Friday, June 19, 2009

Save the Rain Forests! Free the People!

Peru's rainforests and the people who depend on them continue to need your help.

Last week, thousands upon thousands of you joined me to demand that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to demand an end to Peru's violent crackdown on Indigenous protestors who have been blockading roads in order to defend their lands from oil, gas, mining and logging interests.

But still, so far the US has been silent.

Join me today as we amplify our voices and demand action from those who have a responsibility to speak out: the key congressional leaders who ignored the concerns of RAN and the Indigenous groups and supported the Peru Free Trade Agreement.

President Garcia has defended opening up the Peruvian Amazon to industry as necessary to allow Peru to meet its Free Trade Agreement responsibilities with the United States.
Secretary Clinton and the State Department have the power to stop the violence in Peru by formally demanding that Peru's President Garcia stop using the US as an excuse for trampling human rights.

But our voices alone have not been enough. That's why we urgently need to tell US Representatives Sander Levin, Earl Blumenauer, Lloyd Doggett and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to tell Secretary Clinton to formally renounce violence against Peru's peaceful Indigenous peoples in the name of free trade with the United States.

The US Government must take a stand and formally demand that Peru recognize the rights of Indigenous peoples, repeal the questionable laws, and institute a democratic process to ensure that rights are respected and safety is restored.

Thank you,
Jennifer Krill
Program Director
Rainforest Action Network

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

An FYI for anyone who is in town 6/24

Pax Christi members and friends,

As I know you are all aware the G20 will be meeting in Pittsburgh in September. Local peace and justice groups including Pax Christi have been meeting to discuss how to respond. There will be a meeting of interfaith groups on Wednesday June 24th at 6:30PM at the Church of the Redeemer, 5700 Forbes Ave. Squirrel Hill 15217. That is the time of our regular meeting so we will be joining together with others instead of having our own separate meeting. The religious community is planning some powerful prayerful activities both before and during the G-20 meetings to lift up the voices of those who have been left out of the political and economic discussions of the "powerful". Please join us. If you cannot attend we will keep you informed.

Mimi Darragh for Pittsburgh Area Pax Christi

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Get Your Rep. on the Public Health Option!!

Ted Kennedy and his allies in the Senate have put forward America's first bill to guarantee quality, affordable healthcare for everyone1. But Republicans and some Democrats are already threatening to kill the bill because it would allow Americans one thing: CHOICE.

Insurance companies and their lackeys in Congress claim that if we let Americans choose a public health insurance option, it will cut into their profits. After years of building an American health care system that's like a house on fire, their only strategy is to block the exits when help is near.The good news is, they might be right. States across the country are already using public plans to drive down costs and expand access to healthcare2.

TOMORROW, a coalition of legislators from those states will meet with the President and Congress to ask them to unify these local efforts into a national public option.

Ask your state legislators to endorse the public option before the deadline, and demand health care for all NOW!

Senator Kennedy and President Obama want to allow Americans to pick a public health insurance plan if we want it3.

It's a great idea, but it's not a new one. States from Vermont to California are already using their own versions of a public option. But only the US government is big enough to make insurance companies negotiate, and lower costs for all of us. Which is why the insurance industry's lackeys in Congress will say or do anything to lock us out of choosing a public option4. And that's why getting state legislators on board is such a great first step: State legislators can attest that choice works, and they can deliver the call for reform with extra legitimacy and power because they are also elected leaders. Most important, they can speak with authority because states already implement lots of public health care options - like children's health insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare.Kennedy's bill could give us a real choice in health care - but we need a 50-state strategy to deliver it to the President.

Tell your state legislator to get on board by signing the letter for a public plan and real health care reform.

- DrewDrew Hudson

1 - POLITICS/06/09/
2 -
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