ACLU

The Sedition Act

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Your DGB for today is to Grab some history on The Sedition Act.

One hundred years ago today, May 16, 1918, Congress passed The Sedition Act. An extension of the existing Espionage Act and dressed up as legislation to support the country’s war effort (World War I) it was a severe restriction of any speech considered “abusive” of the U.S. Government, the Constitution, the military or the flag. The Post Office was not even allowed to deliver mail that contained this kind of language. Does this have a ring of familiarity to it? Are you surprised that this non-Constitutional, cockamamie junk wasn’t cooked up in the mind of DJT himself? Our point in bringing up this history lesson is to show you that this kind of threat to our civil liberties is nothing new and needs to be taken seriously. Thankfully, the Sedition Act was repealed by the end of 1920. But only because World War 1 was over and Congress was repealing a bunch of other war time legislation anyway!

Read more about the Sedition Act and its parent legislation the Espionage Act here: https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/u-s-congress-passes-sedition-act

And now that you are frightened and disturbed, go donate to an organization fighting to keep Trump from resurrecting the Bad Old Days.

ACLU: https://www.aclu.org/donate-aclu?ms=menu_gift&ms_aff=NAT&ms_chan=web&initms=menu_gift&initms_aff=NAT&initms_chan=web

SPLC: https://donate.splcenter.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=463

 

MigraCam

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Your DGB for today is to get the word out about the new app, MigraCam, offered by the ACLU.

It’s no secret that the Trump administration has increased its immigration raids. After a recent raid on a Tennessee meat packing plant, where over 100 people were accused of being here illegally, more than 500 students missed school the next day for fear of another raid. https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/12/us/tennessee-immigration-raid-schools-impact/index.html

MigraCam helps people living in immigrant communities to notify their families if they have been detained in a raid or a traffic stop. It offers features like live streaming, sharing your location with family and friends, notifications of current raids, voice command to open MigraCam, and much more. DGB thinks it’s imperative to get the word out about this much needed app, especially when we are living in a time where Trump and his Fox pals are vilifying immigrants, including those in the caravans that are attempting to seek asylum. You can read more about the caravans and the myths surrounding them here:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/30/us/migrant-caravan-myths-debunked/index.html

 

The Handmaids of Idaho and Indiana

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Your DGB for today is to donate to the ACLU in Idaho and Indiana as they gear up to fight new abortion reporting laws.

As our daily reminder that Republican men don’t care about women in any capacity other than incubators for babies, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb just signed a law stating that all doctors must file a report that includes all the complications resulting from an abortion. Okay, fine - that makes sense, we guess. What doesn’t make sense is why they need all of this additional information: “the report must detail the date of the procedure, the age and race of the patient, the county and state of the patient's residence, the type of abortion obtained by the patient, as well as the name of the facility where the procedure was received. It would also require information about how many times a patient has terminated a pregnancy, and what their educational level and marital status is.” Failure to report complications would lead to a Class B misdemeanor, which can result in 180 days of jail-time, and up to a $1,000 fine. Idaho Governor Butch Otter signed a similar bill into law last week.

You’re welcome to put the Idaho and Indiana governors on blast on Twitter and Facebook. Feel free to send them an email or give them a phone call too. You can also donate to the ACLU, which plans to fight these laws: the Idaho division of the ACLU https://action.aclu.org/give/support-aclu-foundation-idaho?ms=web__aff_id_menu_donate and the Indiana division of the ACLU https://action.aclu.org/give/support-aclu-indiana.

 

School Walkout Support

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Your DGB for today is to utilize or share the ACLU’s resource for school walkout participants.

 

https://www.aclu.org/issues/free-speech/student-speech-and-privacy/students-rights-speech-walkouts-and-other-protests

 

In the aftermath of the 2/14 Parkland, Florida school shooting that left 17 staff and students dead, teenagers have become the activists we should all strive to be. They’ve organized the March for Our Lives, which will take place this Saturday, 3/24, and a nationwide school walkout, which many young people participated in on 3/14. Some school administrators threatened or carried out punishments for students who walked out of class that day and the ACLU wants student activists to know their rights and share their stories at the link above.

 

#DGB #TBT Sanctuary Cities

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Your DGB for this Throwback Thursday is to donate to the ACLU in support of Sanctuary Cities.

Our first Grab on Sanctuary Cities was back in February, on the heels of a January 25th Executive Order lording federal grants over the heads of city governments with the audacity to not turn citizens over to federal immigration authorities. https://www.dailygrabback.com/todays-grab-1/2017/2/3/block-the-threat-to-sanctuary-cities?rq=sanctu

Since then, federal judges in Chicago and San Francisco have dealt blows to the order, rendering it essentially void unless appealed or amended.

These are huge victories, but it won’t end here. Give another dollar to the ACLU to help them keep fighting the never-ending reincarnations of bans, walls, and raids.

Find a list of Sanctuary Cities, Counties, and States here:

https://cis.org/Map-Sanctuary-Cities-Counties-and-States

 

Voting Rights Advancement Act

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Your DGB for today is to register your support for H.R. 2978, the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2017. https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2978

Because voter suppression is somehow still a thing in freaking 2017, we need even more laws to prevent the silencing of minority voices at the polls. This is why the United States just can’t have nice things. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL-7), who also introduced this resolution, discusses voter suppression here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trumps-election-commission-is-already-laying-the-groundwork_us_59bc010ce4b02c642e4a15f6

You can contact your reps using Resistbot or Countable and tell them to support free and open voting rights, or by signing the ACLU petition here: https://action.aclu.org/secure/congress-repair-voting-act?ms=web_160620_votingrights_vraa

 

People Power

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Your DGB for today is to sign up with People Power.

