July 31, 2019 Justice Updates

Today is the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. Human trafficking generates over $150 billion in revenue for traffickers. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres asks us to reaffirm our commitment to stop criminals from ruthlessly exploiting people for profit and to help victims rebuild their lives.  Many trafficked individuals face even more difficult existences after being freed from trafficking because they are not accepted back into society. The UN Special Rapporteur, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, urges governments to be more aware of this problem. See her statement here.  Let us pray for an end of human slavery and for those who are ensnared by this great evil.

It doesn’t seem possible that there are individuals who don’t believe there is a climate crisis in our world today.  But it’s true.  Even those who believe something is the matter, can’t engage with the urgency of it all. National Catholic Register’s Bill Mitchell shares some insights on how to talk about it in this article.

Dr. Scott Warren, a member of the group No More Deaths/No Mas Muertes, was tried once for offering food, water, clean clothes and beds to two men from Central America. The jury was dead locked and the trial thrown out. Now the government wants to try him again for his humanitarian aid.  Since his arrest in January 2018, at least 88 bodies have been recovered from the Ajo corridor of the Arizona desert.”  Here is more information.

Now, No More Deaths/No Mas Muertes is hosting a short-term volunteer program in support of their legal defense campaign. From September to November 2019, they welcome volunteers from around the world for two weeks or longer to come support their community outreach efforts in southern Arizona.  Volunteers will commit on average 30-35 hours per week:

  • 12 to 15 hrs – doorknocking in Tucson & other towns
  • 2 hrs – weekly campaign meetings
  • 2 hrs – weekly team meeting
  • 4 to 6 hrs – event-based outreach
  • 2 to 3 hrs – research
  • 5 to 8 hrs – logistical & other support with weekend events

Shared housing, food and in-state transportation provided. Want more information?  Click here.

There are now 7,000 service members being deployed at the southern border even though legally these troops should be kept separate from the domestic law enforcement. Win Without War is asking its member organizations to spread the word and get their members to tell the Department of Defense Inspector General to investigate the misuse of the U.S. military at the southern border. Please click here to add your name to this effort. Each anti-immigrant attack such as caging kids in detention camps, separating families, banning Muslims, destroying the U.S. refugee resettlement program, mass raids and deportations, deploying service members to the border and authorizing these troops to use deadly force empower an anti-immigrant and white supremacist agenda. This must be investigated so we have transparency.

Attorney General William Barr recently announced that executions for Federal Crimes will be reinstated.  He has ordered that the executions of 5 men on death row be scheduled. Sixteen years have passed since the last federal execution in June, 2013 and the U.S. has been trending away from capital punishment.  In fact, July was the first month in recent memory in which there were no executions.  Rep. Ayanna Pressley has introduced legislation to abolish the federal death penalty. When a bill number is assigned, I will ask you to contact your representatives.  Here is more information, from the Boston Globe and The Hill.

Quick…. Call your representatives – senators and representative – to defund Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and invest in programs that strengthen – not tear apart – our communities. Dozens of people in the U.S., including citizens, were arrested in immigration raids last week. Desperate individuals and families are being turned back to Mexico despite their request for asylum. Let your legislators know that you do not want cruelty against immigrants to continue.

SAVE THE DATE.  Blessed are the Peacemakers Workshop and Webinar  will be held the afternoon of Sunday, October 27.  The workshop will be held at the Martin de Porres Center in Columbus and webcast to others who want to participate.  A Pace e Bene facilitator will help us learn tools that we can use to share our message of justice while interacting with people, including our own relatives, who disagree with us.  We want to bring civility back to the political process. More information will follow.

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.