Sanctions Kill! Sanctions are War! End Sanctions Now!

Sanctions are imposed by the United States and its junior partners against countries that resist their agendas. They are a weapon of Economic War, resulting in chronic shortages of basic necessities, economic dislocation, chaotic hyperinflation, artificial famines, disease, and poverty. In every country, the poorest and the weakest – infants, children, the chronically ill and the elderly – suffer the worst impact of sanctions.

US imposed sanctions, violate international law and are a tool of regime change. They impact a third of humanity in 39 countries. They are a crime against humanity used, like military intervention, to topple popular governments and movements. They provide economic and military support to pro-US right-wing forces.

The US economic dominance and its +800 military bases worldwide demands all other countries participate in acts of economic strangulation. They must end all normal trade relations, otherwise they risk having Wall Street’s guns pointed at them. The banks and financial institutions that are responsible for the devastation of our communities at home drive the plunder of countries abroad.

Many organizations have been fighting Sanctions and Economic War for some time. NOW is an opportunity to combine efforts to raise consciousness on this crucial issue.
This broad campaign will include protests and demonstrations, lobbying, petition drives and all forms of educational efforts.

As an initial step for this campaign we encourage mobilizations and educational efforts to be organized for the International Days of Action against US imposed Sanctions and Economic War on March 13-15.

Please add your endorsement and help spread the word.

Sign the petition: Demand BlackRock stop financing Amazon destruction!

BlackRock, the world’s largest investment firm, has more money invested in the fossil fuel and agribusiness industries – the biggest drivers of climate change – than any other company in the world. That means that BlackRock’s portfolio constitutes a huge liability for putting the planet on a path towards runaway climate change — in fact, BlackRock contributes more to climate change than almost any other company on Earth.

The Amazon rainforest and its Indigenous inhabitants are under acute threat from BlackRock, taking advantage of Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro’s removal of environmental barriers to economic activities in the Amazon.

And now they will have even more access to deforestation and destruction.

Bolsonaro has advocated for the opening of new areas of the Amazon rainforest to agriculture and industry. As a result, BlackRock announced plans to expand its operations in Brazil after Bolsonaro was elected. Moves like this signal strong support for Bolsonaro, whose toxic rhetoric is inspiring violence against indigenous communities in the Amazon and beyond.

As one of the largest investors in Brazil’s agribusiness industry, BlackRock could use its financial clout to curb, not encourage, further forest destruction. It must divest from companies that continue these horrendous practices.

Join us in this fight to protect the Amazon and curb climate change!

Sign the petition: Demand that BlackRock divest and stop financing Amazon destruction!
Participating Organizations:

Amazon Watch
Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Climate Hawks Vote
Corporate Accountability
CREDO Action
Daily Kos
Friends of the Earth
Green America
Rainforest Action Network
Seeding Sovereignty
SierraRise
Stand.earth

PETITIONING
Larry Fink, CEO of BLK
SPONSORED BY
Daily Kos
ADDITIONAL SPONSORS
Amazon Watch
Oakland, CA
CCAN Action Fund
Takoma Park, MD
Climate Hawks Vote
Corporate Accountability
Boston, MA
Green America
Seeding Sovereignty
Rainforest Action Network
San Francisco, CA
Friends of the Earth Action
CREDO Action
SierraRise
Stand.earth

Our Message to Larry Fink, CEO of BLK:

BlackRock’s investments drive deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, and its financial backing helps embolden the destructive and violent agenda of President Jair Bolsonaro. We demand you cease financing the continued destruction of the Amazon rainforest. Humanity is counting on you.

Sign here.

Tell major media outlets: Report on the Amazon fires

Catastrophic, man-made wildfires are raging in the Amazon rainforest, the lungs of our Earth. It’s another massive climate emergency that the mainstream corporate media is ignoring.

Scientists say that if these fires continue, they will speed up the climate crisis.1 This destruction is being fueled partly by American investment firms that care more about their profits than the planet.2 That gives Americans the opportunity and responsibility to act. But Americans won’t even know there is a crisis if news media outlets fail to provide appropriate coverage. We need to demand that traditional media do better and start covering the Brazilian Amazon rainforest news now.

Sign the petition to major media outlets: Stop ignoring and glossing over the severity of Amazon rainforest wildfires.

