WNPJ Action Alerts: Week of November 21st

Action Alert 1 - Madison: Join "Jobs, not Cuts!" action at WMC
Action Alert 2: Respond to Committee Hearing on Mining
Action Alert 3: Help Madison workers win back stolen wages
Action Alert 4: Demand release of Palestinian crafts
Action Alert 5: Baldwin not yet signed on to End to Afghan war act
Action Alert 6: Stand up for freedom of assembly for Occupy


Action Alert 1 - Madison: Join "Jobs, not Cuts!" action at WMC headquarters
Background: At a time of record unemployment and poverty, politicians in Washington D.C. are threatening historic cuts to the country's social safety net. By November 23, a bipartisan congressional "Super Committee" will decide the fate of trillions in funding for extremely popular federal programs that seniors, the sick, the poor, students, workers, middle-class people, women, and others depend on. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education funding, and other social services are being targeted.
Take Action: Join a Saturday, November 19th rally at the headquarters of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the center of corporate control in our state. This protest is one of many local protests and actions the week of November 16 - 23 calling on the Super Committee and Congressional representatives to oppose the proposed cuts to demand: 1) Hands off Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, 2) A federal public works program to create millions of jobs for the unemployed, 3) major tax hikes on the super-rich and corporations, 4) End the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and slash Pentagon spending. The rally begins at 11:00am
Contact for more info: Jobs Not Cuts, contact@jobsnotcutsprotest.org

Action Alert 2: Respond to Committee Hearing on Mining
Background: The Senate Select Committee on Mining Jobs held its first informational hearing on Tuesday, November 15. This was an "experts only" session which the public was allowed to view but not participate in. The hearing was covered by Wisconsin Eye, the Wisconsin State Journal, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The Journal Sentinel also reported on Tuesday that Sen. Neil Kedzie, who heads the committee, is predicting a new mining bill will be introduced by the end of the year, with the goal of "streamlining" the permit process, which could force the DNR to approve mining projects without adequate review.
Take Action: 1) Write a letter to the editor against any changes to Wisconsin's mining laws that would weaken environmental protections or local control. Keep in mind that letters should be under 200 words and include your contact info. Send your letter to your local paper or to the Journal Sentinel or State Journal. 2) Call or e-mail your legislators to demand that they protect and strengthen Wisconsin's environmental review process for mining.
Contact for more info: Carl Sack, WNPJ, carl@wnpj.org

Action Alert 3: Help Madison workers win back stolen wages
Background: Numerous workers from a Madison-based residential and commercial cleaning company by the name of Dirt Destroyers have come to the Worker Rights Center seeking assistance in collecting their wages over the past year.  While some of the workers have eventually received their wages, problems continue.  The employer has failed to pay employees for hours worked, for travel time or overtime worked.  The Department of Workforce Development-Wage & Hour Division has investigated the company and determined that they are liable for unpaid wages.  Workers are owed hundreds of dollars and need their pay to make ends meet.
Take Action: Please contact Dirt Destroyer owner, Jackie Clash, at 608-288-3478 or by email at dirt@thedirtdestroyers.com and tell him to pay his workers ASAP.  Please contact the Worker Rights Center if you get a response.  
Contact for more info: Worker Rights Center, 608-255-0376, worker1@sbcglobal.net

Action Alert 4: Demand release of Palestinian crafts
Background: Every holiday season, the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) sponsors a bazaar of Palestinian crafts and goods made by talented artisans, farmers and craftspeople--especially women--living in the West Bank and Gaza, who make beautiful hand-woven rugs, tapestries, wooden sculptures, pottery, and embroidery. However, due to the ongoing illegal Israeli siege on Gaza, their most recent shipment of crafts from the Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children was prohibited from leaving Gaza by the Israeli government.
Take Action: Please sign the MECA petition by Monday, November 21, calling on the State Department to demand that Israel releases the crafts from Gaza, and end the inhumane siege of Gaza and the suffering it causes
Contact for more info: Middle East Children's Alliance, 510-548-0542, MECA@MECAforPeace.org

Action Alert 5: Baldwin not yet signed on to End to Afghan war act
Background: The Responsible End to the War in Afghanistan Act, introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee, would require that "funds made available for operations of the Armed Forces in Afghanistan are to be used only for providing for the safe and orderly withdrawal of all U.S. military personnel and Department of Defense (DOD) contractor personnel in Afghanistan." At present, the bill has 63 cosponsors, but Rep. Gwen Moore is the only Wisconsin Representative who has signed on as a cosponsor.
Take Action: The Legislative Action Working Group of United for Peace and Justice has issued a list of Representatives who have strong antiwar voting records but have not yet signed on as cosponsors to this important piece of antiwar legislation. Rep. Tammy Baldwin is the only Wisconsin representative on the list. Please call Rep. Baldin's office (608-258-9800) to thank her for her past votes against war funding and to urge her to sign on as a cosponsor to H.R. 780. If you are in Rep. Gwen Moore's district, and have not already done so, please call Rep. Moore (414-297-1140) to thank her for cosponsoring.
Contact for more info: Rusti Eisenberg, United for Peace and Justice Legislative Action Working Group, hiscze@aol.com

Action Alert 6: Stand up for freedom of assembly
Background: At 1:00 AM Tuesday night, police officers under direct orders from the Mayor of New York City raided Occupy Wall Street and evicted protestors from Zuccotti Park. The raid was part of a coordinated nationwide crackdown on the Occupy movement, with New York police joined by police in Seattle, Portland and Oakland in a massive show of force aimed at clearing occupy protests from public spaces. In Seattle, police even went so far as to pepper-spray an 84-year-old woman directly in the face.
Take Action: Please sign a petition originated by Rep. Dennis Kucinich that demands that mayors respect the Constitution and the rights of Occupy Wall Street to exist. Rep. Kucinich writes: "Right now, corporations are spending unlimited amounts of money to influence our election system under the guise of free speech. Yet when people like you and me gather in parks across America to protest this broken system, we are deemed a threat by local mayors."
Contact for more info: Representative Dennis Kucinich, (202)225-5871, online contact form here...

WNPJ is forwarding 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