Success Story

Illinois withdraws from controversial deportation program

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has announced that the state will withdraw from Secure Communities, a controversial federal program that claimed to focus on deporting undocumented immigrants who pose a danger to the public. In fact, the program has thrown a wide net over the immigrant community, rounding up many people who have no criminal record. Governor Quinn noted that more than 30% of those caught and deported in Illinois under Secure Communities had never been convicted of a crime. Quinn's action

State Dept. backs down on visa denial for Afghan human rights activist

Thanks to a grassroots campaign on her behalf, Afghan human rights activist and former Member of Parliament Malalai Joya has now been granted a visa by the U.S. State Department, a little over a week after her visa application was initially rejected. Joya, an outspoken critic of the war in Afghanistan, was informed by State Department officials that she would not be allowed into the U.S. for an extensive speaking tour because she “lived underground” and was “unemployed,”  even though she had been granted visas 4 times over the past several years (Joya, who has spoken against the control of the Afghan government by corrupt warlords, is often forced to go into hiding in response to death threats she has received.) Although the State Department's delay caused her to miss events scheduled for New York and Washington DC, she was able to appear in Boston on March 25th in a joint appearance at Harvard with Noam Chomsky to present "The case for withdrawal from Afghanistan."

Illinois Abolishes Death Penalty

In a victory for justice that has been 20 years in the making, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law SB 3539, a bill that adds Illinois to the ranks of 15 other states that have abolished the death penalty. Quinn's predecessor, Governor George Ryan, placed all executions on hold after a series of high-profile cases in which death-row inmates were found to be innocent or the victims of police wrongdoing. Explaining his decision to commute the sentences of 15 death-row prisoners to life in prison without any chance of release, Quinn told the Chicago Sun Times that "once the decision was made to sign the law abolishing the death penalty, it should be abolished for all." The Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty has set up an online form here to allow you to send a message of thanks to Governor Quinn and the bill's sponsors.

Indiana Governor drops anti-union bill

Wisconsin's powerful worker protests may be having an effect in other states, as Mitch Daniels, Republican governor of Indiana, announced he will withdraw a proposed anti-union bill that would have severely restricted the ability of private-sector unions to collect union dues. Daniel's retreat came after more than 30 Indiana representatives fled to Illinois, following the example of Wisconsin's "Fightin' 14."

Berkeley City Council passes resolution in support of Bradley Manning

This week, the Berkeley City Council passed a resolution in support of alleged Wikileaks whistleblower Bradley Manning, calling for an "immediate end to the cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment" that Manning has been subjected to while pointing out that Manning has not been convicted of anything. A copy of the statement will be sent to the Marine brig commander at Quantico, Virginia, where Bradley Manning is being held in maximum security solitary confinement.

Breaking News: Mubarak Steps Down - Solidarity with the people of Egypt!

Tahrir Square, February 1Click here for more coverage of the Celebrations!

One of many reasons why the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice and its member groups advocate for a more just U.S. foreign policy is to open up space for democratic movements worldwide.  With that in mind, WNPJ has signed onto CODEPINK's statement of solidarity with the Egyptian people, who are giving their government, our government and the world a lesson in democracy:

Go here to join WNPJ in telling President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the U.S. Congress to stand with the Egyptian people..

Judge dismisses all charges against 131 White House protesters

A federal judge has dismissed all charges against 131 antiwar protesters who were arrested on December 16 at the White House. The protest was organized by Veterans for Peace and included many veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, along with Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg. Those who participated in the action stated that the dismissal was "clearly a victory for opposition to undeclared wars which are illegal under international law, have led to the destruction of societies in Iraq and Afghanistan, bled the US Treasury in a time of recession, and caused human rights violations against civilians and combatants."   (Full press release below.)

Loans for new nukes stopped again

From the Nuclear Resource and Information Service:

THANK YOU! You've done it again! You sent more than 15,000 letters to Congress in December and made many, many phone calls to stop $8 billion in taxpayer loans for new nuclear reactor construction. And the final government funding bill, signed by President Obama, contains not one dime for new nukes!

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