- Bank Accountability
- Ban the Box
- Community Control
- Cop Watch
- Corporate Accountability
- Criminal Justice Policy
- Drop/Bring Charges
- Economic Justice
- Employment Discrimination
- End The War on Black People
- Environmental Justice
- For-Profit Colleges/Universities
- Gulf Coast
- Housing Rights
- Justice for Mike Brown
- Media Accountability
- Music Industry
- Open Internet
- Police Accountability
- Political Power
- Private Prisons
- Right Wing Racism
- School-to-Prison Pipeline
- Voting Rights
- Wrongful Imprisonment
Free The Children of Kiarre HarrisIn November of 2016, Kiarre Harris, an African-American single mother, chose to homeschool her children and remove them from a failing school in Buffalo, New York. Ms. Harris properly withdrew her children from the public school and fully complied with NYS regulations regarding homeschooling. The Buffalo Public Schools District notified Child Protective Services that the children were not attending school. Without the knowledge or notice to Ms. Harris, Child Protective Services secured a removal order from a Family Court Judge---based on educational neglect. When police first notified Ms. Harris of the removal order (which they did not provide a copy of), Ms. Harris refused to turn her children over to the police. She was arrested for obstruction. Two days later, on January 18, 2017 the children of Ms. Harris were taken away from her and placed into foster care. An ongoing Family Court has now been triggered and Ms. Harris has been granted only limited supervised visitation of her two children. This entire incident began with Ms. Harris' decision to homeschool her children and the Buffalo School District calling Child Protective Services with baseless allegations of educational neglect. Jailing a mother who has complied with the law; taking her children away, and subjecting the family to ongoing legal proceedings can not be allowed to happen. This sends a chilling message to parents who choose to fight for the betterment of their children's education. We need to make it clear: the policies and practices of the Erie County unit of Child Protective Services are racially discriminatory and adversely impact parents of poor and minority children. Kiarre Harris should be admired for doing all in her power to make sure her children have the best education possible. #KiarraHarris #HandsOffHarrisChildren
Sirius XM: Broadcasting White SupremacyDonald Trump has waged war against our most fundamental human rights. Behind this white supremacist, xenophobic and dangerous agenda is Steve Bannon, founder, and the host of Breitbart Daily News, a show that was made possible with the financial support of Sirius XM. Before Steve Bannon masterminded Donald Trump’s way into the White House, he tried to get Sarah Palin elected. He used Sirius XM Patriot station's platform to promote a documentary he made about her, going on air praising her for pushing the “death panel myth”- a blatant lie that the Affordable Care Act incentivizes doctors to encourage patients “not worthy of healthcare” to make plans for death. Bannon made the documentary to rehabilitate Palin’s damaged reputation so that she could run for President. When that did not work, he set his sights on Trump, now equipped with a conservative radio enterprise to control the narrative. Steve Bannon used his radio show on the Sirius XM Patriot station to proliferate lies and advance his white nationalist agenda. He is full of contradictions, portraying himself “a defender of working people against 'the corporate elites'”, never mentioning that he is a graduate of Harvard Business School and began his career at Goldman Sachs. Anyone who is elected to serve in a position of political leadership must, as a standard, be honest and accountable. Liars need not apply. Accountability is also what we expect of companies who rely on monthly subscribers to report a profit to their shareholders every quarter. We are demanding that Sirius XM shut down Patriot radio and cut ties with Steve Bannon. We refuse to be ignored, and like Uber, we can and will hold any for-profit entities enabling Donald Trump accountable to a new standard. Join me in urging Sirius XM radio to shut down XM Patriot station and keep white supremacy off the air!
