• A CALL TO DECRIMINALIZE THE U.S. IMMIGRATION SYSTEM
    Since the nation’s inception, immigration policies have been used to maintain white supremacy, stifle dissent, and as a social control tool, silencing alternative voices seeking social, economic, and racial justice and equality. The 1990s brought us a wave of laws which pulled the rug out from under the advances made by people of color in the U.S., including immigrants, during the Civil Rights movement. As part of this attack on Black and Brown communities, Congress passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (“the 1994 Crime Bill”), which re-classified less serious offenses, including drug offenses, as federal felonies, created long mandatory sentences, required state sex offender registries, and provided for $9.7 billion dollars in funding for prisons along with 100,000 new police officers on the street. Fresh off the 1994 Crime Bill, Congress passed the “1996 Immigration Laws”. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (“IIR-IRA”) and Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (“AEDPA”), expanded the grounds for deportation by broadening the definition of “aggravated felony,” which was first defined in the 1988 Anti-Drug Abuse Act; establishing harsh sentences for numerous offenses and classes of mandatory detention; stripping away judicial discretion and the right to due process; and retroactively punishing those who already served time for their offenses. These laws also created a perverse incentive for local and federal law enforcement agencies to criminalize communities of color and created the private prison contracting sector. Amongst all immigrants, Black immigrants are nearly three times more likely to be detained and deported as a result of an alleged criminal offense. Moreover, many Black immigrants are ineligible for any form of relief, including a green card, executive programs such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Temporary Protected Status, or citizenship as a result of criminal contact. As a result of these laws passed twenty years ago, and a political climate that marginalizes and promotes state violence against immigrant, Black, Brown, and poor communities, the number of immigrants deported has increased ten-fold, tearing apart millions of families. Moreover, the U.S. mass incarceration and immigrant detention and deportation systems have become the largest in the world.
    718 of 800 Signatures
    Created by Carl Lipscombe
  • Mayor Kenney: Restore Transparency on the Police Brutality Database in Philadelphia
    Heads up - it just became a lot, lot harder to find out if the police officers in your neighborhood are brutalizing Black and Brown communities. When Jim Kenney was elected mayor, he recognized the lack of trust between communities and their police, in a city with massive over-policing (1) and prosecution of Black and Brown people. So in 2017, he followed the lead of other major cities like Chicago (2) and New York, and signed an executive order mandating that data on police complaints would be published online every month - instead of just available to see in person at the Internal Affairs Bureau of the police department. But news outlet Billy Penn is reporting (3) that the Mayor has removed “grim or embarrassing” reports from the database, and that the database will now strip all identifying information about the offending police from the records, making it all but impossible for neighbors to know what cops are acting out - and for watchdogs and journalists to tell the story of police brutality in Philadelphia. Billy Penn reporters Ryan Briggs and Max Marin provided a harrowing example of the differences between the reports after their whitewashing - a Black man run off his bicycle by plainclothes cops in an unmarked car, then handcuffed and detained for hours before receiving medical treatment. See if you can spot the differences: "The complainant, TW, 36/B/M, states that he was physically abused by Officers W and G, 17th District. According to the complainant, on 5-24-15, at 10:10 PM, he was riding his bicycle near 20th & Wharton Streets when someone called to him from a car. He continued riding his bicycle and was struck him from behind by the vehicle. The complainant was knocked from the bicycle to the ground. He was then handcuffed and searched by the occupants of the vehicle before being transported to the hospital for treatment by two uniformed officers. The complainant maintains he did not know the operators of the vehicle that knocked him from his bicycle were plainclothes officers. He maintains they did not identify themselves to him as police officers, nor was he arrested or charged with a crime in connection with this incident." But after the whitewashing, the complaint looks like this: According to the complainant, on 5-24-15 at 10:10pm, they were physically abused by officers assigned to the 17th District. Summary reports of alleged police abuse in Chicago (4) are far more detailed than either style of report we have in Philly, with reports sorted into categories for analysis by watchdogs, press, and the public. But in Kenney’s new version of summary reports for Philly, we don’t have anything: the initials of the officers, the race of the person the police allegedly knocked off his bike, or any details of the brutal story that lets us even try to hold police accountable. In a city where at least 300 police officers were shown to be putting racist, violent, and homophobic content onto their personal social media feeds (5), we need more public accountability for police and their behavior to Black, Brown, queer, immigrant, and poor people, not less. Sign this petition to Mayor Kenney: move right now to restore all the data to the police accountability database. For more information: (1) “In racially diverse 14th District, Philly police target black drivers 3 times more than whites, analysis shows,” By Bobby Allyn and Maura Ewing, January 11, 2019, WHYY. https://whyy.org/articles/in-racially-diverse-14th-district-philly-police-target-black-drivers-3-times-more-than-whites-analysis-shows/ (2) Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), City of Chicago: Publications. https://www.chicagocopa.org/news-publications/publications/ (3) "After promising increased transparency, Philadelphia is redacting police complaint records." Max Marin and Ryan Briggs, July 26th, 2019, Billy Penn. https://billypenn.com/2019/07/26/after-promising-increased-transparency-philadelphia-is-redacting-police-complaint-records/ (4) COPA: http://copadev.wpengine.com/investigations/how-to-read-a-case-summary-report/, https://www.chicagocopa.org/news-publications/publications/summary-reports/2019-summary-reports/ (5) "13 Philadelphia Officers to Be Fired Over Racist, Violent Facebook Posts," by Alicia Victoria Lozano, July 18th, 2019, NBC 10. https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Philadelphia-Police-Officers-Facebook-Posts-512891921.html
