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Tell Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Stand With Democrats Against TPP!

Roll Call reports: "Because of the strength of [Sanders'] campaign, his opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership has now become accepted Democratic policy, even as President Barack Obama continues to support it."

Call Debbie Wasserman Schultz now at 202-225-7931. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like,

"I urge Debbie Wasserman Schultz to stand with Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and other Democrats in publicly opposing the TPP and opposing any lame duck vote on the TPP after the election."

When you've made your call, please report it below.

Politico reported:

In his prime-time moment on Monday night … Sanders went one by one through the platform’s central provisions, including its “strong opposition to job-killing free trade agreements like the TPP.”

The crowd cheered, and some began chanting “No TPP! No TPP!” Sanders tried to move on, but the chanters kept at it; many waved anti-TPP signs.

Sanders started again, then stopped; then pointed at the crowd, laughed, gave a thumbs up — and finally made his second TPP point: “We’ve got to make sure that TPP does not get to the floor of the Congress during the lame duck session.” (More cheering.)

Politico also reported:

43 HOUSE DEMOCRATS URGE SECRETARY KERRY TO CALL FOR DEMOCRACY IN BRAZIL (updated)

Reps. Conyers and others put out the following press release on the letter. A PDF of the letter is here.

UPDATE: since the below press release was sent out, three Members of Congress signed on to the letter - 
Lloyd Doggett (TX-35)Karen Bass (CA-37), and Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-7).
An updated PDF of the letter is here.

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For Immediate Release:

Call your Rep.: End "security aid" to Honduras!

Today, July 14, there is a National Call-in Day in support of the Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act (HR 5474). The bill would cut off U.S. funding and training of the Honduran "security" forces, as called for by the AFL-CIO and many human rights groups.

See if your Rep. is a co-sponsor of the bill.

If your Rep. is not, please call them now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:

"So-called U.S. security aid to Honduras is hurting Hondurans, not helping them. I urge you to co-sponsor HR 5474 to cut off U.S. funding and training of Honduran security forces."

When you've made your call, please report it below.

If you haven't yet signed our petition in support of the bill, you can do that here.

Tell Sen. Jack Reed to Renounce Cluster Bombs

Just Foreign Policy's Robert Naiman is in Providence with Rhode Islanders delivering a petition to Senator Jack Reed urging him to renounce his support for cluster bomb sales to Saudi Arabia. Here are 3 quick reasons Sen. Reed should do this:

  1. Cluster bombs often kill civilians, sometimes years after a conflict ends.
  2. Although the company that makes US cluster bombs, Textron, is based in Rhode Island, both of Rhode Island's House Representatives voted to ban cluster bomb sales to Saudi Arabia.
  3. Human Rights Watch reported that Saudi Arabia has used U.S. cluster bombs in civilian areas in Yemen, in defiance of US law.

Join today's action by calling Sen. Reed and urging him to renounce his support for cluster bombs sales to Saudi Arabia!

Call his Providence office NOW at (401) 528-5200. When you reach a staffer, you can say something like:

“I urge Sen. Jack Reed to join Rhode Island Reps. David Cicilline and Jim Langevin in opposing sales of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia. We should not be selling this weapon to a country that targets civilians.”

When you have made your call, please report it below.

Luis Gutierrez, Elijah Cummings, and Barbara Lee Voted for TPP & Israeli Settlements?

On the TPP and settlement expansion in the West Bank, we mostly lost the first round of the fight over the Democratic Platform. The Platform Drafting Committee rejected an amendment opposed to the TPP and rejected an amendment opposed to settlement expansion in the West Bank.

There were five Sanders appointees on the fifteen-member drafting committee. There were also three other "progressive" House Democrats on the committee: Barbara Lee, Luis Gutierrez, and Elijah Cummings. Five plus three is eight; eight is a majority of fifteen. If these three "progressive" House Democrats had voted the right way, we would have won amendments against the TPP and settlements.

Call Luis Gutierrez at 202-225-8203, Elijah Cummings at 202-225-4741, or Barbara Lee at 202-225-2661. When you reach a staffer, you can say something like:

"I am very disappointed by the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee's rejection of amendments against the TPP and against the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. I demand that you publicly explain your votes."

Please ask the office for a written response.

When you've made your call, please report it below.

Sen. Reed: Renounce Your Support of Cluster Bombs

On June 16, the House of Representatives narrowly failed to approve an amendment sponsored by Rep. John Conyers [D-MI] that would have blocked the transfer of U.S. cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia, which has used U.S. cluster bombs in civilian areas in Yemen, in defiance of U.S. law.