Demand that corporations denounce U.S Court ruling banning dreadlocks in the hiring processA recent court ruling has now made it legal to ban dreadlocks during the hiring process in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. This all started when Chastity Jones was offered a job with Catastrophe Management Solutions in Mobile, Alabama. However, her offer was later rescinded when a Human Resources Manager told Chasity that they would not hire her due to her dreadlocks, stating that dreadlocks “tend to get messy, although I’m not saying your’s are, but you know what I’m talking about”. Chastity Jones then filed a lawsuit claiming that refusing to hire someone based on appearance is in violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which would not have been passed if it weren't for the work of Black people fighting and organizing! However, Chasity's claim was denied. The United States Court of Appeals for the 11h Circuit, covering Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, stating that banning dreadlocks during the hiring process is a “race neutral policy” and therefore not covered under the Civil Rights Act, which outlaws discrimination based on race, sex, color, religion, and national origin. Sign our petition today to demand that corporations take a stand against discrimination in the hiring process and workplace, and that they make a public statement denouncing this court ruling. We have been here before. We know this game all too well and we will not let it play out again. Not hiring someone for wearing dreadlocks is outrightly racist and we must hold corporations accountable and demand that they not abide by this racist law. This court ruling is not just about dreadlocks it is about our freedoms as Black people! For centuries dreadlocks have been an expression of deep religious and spiritual beliefs for those who practice the Rastafarian religion. The term “dreadlock” comes from the Rastafarian culture and originated in eastern Africa; and for Rastafarians wearing dreadlocks is a way to be connected to the Rasta god. We know that dreadlocks are not only worn by Rastafarians but is a popular hairstyle worn by many Black people who view dreadlocks as a sign of their African identity or simply as a hairstyle that they like to wear. Dreadlocks are not a “race neutral hairstyle” as Catastrophe Management Solutions has claimed. Dreadlocks have historical significance and are deeply rooted in Black culture globally. Today many white people, have appropriated dreadlocks and chose to wear their hair in locks however, the hairstyle is racialized and it is Black people who suffer from that- it is Black people who are denied jobs, and banned from attending schools due to wearing dreadlocks, not white people. This court ruling says loud and clear that in the workplace, and public spaces in general, Black people, our culture, and religious beliefs are not accepted. And that white culture is the only thing that is allowed- and you either assimilate to that or you get fired. However, we will not assimilate we will resist and be unapologetically ourselves- unapologetically Black! This court ruling takes us back 50 years and we, and those before us, have fought too hard to let that happen. We will not let our bodies be controlled by white American norms, sign today and demand that corporations denounce this racist court ruling!
Demand Mayor Bowser discipline officers who beat, arrested & overcharged inauguration day protestorsOn January 20th, 30 Black activists from the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) took a stand against Donald Trump's bigotry and hatred. As an organizer with Black Lives Matter DC it was an honor to help blockade an entrance to Trump’s inauguration, making it impossible for racist Trump supporters to hear their KKK endorsed President spew his hateful rhetoric. On that day, as we were joined by a multiracial coalition of chosen family, movement family, and allies, I knew that this was both the culmination of three years of organizing and the start of something even more beautiful and powerful than what we've seen recently. In the past few weeks, as thousands of people in this country are becoming politicized, radicalized, and moved to action in ways they never have before, I am more confirmed in faith that the resistance will only continue to build. We have to make sure this protest continues, and I know it will, so does Trump, Mayor Bowser, and the Metro Police Department which is exactly why on Inauguration day the Metro Police Department carried out random mass arrests of more than 200 people- including medics, legal observers and journalists- and took the extraordinary step of charging them with a felony rioting statute that hasn’t been used in DC in more than 25 years. A felony record can have grave consequences for a person’s future including being denied loans, refused jobs and in many states denied the right to vote. We know that these draconian enforcements are no surprise from Trump who tweeted that burning the american flag, a legal act, should be punished with “perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail”. We also know that this type of policing is the status quo for the Metro Police Department and Mayor Bowser, under whose watch police have continued to terrorize youth in Black Communities. Bowser is known to talk about defending rights and market herself as a progressive Mayor, however she does this only when it suits her. Join us in demanding that Mayor Muriel Bowser pick a side- will she enable Trump's hateful, fascists agenda by suppressing dissent in the District of Columbia or will she permit protests to his regime. Charging protestors with a felony riot statue was a strategic tactic used with the hopes of scaring people and to discourage dissent. Felony rioting is rarely used and is a severe statute in DC law that carries up to 10 years in prison. The last time this many people were charged with felony rioting in D.C was when MLK was assassinated- making it very clear to what Trump wants to do to