A new grassroots initiative from the ACLU, People Power aims to mobilize the Resistance through local events, which you can find here on their map. You can also create an event to be listed on their site if you’re organizing one.

Yes, there are a lot of organizations out there to join and event calendars to check. Yes, you still need to interact with as many as possible. The anti-Orange Julius movement is huge, but we still need as many active participants as we can get.

People Power’s current focus is a voting rights initiative, with events across the country on October 1st. Keep hitting the streets, Grabbers!

 

 

Stop the GOP from Sabotaging the ADA

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Your DGB for today is to call your Member of Congress and tell them to vote against H.R. 620, which would be a nightmare for disabled Americans.

We swear, sometimes it seems like the GOP just looks for vulnerable populations to kick around. This time, it’s disabled Americans just trying to get through their days with dignity and a modicum of self-reliance.  H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017, would upend the Americans with Disabilities Act’s current requirement that businesses proactively make efforts to comply with the ADA. Instead, according to the ACLU, “This bill proposes that after an individual with a disability is denied access she must first notify the business owner, with exacting specificity, that her civil rights were violated, and then wait for six months to see if the business will make ‘substantial progress’ toward access, before going to a court to order compliance.” The burden would be on the disabled, not business. Not only is this grossly unfair, but it also completely subverts the entire purpose of the ADA.

If you do not yet have your Members of Congress and Senators on speed-dial, you can use Resistbot or Countable to register your horror at this latest attempt to erode our civil liberties.

 

ICE Data

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Your DGB for today is to register your objection with the National Archives and Records Administration for their decision to allow Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to destroy important records as a matter of course.  

As the ACLU says, “Destroying records effectively grants ICE impunity for its abuses, makes it harder for the public to hold ICE accountable in the future, and erases important parts of the historical record.”

This proposed move is par for the course for an administration that has systematically acted to make the country less safe for women, people of color, and other vulnerable populations. And when this same administration aims to detain more immigrants than ever, it’s never been more critical to resist this decision.

Show NARA and ICE that Americans insist our government be accountable and transparent. We don’t want to hear the sound of shredders working overtime in federal detention facilities.

 

Liberty Depends on Public Access to Information

Your DGB for today is to honor the Freedom of Information Act through signing an ACLU petition, or plan a longer term action provided below.

The Freedom of Information Act was signed into law over 50 years ago to ensure the transparency of government to the people. With the right to request access to government documents, Americans are able ensure that their federal representatives and agencies are honoring the trust they’ve been given in their roles.

Under the new administration a number of concerns have come under scrutiny, which makes transparency essential, now more than ever. What can we do as citizens to ensure public access to information? The ACLU has filed paperwork demanding access to documents regarding 45’s conflicts of interest. Please take a minute to fill this out. And, if you’re looking for a longer term action, check out this list offered through the Sunshine Week initiative:

 

If you are in the world of journalism, you can highlight the importance of openness through stories, editorials, columns, cartoons or graphics.

If you are part of a civic group, you can organize local forums, sponsor essay contests or press elected officials to pass proclamations on the importance of open access.

If you are an educator, you can use Sunshine Week to teach your students about how government transparency improves our lives and makes our communities stronger.

If you are an elected official, you can pass a resolution supporting openness, introduce legislation improving public access or encourage training of government employees to ensure compliance with existing laws mandating open records and meetings.

If you are a private citizen, you can write a letter to the editor or spread the word to friends through social media.

 

So, get engaged with your right to information and don’t let up. Continued pressure has been making a positive difference in the resistance and we are influencing change!

 

ACLU App

Your DGB for today is to download the ACLU Mobile Justice app for your state.

We all feel better knowing the ACLU is around, right? Well, with a focus on documenting police conduct, their app allows you to record video which is then sent automatically to your state’s ACLU affiliate. You can also report an incident through the app without video and access a state-specific list of your rights during law enforcement encounters. Take comfort in having the ACLU available to help at the touch of your screen.

So far, this app is available for 18 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and D.C., with a stop and frisk app available for New York. The ACLU will be adding more states soon, so if your state isn’t available yet, we suggest you set a monthly reminder in your phone to recheck the site for updates and follow your state’s ACLU on Twitter.

Add this app to your growing arsenal of activist tools for working towards social justice in your community.

 

Block the Threat to Sanctuary Cities

Your DGB for today is to breathe into a paper bag until the hyperventilating stops, then donate $1 to the ACLU, which is working its butt off to protect us from the new administration’s flood of anti-immigration policies.

On Jan. 25th, our Tweeter-in-Chief signed an executive order cracking down on so-called “sanctuary cities”: jurisdictions identified as sympathetic to undocumented persons, and where local law enforcement and other officials are less willing to divulge to the federal government the immigration status of people in their communities. The leverage Trump is using? Money, in the form of federal grants. Read here about how he might do it.  

Some officials have reaffirmed their commitment to protect illegal immigrants in their communities, while legal scholars believe that the order itself is unconstitutional 

For the moment the threat remains. If this directive from the White House overcomes the legal challenges to it, and funds start to dry up for sanctuary cities, will local officials’ resolve waver? We have to support the ACLU and make sure we don’t find out.