The Brazilian Amazon is home to 300 different groups of indigenous people and millions of plant and animal species and takes in most of the world’s carbon.3 But Brazil’s, far-right, pro-business president has cut funding to environmental agencies, encouraged deforestation and turned away millions of dollars of aid for wildfire help.4

Meanwhile, traditional media is largely ignoring the issue. Indigenous people of the Amazon have been organizing, resisting and sounding the alarm about rainforest destruction for years.5 But the media has time and time again chosen sensationalism over coverage of issues that affect all of us and center Black and Brown people.

The Notre Dame cathedral fire had over 350 media segments in just the first week of coverage. Our friends at Media Matters for America found that the Amazon fires got only 25 mediocre segments, and not until weeks later. That’s 93% less coverage for a planet-wide crisis than for one historic building.6

Media outlets are doing the world a disservice by ignoring the severity of the situation in Brazil. They should not be allowed to determine who or what is good enough to get coverage. When Notre Dame burned, the media created the perfect environment for international outcry. We need that for the Amazon rainforest right now. It’s time for the media to give airtime to the Amazon rainforest fires and highlight the current resistance and need for support.

Add your name with CREDO to tell major media outlets: You have a responsibility to report on what affects us all. Give more airtime to the Amazon rainforest fires now.

References:

  • Marcelo de Souza, “AP Explains: The causes and risks of the Amazon fires” Associated Press News, Aug. 23, 2019.
  • Christopher Ingraham, “How beef demand is accelerating the Amazon’s deforestation and climate peril” The Washington Post, Aug. 27, 2019.
  • Shannon Sims, “The Land Battle Behind the Fires in the Amazon” The Atlantic, Aug. 27, 2019.
  • Bill Chappell, “Brazil Rejects G-7’s Offer Of $22 Million To Fight Amazon Fires” National Public Radio, Aug. 27, 2019.
  • Shelby Brown, “Amazon rainforest fires: What’s happening now and how you can help” CNET, Aug. 26, 2019.
  • Lis Power, “The Notre Dame fire garnered wall-to-wall cable news coverage. The Amazon fires are barely breaking through.” Media Matters, Aug. 23, 2019.

 

Sign here.

Stand with Sri Lanka’s Religious Leaders for Peace

OMNIA has written an open letter to the Leaders of Religious and Spiritual Traditions in Sri Lanka as they work together to seek a peaceful and rational solution. We are asking you to review the letter below and add your signature to stand in support of a peaceful and faithful solution to this crisis.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

To: All the leaders of all religious and spiritual traditions of Sri Lanka

Cc: The President, Prime Minister and Cabinet ministers of the government of Sri Lanka, civic and community leaders, media organizations.

Honorable and esteemed colleagues,

Greetings of peace!

We, leaders of the global religious community and people of faith, write seeking ways to stand in solidarity with you in the context of the current interreligious tensions in Sri Lanka.

We appreciate the launching of the “Diyawanna Declaration on Religious and Communal Harmony” in Sri Lanka, on 26 April, 2019, which recommends “Inter-faith dialogue with relevant specialists to be regularly carried out at the urban and rural grassroots levels to voluntarily resolve differences.”

Although you experienced it most closely, we too were shaken by the devastating attacks on Easter Sunday. Our hearts go out to each person and family affected by the bombings of churches and hotels, to the specific churches that were bombed, and to the entire Christian community in Sri Lanka.

We are deeply troubled by the escalation of hateful rhetoric and the spreading of rumors against Muslim communities across the island that lead to the attacks on Muslim persons, the boycotting of Muslim businesses and creating an environment of fear and uncertainty.

We are aware of the historical roots of such conflicts, in particular, the devastating effects of four and half centuries long colonialism and its continuing after-effects. We, ourselves are working to address such injustices in our own contexts.

Nevertheless, we are at a loss to understand how some Buddhist monks could use hate speech and incite mobs to violence. We wish to declare that in the dhamma that the Lord Buddha taught, there is no place for hate, hate-speech and violence. In fact, the opening chapter of the Dhammapada states: “Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal.”

We are also concerned that the government has thus far not been able to prosecute or hold to account those who incite violence, despite laws that prohibit hate speech, and that even in the midst of violent incidents, it is reported that the police have often been inactive observers without intervening to prevent escalation of the conflict.

Therefore, as global religious leaders we pledge to do the following:

· Demand that the government take steps to protect all vulnerable communities; that all hate speech, incitement, and hateful actions immediately cease; and that swift, meaningful legal action be brought against all those who engage in hate speech and violence.

· Encourage urban and rural grassroots level interreligious dialogue and peacemaking, with open and honest conversations of the issues that cause conflicts and to address them together.

