Thank Representatives Baldwin and Moore for speaking out against Gaza blockade - and other WNPJ Action Alerts

More than 50 members of Congress have written a letter to President Obama about the humanitarian crisis caused by the Israeli blockade of Gaza. The letter states: "The blockade has severely impeded the ability of aid agencies to do their work to relieve suffering... has devastated livelihoods [and] entrenched a poverty rate of over 70%." The letter goes on to note that "the ban on building materials is preventing the reconstruction of thousands of innocent families' damaged homes." Two members of the Wisconsin Congressional delegation, Tammy Baldwin (202-225-2906) and Gwen Moore (202-225-4572), have signed on to the letter.

More WNPJ Action Alerts below...

Action Step: If you are in Rep. Baldwin or Moore's districts, please call to thank them for their support for easing the suffering of the people of Gaza. Staff from both Congressional offices report many angry calls from supporters of the Israeli blockade. If you are not in the district of Moore or Baldwin, please ask your member of Congress to sign on to the letter.

 

Action Alert 1: Three chances to speak up on nukes
Action Alert 2: Cancel Haiti's debt
Action Alert 3: Help build the March 20 National March on Washington
Action Alert 4: Stop $54 billion in nuclear subsidies
Action Alert 5: Thank Representatives Baldwin and Moore for speaking out against Gaza blockade
Action Alert 6: Bill to ban military contractors needs cosponsors
Action Alert 7: Efforts for nuclear disarmament approach a critical moment
Action Alert 8: End U.S. practice of indefinite imprisonment without trial

 


Action Alert 1: Three chances to speak up on nukes
Background: Wisconsin's Clean Energy Jobs Act includes many positive changes to promote renewable energy, but also proposes to remove Wisconsin's common-sense requirement that no new nuclear plants be built until there is a federal repository to store the plants' highly-radioactive waste. Citizens will have three more opportunities to communicate with legislators about the bill at the Capitol in Madison: Feb. 2 and Feb. 15: Public hearings on Clean Energy Jobs Actprovide an opportunity to register or speak on the bill. Carbon Free Nuclear Free Organizer Diane Farsetta writes: "Since we're seeking to remove one bad part of an otherwise good and important bill, you can register as 'informational' rather than 'opposing' or 'supporting.' " Feb. 23: Carbon Free Nuclear Free lobby day: personal meetings with legislators and/or staff will be arranged for those attending. Contact Diane Farsetta to RSVP.
Contact for more info: Diane Farsetta, Carbon Free Nuclear Free campaign, (608) 250-9240, farsettad@gmail.com.

 


Action Alert 2: Cancel Haiti's debt
Background: As the number of confirmed dead from the Haiti earthquake now reaches as high as 170,000, the country continues to struggle under the burden of more than a billion dollars in foreign debt. Much of Haiti's debt stems from the reparations it was forced to pay to France for winning its independence more than two hundred years ago. The government of Venezuela has announced that it will cancel all of Haiti's debt to Venezuela, and a growing international movement is calling for all nations to do the same. A bill to provide debt relief to Haiti was introduced in the Senate on Jan. 28th, and sent to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, of which Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold is a member.
Action Step: Call Senator Feingold (202-224-5323) and urge him to work for the quick passage of debt relief for Haiti through his committee, and ask your Congressional Representatives to support debt relief for Haiti.
Contact for more info: Art Heitzer, Wisconsin Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba, 414-273-1040 ext 12 , info@CubaWiFriends.org

 


Action Alert 3: Help build the March 20 National March on Washington
Background: Plans are now underway for protests in Washington, D.C., on March 20, the seventh anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The march, organized by the ANSWER coalition, is organized around the demands:  “No Colonial-type Wars and Occupations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine!”, “No War Against Iran!” and “No War for Empire Anywhere!”
Action Step: The march organizers are asking for organizations to endorse the march, and are seeking volunteers to organize buses to Washington from around the country.
Contact for more info: Steve Burns, Program Director, Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, 608-250-9240, outreach@wnpj.org

 


