64 petitions

Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Charlie Baker, marty meehan, Robert Manning

Fund the William Joiner Institute, Keep Your Promise to Veterans

Since 1982 the William Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences has served veterans, refugees, and their families whose lives have been scarred by war. Its groundbreaking programs of research, teaching, advocacy, international educational and cultural exchange, and art programming have received recognition locally, nationally, and internationally. The Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Lannan Foundation, Boston Foundation, the U.S. Department of State, International Research Exchange (IREX), Mass Cultural Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities have all supported their programs. Now, however, suddenly, the Institute faces the prospect of extinction, a casualty of the budget crisis at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where systemic problems have led to severe cutbacks that threaten the urban mission of the university. Early in its history the Institute received funding from the Commonwealth through a discreet line item in the state budget. Later, the Institute’s budget was folded into the university’s budget with an agreement that it would absorb cuts and increases in the same proportions as the campus’s budget overall. Over time that agreement was slowly eroded. This past week, the university presented the Institute with a budget that would reduce staff levels from the 2017 level of 5.5 positions to 1.5 beginning July 1st, 2018. No position would be full-time. The director position would be funded at 80% time, an administrative assistant at 45% time, and a project coordinator at 30% time. Over the next years, the university will continue to withdraw state supported funding from the Joiner to practically zero. We believe these cuts to the Joiner Institute to be extreme, disproportionate, and inequitable, a betrayal of the university and the Commonwealth’s commitment to veterans and their families and a truly backward step in a community’s much needed efforts to generate useful research, scholarship, teaching and programming addressing the continuing impacts of war and violence. We ask: - At a time when an estimated 22 veterans commit suicide each day, - At a time when veterans of wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan become ill and die each day from exposures to toxins, - At a time when the gap in the experiences and understanding between military and civilians is growing wider and wider, - At a time when the United States is involved in conflicts around the world and operates bases on most every continent, with annual budgets amounting to billions to operate them, often receiving little oversight, - At a time when the structure of our largest system of health care delivery and the source of services for millions of veterans around the country is being threatened by underfunding and moves toward privatization, - At time when each day nuclear war seems less and less impossible, Why are we eliminating support for a unique Institute founded by veterans that seeks to examine the social and health consequences of war and ways to address these issues and bring veterans, refugees, and citizens together in dialogue? For thirty-five years the Joiner Institute as an integral part of UMass Boston has been saving lives, educating citizens, serving veterans, and mentoring them into leadership positions. We believe that veterans are more than the dollars their GI Bills bring to university coffers, seeing them not as consumers, but as contributors and creators. In the most immediate future, these funding cuts will impact our annual Writers' Workshop (now in its 31st year), our "Humanizing How We Teach about War and Violent Conflict" High School Teachers Workshop, our Music Therapy programs for veterans, our research into the health effects of the Iraq War, our collaborative and creative exchanges with the countries of Iraq and Vietnam, as well as numerous other programs such as our Speaker Series, translation projects, veterans outreach support programs, which address the long term impacts of war and the possibilities of healing, reconciliation, and the transformation of trauma and conflict through creative arts. We ask that you sign our petition to demand restoration of full funding for the Joiner Institute to continue its ongoing mission to address the social and health consequences of war through research, education, advocacy, and outreach support. Our Joiner friends, supporters, and members have always been our greatest asset as an organization and we owe our existence and ongoing programs to the tireless work and support of so many from our community. Whether you attended a Writers' Workshop, a lecture, were part of our veterans’ support programs, fought for recognition of the devastation of Agent Orange on veterans’ lives, or have contributed a financial donation, we owe our legacy and public work to you. We ask again for your support to keep the legacy of the Joiner Institute alive and thriving. In an era of continued violence, wars that seem never ending, in times of dramatic increases in refugees fleeing from war torn countries, the work of the Joiner Institute is as vital as ever and even more needed. Please sign your name, leave a comment, share this campaign, call your local senator, representative, or the president of the UMass System to share your support for the continued work of the Joiner Institute and for its future. We are grateful for your support and advocacy. We will be planning more actions in the coming days and weeks so stay tuned.   Sincerely, The Staff of the William Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences Thomas T. Kane, PhD, DirectorKevin Bowen, Former Director and FounderPaul Atwood, Founding Co-Director 1982-85, Interim Director, 2011-14Nguyen Ba Chung, Research FellowMitch Manning, Program CoordinatorPatrick McCormack, Business Manager

