Tag Archives: Arab Spring

thinkprogress … VAWA


Evening Brief: Important Stories That You Might’ve Missed

Justice Scalia is worse than you already thought.

Washington doesn’t have to be broken.

Yes, the vast majority of our long-term debt is because of Bush-era policies.

GOP congressman says the debt is just as “immoral” as slavery.

Obama administration calls for marriage equality in upcoming Proposition 8 Supreme Court case.

Shocking but true: top GOP senator wants to give the NRA veto power over judges.

Another day, another extreme anti-abortion law enacted by the GOP.

FACT: low tax states have lower economic growth.

Violence Against Women Act Finally Passes

A year and a half after the landmark law expired, House Republicans finally relented and allowed the updated and expanded reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to pass. The bill had already passed the Senate with overwhelming, bipartisan majorities not once, but twice.

We say House Republicans allowed it to pass because they’ve done nearly everything in their power to block it from doing so, including:

  • refusing to even take up the Senate bill last year
  • passing a watered-down, partisan version that had no chance of passing the Senate
  • attempting to block a vote on the Senate bill as recently as this week
  • trying to remove protections for LGBT people and Native Americans from the Senate bill earlier today
  • voting against the Senate bill en masse today

Last time VAWA was reauthorized, in 2005, just two House Republicans voted against the measure. Sadly, 138 House Republicans voted against VAWA today. Even more shamefully, 27 House Republicans voted against both the Senate bill and the watered-down version Republicans themselves had proposed.

Take a look at these 27 Republicans. Notice a pattern?

BOTTOM LINE: Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act is a huge victory for women and their families — a victory that came in spite of the GOP’s best efforts to prevent it.

Climate change and the Arab Spring.

AFL – CIO … Beyond Wisconsin


A year and a half ago, Gov. Scott Walker and his friends in the Senate forced through an extremist anti-worker agenda that divided the state.

Last night, Wisconsin took back its Senate. While Gov. Walker remains in office after being only the third governor in American history subjected to the humiliation of a recall, his divisive agenda has been stopped cold.

Though Walker was shielded with a flood of secret corporate cash, Wisconsin made its voice heard.
While we came closer to recalling Walker than many expected, we ended up coming just short.

The work we did together was about much more than just this one election.

We laid the groundwork for a powerful movement to push back against Walker-style anti-working family policies everywhere. The energy and momentum in Wisconsin have inspired working people from all walks of life to stand together in solidarity in unprecedented ways.

We cannot stop now. Click here to sign our solidarity pledge to commit to building on the momentum working people created in Wisconsin and beyond to protect good jobs, working families and workplace rights.

Wisconsin is a small piece of a broader global movement of people pushing back on the corporate-driven policies that have favored the super-rich at the expense of good jobs, education and the health of our communities.

And we are winning. We’ve seen it in Tunisia, Yemen and other countries where the Arab Spring has taken hold; in Greece and France, where voters rejected the failed, Draconian policies of austerity; and here in the United States, where members of the Occupy movement continue to shine a much-needed light on Wall Street greed and ballooning economic inequality.

Working people are making history every day through their courage and resolve to work together for a better world. For you, it may have begun with Wisconsin, but it should not stop there.

Click here to sign our pledge of solidarity to say you will continue to stand with other working people to protect good jobs, working families and workplace rights.

Thank you for everything you have done and will continue to do for working families.

In Solidarity,

Richard Trumka
President, AFL-CIO

P.S. Want to be the first to hear about our exciting new campaigns planned for the summer? Sign our solidarity pledge now so you can be one of the first to receive updates.