Action Alert 4: Stop $54 billion in nuclear subsidies
Background: President Obama's proposed 2011 budget includes a tripling of taxpayer loan guarantees to the nuclear industry for the construction of new nuclear plants. The news follows President Obama's statement in his State of the Union address that the U.S. should begin "building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear-power plants in this country” in an effort to create "clean energy jobs." New nuclear plants are estimated to cost as much as $12 billion each, a cost that industry will not undertake without government guarantees.
Action Step: The House of Representatives originates all budget legislation, so please call your Congressional Representative to urge them to oppose any taxpayer subsidies for the nuclear industry. Representative Dave Obey, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, will play an especially important role on this issue.
Contact for more info: Michael Mariotte, Executive Director, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, nirsnet@nirs.org, 301-270-6477

 


Action Alert 5: Thank Representatives Baldwin and Moore for speaking out against Gaza blockade
Background: More than 50 members of Congress have written a letter to President Obama about the humanitarian crisis caused by the Israeli blockade of Gaza. The letter states: "The blockade has severely impeded the ability of aid agencies to do their work to relieve suffering... has devastated livelihoods [and] entrenched a poverty rate of over 70%." The letter goes on to note that "the ban on building materials is preventing the reconstruction of thousands of innocent families' damaged homes." Two members of the Wisconsin Congressional delegation, Tammy Baldwin (202-225-2906) and Gwen Moore (202-225-4572), have signed on to the letter.
Action Step: If you are in Rep. Baldwin or Moore's districts, please call to thank them for their support for easing the suffering of the people of Gaza. Staff from both Congressional offices report many angry calls from supporters of the Israeli blockade. If you are not in the district of Moore or Baldwin, please ask your member of Congress to sign on to the letter.
Contact for more info: Barb Olson, Madison-Rafah Sister City Project, 608-238-1227, rafahsistercity@yahoo.com

 


Action Alert 6: Bill to ban military contractors needs cosponsors
Background: Rep. Jan Schakowsky will soon be introducing a bill, the "Stop Outsourcing Security Act", that would require the State Department and Pentagon to phase out the use of private military contractors, like the Blackwater mercenaries responsible for the murder of 17 civilians in Baghdad's Nissour Square. Wisconsin Representatives Tammy Baldwin and Gwen Moore have already announced that they will cosponsor the bill.
Action Step: If you are in Rep. Baldwin or Moore's districts, please call to thank them for their support for the Schakowsky bill. If you are not, please ask your member of Congress to sign on to the Schakowsky "Stop Outsourcing Security" bill.
Contact for more info: Dan Kenney, DeKalb Interfaith Network for Peace and Justice, 815-793-0950, dkenney@dekalbinterfaithnetwork.org

 


Action Alert 7: Efforts for nuclear disarmament approach a critical moment
Background: Last April, President Obama committed his administration to  "take concrete steps towards a world without nuclear weapons," adding, "as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act." The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference which will begin at the United Nations in May will be a critical moment in the effort to end the spread of nuclear weapons and to eventually abolish them. In preparation for the May conference, the International Planning Committee for Nuclear Abolition, Peace, Sustainability and Justice has initiated a worldwide petition drive urging President Obama to initiate good faith multilateral negotiations on an international agreement to abolish nuclear weapons within our lifetimes.
Action Step: Sign the online petition here... and contact Judy Miner to find out how to get your city involved in the "Mayors for Peace" campaign. Judy reports: "Madison, Milwaukee and Waukesha are already signed on, and efforts are underway in Janesville and Appleton."
Contact for more info: Judy Miner, Executive Director, Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, 608-250-9240, info@wnpj.org

 


Action Alert 8: End U.S. practice of indefinite imprisonment without trial
Background: In a clear violation of the U.S. constitution and international law, a Justice Department task force recommended last week that the U.S. continue to hold 50 Guantanamo prisoners "indefinitely," without charging the prisoners with a crime of providing them with a trial.
Action Step: Call the Office of the Attorney General (202-514-2001) and the White House (202-456-1111) to demand that the government obey the rule of law and that all prisoners held by the U.S. be charged with a crime and given a fair trial, or be released. Amnesty International has also set up an email form to call for "a commission of independent, bipartisan experts to examine... policies and actions related to the detention, treatment, and transfer of Guantanamo detainees."
Contact for more info: Joy First (608-222-7581, jsfirst@tds.net) and Bonnie Block (bblock@charter.net) have been leading Wisconsin's efforts for the Witness Against Torture campaign.