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Hello Teen Resisters!!
These past two weeks might be the craziest that 2018 has seen thus far (three shootings. midterms. bomb threats. foreign elections. the constitution threatened by a president. the list goes on.)
That's why we decided to format this list a little differently to make things less overwhelming. We've separated the list into three main sections: Key News Items (really important things that happened but that we can't really do much about, other than being informed); News Linked to Actions (things that happened that relate to some main issues/ideas that we can act upon); and Actions, which ties together "what can you do" into a shorter list.
Before you jump in, check out our two urgent topics below!! (I'm sure you can guess what at least one of them is...election day is near)
Sending all of our love, support, and passion!!
URGENT UPDATE 1: MIDTERMS!!!
They are tomorrow. Tell everyone you know to vote. Phonebank, text, canvass, volunteer, post on social media. Check out these past lists (list/descriptions of featured candidates, update and guide to phone banking, update and voter suppression) for ways to get involved and for races to watch.
For further reading, here are:
Everything you need to know (NYT)
Senate races to watch (FiveThirtyEight)
House races to watch (NYT)
Midterms road map (CNN)
URGENT UPDATE 2: TRUMP ANTI-TRANS MEMO
Last list, we reported on the horrible new anti-trans policy that the Trump administration wants to implement. You can refer back to that, and check on some of these articles for more recent developments:
what went down: key news items
The beginning of Bolsonaro’s campaign included numerous challenges, including running against former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was president for 8 years. During the campaign, da Silva was sent to prison for corruption charges. Bolsonaro’s opposition was Fernando Haddad, who served as a stand in for da Silva. In addition to facing Haddad as a challenger, Bolsonaro experienced a hectic campaign, during which he was stabbed in the abdomen at a rally this September. Despite this being a physical setback, Bolsonaro’s popularity only increased as a result of the stabbing. Bolsonaro has often said that he will reverse the status quo in Brazil and focus on reducing the crime rate, which has included a record high in homicides over the past year. As president, Bolsonaro claims that he says that he will increase the power of military leaders, allow the police in Brazil to kill suspects, make it easier for the public to obtain guns, and decrease the age of criminal responsibility.
Across the board, Bolsonaro is attempting to fight violence with violence. Bolsonaro’s presidency has the power to set precedent for global politics, as well as encourage a worldwide shift to the right.
Links to articles for a more comprehensive and in depth look at this topic:
Jair Bolsonaro Wins Brazil’s Presidency, in a Shift to the Far Right
Bolsonaro wins Brazilian presidency
Bombs Sent to Democrats
Over the course of a week, 14 packages containing explosives were sent out to various prominent Democratic figures. Fortunately, none of the pipe bombs detonated, and no one was injured as a result of the mailings.
So, why was what tied the targets together so significant? Each target has expressed an opposition to Trump in the past, exposing a clearly political motive. The first package was delivered to George Soros, a billionaire and liberal campaign donor. Explosives were also sent to Hillary and Bill Clinton’s house and to Barack and Michelle Obama. The bombs sent to the Clintons and the Obamas were both caught by the Secret Service before arriving at their final destinations. The other bombs were sent to CNN offices in New York City, to Maxine Waters, a Democratic politician from California, to actor Robert De Niro, to Joe Biden (a former vice president), to Cory Booker, a Democratic senator from New Jersey, to James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence, to Tom Steyer, a liberal donor, and to Democratic Senator Kamala Harris of California.
Four days after the first bomb was discovered, the FBI arrested 56-year-old Cesar Sayoc after DNA evidence. Sayoc was arrested in Plantation, Florida, and a white van covered with pictures of President Trump and of Vice President Mike Pence and a “CNN Sucks” sticker was found in Plantation. Sayoc was very active on social media, showing his strong support for President Trump and his administration. His social media became overrun with his political views, and he seemed to have particular interests in immigration, Islamist terrorism, and anti-Democrat conspiracy theories. Sayoc has a history of arrests, including a bombing threat from 2002.
Links for a more in depth look at this topic:
Cesar Sayoc’s Path on Social Media: From Food Photos to Partisan Fury
A Timeline of the Pipe Bomb Scare
Trump and Birthright Citizenship
By definition, birthright citizenship is “a legal right to citizenship for all children born in a country's territory, regardless of parentage.” In the U.S., it’s one of the most famous parts of the Constitution. Citizenship’s meaning has certainly changed since it was created just over 200 years ago, notably in 1868, when the 14th Amendment—declaring that U.S. citizens are “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof”—was passed. Today, it holds true that any children born on US soil is automatically a citizen, regardless of heritage or parental immigration status. Just last week, President Trump challenged this notion (that is, in fact, the literal law). He claimed that the U.S. is the only country in the world that honors birthright citizenship, which is blatantly false—there are well over 30 other countries worldwide who do as well. Trump also claimed he can change with an executive order (which, in fact, he can’t. Not exactly). Essentially, an executive order on his part would make a case in court, but it is ultimately up to the Supreme Court to decide whether they still honor and interpret the fourteenth amendment’s statement of every person. Essentially, the abolition of birthright citizenship would be awful--it’s a tenant of America, and it is incredibly important to millions of immigrants who make this country what it is (and to their children). Read more here and here.