Joiner Institute
4,134 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Ryan Costello, Pat Toomey, Donald Trump, John Cornyn, Dick Durbin, Raul Labrador, Zoe Lofgren, Robert Casey, Dwight Evans, Patrick Meehan

Stop the Inhumane Treatment of Immigrants in the United States

The members of Exton Community Baptist Church (ECBC) of Exton, Pennsylvania, are asking our friends and neighbors to stand with our immigrant community. These immigrants, many of whom are living and working in the U.S. on H-1B or refugee class visas, and even some Green Card holders, are experiencing actions by the U.S. government that are putting their families and futures at risk. These risks include loss of employment, loss of the ability to live and work in the U.S., loss of family income, disruption in the education of their children, and in some cases the risk of death or persecution upon return to their countries of origin. Recent increases in scrutiny, massive cuts in H-1B quotas, and other changes in U.S. Federal policy are affecting churches and their members and ministries throughout the country. And many of our refugee populations are being targeted now, too, with especially frightening potential outcomes. These immigrants are our friends, neighbors, and wards. As Americans and as people of faith we are compelled to love and protect them. We do not support the deportation of our friends, nor will we forget the actions that have led to their absence. These are some of the specific decisions that are putting our immigrants at risk. The decision to deport 200,000 Salvadorans who came here after two horrifying earthquakes which killed over 100,000 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless.[1] We stand with Church World Service’s condemnation of this decision.[2] The decision to end TPS Visas for refugees from the Sudan, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Haiti. President George H.W. Bush created the TPS program in 1990 because he believed that our country has a responsibility to care for our neighbors.[3] The decision to cut our country’s quota for refugees in half.[4] We now have the lowest quota we have seen since 40 years ago, when our population – currently 326 million – was just 222 million. In 1980, we had an annual ceiling of 231,700. In 1990, we had a ceiling of 125,000.[5] Efforts to cut this figure down to less than 50,000 are inhumane. The decision to force immigration judges into a quota system and restrict their ability to refer cases to appellate courts.[6] Due process is a basic tenet of our legal system. Undermining the application of this principle sets a dangerous precedent for all Americans. The President’s efforts to remove a 2015 rule that allowed the spouses of H-1B visa holders to apply for work in the U.S. [7] These spouses pay taxes and serve our communities in constructive ways. They should be allowed to contribute to our nation’s people, services, and economy. We are asking you, our political representatives, to fight these actions. We, too, are immigrants –immigrants in fact, or the descendants of immigrants. And we are Christians who believe in compassion and are compelled by our scriptures to love and respect all – even the foreigners in our midst. We are made stronger when we embrace the widow, the orphan, and the foreigner as our own. The principles that we embrace are found in: Lev. 19:33-34, Deut. 27:19, Ezk. 47:22, Zech. 7:9-10, Matt. 25:35, and Heb. 13:2. [1][2] [3][4][5] [6][7]

Exton Community Baptist Church
365 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Nederlandse Regering/Dutch Govnerment

Mehrdad moet blijven! / Mehrdad has to stay!