the country when he says “make america great again”. At the Women’s March Mayor Bowser denounced Trump saying that she wants him and the federal government to “leave us alone” however, as she stated this most of the 200 inauguration day protesters were still held in jail. Despite her rhetoric she is taking the side of Trump by refusing to protect the right to protest in her city. As we continue our resistance to Trump we need to demand that Mayor Bowser is either with us or against us, with a Trump administration there are no sidelines for politicians, they can no longer flip flop, they are either with the people, with Black people, or with Trump. Due to her previous record it is not surprising that Mayor Bowser has allowed this to happen in her city but if she continues to do this we will make it clear that she is siding with Trump, and allowing Trump's vision of America to reign in her city. Demand D.C Mayor Bowser pick a side! This week we are gearing up for demonstrations on President's Day, a National Holiday to honor those that serve as President, however, Donald Trump is not our President and we will be in the streets making that clear! We need you to take action now so that when President's Day comes on Monday Mayor Bowser knows that we are watching her and demanding that the Metro Police Department no longer charge protestors with any form of crime while simultaneously demanding that all charges are dropped for the inauguration day protestors. We will not allow Mayor Bowser and the Metro Police Department continue in their efforts to normalize their use of teargassing, throwing concussion grenades, aggressive beating of protestors, or mass arrests. While we know these tactics aren't new they are exactly what Trump envisions and we must fight back! Still it is important to remember that these overcharging fear tactics, carried out by Mayor Bowser’s D.C police, are an extension of the policing that Black communities in DC have faced for years. People in power have the ability to change public perception of what is normal but we can not let them do that. Join me in demanding Mayor Muriel Bowser have her police department drop all charges for inauguration day protestors, that she discipline the Metro Police Department Officers who teargassed, aggressively beat, and arrested protestors, and that moving forward the Metro Police Department will no longer charge protesters with anything, because protesting is not a crime! Thanks you, Aaron Goggans Black Lives Matter D.C
#StopGimenez And Stand Against Hatred & Racism in Miami-Dade CountyWe won’t stand for hatred and racism in our city. Last week, Trump signed an executive order threatening to withhold federal money from “sanctuary cities,” cities that do not use their resources to enforce national immigration laws. Trump wants a world where any officer or municipal employee can ask about a person's immigration status. Miami-Dade County became the first county to bow to Trump as Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez signed his own executive order directing county jails to “fully cooperate” with Trump’s orders. Miami is the poster child for the touted diversity of the United States, holding the second largest number of immigrants in the country. We must protect our communities and our families from these dangerous and divisive orders. Tell the Miami-Dade County Commission to stand up against Mayor Gimenez and Trump. Because of racism and mass incarceration, Black immigrants and immigrants from Caribbean and Central American countries are more likely to come in contact with police and U.S. Immigration and Customs (ICE) officials, get misdemeanor and felony conviction and thus increase their chances of being deported. We should crack down on developers who displace communities - not on immigrants and the people. We cannot continue business as usual, we must hold our elected officials accountable now. In 2013, the county commission adopted a resolution directing the mayor to not honor detention requests unless the federal government would be paying for the jail time. Commissioners had it right the first time. Tell the county commission: #StopGimenez, stand against Trump, and reinstate the county commission policy of no detainers. The commission will meet this Tuesday, February 7th, but commissioners haven’t revealed any attempt to overturn the mayor’s order. Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava has hinted at revisiting the policy. Take a stand for all immigrants. Sign the petition. This country was founded by people seeking refuge from political and religious persecution. Immigrants, along with native people and people of color, helped to build this country. Now they are being told that they have no place here. Let’s take a stand and demand the county commission fight and resist Mayor Gimenez and Trump. To: Commissioner Dennis Moss, Commissioner Sally Heyman, Comissioner Barbara Jordan and Comissioner Bruno Barreiro CC: Mayor Gimenez
Tell A&E Network to Cancel "Generation KKK"According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Ku Klux Klan chapters grew across the United States from 72 in 2014 to 190 in 2015, partially due to pro-Confederate flag rallies that occurred in 26 states in response to the removal of the flag from South Carolina's state capital after the June massacre of nine black churchgoers by Dylan Roof. Against this backdrop of increasing white nationalism, A&E has chosen to create and air a documentary series that follows the lives of several families who are involved with the Klan. While the series will show "opposing viewpoints," it still delivers an alarming platform and free publicity and recruitment for a hate group with a long, ugly history of terrorizing and destroying black lives and communities in this country. I believe the attempt at balance is outweighed by the reality of the fame and access afforded to reality television stars. Please appeal to A&E to cancel the series so dangerous, criminal white supremacists do not have a televised pulpit from which to preach hate.
