Weekly Resistance: How to Take Action April 16-22

Recent world events have been sobering, but they only add urgency to the need for action. Whether you’re worried about Syrian airstrikes or concerned about teacher rights, take a few minutes this week to make your voice heard.

You can find information on how to contact your officials at all levels of government here. As always, if you haven’t had a chance yet, sign up for our newsletter and stay up-to-date on the latest!

1. Speak up about Syrian airstrikes

On Friday, the United States, United Kingdom and France initiated airstrikes against Syria in retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack that’s still under investigation.

Know:

  • There’s considerable debate over how much authority the president has to order airstrikes. Under the War Powers Act, the president cannot unilaterally declare war; Congress needs to do that. But the president can engage in “limited” actions, like a single airstrike targeting key locations. If Trump wants to go further in Syria, however, he needs Congressional authorization.
  • The participants in this strike say it was necessary for humanitarian reasons, and Trump says the U.S. is “locked and loaded” for future strikes.
  • Syria maintains that this was not a chemical attack, and Syria’s ally Russia was quick to condemn the airstrike.

Act: The United States has a history of getting bogged down in nebulous, grinding conflicts in the Middle East. And given the tension between the U.S. and Russia, this one could escalate in an ugly way. Call your federal officials to express your thoughts on this issue. It’s a complex topic, so you may want to sit down to think things through before you call. Some points to consider:

  • The investigation into the alleged chemical attack hasn’t concluded yet. If officials do find evidence of chemical weapons, how would that affect your feelings about these airstrikes? What if no evidence is found?
  • Systematic human rights violations are an ongoing problem in Syria, along with internal conflict that’s displacing 5.5 million people. The United States has admitted just 11 Syrian refugees in 2018.
  • Do you think the United States should take action in Syria? What kind of action?
  • Do you think the role of allies is important in any action the U.S. does or doesn’t take in Syria?
  • Do you want your representatives to seek more authority and clarity on the circumstances in which airstrikes and other military actions may be ordered?
  • Do you support the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017, which would bar the president from launching a nuclear first strike without Congressional approval? If so, encourage your elected officials to work on bringing the bill to a vote.

Join your fellow Care2 activists in signing the following petition:

2. Is Mike Pompeo the Secretary of State We Need?

Thanks to Rex Tillerson’s resignation, the United States currently lacks a Secretary of State — a key diplomatic figure. CIA Director Mike Pompeo has been nominated and is undergoing confirmation.

Know:

  • Many people, including Care2 activists, opposed Pompeo for CIA director due to his history of racism, along with support for torture and increased surveillance.
  • Pompeo is also hawkish, and very friendly with Trump – a potentially dangerous combination for the nation’s leading diplomat at a time when the country may be plunging into another military conflict.
  • He’s particularly belligerent about Russia.

Act: Contact your senators. Pompeo will be subjected to a floor vote in the Senate, and there’s bipartisan opposition, which creates an opening for Republican senators to potentially deny this nomination. Tell your senators that it’s important to have a Secretary of State, but it’s equally important to choose the right person for the job.

3. Protect the Mueller Inquiry

The president is openly musing about terminating Robert Mueller, charged with investigating Russia’s role in the 2016 election and Trump’s ties. It’s not the first time.

Know:

  • Trump can’t fire Mueller, but he can push someone else to do it for him.
  • The president is also threatening Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing the investigation.
  • While House Republicans declared they found “no evidence of collusion” in their own investigation, Democrats disagree.

Act: A bipartisan group of senators has introduced a bill to defend the integrity of the special counsel. It’s scheduled for a committee hearing this week, so call your federal representatives to tell them you support this legislation. Take an opportunity to express your concerns about Rosenstein as well. And dust off your protesting shoes: Hundreds of thousands of people have threatened to take to the streets in the event of a firing.

Join fellow activists in signing this Care2 petition:

4. Privacy, Please: It’s Time to Regulate the Tech Industry

After revelations that data firm Cambridge Analytica misused Facebook user data, Mark Zuckerberg found himself testifying in front of Congress. What comes next?

Know:

  • One reason it’s easy for tech companies to get away with abusing data is that privacy laws haven’t kept up with the industry.
  • Europe has much more robust privacy laws than the U.S., and though some would be hard to replicate, others could be useful models to follow.
  • Tech companies collect, use and sell a lot of personal data. If you haven’t done so already, take the time to read through your permissions on apps, social media and other settings to learn more about how and where your data is used.

Act: Contact your federal legislators, and ask them to take action to protect your privacy as a consumer.

Join your fellow Care2 activists in signing the following petition:

5. Support Striking Teachers

Across the U.S., teachers are on strike for better pay and working conditions, and they’re starting to rack up some wins.

Know:

  • This isn’t just about pay, though many teachers are underpaid. They’re also fighting to improve wages for support staff, and asking for investment in education infrastructure.
  • Striking teachers would rather be in the classroom, but they’re still looking out for their students. Schools are providing food, childcare and other support to reduce hardships for students and parents.
  • Teachers are also concerned about the long-term sustainability of benefits like pensions, many of which are underfunded.

Act: Contact your local school board to ask them how they’re supporting teachers, and to learn more about base pay and benefits. If teachers in your state are thinking about a labor action, prepare to support them by marching, calling legislators and pushing local officials.

32 comments

Paulo R
Paulo Rabout a month ago

petitions signed. ty

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Margie F
Margie FOURIEabout a month ago

Thanks

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Jetana A
Jetana Aabout a month ago

Does Past Member make money posting spam? I find it quite annoying.

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Jetana A
Jetana Aabout a month ago

I appreciate these weekly updates, and the opportunity to check whether I've signed all the petitions (again, I have!).

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DAVID fleming
DAVID flemingabout a month ago

TFS

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Anne Moran
Anne Moranabout a month ago

Brian F. - Of course I understand that no ONE nation has the authority to kill another one's leader, even if he is the devil incarnate... - Just wishful thinking on my part.. - As far as what would happen to Syria if al assad was killed/deposed ?? - Not much more,, because it really can't get any worse than the gassing of the poor Syrian people...

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Cathy B
Cathy Babout a month ago

Thank you.

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Winn Adams
Winn Adamsabout a month ago

Thanks

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Winn Adams
Winn Adamsabout a month ago

Noted

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Virginia Miller
Virginia Millerabout a month ago

Thanks

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