· Bring a representative group of religious leaders to Sri Lanka to listen to, learn from and to stand in deep solidarity with you, leaders of the religious and spiritual traditions of Sri Lanka at this difficult time.

With our very best wishes for peace!

Rev. Dr. Shanta Premawardhana
President, OMNIA Institute for Contextual Leadership

Other signatories include:

1. Rev. Dr. Larry Greenfield, Executive Director Emeritus, Parliament of the World’s Religions (Chicago, Illnois, USA)

2. Imam Malik Mujahid, Executive Director, Sound Vision (Chicago, Illinois, USA)

3. Jim Winkler, General Secretary and President, National Council of Churches of Christ (Washington, DC, USA)

4. Dr. Mohamad Elsanousi, Executive Director, Network of Religious and Traditional Peacemakers (Washington DC, USA)

5. Dr. Wesley Ariarajah, Professor Emeritus, Drew University (Geneva, Switzerland).

Please sign here.

An American Attack on Iran Would Be an Unmitigated Disaster for the US, Iran and the World: Iran War Statement

By Richard Falk

25 Jun 2019 – The following statement on US warmongering in relation to Iran was prepared by Mark LeVine, Professor of History, University of California, Irvine and myself. Some of the early signatories are among the leading scholars in the field of Middle East Studies. Their names are listed below.

It seeks to make two major arguments: first, that the unlawful threats and coercive moves made by the United States point toward a political disaster that would include the commission of the most serious of international crimes, that of aggression via threats and uses of force that do not constitute self-defense under international law; secondly, that it is essential to shift the relationship with Iran from one based on coercive to an approach resting on restorative diplomacy involving a deliberate reversal of American Foreign Policy with the overriding objective of normalization of relations between our two countries.

If you wish to add your name to the signatories of the statement, use the link below. As there is no space for affiliation, I suggest putting your first and last name in the first blank space, and your affiliation in the space reserved for last name.

 

Mark L. started this petition to President Trump

Statement by leading Middle East/Islamic studies scholars, June 22, 2019:

We, the undersigned scholars of the Middle East and North Africa and broader Muslim world, call on President Trump immediately to pull back from the brink of a war with the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is clear to us that the human, diplomatic, legal, political, and economic costs to both countries, the Persian Gulf and larger Middle East, the global economy and the global system of international humanitarian law of a US attack would be even more devastating than was the US invasion of Iraq sixteen years ago. We call upon the political leadership of the country, with a sense of urgency, not only to refrain from any further threats and uses of force against Iran, but also to put forward a new American diplomacy that takes steps to achieve a sustainable peace between our two countries and within the larger region.

We bring to the public’s attention the following points:

– The US-led Iraqi invasion, whose financial toll has exceeded $2 trillion in the US and at least that much in its adverse economic impact on the affected countries, led to the deaths of over 600,000 Iraqis, largely destroyed the Iraqi state and much of the country’s infrastructure, produced devastating immediate and long-term impact on the health of Iraqis and the environment, directly contributed to the rise of the Islamic State and its conquest and occupation and destruction of a huge swath of Iraq and neighboring countries (especially Syria), and produced a series of governments in the region which, even when there is a veneer of democracy, are incredibly corrupt and unable effectively to govern fractured societies, while continuing routinely to commit large scale human rights violations against their citizens.

– Like the Iraqi invasion before it, an attack on Iran under the present circumstances would be a clear violation of international law–a crime against peace, which is an international crime of the highest order, and delineated as such in the Nuremberg Judgement. Indeed, absent a valid claim of self-defense any attack on Iran, never mind a full-scale invasion and occupation by the United States, would violate the core articles of the UN Charter (Articles 2(4), 33, 39 & 51) as well as the legal imperative to seek a peaceful settlement of all international disputes. Such “breaches of the peace” are the most serious violations of international law a country can commit, and the US doing so again less than a generation after the Iraqi invasion would situate it outside the community of nations, making it widely regarded as a dangerous and destabilizing rogue actor whose behavior is the very opposite of the self-understanding and justifications of the Trump Administration for its actions. In this regard the recent array of threats, sanctions, and provocations are themselves flagrant violations of international law even without any direct recourse to force; only self defense against a prior armed attack across as international border legally justifies a claim of self-defense. Absent this, all threats, as well as uses of force, are considered severe violations of international law.