Release Aging People in Prison demands that New York State Bring Our Elders Home!The state of New York needlessly confines thousands of senior citizens to cruel and degrading conditions in prison. Since 2000, the number of people over 50 years old in New York State prisons has increased by 98%.The risk of committing a new crime decreases as one gets older, and people over 50 who serve long sentences for serious felonies are the least likely to return to prison after release. Many of the elder populations who are in prison have records of positive achievement in prison and are praised by prison officials as peacemakers and role models. Despite these truths, the vast majority of seniors in prison are routinely denied parole and compassionate release by the state. As this email comes to you, I am on my way to visit Herman Bell in Comstock prison in upstate New York. Herman, just turned 69 and has been in prison for 43 years, he is one of about 20 former Black Panther and Black Power Movement political prisoners aging in U.S prisons. Shocking, but not unique - he is among more than 10,140 people aged 50 and older in New York prisons. The need to free Herman is what motivates me to ask you to sign this petition and support our goal to release aging people in prison, end not only mass incarceration but also the racist system of punishing people of color and poor people in perpetuity. People imprisoned years ago, many due to political involvement and activism during the Black Power movement, are now turning gray. Some suffer from heart disease, hypertension, joint disease, and other age related illnesses. Prisons are looking more and more like nursing homes but with bars, metal detectors, and hyper security used against some of our most vulnerable and valuable populations- our elders. The aging population currently imprisoned is beyond what the prison system can handle. This is why we are demanding that the state of New York adopt a commonsense approach of releasing older inmates who present no danger to the public. In the state of New York it costs $60,000 per year to keep someone in prison, and older prisoners cost taxpayers even more—as much as two to four times that amount—due to added medical costs and the details of armed guards that accompany incarcerated people on trips to hospitals for tests and treatment. As we know there are stark racial disparities in incarceration rates, with Black and Hispanic people arrested at a rate that is 2 to 3 times their proportion of the general population. The well-documented racial disparities in the criminal justice system are also reflected in the aging prison population. A vastly disproportionate percentage of aging people in prison are Black people, many of whom are political prisoners such as Mumia Abu-Jamal, Dr. Mutulu Shakur, and many more. Join us in demanding that New York state release incarcerated seniors who have already served considerable time and pose little or no threat to public safety. Doing so will restore the harmony of our communities, fulfill our commitment to the human rights of ALL people, and save New York millions of dollars a year. Aging people returning from prison pose little risk to public safety and are prepared to contribute positively to the society. Together, we reject retribution and perpetual punishment as the drivers of our justice system. Until our elders are freed, Laura Whitehorn Member of Release Aging People in Prison (RAPP) and former political prisoner
Stop Shaming Our Communities, Take People's Mugshots Off Of FacebookWe've just learned that the Philadelphia Police Department is putting mugshots of people charged with crimes - almost exclusively accused of selling drugs - on their Special Operations Facebook page. This is a public shaming of Black people, and other marginalized people, who have only been charged with a crime, and follows a long history of law enforcement abusing community trust to imply guilt before trial. Each close-up photograph, tagged with the person's name, age, race, gender, and where they were arrested - is fully public, available for searching and sharing, and available for nasty and ridiculing Facebook comments.This maintains a steady drumbeat of fear for the continued criminalization of our communities! Public shaming of people charged with crimes is an invasion of their privacy, keeps no one safe, and it is not a way that police departments can build trust with the communities they are sworn to protect and defend. Shaming people charged with crimes on social media technologies puts them and their families at risk of major harassment and injury, both online and off. Posting mugshots of people who are only charged with crimes also contribute to biased thinking that implies guilt simply through contact with a racist criminal justice system - especially when shared with social media. While the legislature seeks to protect police who use their weapons, the police themselves are violating the privacy of our communities - in ways that no way protect or expand public safety. Pennsylvania public officials have pushed to keep private the identities of police officers who use their weapons in the line of duty. The statehouse wants to protect officers who use force from the prejudice and shaming that they are weaponizing against Black people. While the Pennsylvania legislature seek to protect those who should be held to a higher standard, the Philadelphia Police Department is putting mugshots of people accused of crimes into a social media spotlight that can only hurt them and their families This kind of public shaming has no place in our communities!
Block Neil Gorsuch from the Supreme CourtThe next Supreme Court Justice should be someone who we can depend on to uphold the rights’ of all Americans regardless of race, gender, religion, and legal status. Trump has shown such contempt for the power of the judiciary and the concept of checks and balances that we know he will prioritize judges who will defend his fascist white supremacist orders, constitutional or not. Gorsuch has been a long contender against the Affordable Care Act and reproductive rights. Neil Gorsuch authored the ruling, which the Supreme Court upheld, allowing Hobby Lobby to exclude the coverage of contraceptives under the Affordable Care Act and rescind the rights of over 13,000 of their employees. In Utah, he sided with Governor Gary Herbert’s attempt to defund Planned Parenthood. Gorsuch has protected police officers who are guilty and has given them more power to search people. After a school resource officer used a painful twist-lock on a 9 year old boy who stole an iPad, Neil Gorsuch issued a joint ruling that the officer didn’t use excessive force on the child. In 2013 Gorsuch ruled that in the death of Ryan Wilson of Lafayette, Colorado that the police officer who murdered him from a blow to the head with a stun gun did not use excessive force. Neil Gorsuch doesn’t understand what excessive force means and will stand with police no matter what their crime is. Trump's early weeks in office show that he plans to stop enforcing civil rights and further escalate the war on Black people, locking us up at higher and higher rates, placing unconstitutional travel bans on our community, and even hinting at martial law. He refuses to accept an independent judiciary, and will only pick judges that allow him to ram through his unconstitutional agenda. Minnesota's senators, Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar, are both on the judiciary committee and will be able to help shape his confirmation process. Tell them to filibuster his nomination.
