Your Guide to Meaningful Action
Today marks the tenth anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, a war, which Jonathan Schell recently wrote, that created a dangerous precedent, a “change from diplomacy and agreements to force as the means for achieving nonproliferation.” This is, of course, beyond the massive loss of Iraqi and American lives.
The United States’s current bellicosity toward Iran reflects this dangerous change and threatens to repeat the previous deceptions of the rush to war on Iraq, as we’re told about fictitious Iranian weapons of mass destruction—stories just like the ones that led us into Iraq. Most recently, Senators Lindsay Graham and Robert Menendez introduced Senate Resolution 65, which lays the groundwork for the US to offer military aid to Israel in the event of a pre-emptive strike on Iran.
Ten years after the United States’ invasion of Iraq, it is imperative that we learn the lessons of the war that lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians and 4,483 US soldiers. On the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, join Schell and The Nation in imploring President Obama and Congress to avoid what would be the catastrophic mistake of a war with Iran. Then lend your support to Code Pink, Iraq Veterans Against the War and United for Peace and Justice, organizations that have proven to be vital in shedding light on the horrific cost and futility of the war.
The Nation’s Open Letter to Congress, published in the fall of 2002 amid the rush to war in Iraq, was sadly prescient in anticipating the lethal precedents of the Iraq invasion.
In today’s episode of Democracy Now!, Al Jazeera reporter Dahr Jamail discusses the legacy of the invasion for the people living in Iraq today.
On March 12, Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Ted Deutch introduced the “Democracy Is for People” amendment, which would end the unlimited and undisclosed corporate financing of American elections fostered by the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
Eleven states and more than 400 cities and towns have called on Congress to put forward a constitutional amendment to reverse the disastrous Citizens ruling. Join the movement and ask your representative to co-sponsor and support the “Democracy Is For People” amendment.
The Nation’s editorial in the wake of the Citizens United decision in the winter of 2010 proved sadly prescient: “This decision tips the balance against active citizenship and the rule of law by making it possible for the nation’s most powerful economic interests to manipulate not just individual politicians and electoral contests but political discourse itself.”
In this segment of Democracy Now!, Amy Goodman surveys the popular movements working to overturn Citizens United.
In early March, student workers from Asia and Latin America launched a surprise strike against their employer, a McDonald’s in central Pennsylvania. The students, who paid between $3,000 to $5,000 to come to the United States as part of the J-1 cultural exchange visa program, alleged that they were assigned shifts of up to twenty-five consecutive hours, were paid less than the minimum wage, lived in substandard employer-owned housing and faced retaliation when they raised objections. Hours after the students began their work stoppage, they found themselves locked out of the employer-owned basement where they lived.
The student strikers are demanding a meaningful meeting with appropriate McDonald’s executives. Join The Nation’s call imploring McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson to meet directly with the students. Then head to the National Guestworker Alliance and join the students’ campaign.
In this latest in his series of reports on the McDonald guest-worker campaign, Josh Eidelson details the workers demands and expectations.
McDonalds workers mic check at Times Square New York City Franchise on March 14.
In December of 2011, President Obama announced that his administration would extend federal minimum wage and overtime protections to an estimated 2.5 million homecare workers. More than one year later, the rule changes to the “companionship exemption” of the Fair Labor Standards Act are under final review by the White House Office of Management and Budget. Meanwhile, members of the profitable home healthcare industry are lobbying to keep the status quo.
This recent editorial in The Hill makes clear how the "companionship exemption" is both deeply archaic and patently unfair.
In this video, Caring Across Generations Co-Director Ai-jen Poo explains how and why her organization is trying to transform long-term care in a way that recognizes everyone's dignity.
On March 7, 2013—the day before International Women’s Day—President Obama signed into law the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), this time with added protections for the LGBT community and immigrant and Native American women. However, budget cuts implemented as part of Congress’s sequestration deal threaten to underfund the program. If the cuts go forward as planned, programs funded by VAWA could lose more than $20 million, potentially leaving 35,927 victims without access to much-needed services.
Reports indicate that President Obama and Congress may be working out a deal to end the sequester. This International Women’s Day, tell your representatives that domestic violence victims cannot be used as bargaining chips. Demand that any deal to avert the sequester restores full funding to VAWA programs.
