Weekly Actions 2/21/2017

Click on each action for details and scripts:

The American people deserve a bipartisan and independent investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia. Consider the following (not an exhaustive list):

  • Just last week, it was reported that Trump’s campaign had “repeated contacts with Russian intelligence.”
  • National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, whose nomination was controversial from the start due to his Russian ties, resigns due to illegal phone calls with the Russian ambassador discussing sanctions during the transition period.  
  • American Intelligence agencies have concluded that Putin ordered an effort to disrupt the 2016 election in favor of Trump. This included the cyberattacks on the DNC.
  • During the campaign, Trump publicly called on Russian hackers to find Clinton’s so-called lost emails. Trump has also unapologetically been a big supporter of Putin and his leadership style.
  • Trump may also have substantial financial ties to Russia, but the American people remain in the dark because Trump has continued to refuse to release his tax returns.

 

While several congressional committees have been tasked with investigating ties to Russia, all of these are led by Republican members of Congress, many of whom are allies of Donald Trump. Ask your senator/representative to support Senate Bill 27/HR 356, which calls for an independent commission to assure that the investigation is nonpartisan and accessible to the public.

Bills:

It is also imperative that Attorney General Jeff Sessions recuse himself from any involvement in the Russia investigations, since his close ties to the president are a conflict of interest. In fact, the Justice Department’s own guidelines mandate his recusal: “No DOJ employee may participate in a criminal investigation or prosecution if he has a personal or political relationship with any person or organization substantially involved in the conduct that is the subject of the investigation or prosecution, or who would be directly affected by the outcome.”
 

Note: Several members of the Action Alliance are combining efforts this week to amplify our voices over this vital issue. Call your senators today!

Script:
Hi, My name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I would like to ask Senator/Rep. __________ to publicly support Senate Bill 27/HR 356, which calls for an independent, nonpartisan investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia. Could you tell me the Senator/Rep’s position on this?
 

[IF SUPPORTIVE] Great, I’d like to thank the Senator/Rep for taking a stand. I’d also like Senator/Rep. _____ to publicly call for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal from any investigations that might take place on this issue, since his close ties to the President are in violation of DOJ guidelines.
 

[IF OPPOSED] I have strong concerns that any Congressional investigation done by a committee led by Republicans would not be conducted in a fair, thorough, and nonpartisan matter, particularly if Attorney General Sessions is involved.  The American people deserve to know that party politics will not preclude justice and I urge the Senator/Rep to reconsider his/her position on a non-partisan, independent investigation. At the very least, I hope Senator/Rep. _____ will publicly call for Attorney General Sessions to recuse himself from any investigation, as Department of Justice Guidelines state that no one with personal or political ties to the person being investigated should be part of the investigation. Could you tell me the Senator’s position on this?
 

[IF OPPOSED TO SESSIONS’ RECUSAL] I’m disappointed to hear that because I am also very concerned by reports that General Flynn will not be prosecuted for lying to the FBI. The Attorney General’s decision not to prosecute Flynn makes it clear to me that he has made a political calculation, not one based on the law, and I fear the same will happen when it comes to the Russia investigations. I will be following Senator/Rep’s. _____ statements and actions on this matter and I hope he/she will stand up for the rule of law. 

Additional actions you can take on this issue:

–Instead of investigating Donald Trump’s ties to Russia and conflicts of interest, Jason Chaffetz (Chair of the House Oversight Committee) is once again focusing on Hillary Clinton’s emails. Go to the whistleblower section of the House Oversight Committee’s site to report wrongdoing on the Committee itself. State that the committee should be investigating Russian interference in our election rather than wasting more time focusing on Hillary Clinton’s emails.
 

–Call Representative Walter Jones (R.-N.C.) and thank him for becoming the first Republican Co-Sponsor of H.R. 356 (202-225-3415)

This week, Speaker Paul Ryan blocked members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus from attending a meeting with top-level Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel to discuss deportations and raids. This is disenfranchisement.
 

(1) Call Speaker Ryan (or send him a postcard if he doesn’t answer his phone) to express your outrage. Washington: (202) 225-3031; Local: (608) 752-4050; (262) 654-1901; (262) 637-0510

Script:
Hi, My name is _____ . I’m calling to tell Speaker Ryan that I am outraged to hear that he blocked members of the Hispanic Caucus from attending a meeting with the ICE Acting Director.
This is an affront to democracy and I’m appalled that Speaker Ryan would deliberately disenfranchise his colleagues in the House from representing their constituents.

(2) Call your own Representative:

Script:
Hi, My name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I am outraged that Congressman Ryan blocked members of the House Hispanic Caucus from attending a meeting with the ICE acting director. This is a direct disenfranchisement of democracy. Will Rep. _____issue a public statement in support of the Hispanic Caucus’s right to attend meetings with personnel whose actions will directly affect their constituents’ concerns?

 

[IF SUPPORTIVE]Please thank Rep. _____ for his/her support.
 

[IF OPPOSED]I am dismayed and will be following Rep.’s _____actions on this issue. This is an affront to democracy and I am appalled that Rep. _____ will not speak out against this assault on responsible and participatory government.

(3) Continue to support immigrants and immigrant rights. Last week we mentioned the ACLU, Immigrant Justice Center, and Groundswell as organizations you can support through donations and volunteering. Another organization, Miry’s list facilitates direct donations to refugee families.

Protesting has been one of the most effective ways we’ve been able to get our voices heard. Since the election, hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets, and (in contrast to what might be emphasized in the media) 99% of these protests have been peaceful and appropriate. However, information from Weekly Resistance has uncovered ten states (Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Virginia, and Washington) that have introduced legislation that would increase penalties for various types of protesting. Here is info about specific proposals in each of these states. This kind of legislation is a clear assault on our First Amendment rights, and it’s important to have a strong, united response against this kind of suppression before it has the chance to gain traction. Attempting to limit/silence protestors is one of the many steps, along with disavowal of mainstream media as “fake news” that could put us on the path to fascism, a huge concern under DT’s administration.

 
For people who  live states (listed above) currently considering anti-protest legislation:

(1) Call your State Senator and Representative. You can find your state reps here.
 

Note: North Dakota’s bill, which went as far as to allow a motorist to run over a protester blocking a highway, as long as the act “wasn’t intentional,” has been voted down and Michigan’s bill has also been tabled, for now. However, it may still be useful for Michigan and North Dakota people to voice opposition to this type of legislation and thank the people who killed it in case these bills come back.

Script:
Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I’m disturbed by the bill aimed at silencing protesters, which directly threatens our democracy. Our right to protest is a fundamental First Amendment right. Please vote against this bill.

(2) Use the Weekly Resistance automatic calling tool to contact the governor’s office if you live in one of the above-named states. They have a script you can use, or you can use the one above, just changing the words “vote against” to “veto.”
 

For those living outside these states:
(3)Protect Yourself: WhatDoIDoAboutTrump has compiled a number of excellent resources if your safety and livelihood is being threatened by your activism.

 

(4) Keep Protesting: This Protest Calendar will help you find events so you can keep resisting. Let’s take these anti-protest bills as a sign that we’re being seen as a threat! The resistance is working.

 

3NoTrump is a proud member of the Action Alliance, an umbrella group of Call-to-Action Sites, collectively reaching over 100,000 people across the U.S.