Success Story

Nationwide campaign wins cancellation of for-profit detention center

Immigrant-rights activists in Florida and around the country are celebrating a victory over Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the largest and most powerful for-profit prison operator in the country.

CCA had already begun construction on a 500,000 square foot immigration detention facility in the south Florida community of Southwest Ranches when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced they would be cancelling plans to use the facility.

Right-wing ALEC losing sponsors and members

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a right-wing group responsible for drafting "model" legislation passed by Republican-controlled statehouses across the country, is losing corporate sponsors and legislative members as its involvement in pro-gun and anti-labor legislation becomes more widely known. Madison-based Center for Media and Democracy has worked to expose ALEC's behind-the-scenes role in creating the Florida "Stand your ground" legislation, the centerpiece of a firestorm of public criticism after the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. This week, online retailer Amazon announced it was dropping its sponsorship of ALEC, citing "public concerns."  Coca-Cola, Pepsi, McDonald's and Kraft Foods have also announced they are withdrawing from their ALEC corporate sponsorships. Attention is now shifting to legislators who are members of ALEC, and this week, 16 Pennsylvania legislators announced they will drop their ALEC memberships.
Take Action: Please contact your state legislators to ask them if they are ALEC members, and to urge them to follow the example of other legislators who have withdrawn their membership (Incredibly, Wisconsin Legislators are allowed to use taxpayer funds to pay for their membership dues in this partisan organization.)

Milwaukee County Board stengthens rights of the detained

With 14 of 18 Board members voting in favor, the Milwaukee County Board voted for a resolution supported by WNPJ member group Voces de la Frontera  that would change the way the county responds to "immigration detainers" issued by Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE issues the detainers to local officials for any person booked into a local jail who may be potentially subject to deportation, regardless of the seriousness of the booking charge. Immigration detainers are not mandatory, and local officials can -- and sometimes do -- refuse to honor them. ICE frequently issues detainers in error, for people who should not be deported. Last year, a third of ICE deportation requests were rejected by immigration judges. The resolution, which now goes to County Executive Chris Abele for signature, directs Milwaukee County law enforcement to follow the example of cities such as Taos, New Mexico,  which prohibits the honoring of Federal immigration detainers except in the case of persons convicted of a felony or two more more misdemeanors.
Take Action: Please call or email County Executive Chris Abele (414-278-4211, to urge him to sign the resolution on responding to ICE detainers. And if you contacted your County Supervisor earlier regarding the resolution, please call them back to thank them for their vote.

Nonviolent resistance wins rights for Palestinian prisoners

Two thousand Palestinian prisoners who joined together in a mass hunger strike have won major concessions from their Israeli jailers, including a pledge to end solitary confinement for all prisoners and allow around 400 prisoners from Gaza to receive family visits. In addition, prisoners on "administrative detention orders" -- Israel's term for imprisonment without charge or trial -- will not have their terms renewed without fresh information or evidence being brought before a military judge. Veteran Palestinian politician Hanan Ashrawi said, "The hunger strikers' courage is magnificently inspiring, and their selflessness deeply humbling. They have truly demonstrated that non-violent resistance is an essential tool in our struggle for freedom." Read more...

Badger ammo plant watchdog group wins “Conservationist of the Year”

The Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, the state’s largest conservation organization, has named Laura Olah, Executive Director of WNPJ member group Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger as the federation’s “Water Conservationist of the Year.” The formal presentation of the award was made at the federation’s annual meeting on April 14 in Stevens Point. Laura is a life-long resident of Sauk County and helped to organize CSWAB in 1990 when Army officials publicly confirmed that high concentrations of carcinogenic solvents had migrated beyond the fence line of the Badger Army Ammunition Plant and contaminated drinking water wells of private homes.  In the years that followed and continuing today, Laura has worked tirelessly to hold the Army accountable for the environmental impacts and threats to human health resulting from the decommissioned plant.  The award recognizes her more than 20 years of service protecting the environment and health and welfare of the citizens of Wisconsin who reside around the Badger Army Ammunition Plant.

A Thousand Attend the May Day Rally - Madison

The Immigrant Worker's Union issued this press release about the May Day Rally at the Capitol : As part of a series of national protests on behalf of the 99%  over one thousand people rallied at the State Street stairs of the Capitol. "Despite the change in time and format, the spirit of solidarity and struggle remained the same as in other years" said Alex Gillis from Immigrant Workers Union, "this year the importance of the rally revolved around the need for broad and diverse movements to come together all across the city and I feel satisfied that we did it once again, our rally was diverse, inclusive and full of good solidarity". Read more below about the list of speakers and endorsers of the event. CONTACT: Yvonne Geerts (608) 335-0357

Connecticut Senate votes to end death penalty

Connecticut is on track to the the latest state to abolish the death penalty, after a 20-16 vote by the State Senate in favor of a death penalty repeal bill. The bill now goes to Connecticut's House of Representatives, where it is expected to pass, and then to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who has said he would sign it into law. Senator Edith Prague, who voted for the repeal bill, said, "I cannot stand the thought of being responsible for somebody being falsely accused and facing thedeath penalty. For me, this is a moral issue and realizing that mistakes are obviously made." In the last five years, four states have repealed the death penalty — New Mexico, Illinois, New Jersey and New York. Wisconsin is one of 16 states that do not have a death penalty.

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