This history of IWD in words and images shows the struggles that went into establishing the holiday and how the day has helped galvanize support for a long-term feminist agenda.
This video captures the journey of women’s rights from 1911 to the present, and key moments of the women’s movements globally.
Last week, Florida Atlantic University raised eyebrows when officials announced that they had sold the naming rights to the school’s new football stadium to the GEO Group, the nation’s second-largest private prison company. In response, students occupied President Mary Jane Saunders’s office last week demanding a recision of the agreement given the role private prisons play in US society and the especially egregious record of GEO.
The Nation sports correspondent Dave Zirin recently argued that the student movement opposing the plan to rename the stadium is a high-profile sign of the growing movement against the US system of mass incarceration otherwise known as “the New Jim Crow.”
This local TV news report details the student occupation and why activists are so exercised over the naming plan.
March 11 marks the second anniversary of the passage of Wisconsin Act 10, Governor Scott Walker’s legislative assault on public sector unions in his state. To mark the movement that rose against Walker’s agenda, the filmmakers of the documentary We Are Wisconsin have designated March 11 the National Day of Recommitment to the fight for workers’ rights in Wisconsin and around the world.
Sign The Nation’s pledge endorsing the call to “recommit” to workers’ rights. Visit WeAreWisconsinTheFilm.com to find a screening to attend of “We Are Wisconsin” in your neighborhood or use the #3113 resources to organize your own.
The March 4, 2013, issue of The Nation featured a forum on the challenges facing labor in America today with contributors like Richard Kahlenberg of the Century Foundation, Bhairavi Desai of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance and Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis.
“We Are Wisconsin” focuses on six people who came together in the winter of 2011 to protest Scott Walker’s assault on workers’ rights.
As Congress debates immigration reform, it risks leaving LGBTQ people out in the cold. Currently, immigrants in same-sex couples are not eligible for the same fast-tracked path to a green card afforded to married heterosexual couples. If Congress does not address this injustice, thousands of these families could be separated or forced to leave the country.
Sign The Nation’s open letter to lawmakers urging them to make sure LGBTQ people are included in any immigration reform legislation. Then, lend your support to United We Dream’s “Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project.”
In a recent article in Colorlines, Seth Freed Wessler lays out the barriers facing LGBTQ undocumented immigrants and the possibilities going forward. In a blog post, Aura Bogado reports on Dreamers, including Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project activists, who demonstrated at a House Immigration Hearing in early February.
In a video by United We Dream, “Undocuqueer” activists explain their decision to stand up for their rights as undocumented LGBTQ immigrants.
This past January, the state of California ordered a Walmart-contracted warehouse complex in Chino, California, to pay 865 employees up to $1.1 million in stolen wages. The company denied the charges and is appealing the ruling. In response, Warehouse Workers United has started a campaign urging Walmart to enforce its own “Standards for Suppliers.”
In the January 7-14, 2013 issue of The Nation, Josh Eidelson reported that new approaches to organizing—including the inclusion of workers from Walmart-suppliers like the warehouse in Chino—could represent unprecedented opportunities to force the world’s biggest retailer to change its ways.
This past November, the Center for Public Integrity and the Center for Investigative Reporting produced a video on the fight to hold Walmart accountable for wage theft at one of its suppliers in Mira Loma, California.
A weekly guide to meaningful action, this blog connects readers with resources to channel the outrage so many feel after reading about abuses of power and privilege. Far from a comprehensive digest of all worthy groups working on behalf of the social good, Take Action seeks to shine a bright light on one concrete step that Nation readers can take each week. To broaden the conversation, we’ll publish a weekly follow-up post detailing the response and featuring additional campaigns and initiatives that we hope readers will check out. Toward that end, please use the comments field to give us ideas. With your help, we can make real change.
Addressing the plight of some 11 million undocumented people currently living in the United States, President Obama’s State of the Union trumpeted comprehensive immigration reform. But what immigrant rights activists really wanted to hear was a promise to halt further deportations. Many of these deportations effectively separate families through a jumbled collection of rules, directives and legislation that tear many of them apart and have left thousands of children in foster care after their parents were deported.
This report by Colorlines details the more than 200,000 deportations of parents of US citizens in just more than two years,
In this video report, ABC’s Nightline made clear the heartbreaking stories being created by the federal government’s insistence on deporting the parents of US citizens.