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    Created by Philadelphia Coalition For A Just District Attorney Picture
  • National Day of Mourning, 19 February 2018
    Our hearts are heavy. We feel the pain of insult from our own President. In the interest of all our moral and emotional health, we ask you to reserve Presidents’ Day 2018, Monday, February 19, as a National Day of Mourning. We need one another. We need people who profess no particular faith in addition to religious community leaders. They may want to call attention to our psychic need to embrace our sorrow in your services on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Let’s all find time on that Monday to connect with people of all backgrounds, and including the most vulnerable, like Salvadorans and Dreamers, but not only them, because we are all hurting. You may want to share messages that inspire you on social media platforms. Perhaps even more powerful will be inviting people into your home, or creating larger assemblies for the purpose of lament. Let’s all pause at 2PM EST/11AM PST for a collective moment of silence.
    19 of 100 Signatures
    Created by David Moore Picture
  • Take It Down Now: Joseph E. Brown Middle School
    On Saturday, August 12th, white nationalists marched through Charlottesville, communities and the University of Virginia campus, rallying around a statue of the Confederacy and carrying torches evoking a history of violent racial terrorism. The next day in Charlottesville they killed in the name of their white supremacist symbols. Protesters were rammed by a car killing someone in a terrorist attack. These symbols were not chosen randomly. Confederate monuments have been erected and remain as a direct rebuke to the recognition of the full humanity of Black people. Confederate monuments were built and given places of honor in public space as gains in this recognition have been made and it is the commitment to the reversal of this recognition of humanity that draws white nationalists to these symbols. These symbols of white supremacy have always been memorials to the cause of slavery and the denial of humanity to Black people. Now they are being weaponized to rally white supremacists. We have the power to diffuse these modern-day lynch mobs by removing these statues altogether, instead of giving white supremacists a rally point. Confederate statues and named institutions are more than mere symbols of a heritage but instead, they are an assertion of the continued imposition of white supremacy and its current political power. Terrorists in Charlottesville understood this and were willing to kill in the name of this, we must be determined to persist in the face of this white supremacist terror. Removing all Confederate statues would be one step among many in sending the message that we are no longer honoring white supremacy at a societal level. We've already many communities take the step to address these monuments in cities like Tampa and New Orleans. Join with me today and pledge to work to remove all Confederate statues or names from our community.
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    Created by Asantewaa Darkwa Picture
  • Take It Down Now: Robert E. Lee
    On Saturday, August 12th, white nationalists marched through Charlottesville, communities and the University of Virginia campus, rallying around a statue of the Confederacy and carrying torches evoking a history of violent racial terrorism. The next day in Charlottesville they killed in the name of their white supremacist symbols. Protesters were rammed by a car killing someone in a terrorist attack. These symbols were not chosen randomly. Confederate monuments have been erected and remain as a direct rebuke to the recognition of the full humanity of Black people. Confederate monuments were built and given places of honor in public space as gains in this recognition have been made and it is the commitment to the reversal of this recognition of humanity that draws white nationalists to these symbols. These symbols of white supremacy have always been memorials to the cause of slavery and the denial of humanity to Black people. Now they are being weaponized to rally white supremacists. We have the power to diffuse these modern-day lynch mobs by removing these statues altogether, instead of giving white supremacists a rally point. Confederate statues and named institutions are more than mere symbols of a heritage but instead, they are an assertion of the continued imposition of white supremacy and its current political power. Terrorists in Charlottesville understood this and were willing to kill in the name of this, we must be determined to persist in the face of this white supremacist terror. Removing all Confederate statues would be one step among many in sending the message that we are no longer honoring white supremacy at a societal level. We've already many communities take the step to address these monuments in cities like Tampa and New Orleans. Join with me today and pledge to work to remove all Confederate statues or names from our community.
    9 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Song Tucker