WNPJ Action Alerts: Week of October 17th

Action Alert 1 - Madison: Protest 10 years of war
Action Alert 2 - Madison: Keep guns out of city buildings
Action Alert 3: 10/19 Lobby Day on Mining in Wisconsin
Action Alert 4: New bill would enable employment discrimination
Action Alert 5: Opportunity to speak out against mining
Action Alert 6: Block U.S. arms sales to human-rights violator Bahrain
Action Alert 7 - Madison: Help stop wage theft
Action Alert 8: Stand up for Bradley Manning

 


Action Alert 1 - Madison: Protest 10 years of war
Background: October 7th marked the 10th anniversary of the the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, and protests have taken place all over the U.S. to mark the anniversary and to demand the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan and Iraq. Madison Area Peace Coalition has organized a march for downtown Madison for Saturday, March 15th.
Take Action: Join the Madison march at 11:30 am on Library Mall on the west end of State St.
Contact for more info: Madison Area Peace Coalition, 608) 442-0030


Action Alert 2 - Madison: Keep guns out of city buildings
Background: The Madison Common Council will vote Tuesday, October 18th, on whether or not to allow loaded guns in all city-owned buildings. The vote is in response to Wisconsin's new "concealed carry" bill that allows the carrying of loaded, concealed weapons in public buildings unless building management has specified otherwise.
Take Action: "Guns anywhere" forces are already pressuring the Council members, so please call your Madison Common Council representative to urge them to vote to prohibit loaded guns in all city-owned buildings. An online form letter to your Alder is here...
Contact for more info: Jeri Bonavia, Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort, online contact form here...


Action Alert 3: 10/19 Lobby Day on Mining in Wisconsin
Background: Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters has organized a special lobby day at the state Capitol for October 19, to address plans in the legislature to weaken Wisconsin's conservation laws in order to benefit Gogebic Taconite, an out-of-state mining company. The lobby day is timed to direct public pressure on to a newly-named "Senate Select Mining Jobs Committee" created by Senate leadership. The special committee was created after a lobbyist-drafted mining bill introduced earlier this year triggered a firestorm of public criticism and was quickly pulled off of the legislative agenda. According to Clean Wisconsin, the draft law "would have fast-­ÔÇÉtracked mining proposals, limited public input and provided for an unprecedented elimination of environmental protections. proposed rule changes would limit citizen input to speed up mining applications." Despite this setback, mining lobbyists continue to press for a fast-tracked mine approval process and weakened mining regulations.
Take Action: 1) Join the special conservation lobby day on Wednesday, October 19th at the State Capitol from 12:30 to 4:30. Click here to RSVP, so a meeting can be arranged with your legislative representatives. Training and fact sheets will be provided to participants before their meetings. 2) Click here to read, modify and send a letter to your Assembly Representative and Senator to urge them to protect "requirements that protect water quality and supply, allow for local control, preserve hunting and fishing opportunities, encourage tourism, and provide opportunities for public input." 3) If you are a health professional, a small business owner, or a local elected official, the League of Conservation Voters has prepared special sign-on letters to be sent to your elected officials. Click here for more details.
Contact for more info: Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, 608-661-0845, info@conservationvoters.org


Action Alert 4: New bill would enable employment discrimination
Background: A bill just introduced in the Wisconsin legislation, Assembly Bill 286, would allow for the refusal to employ or to terminate from employment an individual who has been convicted of a felony and who has not been pardoned for that felony, whether or not the circumstances of the felony substantially relate to the circumstances of the particular job. The current state fair employment law prohibits discrimination in employment based on arrest or conviction record.
Take Action: Please contact your State Assembly Representative to urge them to oppose AB 256, which would only increase the barriers to employment for formerly incarcerated persons.
Contact for more info: Madison-area Urban Ministry, (608) 256-0906, mum@emum.org


