Supporters and fast participants rally against deportations in Freehold, NJ. (Casa Freehold)
Over the last several months, The Nation has launched numerous political campaigns in support of issues central to our reporting. Starting this week, to keep up the momentum and to give our readers more opportunities to make a difference, we’ll post weekly updates covering on-the-ground activism, important developments and meaningful victories.
Led by the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), day laborers, members of the immigrant community and immigrants’ rights supporters are participating in a rolling fast to “bring a moral voice to shift the immigration debate” and to pressure President Obama to suspend current deportations of undocumented immigrants while immigration reform is being debated. The fast began on May Day in Mountain View, California, and has since spread to Homestead, Florida; Freehold, New Jersey; and Portland, Oregon. Make your voice heard!
On May 23, in a now famous act of civil disobedience, antiwar activist Medea Benjamin interrupted President Obama’s speech on national defense and took him to task on his policy on drones and the prison at Guantánamo Bay. While the President surprised the nation by actually engaging with Benjamin, activists stress that his words are not enough and that they need to see more concrete action from the White House. The Center for Constitutional Rights, which has been at the forefront of efforts to close the prison, welcomed the president’s re-engagement with the issue, but expressed reservations over his comment that cleared men will be released “to the greatest extent possible.” The civil rights organization has instead called for the president to act immediately and to release all of the men he does not intend on granting a fair trial, including the eighty-six who have already been cleared. Join the call!
Stand Up for Domestic Workers
California is now one step closer to becoming the third state to pass a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, which would grant nannies, caretakers, housecleaners and other domestic workers labor protections that many take for granted. The bill, which is similar to one vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown this past fall, was approved by the California State Assembly on May 29 and will now head to the State Senate before making it back to Governor Brown’s desk. Determined to win this time around, activists have intensified their efforts across the state, gathering support and launching creative protests. At one demonstration, domestic workers tore off marks to symbolize the invisible nature of much of their work and their intention to finally bring it out of the shadows. Add your voice to the cause!