Syria and brave citizen journalists … by Alice Jay – Avaaz.org



The Assad regime is slaughtering its citizens and tearing cities apart. The UN has failed to stop the killing, and Avaaz has the only network smuggling medical equipment in and information out. Brave Syrian democracy activists have called for our help— click below to watch the video appeal and chip in to save lives:

Donate now

On Saturday, Syria’s brutal forces killed one of Avaaz’s brave citizen journalists as he pulled people from the rubble of a deadly massacre in Homs. Omar was just 23 and he died as he lived, photographing the regime’s crimes, helping others and sacrificing for freedom.
As you read this, the regime is murdering men, women and children and tearing cities apart. China and Russia just handcuffed international action at the UN and gave Assad license to unleash his murder machine to crush the Syrian Spring once and for all. Omar’s friend just wrote to us — his community is determined, but they are urgently asking for our help: “We’re heartbroken, but his death will not be in vain, we will carry on the fight, but we need your support.”
Let’s be clear — as embassies close, medical agencies withdraw and journalists pull out, Avaaz has the only network that is both smuggling medical equipment and journalists in and images and information out. Avaaz just received a list of urgent needs: medical equipment for doctors in makeshift hospitals; more cameras and computers to keep informing the world; money for power and transport; safe houses for people to take refuge; and continued international action in support. Click here to watch a video appeal and chip in now — if 20,000 of us donate now, we can get help to the besieged towns before the next attack:
https://secure.avaaz.org/en/smuggle_hope_into_syria_i/?vl
For months, Omar, a civil engineering student, photographed Syrian forces brutally killing peaceful protesters and sent the images out to the global media through Avaaz. After the regime kicked the international media out, Omar was one of more than 400 activists who risked their lives to work with Avaaz to break the news blackout and help 18 of the world’s leading journalists from foreign news outlets into the locked-down country. It’s likely that the images you have seen on your TV or photographs in your newspaper came from this courageous team.
But that is just a part of what the Avaaz project has done. Thanks to the generous support of members across the world, Avaaz is providing a rare lifeline of strategic and critical support to the democracy movement in Syria.  When activists told us medicines were running out, we set up a smuggling network to deliver over $1.8 million worth of medical equipment into the country, saving thousands of lives. When the Syrian National Council was struggling to present a credible leadership alternative to the world, we organized meetings in the UN, Russia and across Europe to support their efforts.
Day after day, these heroes have turned out to protest, facing down tanks with no support from international governments. But what happens in the next two weeks will be decisive. This is the pinnacle of the Arab Spring and the global struggle against brutal despots. Together we can secure a lifeblood to the resistance and walk with the brave Syrian people on their journey to freedom. Click to make a life-saving donation now:
https://secure.avaaz.org/en/smuggle_hope_into_syria_i/?vl
This year people power in the Middle East has taught the world an important lesson — together we are stronger than the fiercest dictator, and stronger than the most ruthless army. On the streets of Syria, Avaaz is a beloved partner in the struggle for freedom.  As one opposition leader put it, “the Syrian people have gained strength from knowing that the world, through the Avaaz community, stands with them.”  Together, we have made the impossible, possible and with our help Assad’s regime will come to end.
With hope and determination,
Alice, Ian, Antonia, Emma, Ricken, Morgan, Mouhamad, Wissam, Sam, Bissan, Will and the entire Avaaz team
More information:
A Doctor’s Cry for Help as Homs Victims Pour In to a Medical Center [Warning: This is a graphic video not suitable for sensitive viewers] http://www.overstream.net/view.php?oid=r3tmevemrqn0
At Least 200 Reported Killed in Syrian City of Homs (Washington Post) http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/protesters-turn-out-across-syria-but-capital-is-quiet/2012/02/03/gIQAQOqNnQ_story.html
Homs: Bloody Winter in Syria’s Revolution Capital (CNN) http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/16/world/meast/syria-homs-profile/index.html
Anger After Russia, China Block UN Action on Syria (Reuters) http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/05/us-syria-idUSTRE80S08620120205?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&rpc=71
Syria Crackdown: Homs Bombarded, Dozens Killed (Huffington Post/Reuters) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/06/syria-crackdown-homs_n_1256699.html