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Sunday, February 17, 2019

People Power Action Event | PeoplePower.org LOCATION: Outside Federal Immigration Court 180 Ted Turner Dr SW Atlanta, GA 30303 DATE AND TIME: Monday, February 18, noon

 

LOCATION: Outside Federal Immigration Court 180 Ted Turner Dr SW Atlanta, GA 30303 DATE AND TIME: Monday, February 18, noon HOST: Stephanie Ali ATTENDEE COUNT: 11 attendees EVENT CATEGORIES: Other SIGN UP Email address* First name* Last name* ZIP Code* Mobile phone* SIGN UP FOR EVENT By submitting this form, you are agreeing to receive periodic updates from People Power and other ACLU channels.

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ACLU of Georgia is joining Georgia Alliance for Social Justice and a coalition of concerned organizations for a rally protest the unjust and likely illegal emergency declaration. This is being done as a part of a nationwide collaboration. ACLU of Georgia's Legal Director, Sean Young, will be speaking.

We will protest the immigration policies and the entire concept of the alleged need for a wall. We presently have over a dozen partners for this action that will center on the voices of our immigrant communities.

People Power Action Event | PeoplePower.org:

Trump Press Conference Cold Open - SNL

Lucy McBath On Gun Control Bill HR 8: “I Refuse To Let Anyone In This Ro...

Cuomo and Lemon blast GOP hypocrisy 'on steroids'

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Kaepernick Beat The NFL

Democratic party elites silence Ilhan Omar at their peril | Trita Parsi and Stephen Wertheim | Opinion | The Guardian

 

"This week Democrats plunged into two controversies that portend danger for the party as the 2020 election season begins. Both centered on freshman representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who, not coincidentally, came to America as a Somali refugee and is now one of the two first Muslim women in Congress. Absent an open debate about the party’s values on foreign policy, Democrats are hurtling toward an election more divisive than the one in 2016.

First, on Monday, Omar criticized the influence of pro-Israel lobbyists on Capitol Hill, tweeting that Congress’s stance was “all about the Benjamins”. She was swiftly rebuked by the party leadership in tandem with Republicans, prompting her to apologize. Then, less than 48 hours later, Omar grilled America’s new envoy to Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, over his well-documented materialsupport for multiple Central American governments that committed mass killings and genocide in the 1980s. She also questioned his credibility, noting that Abrams had pleaded guilty to withholding information from Congress as part of his participation in the Iran-Contra scandal.

How did Democratic elites respond? Several pounced again – to defend the Trump administration’s backer of death squads against Omar’s pointed questioning. Kelly Magsamen, a senior official at the Center for American Progress, defended Abrams on Twitter as a “fierce advocate for human rights and democracy”. Likewise, Nicholas Burns, a 27-year diplomat who most recently advised former secretary of state John Kerry, praised Abrams as a “devoted public servant”. “It’s time to build bridges in America,” Burns wrote, “and not tear people down.”

If Democratic leaders were incredulous at Omar’s statements, rank-and-file Democrats were just as incredulous at their party leaders. Why, many asked, is it routine to criticize the influence of NRA money but almost forbidden to question the influence of Aipac money? On top of that, how could Trump’s neocon criminal be lauded as some sort of ally while Omar was treated as a pariah? A Twitter torrent caused Magsamen to delete her tweet and apologize.

Personalities aside, however, the episode is charged with significance for the Democratic party as a whole. Omar is not going away. She represents the party’s younger generation, a more diverse and progressive cohort that came of age in the war on terror. In the election of 2016, such voters balked at Hillary Clinton’s hawkish record and her courting of Never Trump neoconservatives. Now the divide is only wider and more entrenched. Democrats need to have a real conversation, immediately, about the party’s values and goals in foreign policy. Squelch it now and watch it resurge in 2020, with Trump the beneficiary.

...
“We share goals,” Magsamen wrote of Abrams. Do we? The outrage over her claim proved its falsity. What goals Democrats wish to promote in the world is now an open question, not settled dictum that thinktankers can impose from Washington. The Democratic base is no longer deferential, especially not when it is told that it has some obvious affinity with the man who covered up one of the bloodiest massacres in Latin American history, and went on to push the Iraq war inside the George W Bush administration.

Just what are the goals, and values, of those who have implemented decades of fruitless forever war and then close ranks when their worst members are asked accurate and relevant questions? The American people are wondering. The manifestations are everywhere, among young people in particular. Start with the sacred cow of American exceptionalism: millennials are the first age group to split evenly on whether the US is the world’s greatest country or no greater than others. They are increasingly ready to reckon with America’s past actions and confront hard choices going forward.


Young Democrats are not likely to agree that one violent misdeed after another is somehow acceptable as long as it is performed by the US or in the name of democracy or humanitarianism. Those were the rationales, now revived in defense of Abrams, that produced impunity for the Iraq war, a disastrous war of aggression. Ordinary citizens consistently display more skepticism of military intervention than do foreign policy elites. They are pushing their representatives to express the goal of peace. The election of Omar herself reflects this sentiment. And as a result of grassroots mobilization, the House this week, driven by progressives like Representative Ro Khanna, passed historic legislation to end US support for the Saudi war in Yemen.

The shift in the Democratic base is not limited to one episode. Democrats increasingly favor cutting the defense budget and imposing restraint on America’s military power. While elites assume that the US must maintain global military superiority as a matter of course, less than half of millennials deem it to be a very important goal. That is the lowest support on record, continuing a steady erosion since the second world war. Will political leaders engage the rising generation’s doubts, or will they insist that armed domination is a self-evident virtue for a country that is hurting at home and often spreads violence abroad?