Action Alert 5: Opportunity to speak out against mining
Background: This past week, the Wisconsin State Journal has been running a series about a proposed iron mine in the Penokee hills in Iron and Ashland Counties. The series has discussed the economic and environmental impacts of mining, and provides an excellent opportunity to get facts about the environmental damage of mining to the public. You can read the whole series here: 1) Mining in Wisconsin: Promise or peril? 2) Mining in Wisconsin: 'Everybody wants a decent living' 3) Mining in Wisconsin: Residents worry about water quality, quantity
Take Action: Please send in a letter to the Wisconsin State Journal (online letters form here, scroll to the bottom of the page) A couple of key points from the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters: 1) Iron mining disrupts water flow, scars the land, and pollutes the air. It’s even known to release mercury, a neurotoxin detrimental to human health, that makes the fish we catch unsafe to eat. 2) Wisconsin’s current mining laws were crafted to allow for profitable mining while ensuring that people, their property and their water and air are protected. There is no demonstrated need to change those laws now (read the full fact sheet here...)
Contact for more info: Al Gedicks, Wisconsin Resources Protection Council, 608-784-4399, online contact form here...


Action Alert 6: Block U.S. arms sales to human-rights violator Bahrain
Background: Despite a brutal crackdown by the government of Bahrain on pro-democracy activists, which included long prison terms for doctors who treated injured protesters, the Obama administration has announced plans to go ahead with sales of $53 million worth of armored Humvees and anti-tank missiles to Bahrain. The sales are likely to be interpreted in Bahrain as a U.S. seal of approval on the anti-democracy crackdown.
Take Action: Representative Jim McGovern and Senator Ron Wyden have introduced a joint resolution to block the Pentagon's planned arms sale (House resolution, Senate resolution)  Ask your Representative and Senators to add pressure on the Obama Administration to change its policy on Bahrain by signing the McGovern-Wyden resolution. Online form letter here...
Contact for more info: Just Foreign Policy, 202-448-2898, info@justforeignpolicy.org


Action Alert 7 - Madison: Help stop wage theft
Background: Worker Rights Center in Madison defends low-wage and immigrant workers against wage theft by their employers. Often, workers are not paid minimum wage, are not paid overtime, or just not paid at all. WRC finds that 40% of all workers who come to them show up because of wage theft.  Over the years, WRC has helped workers collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in money they had earned. Now, WRC reports: "While we have focused on providing community trainings on basic rights to educate workers about their rights with a special emphasis on wage theft, we have determined that it is not good enough.  We cannot continue to wait for workers to come to us.  Unscrupulous employers count on a certain number of workers who they rip off to throw up their hands and walk away."
Take Action: Worker Rights Center is now launching a program of targeted outreach to workers in specific industries and specific employers to identify and root out wage theft from our community.  Rather than a one-by-one piecemeal approach, WRC will do comprehensive investigations that may lead to class action wage theft cases. You can help WRC with this new initiative by calling Patrick or Carlos at 608-255-0376.
Contact for more info: Patrick Hickey, Worker Rights Center, 608-255-0376, worker1@sbcglobal.net


Action Alert 8: Stand up for Bradley Manning
Background: October 7, 2011 marked the 500th day in confinement for PFC Bradley Manning, the accused WikiLeaks whistleblower. Along with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, PFC Manning is one of the nominees for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. But the Obama administration continues to obstruct the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez, from conducting an un-monitored meeting with PFC Manning.
Take Action: The Bradley Manning Support Network has recently launched a petition at WhiteHouse.gov to force the administration to respond to the United Nations and all those who demand freedom for Bradley Manning. The petition reads, in part: "We expect any President to obey the constitutional freedoms that we all share. No one should be silenced for having the courage to speak or act against wrongdoing." Click here to sign the petition
Contact for more info: Bradley Manning Support Network, online contact form here...
 


 

WNPJ posts these weekly alerts from member organizations, individual members and national affiliates. If you are a WNPJ member and have an alert you would like posted , please send it to Steve Burns at: outreach@wnpj.org

Steve Burns
Program Director
Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice
122 State St. #405
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 250-9240