Textron, based in Providence, Rhode Island, is the last North American producer of cluster bombs, and has the contract to supply cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia. Some opponents of the amendment cited this as a reason for their opposition - banning the transfer of U.S. cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia might hurt the profits of a U.S. company. Rhode Island's Representatives in the House, David Cicilline and Jim Langevin, rejected this argument - they did the right thing and voted yes on the Conyers amendment.

But Rhode Island Democratic Senator Jack Reed is leading the charge to keep the flow of U.S. cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia going. Textron has been one of Reed's top campaign contributors.

Urge Jack Reed to do the right thing and renounce his support of cluster bombs by signing our petition at MoveOn.

Rep. Cummings: Affirm U.S. Opposition to Settlement Expansion

Maryland Democrat Elijah Cummings, chair of the Democratic Platform Committee, says an agreement on the platform language between the Clinton and Sanders forces could happen within days. One of the issues that has been in dispute is what the Democratic Platform will say about Palestinian rights and the occupation of the West Bank, especially about settlement expansion in the West Bank.

Urge Rep. Cummings to affirm opposition to settlement expansion in the West Bank by signing our petition at MoveOn

The other three House Democrats on the Platform Committee - Keith Ellison, Barbara Lee, and Luis Gutierrez - all signed Rep. Betty McCollum's letter asking that the U.S. speak up for the rights of Palestinian kids in military detention. The other three House Democrats on the Platform Committee have also all co-sponsored HR 686, which calls for affirming U.S. opposition to settlement expansion in the West Bank. But Rep. Cummings didn't sign Rep. McCollum's letter, and so far he hasn't agreed to co-sponsor HR 686. That's reason for concern about where he stands on opposing settlement expansion.

Urge Rep. Cummings to affirm U.S. opposition to settlement expansion by signing and sharing our petition.

Larry Korb for Secretary of Defense, to Prevent Unnecessary Wars

Now that Hillary Clinton is the "presumptive Democratic nominee," some inside-the-Beltway supporters of Clinton who want more war are being more open about their pro-war agenda. Michele Floury, the former Defense Department official whom Defense One calls "the woman expected to run the Pentagon under Hillary Clinton," this week advocated for "sending more American troops into combat against ISIS and the Assad regime than the Obama administration has been willing to commit." Floury said she would "direct U.S. troops to push President Bashar al-Assad's forces out of southern Syria and would send more American boots to fight the Islamic State in the region."

It's not a done deal that Flournoy will be Secretary of Defense; at the very least, we should have a public debate over whether a Secretary of Defense who advocates for more war is the kind of Secretary of Defense that we want to have. As the Democratic primaries and caucuses have just shown, in order to have a real debate, we need to have an alternative candidate.

Thank your Rep. for Speaking Up for Palestinian Children

20 members of Congress signed the Congressional letter to President Obama urging his administration to take steps to "address serious human rights abuses against Palestinian children living under Israeli military occupation." The letter, organized by Rep. Betty McCollum, calls for a Special Envoy for Palestinian Youth to work with human rights organizations, the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority to ensure that the rights of children are protected.

According to a report from Defense of Children International-Palestine, three-quarters of detained Palestinian children suffer physical violence. As the lawmakers note, an ever-present fear of arrest, detention, and violence for Palestinian children both violates their human rights and serves to fuel the conflict.

If your Representative signed, please call your Representative NOW at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer, mention that you are a constituent and thank them for using their power to uplift the human rights of the most vulnerable. You can say something like:

"Thank you for speaking up for the rights of Palestinian children by signing the Betty McCollum letter urging the President to engage diplomatically to address the abuses of Palestinian youth in Israeli detention."

When you've made your call, please report it below.

And please share this video highlighting the human rights abuses Palestinian children face by the Israeli military occupation using the hashtags #700ChildPrisoners and #NoWayToTreatAChild.

Cosponsor the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act

In response to the assassination of Honduran indigenous environmental leader Berta Caceres on March 2, Reps. Hank Johnson, John Conyers, Marcy Kaptur, Keith Ellison, Jose Serrano, and Jan Schakowsky have introduced legislation that would suspend U.S. funding to the government of Honduras for police and military operations until the Honduran government investigates credible reports indicating the police and military are violating human rights.

Urge Reps. to cosponsor the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act by signing our petition at MoveOn.

The U.S. is sending the Honduran government $18 million in 2016 for "security assistance." The State Department, the New York Times, and human rights groups have reported credible allegations that the Honduran police and military have committed gross human rights abuses – including torture, rape, illegal detention, and murder – with impunity.

HR 5474 requires investigations into killings of human rights activists and demands the Honduran government protect the rights of trade unionists; journalists; human rights; defenders; Indigenous, Afro-Indigenous, small farmers and LGBTI activists; critics of the government and other civil society activists so they may operate without interference from the police or military.

Urge your Representative in the House to co-sponsor the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act by signing and sharing our petition.