On the Israel-Palestine conflict, it was Omar, more than her party elders, who represented the values of Democratic voters when she criticized the influence of money in politics and applied the point to America’s virtually unconditional support for Israel. The overwhelming majority of Democrats, about 82%, now say the US should lean toward neither Israel nor Palestinians. Even more dramatically, 56% of Democrats favor imposing sanctions or harsher measures against Israel if its settlements keep expanding. The mounting disaffection with Israel comes as the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, scorned Barack Obama and embraces Trump and other authoritarians. Yet Democratic leaders leapt to denounce Omar, giving her no benefit of the doubt for a poorly worded tweet. Critics must take care not to play into anti-Semitic tropes, but concern about lobbyist influence is legitimate and poised to intensify.

...
Democratic voters seek genuine alternatives, not the continuation of a one-party DC elite that assumes its right to rule and rules badly to boot. But the Democratic establishment is moving in the opposite direction. It has chosen to “build bridges,” all right – with the neoconservatives most directly responsible for calamitous policies and most diametrically opposed to the base. This decision has now culminated in the defense of criminals like Abrams who embody both the worst of American foreign policy and the impunity of those who make it.

More important is the bridge that is not being built. Years after neocons have been exposed to lack a popular constituency, actual voters in the party are being shut out and talked down to, as exemplified in the badgering of Omar. What are the progressives who put Omar, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and dozens of others into office to conclude about party leaders who would rather spurn them to make common cause with architects of the war on terror? Why are some in the party prioritizing bridge-building to washed-up neocons (in the Trump administration, no less) and not to new, mobilized voters?

The party’s divide is not insurmountable. Open dialogue can go a long way toward establishing the mutual respect that a party needs to maintain basic unity despite internal disagreements. The new generation of Democrats is, after all, the future of the party. But 2020 is fast approaching, and the bridge that needs building just got longer.

Trita Parsi is the author of Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy. Stephen Wertheim is a visiting assistant professor of history at Columbia University"

Democratic party elites silence Ilhan Omar at their peril | Trita Parsi and Stephen Wertheim | Opinion | The Guardian:

David Gergen: There's no border emergency, it's a fake

Black Inventors of the 20th and 21st Century

Colin Kaepernick’s settlement with the NFL was a big win for the leader of the league's protest movement.

"On Friday, the NFL and representatives for Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid announced that they had settled a grievance suit with the two players over alleged collusion to keep them out of the league because of their protests during the anthem.



“For the past several months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL. As a result of those discussions, the parties have decided to resolve the pending grievances,” the NFL and Kaepernick and Reid’s attorneys said in a joint announcement. “The resolution of this matter is subject to a confidentiality agreement so there will be no further comment by any party.”



Although the precise details of the settlement are as of yet unknown, it’s difficult to view the resolution as anything but a victory for Kaepernick and Reid. It will certainly be a win for the players financially. Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman reported that NFL teams were speculating the settlement with Kaepernick alone could have been in the $60 million to $80 million range."



Kaepernick filed his grievance against the league in October 2017, alleging that one or more teams had colluded with each other and/or the league to keep him out of the NFL because of his decision to kneel during the national anthem in the 2016–17 season as a protest against police brutality and systemic racism.



Reid, who was the first player to join Kaepernick’s protest movement when they played together on the San Francisco 49ers, alleged in his grievance that he’d been blackballed for continuing to protest following Kaepernick’s exclusion from the NFL. Reid, who did not drop his grievance (and continued to protest) after signing a deal with the Carolina Panthers this season, recently re-signed with the team, getting a three-year contract worth more than $21 million. The 31-year-old Kaepernick, meanwhile, still does not have a job in the NFL after two seasons without a contract.



Kaepernick’s collusion case was strong enough to get past a summary judgment dismissal request by the league. In August, arbitrator Stephen Burbank announced that he had rejected that dismissal request, which meant the case would go forward before Burbank in essentially a trial format. Burbank’s decision was an indication that Kaepernick’s attorneys had gathered evidence in the proceeding’s initial discovery phase that was “sufficient to raise a genuine issue of material fact” over whether the league had blackballed Kaepernick.



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The ruling based on the initial evidence—which was reported to have included many pages of electronic communications records, as well as several depositions with key NFL owners and executives—set up the potential for a major loss by the league.



Both the Kaepernick and Reid grievances cited President Donald Trump’s role in pressuring NFL owners to bar any players who protested during the national anthem. The New York Times reported that NFL owners held a closed-door meeting in October 2017 in which a number of them appeared terrified of Trump. The Wall Street Journal further reported that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had been asked by Trump to deliver a message to the owners about the protest movement. “This is a very winning, strong issue for me,” Trump said, according to the Journal’s account of Jones’ deposition. “Tell everybody, you can’t win this one. This one lifts me.”



Now it appears that listening to Trump on the issue may have cost owners—and won Kaepernick—many millions of dollars without doing anything to stop the years-long discussion around police brutality and systemic racism that Kaepernick, Reid, and other NFL protesters helped generate.





Meanwhile, Kaepernick has been honored by multiple human rights organizations for his stand for social justice, and in September was made the face of a new Nike campaign that used his status as a modern-day civil rights icon to sell sneakers.



At the same time, the NFL has backed down in the face of other legal challenges from attempts to create rules blocking protests. It’s unclear what will happen in the future on that front, but it seems as though that question will now be answered in negotiations between the league and the NFL Players Association and not unilaterally by Roger Goodell and the NFL’s owners.



It’s also unclear whether Kaepernick will ever get another chance to play in the NFL. If this settlement proves anything, though, it’s that there was no good reason for him to be kept off NFL rosters in the first place—and there’s still no good reason for him to be kept from playing in the NFL going forward.



 Colin Kaepernick  Donald Trump  Football  NFL"



Colin Kaepernick’s settlement with the NFL was a big win for the leader of the league's protest movement.