Justice for Oakland Students: Hire Local, Long-term SuperintendentPlease join us in this effort by: 1) Signing this petition and 2) Sharing this link with the hashtags: #newoaklandsuperintendent #justice4oaklandstudents #J4OS The revolving door of Superintendents in OUSD has resulted in the majority of African American, Latino and other under-served students failing to get the supports they need to thrive. We can’t afford more of the same – we need a new kind of Superintendent (non-Broad trained) who will turn this district around so all of our students graduate college and career ready. It is critical our next leader has the courage to take a stand against the anti-Black, anti-immigrant political climate fostered in by Trump and “the Right”. We need a leader who will work to end the criminalization and displacement of low-income, working class youth of color and their families in Oakland. We need a leader who understands that power, resources, support and decision-making – when put in the hands of those most impacted at the school sites – results in better outcomes for students. Our Board of Education needs to know our community is stepping forward to hold them accountable for: 1) Engaging the community in the hiring process: Establish a Board committee with the responsibility to engage all stakeholders (students, parents/families, educators) in defining Superintendent hiring criteria and in the interview process. 2) Selecting a new permanent Superintendent who: • Will bring a vision and system-wide plan for real results for African-American, Latino, and all High-Need students, based on the priorities set by students and families. • Will ensure budget equity by prioritizing direct funding to schools, not in high salaries in Central office. • Is committed to principles of: social justice, meaningful engagement of students and parents, and democratic decision-making and shared governance. • Will end the proliferation of charter schools, provide more oversight of existing charter schools and reinvest in making all in-district schools excellent. • Believes schools are part of community transformation and will work towards transforming OUSD as a quality full-service community school district. • Will retain and support teachers by: Increasing pay, training and diversity. • Will end criminalization of youth by: Divesting from the school police budget and reinvesting in Restorative Justice and real school safety. • Is local (deeply knows and loves Oakland) and will stay long-term (at least 5 to 10 years). • Has a demonstrated track record of improving student outcomes in OUSD and is able to work effectively with the Oakland Board of Education and all stakeholders. We have an urgent need to get this on everyone’s radar. You can do this by: • Signing this petition to make your voice heard now and get updates • Share this information with others! Repost the infographic and petition to your facebook page • Email and call board members to demand accountability to this vision • Mobilize to Board meetings and community forums – to ensure we get the right leader for our district! The Justice for Oakland Students Coalition: Is a group of deeply concerned students, parents/families, educators, and community organizations - including Oakland Kids First, Parent Leadership Action Network (PLAN), Black Organizing Project (BOP), Parents United for Public Education, and other groups – who came together to demand a new Superintendent that will ensure Black, Brown, and all High-Need students in OUSD get the high-quality education they deserve. http://tinyurl.com/hmvb2gk
Protect HBCUs from Biased Policing & SurveillanceThe president of Shaw University has requested a police substation right on the campus of an HBCU under the guise of "public safety." This sets a dangerous precedent for schools, HBCUs, public or private, in Raleigh and beyond. Raleigh Police Department (RPD) disproportionately stop, search, and arrest youth of color for minor infractions. • National studies show that black and white populations use marijuana at about the same rates; yet in Wake County where RPD is the largest law-enforcement agency, black people represent 67% of low-level marijuana arrests but only 21% of the population. • From 2010-2015, black drivers were 2.7 times more likely to be searched by police following a traffic stop but 10% less likely to have contraband. • From 2002-2013, black men under age of 30 were searched at a rate of about 7%, whereas white men were searched at a rate of 4%. As men of color age, the likelihood of being searched significantly decreases. Increased presence of police on campus will not make students safer or improve-police community relations but increase tensions and once again create a pipeline to the criminal justice system. "The university should spend less time trying to monitor student behavior and more time investing in the school," said James Crawford a Shaw Junior from Fayetteville quoted in a January 22nd article of the News & Observer. What Raleigh needs is increased investment in black futures: education, counselors, mental health services, jobs programs, affordable housing, and beyond. For black youth, more interactions with police doesn't mean increased public safety.
Tell the Maryland General Assembly Protesting is Not a Hate Crime!Under this act, anything an officer determines to be resisting arrest or impeding the arrest of another, or even organized protesting of the police, can and likely will be considered a hate crime. Police officers are not an oppressed minority. Protest is not a hate crime. This bill would be fundamentally unconstitutional because it would prevent us from exercising our First Amendment right to protest.