Weekly Resistance: 5 Ways to Take Action September 18-24

Good morning, gentle readers! Between the president of the United States tweeting misogynistic memes, Juggalos marching on Washington, yet another mass shooting and continued violence in Myanmar, it’s been a little intense lately. Here’s how you can make a little difference in the world this week.

Want to find and contact your representative? You can also find your senators’ contact information here. Looking for local officials? This tool will help you locate them. Or you can find them in person at a town hall!

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1. Stand up for the Rohingya

This ethnic group is considered one of the most persecuted in the world, and they’re being targeted for mass brutality by security forces. As a result, the Rohingya are fleeing Myanmar — historically known as Burma — for nearby Bangladesh. The violence is creating a large-scale refugee crisis, under the watch of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Know:

  • This situation isn’t just harassment and persecution, but genocide.
  • The Rohingya have been denied citizenship and equal status in Myanmar since the 1980s.
  • Nearly one million majority-Muslim Rohingya live in Myanmar, a majority-Buddhist state.

Contact: Ask your federal elected officials to take action legislatively and diplomatically. U.S. Congress has the power to pass a resolution condemning the violence, and can discuss the allocation of funds and other resources to peacekeeping forces to protect and support the Rohingya. Meanwhile, your elected officials can ask the State Department to take action. Sluggish action in Rwanda in 1993 caused untold suffering — don’t let it happen again.

Support: Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International actively investigate human rights violations all over the world, including in Myanmar.

Write: Consider signing these Care2 petitions:

Proteters defending DACA at a march in Los Angeles.

Photo credit: Molly Adams

2. Defend Financial Consumers

After a major breach at Equifax, many consumers are infuriated that big financial companies collect and sell their data — and then want to charge them for it. Equifax backed off on pushing consumers to sign a mandatory arbitration clause to get help with their accounts — and waived credit freeze fees — but consumers are still pretty irked.

Know:

  • Mandatory arbitration clauses are snuck into a lot of contracts, making it harder for consumers to take companies to court. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau actually developed a rule more tightly regulating their use.
  • Surprise! Republicans are trying to overturn it — and successfully passed a resolution to that effect in the House. Now, it’s up to the Senate.
  • The Trump administration is very hostile to consumer rights — and very pro-big banks.

Contact: your Senators. Tell them that when the CFPB rule comes up for disapproval in the Senate, you expect them to vote against it. This incident at Equifax is a recent egregious example of how these clauses affect consumers, but it’s a perennial problem. Furthermore, tell them you expect them to oppose the confirmation of Joseph Otting, a former bank CEO, for a position at the Treasury. While you have them on the phone, ask them to get tough on defending consumer rights.

Support: The National Association of Consumer Advocates works on a variety of issues surrounding arbitration clauses and other breaches of consumer rights. Meanwhile, Americans for Financial Reform holds the financial industry accountable.

Write: Consider signing this Care2 petition:

3. Speak Out on Tax Reform

The Trump administration wants to get a move on its regressive tax reform, which means it’s coming up in Congress soon. We’ve got ample warning that the plan, while scant, could be bad news for many ordinary Americans — and it’s important to speak up. Remember that your taxes pay the people who represent you in Congress, whether or not you voted for them.

Know:

  • The administration says it wants to “simplify” the tax code, but there are strings attached.
  • “Simplification” includes eliminating many tax incentives that help low-income Americans, flattening tax rates in a way that benefits corporations and handing out freebies to the rich.
  • In just one example, the corporate tax rate would be cut from 35 percent — which few corporations actually pay – to 15 percent.

Contact: your lawmakers! The tax system is definitely in need of reform, but the Trump administration’s proposals are not fair — and will, in fact, be regressive for many Americans. There’s a chance your taxes will go up under this plan. Streamlining the process of filing taxes, eliminating corporate loopholes and simplifying the tangled web of credits, deductions and incentives should be a priority. Deep cuts to tax rates won’t help anyone except the one percent.

Support: Americans for Tax Fairness and Citizens for Tax Justice advocate sensible, evidence-based tax reform.

Write: Consider signing this Care2 petition:

Protesters rallying around a confederate statute

Photo credit: Mobilus in Mobili

4. Rally for Health Care — Again

It’s baaaaack … another attack on health care, that is. Despite high-profile failures in the spring and early summer, Republicans are having another go at gutting the Affordable Care Act with a proposal from Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham. And they claim they’re close to having the votes.

Know:

  • Graham-Cassidy would use block granting and a per-capita funding cap to control Medicaid funding and institute radical cuts, effectively gutting this critical health care program.
  • The proposal would also end federal subsidies for insurance exchanges, wildly destabilizing the private insurance market.
  • If they want to pull this off, they need to do it by September 30.

Contact: your members of Congress, starting with your senators. Tell them you’re concerned that this bill could: destabilize the insurance market and health care industry; curtail access to health care for low-income Americans; leave states with inadequate funding for public health crises like the opioid epidemic; and make it harder for disabled and chronically ill Americans to access care. If you have a personal story about how this will affect you, tell it!

Support: Planned Parenthood of America and Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. Both include health care policy and access in their work. Locally, many nurse’s unions are also pushing for improvements to health care policy.

Write: Consider signing the following Care2 petitions:

5. Stick With Hurricane Victims

While the winds and the water have departed, victims of hurricanes Harvey and Irma will be struggling to recover for a long time. Don’t lose sight of their needs!

Know:

  • Hurricane Harvey may end up being the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, though it had a very low loss of life considering its scope and brutality.
  • Hurricane Irma dealt out severe damage in parts of Florida, but it was devastating for several Caribbean islands, including The British and U.S. Virgin Islands; the Turks and Caicos Islands; St. Martin; and Antigua and Barbuda.
  • Many developing nations don’t have the infrastructure or reserves to cope with damage at this scale, and the same applies to some individuals facing recovery without flood insurance or savings.

Contact: your legislators: Ask them to swiftly approve requests for federal funding and get proactive with supporting affected Caribbean nations alongside U.S. protectorates.

Support: We’ve rounded up ways to help with both Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey.

Write: Consider signing these Care2 petitions:

Take on a mini-challenge: Those Confederate statues and other monuments to racism won’t go away by themselves! Find out if a local group is working to tear down a flag or statue in your area, and if not, consider starting one. If you’re already living the Confederate-free lifestyle, check in with a neighboring community.

Photo credit: Molly Adams

30 comments

heather g
heather g2 months ago

Certainly a busy week and worthy subjects

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Carole R
Carole R2 months ago

Thank you.

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Carl R
Carl R2 months ago

Thanks!!!

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Mary B
Mary B2 months ago

Good catch there Debra G. I have to laugh, low information liberal Hillary hater,David F thinks palm trees on a t shirt are pot plants . Wonder what kind of drugs he's on.

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Winn A
Winn Adams2 months ago

Thanks

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Cruel Justice
Cruel Justice2 months ago

Until I clean up after Irma, my weekly resistance is on life support.

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Lisa M
Lisa M2 months ago

Noted.

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Lisa M
Lisa M2 months ago

Noted.

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Anne Moran
Anne M2 months ago

The thing is with natural disasters,, is that once it's no longer in the news,, it is often forgotten,, as people are already digesting the next ''Breaking News''... - That's the way of the world,, unfortunately...

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