Particularly in the context of the United States’ unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which verifiably halted the potential for Iran to pursue a nuclear weapons program, and the imposition of crippling economic sanctions against the government and people of Iran without a UN Security Council mandate, the present policy of increasing pressure on Iran and irresponsibly raising risks violent confrontation that could quickly escalate to an all-out war, coupled with the inflammatory discourse of regime change championed by National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, constitute clear interference with Iranian sovereignty rights as well as with the inalienable right of self-determination enjoyed by the Iranian people. As such, these policies are violations of international law and of the UN Charter, inherently destabilizing, and themselves pose unacceptable threat to peace.

Recent events have alarmed us, demonstrating how ill-defined policy goals, bellicose rhetoric, policies and brinkmanship, and operating outside the well-defined framework of international law can easily bring countries to the brink of mutual disaster. The ongoing global impact of the Iraqi invasion (from the rise of ISIS to the aborted Arab Spring, greater support for authoritarian rulers, and the civil wars in Libya, Syria and Yemen and the massive wave of refugees these dynamics have caused) reminds us that the Middle East, and the world at large, cannot afford another major war in the region. Such a conflict would undoubtedly lead to a horrific toll of dead and injured, major environmental destruction, large scale forced migration, world-wide recession, as well as producing other equally dangerous and unintended consequences.

Finally, we note here that the Trump Administration’s bellicose policies towards Iran are inseparable from its uncritical and unrestrained support of authoritarian and repressive policies across the region, from the ever-deepening Israeli occupation to the Saudi and UAE war in Yemen, the destruction of democracy in Egypt and the frustration of democratic aspirations of citizens across the Middle East and North Africa, all of which contribute to the immiseration and increasingly forced migration of millions of people across the region and the unjustified repression of their legitimate aspirations for freedom, justice, democracy and sustainable development.

We therefore call upon President Trump,

first, to pull back from any thought of an unsanctioned attack;
second, to rejoin and implement the 2015 nuclear agreement;
third, to terminate the enhanced sanctions he continues to impose on Iran; and
fourth, to enter into immediate and good faith negotiations towards a normalization of relations with the Islamic Republic. Along with these immediate steps, we call for an honest appraisal of the costs of historic and current American policies in the Middle East and North Africa, and their reorientation towards support for freedom and democracy.
In the absence of these steps, we call on the US Congress to act swiftly and decisively to prevent the President from leading the United States into war, and call on our fellow academics, policymakers, diplomats, military officials, elected representatives, and concerned citizens to assert whatever pressure necessary to prevent the Administration from engaging in any kind of attack on Iran, or any other country, outside the bounds of international law and without the clear and explicit authorization of the UN Security Council.

Sign here

Peace In Korea — Petition to Trump

Korea needs peace, and the world needs Korea to achieve peace. Here are the critical next steps.

To: President Donald Trump

ENGLISH:
We urge you to conclude a binding peace agreement constituting a formal and final end to the state of war between North Korea, South Korea, and the United States. We also ask that you direct the U.S. State Department to consult with officials of South Korea and with representatives of Korean Americans on potential opportunities to reunite Korean American families with family members in North Korea. In addition, we ask that you implement UN resolution 3390 of November 18, 1975, instructing the United States to dissolve the so-called United Nations Command in South Korea.

JAPANESE:
朝鮮半島の平和をトランプに訴える署名

朝鮮半島は平和を必要としています。世界はコリアの平和達成を必要としています。以下はそのために重要なステップです。

ドナルド・トランプ大統領
[あなたの名前]から

北朝鮮と韓国、アメリカの間での戦争を終わりにする、正式的かつ恒久的な平和条約を締結するよう強く要求します。また、北朝鮮の家族と韓国・朝鮮系アメリカ人を再開させる機会について、アメリカ合衆国国務省が韓国政府の代表と交渉するよう指示して下さい。さらに、1975 年 11 月 18 日の国連総会で採択された決議3390 「国連軍司令部」の解体を実施して下さい。

KOREAN:
[coming soon]

 

SIGN HERE

U.S. Hands off Venezuelan Embassy!

SIGN your support for the Venezuelan Embassy Protectors, deliver their message to US State Department Offices and US Embassies world wide. We will also deliver all signed statements to US State Department.

The International Action Center and No War On Venezuela are circulating the following statement from the Embassy Protection Collective currently defending the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, D.C. They are facing increasing attacks both from right-wing coup supporters and U.S. police agencies. Please sign and circulate this urgent appeal for solidarity.

We are asking our allies to surround the embassy with love and resistance to quell the hatred and violence coming from occupying right-wing extremists. Bring supplies for the protectors such as coffee, food, hygiene and cleaning products, socks and T shirts.