what else went down: news linked to actions
The attack was heartbreaking for American Jewish people who have witnessed a rise in anti-Semitic acts since the 2016 election. Since the shooting, anti-Semitic incidents have spiked around the country, particularly in Brooklyn, where two incidences of anti-Semitic graffiti and seven incidences of arson occurred in the past week. Anti-Semitism has also shown up in midterm campaigns around the nation. Also since the shooting, Jewish people and allies have come together for vigils and protests, and for #ShowUpForShabbat, which took place this Saturday. The Jewish community has received incredible allyship from the Muslim community and other minority groups since the shooting.
An important way to react to this shooting is to make sure you do what you can to understand anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is one of the oldest forms of hatred, and functions in a cyclical way that differs in nature from other forms of systemic hatred. Therefore, it is both very invisible and very dangerous, as it relies in part on people’s belief that it does not exist. It also forms the ideological core of white nationalism, which places Jews in a puppet-master position in which they are responsible for Black people, Latinx people, and other hated groups' ability to thrive in society. In your daily life, it’s important to do research about this and also show solidarity to Jewish people and environments in your life. American Jewish life often thrives off of bonds with other communities.
Here are a few articles for more information on Pittsburgh and anti-Semitism:
Maurice Stallard, 69, and Vickie Lee Jones, 67, were murdered by a white nationalist last weekend at a supermarket in Louisville, Kentucky. Prior to the shooting, the shooter almost entered a predominantly African-American church but was blocked from entry. When that attempt failed, he went to a nearby Kroger grocery store, where he shot and killed Stallard and Jones. The crime is currently being investigated as a hate crime, although it is very difficult for crimes to be classified as hate crimes in the United States.
Stallard’s son serves as the mayor of Louisville’s chief equity officer, and Stallard was a veteran and former GE employee. Jones was a fixture at her church choir meetings and volunteered in women’s and youth ministries. Both victims were beloved, and key parts of their communities.
The shooting is another example of how guns can turn racism into racist violence. We must fight the dual-pronged spear of gun violence and white nationalism with all of our might.
North Carolina Shooting
Last Monday, October 29th, a student at a high school near Charlotte in North Carolina shot and killed 16-year old sophomore Bobby McKeithen. According to officials, the shooting was a result of bullying that had "escalated out of control." This event--one of three shootings that happened within a week--is another devastating representation of the ways that America's lack of gun control is one of its most pressing issues. The Red Flag law (see Actions section) below is especially relevant to this event.
All of this information, including the story, went viral on social media with its own hashtag and fueled public outcry from various activist groups.
Melissa Mckinnies, a prominent activist herself, in an active protestor in the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s important to mention that there is a pattern involving activists tied to, or involved with, the protests in Ferguson, MI. Her son was the fourth person known to be involved in the Ferguson protests to die under “suspicious” circumstances, and it goes without saying that this is not a coincidence. Mckinnies and many others hope that the exposure of Danye’s story will urge officials to see his death for what it is: murder. And, according to her, she is more than ready to keep fighting for her community and her son.
The biggest thing? GET OUT THE VOTE TOMORROW! We know you know tomorrow is one of the most important elections of our lifetime. If you can vote, vote! If you can’t vote, call, write, stand by subways, and tell every single person you know to vote.
Voting is by no means a remedy for the deep problems in America. But it’s a pretty substantial start because the truth of the matter is that we give a lot of power to the people we elect into office and they can do a lot with that power.
Gun reform scripts:
Do all you can to rail against white nationalism. Campaign against white nationalist candidates. Support and keep track of organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups. Speak about it on your social media and in your communities. Amidst all the noise, it is an enemy for any minority group and anyone who believes in democracy.
Organizations to support:
Support DoSomething, this organization is a non-profit in the US who focus on helping young people to become educated and involved. They offer great resources to stay informed on everything going on, and they also have easy ways to take action against a large number of various issues.
Support Everytown for Gun Safety, an amazing organization that seeks legislative gun reform in order to reduce gun violence in America, by spreading their mission, and, if you can, donating to the cause today.
and, of course, the puppy vid.
These lists include featured organizations, scripts, numbers, news updates and inspirational activists.