Scroll down for English translation  Rond september 2017 hebben Femke & ik ons opgegeven voor het ISK buddy programma. Dit houdt in dat wij een vluchteling een keer in de week met ons mee op school zouden nemen, zodat ze meer van de Nederlandse cultuur en de taal konden leren.  Wij kregen toen Mehrdad aangewezen, een vluchteling uit Afghanistan. Hij was toen iets meer dan drie jaar in Nederland. We hadden meteen een goede connectie met hem. We leerde dat hij op hoog niveau UFC speelde, maar dat hij nu voetbal speelt. We leerde waar hij vandaan komt en ook dat hij door de vreselijke Taliban Afghanistan heeft moeten verlaten.  De maanden gingen voorbij en Mehrdad kreeg het heel leuk in de klas. Hij was gewoon een onderdeel van onze klas geworden, niet een jongen die er gewoon naast zat. Uiteindelijk kregen we te horen dat hij weg ging uit Zutphen omdat hij verplaats moest worden naar een ander AZC in Nederland. Maar uiteindelijk bleef hij toch in Zutphen, alleen ging hij wel weg bij Isendoorn en onze klas.  We zijn nu een aantal maanden verder en Femke en ik hebben deze week het ISK bezocht. Dit is de plek waar de vluchtelingen naar school gaan en goed Nederlands leren. Hier heb ik allemaal hele aardige mensen ontmoet. Er waren ook nog twee andere meisjes mee die ook een buddy hadden. We werden opgesplitst en gingen alle vier naar een andere klas. Ik zat toevallig in de oude klas van Mehrdad. Alhoewel het een hele goede ervaring was bij het ISK hebben we ook nieuws te horen gekregen. Eerst dat hij naar de havo was ingestroomd. Femke en ik waren helemaal blij want we merkten ook op school al dat hij een slimme jongen was. Maar helaas hebben we ook te horen gekregen dat hij helaas weer terug naar Afghanistan moet. Wij willen dit stoppen! Help ons en misschien kan Mehrdad blijven!  Met vriendelijke groet, Iris van der Vegt (en natuurlijk Femke Visser en de rest van 3tvr op het Isendoorn)   English translation: Around September 2017, Femke & I signed up for the ISK buddy program. This means that we would take a refugee with us to school once a week so that they could learn more about Dutch culture and language.  The boy we got to take to school with us was Mehrdad, a refugee originally from Afghanistan. At that time Mehrdad was in the Netherland for just over three years. We immediately had a good connection with him. We learned that he plays UFC at a high level, but that he now also plays soccer. We learned where he came from and also that he had to leave Afghanistan because of the terrible Taliban.  The months passed and Mehrdad had lots of fun at school. He really felt like a member of our class, not a boy who just sat next to it. Eventually we were told that he was leaving Zutphen because he had to be moved to another refugee center in the Netherlands. But he eventually did end up staying here anyways, but he did leave our school and our class. We are now a few months further and Femke and I visited the ISK this week. This is where the refugees go to school and learn Dutch. I met a lot of amazing people. There were two other girls from our school that also participated in the ISK buddy program. We were split up and all four went to a different classroom. I happened to be in the old class of Mehrdad. Although it was a very good experience at the ISK, we also heard some good and bad news. First that he now goes to the HAVO (a type of high school in the Netherlands). Femke and I were completely happy because we also noticed at school that he was a smart boy. But unfortunately we have also been told that he has to go back to Afghanistan. We want to stop this! Help us and maybe Mehrdad can stay! Sincerely, Iris van der Vegt (and of course Femke Visser and the rest of 3tvr at the Isendoorn College)

Iris van der Vegt
5,001 supporters
Started 2 weeks ago

Petition to The Judge of the First-Tier Tribunal

Appeal Against the Deportation of the Bamyani Family

This petition is in support of the appeal against the decision of the Home Office to deport Sohaila Akbar and Muslem Bamyani to Afghanistan after its refusal of their visa extensions. The Bamyani family have been a pillar for the local community where they have built a life for themselves. After arriving in the UK as a refugee, Hassan Bamyani has worked in a Co-Op for 16 years; Muslem has grown up in the UK with its schooling and is now employed, and has not been to Afghanistan since he was five years old; and although Sohaila has been treated for anxiety and depression in both Iran and the UK, she is taking classes in order to improve her English. The Home Office is content to ignore the UK government's role in the political instability of the region, and it has both a moral and a legal obligation to fulfil the safety of political refugees and the Bamyani family. Instead, it has not taken into account the impact of political stability and targeted violence in refusing citizenship to Sohaila and refusing visa extensions – and although Muslem has passed his own citizenship test, his position in the UK is dependent on his mother. According to Section 55 of the 2009 Borders, Citizen, and Immigration act, and Article 3(1) of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the child 1989 (of which the UK is a signatory), there is a statutory duty to ensure both the safety and the welfare of children – and the deportation of Sohaila Sayed Akbar and her son Muslem Hassan Ali Bamyani, as well as the Home Office's callous suggestion that Hassan Bamyani follow them, is in direct breach of these articles. The Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) believes that due to the current instability of Afghanistan, that is a result of both the UK and USA's intervention in the region, returning to the country would not be safe for the Bamyani family. Hassan Bamyani had fled to the UK as a refugee in 2002, escaping violence of the Taliban where he was arrested for being a teacher. Sohaila and Muslem must not be condemned to the same violence.

Oxford CPGB-ML
14 supporters