We are asking everyone to contact your member of Congress to demand that they:

Respect the Vienna Convention of 1961 and protect the integrity of the embassy.
Obey DC law by not evicting us from the premises without due process.
Recognize that the elected and legitimate government of Venezuela is the administration of Nicolas Maduro as have the United Nations and over 140 countries.
The Embassy Protection Collective, a group of organizations and individuals, is residing and working in the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, DC at the invitation of the elected Venezuelan government as an interim protectorate. We have taken on the responsibility for maintaining, cleaning, and caring for the building until a permanent protectorate for the embassy, in the form of a mutual formal agreement to find third-party host countries to safeguard the Venezuelan and U.S. embassies in Washington and Caracas, respectively is established. We have received innumerable messages of support and love from around the world. We are safe in the building, and our will is strong.

The right-wing group occupying the exterior of the building is violently harassing and attacking individuals who are outside protesting U.S. intervention. They are also blocking entrances to the building, and have caused extensive damage to the building’s exterior—including destroying security cameras, drilling into doors and hitting the garage door with a sledgehammer.

Many of the members of this group of Pan-American Trump supporters outside the building are white supremacists, shouting the most vulgar racist, misogynistic and homophobic insults and death threats imaginable at Embassy Protectors and our supporters. Numerous videotaped examples of this behavior have been published online.

The Secret Service has witnessed the violence of this right wing hate group against Embassy Protectors and our supporters and against the Embassy building, and has done nothing to discourage them. While the right-wing protestors have perpetrated numerous acts of violence against us, we have maintained a consistently disciplined and peaceful presence. Nonetheless, in all but one particularly egregious case of battery, the Secret Service has only detained individuals protesting U.S. intervention in Venezuela. Examples of charges leveled against us include “Tossing Missiles”—the offense listed on Ariel Gold’s arrest warrant for trying to throw lettuce to Embassy Protectors, as the right-wing group has been blocking people and supplies from coming in the building.

Allowing unelected, failed Venezuelan coup mongers—who are taking their orders from war criminal and genocide abettor Elliott Abrams and others in the Trump administration—to take the embassy would be an escalation of international aggression. It would also be a violation of Article 22 of the 1961 Vienna Conventions, on Diplomatic Relations, which is explicit that foreign embassies should be protected by the host government and their space should not be violated even when countries are at war or have severed diplomatic relations. Specifically, international law requires:

The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission.

The receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity.

The premises of the mission, their furnishings and other property thereon and the means of transport of the mission shall be immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution.

 

Sign here.

Stop the drumbeat of war with Iran

Stop the drumbeat of war with IranDonald Trump pulled the United States out of the Iran Nuclear Agreement, which has increased tensions in the Middle East. And now he wants to go to war.

While those fighting ISIS on the ground assert there are “no increased risks from Iran or allied militias,” Trump and Republican allies are hell-bent on using anything to justify an attack.

There is an increasing fear that Trump, spurred on by national security adviser John Bolton, thinks a conflict with Iran could give him a Gulf War-style popularity boost going into 2020.

Republican senators like Tom Cotton are egging him on—suggesting that we can end the war in “two strikes.” But if we go that route, there will be dire consequences—militarily, economically and diplomatically—that we will be facing for decades. The death toll could make the invasion and occupation of Iraq look minuscule by comparison.

We need to stop this rush to war before it begins. Sign the petition to Congress: Stop the drumbeat of war with Iran. The stakes are too high.

PETITIONING
Congress
SPONSORED BY
Daily Kos
Our Message to Congress :

I am appalled at the increasingly violent rhetoric coming from Trump and other Republicans about war with Iran. Any increase in tensions are due to the United States backing out of the nuclear deal. Please stop this outrageous drumbeat of war.

 

Sign here.

RootsAction Stands With Ilhan Omar

Representative Ilhan Omar has the courage to speak up. Unfortunately, the Democratic Party’s Congressional leadership wants to publicly shame her.

Stand with RootsAction as we help support Ilhan Omar!

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Free Chelsea Manning AGAIN!

Chelsea Manning is again acting heroically in the name of press freedom, and it’s a travesty that she has been sent back to jail for refusing to testify to a grand jury.

An investigation into WikiLeaks for publishing is a grave threat to all journalists’ rights, and Chelsea is doing us all a service for fighting it.

She has already been tortured, spent years in jail, and has suffered more than enough. She should be released immediately.

—Daniel Ellsberg

 

Sign here.