Friend of Reproductive Rights …
Ben Betz, People For the American Way
Congressional Republicans seem to think that workers are the property of their employers!
They want to reverse DC’s reproductive health non-discrimination law — making it so women could be fired for having an abortion or using birth control — because they say that kind of discrimination is a business owner’s “religious freedom!”
First, I ask that you read this whole email, just so you can get a full appreciation for what’s going on here, and how absolutely appalling this example of right-wing extremism is that I’m about to share with you. (And, of course, your voice is also needed in response.)
The Washington, DC City Council recently passed the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act. The law protects workers from being fired or punished by their employers for things like having an abortion, using contraception, or getting pregnant out of wedlock. Or for having a family member (spouse or dependent) engage in the same.
Congress has the authority to reverse local laws passed by the District of Columbia — which itself is a fundamentally undemocratic arrangement, but that’s a story for another email! — and now Republicans in the House are looking to use this authority to repeal the DC law.
Please speak out against this now (then keep reading)!
This repeal is a threat to every woman, and every family with a woman, in DC. Additionally, the driving force behind this Republican intervention represents an urgent national threat to women, to LGBT people, and to the principle of religious liberty.
That’s because at the same time Republicans in Congress are taking their anti-choice attacks to frightening levels, they are escalating the right-wing trend of hijacking “religious liberty” to justify discrimination.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said that Republicans believe the DC law unconstitutionally violates the religious freedom of employers because it “forces employers to hire and retain individuals whose beliefs regarding reproductive health decisions are different from what the employer advocates.”
Ummm, yeah! That’s the entire point of living in a free country! For a group of people who love to talk about “freedom” as much as they do they do, they really, really don’t get it.
In fact, it seems that Republicans think the definition of “freedom” is exclusively reserved for the freedom of businesses to own their employees and control every aspect of their lives.
Anyone who loves the First Amendment and values true religious freedom should be outraged. As should the people Republicans want to make vulnerable to discrimination.
Thanks for making it through this. If you are as incensed about this as I’d expect, please help by spreading the word after you take action.
— Ben Betz, Online Engagement Director
Despite public pressure, Olympic organisers cleared a portion of Mt. Gariwang for a ski slope. We are pushing the IOC to commit to upholding principles of sustainability so that this type of devastation never happens in the name of the Olympics again.
A 500 year old forest is being clear cut to make way for Olympic ski facilities that will be used for a four day competition! The International Olympic Committee has mandated these games as “Green Olympics”, let’s hold them to it and save the ancient forest. Sign then share on Facebook, Twitter, email…everywhere:
We have a choice to make:
Preserve a 500 year old ancient forest, home to four threatened species,
Clearcut the ancient forest for an Olympic ski competition.
It seems like a no-brainer. And it should be. But right now, Olympic organisers in South Korea are tearing down a forest, with trees half a millennia old, to make room for new ski facilities.
It’s shortsighted, illogical and worst of all, irreversible. Once the precious forest is gone, it’s gone forever. But we can stop them from clearcutting for an Olympic sized resort. The International Olympic Committee laid down a mandate that this event should be a “Green Olympics” built and operated by principles of sustainability. If we launch an enormous global outcry from every country participating in the Winter Olympics, we can shame the International Olympic Committee to living up to their ideals.
Join this urgent campaign and Avaaz will deliver our voices directly to the Olympic Committee offices. Sign then share on Facebook, Twitter, email…everywhere:
Pyeongchang, South Korea won the bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics, and to hold just two ski events, they are clearcutting the world’s largest expanse of Wangsasre tree, while devastating one of the last remaining habitats of four vulnerable animals: the Eurasian Otter, the Leopard Cat, the Marten and the Flying Squirrel.
This place has been considered sacred in Korea for hundreds of years and the mountain has long been protected. But to win the Olympic bid, the government removed the protection. Now, huge scars have been carved into the mountains, and developers are moving fast to clear cut enormous areas of forest to create a massive ski resort.
There is no reason for this — the Games could take place in another city like Muju, and that could save $138 million! The International Olympic Committee’s own environmental standards outline sustainable development for the Games. It’s time to hold them to account for turning a blind eye to Pyeongchang’s destruction, and demand they uphold their own rules.
It’s unconscionable to think of thousands of 500 year old trees felled for a few winter Olympic races. What’s been torn down can never be replaced. But if enough of us raise our voices we can stop them from expanding it, and ensure that the Olympics never destroys our global wonders for the games again. Join the urgent call:
Forests are the lungs of our world, vital to the clean air and stability of our shared planet. Time and again, Avaaz members from across the world have come together to protect these treasures. From thousands of us chipping in to purchase a corridor of Borneo rainforest to winning major battles to protect the forests of Amazon, Aceh and Australia, Avaaz has shown that when we come together, we all win. Let’s do it again.
With hope and determination,
Dalia, Jooyea, Mais, Nataliya, Alice, Emily and the rest of the Avaaz team
PS – This campaign was kicked off by Avaaz member Koh I Jiseon. If there is something you want to start a campaign on just click here to start a petition: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/start_a_petition/?cl=8563517316&v=64804&biEWLbb
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain (VOA)
Korean officials criticised for “neglecting duties” and “abusing authority” during Pyeongchang 2018 preparations (Inside the Games)
What to do with Pyeongchang venues after the 2018 Olympics? (The Hankyoreh)
Event sharing for Pyeongchang Olympics could save more than $300 million (The Hankyoreh)
Richard Pryor statue in Peoria, IL. (Photo: Instagram)
According to comedyhype.com, legendary comedian and actor Richard Pryor finally had his statue placed and presented in his hometown of Peoria, Illinois. Yesterday, with his son Richard Pryor Jr. and many fans in attendance, the 7-foot 1/2 statue of Pryor holding a microphone was unveiled. In September of 2014, the now members of the Black And Brown Comedy Get Down tour helped raised the final funds to complete the new statue. To see video of the unveiling, click here.
article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)
- Fastest Internet in the U.S.? It’s Chattanooga, TN, thanks to local and fed dollars (Ps. Big cable very angry)
Thanks for all you do,
The Daily Kos team