:  Ian Millhiser Story Publisher:  Think Progress

The holding of Morales-Santana is that a federal citizenship law that gives preferential treatment to the children of unwed U.S.

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Categories: Grassroots Newswire

The Supreme Court just made our ugly, messed up immigration law even uglier

NNIRR - Mon, 06/12/2017 - 2:04pm
Story Type:  Article Story Author:  Ian Millhiser Story Publisher:  Think Progress

The holding of Morales-Santana is that a federal citizenship law that gives preferential treatment to the children of unwed U.S.

read more

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

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