Convict, Expel, stop Trump and his enablers

Trump’s second impeachment trial in the Senate continues today, with House Impeachment managers expected to wrap up their presentation. In a crucial, early, vote six Republicans joined all 50 Democrats in voting that the trial is constitutional and should proceed. We’ve got just a few more days to convince 17 Republicans to join all 50 Democrats in voting to convict Trump.

That’s the whole agenda: We have a few days to convince 11 more Republicans to join six of their fellow partisans that this process is appropriate, and furthermore that Trump is guilty – That he incited a mob to attack the capitol and disrupt the counting of Electoral College votes in an attempted coup that killed multiple people, including one Capitol Police officer, injured many more, and terrorized the entire country.

Call your Senators now at (866) 455-3498 and tell them to vote to convict Trump, and prevent him from running for office ever again and deter future coup attempts. (Can’t call right now? Please chip in if you can to keep this toll-free line open and fund our fight against fossil fueled fascists in the future.)

A lot of pundits and politicians are saying that the evidence in this case doesn’t matter. That there’s nothing that will convince Republicans to convict Trump. That it’s time to move on and focus on President Biden’s plans to build back better and build back fossil free.

I still think that’s wrong for two important reasons:

  1. The coup attempt didn’t end on January 6. Trump is still out there. The FBI confirms that his supporters planned the Jan 6 insurrection in advance, and are planning future violence to this day. And at the same time, Republican leaders in Congress like Kevin McCarthy are plotting with him to re-take political power in 22 months. And it’s worth remembering that the members of the “Sedition Caucus” who are still defending trump are funded by the fossil fuel industryto the tune of $8.8 million dollars last year.
  2. Truth still matters. Lots of ‘very serious people’ spent 4 years telling us Trump was not a fascist, until the coup attempt on Jan 6,2021. And while many of us are eager, if not desperate, to look forward rather than backward we can’t do that until there is a reckoning with what happened on Jan 6. And that reckoning can’t happen without accountability for Trump and his enablers. If you haven’t already, check out the videos of the chaos and violence on Jan6 that house Impeachment managers are using to make their case – it’s a sobering reminder of what happened, and why the country needs this moment of reckoning.

Under our current laws and Constitution that reckoning and accountability starts (doesn’t end) with impeaching and convicting former President Trump. That vote is supposed to be shaped by what we the people tell our Senators about this moment.

That’s how Democracy wins – not just by citizens voting in a new president and “moving on,” but by citizens staying engaged and demanding that our elected officials hold the people who tried to incite a bloody coup against our government are held accountable.

How to stop a coup

I’ve been struggling to pull myself away from the news and twitter to talk about the coup attempt this week. As someone who’s planned and participated in dozens of events and actions at the Capitol – many where we peacefully and non-violently risked arrest and were met with a substantially larger, armed, and violent response – I share the shock, outrage and emotion of all of you.

It’s important to be very clear about two things in the immediate aftermath:

  1. This was a Coup attempt, and it’s not over yet.
  2. This week’s coup is nothing like the non-violent, civil disobedience and protest we’re a part of every day, and we must be mindful that our reaction is orderly, legal and based in love and justice – not hate and violent retribution.

If you agree that Trump must be impeached and removed from office, click here to sign on.

Donald Trump directed the mob to go to the capital, and incited them to violence – not just on January 6 but for weeks before that. For years Trump and his enablers have built a culture of white supremacy, and demonstrated a conviction to rule through force and fear. We’ve been calling Trump a fascist and warning of exactly these kind of outcomes for more than four years. For years Very Serious People called us “deranged” or warned us not to exaggerate the threat. Now, finally, they seem to agree.

Even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate soon-to-be Leader Chuck Schumer – who are usually slow to act in a crisis like climate change, or Trump’s previous abuses of power – are calling for swift action to remove the coup-leader, the deposed ex-President Donald Trump from power.

There’s a lot of talk about the 25th amendment, which Trump’s cabinet could invoke. But it’s not an instant solution – requiring complicated votes by the cabinet that are not easy to convene, and confirmation by Congress. And anyway, most of Trump’s cabinet seems to feel that resigning is a safer path to restoring their reputations (another thing we cannot allow to happen), rather than removing Trump from power and risking the wrath of the same people who smashed up the capital days ago.

Which is why invoking impeachment, again, is the only sure step to remove Trump from office. And it’s a step Congress must take right away, before Trumps last 12 days in office expire, because the coup isn’t over yet. Students of history and political insurrection around the world know that often, fascists and authoritarians often have to try more than once, and more than one method, to hold on to power.

What we saw Wednesday was only a link in a long chain of events where fossil fueled, white-supremacist fascists try and seize control of our government, and bend it to their will.

They won’t go away when Trump leaves office on January 20. And Trump himself has already talked about running for President again, and clearly intends to retain ‘control’ of the GOP. But if Congress impeaches, and convicts Trump before Jan 20, he will be barred from running from office ever again.

Click here to sign on to our joint petition with many national partners. Only by working together can we build the pressure necessary for Congress to act. And only through Congressional Action can we stop this coup and prevent Trump from trying to seize power again.

We’ll have lots more to say, and lots more to talk about, why our non violent, civil disobedience actions — including ones where we risk arrest in the US Capitol — are nothing like the fascist coup attempt we saw this week. A short, simple, explanation might be that intent matters, and how we conduct ourselves while speaking truth as a minority political power, to a majority political power.

When we take action, we come in peace and we speak and act – at times disruptively – to cry out for justice and a safe and healthy planet for all. Often we bring or bear in our hearts the stories of those impacted adversely by the policies in question – bearing witness to their pain and bearing it into the sight and hearing of those in power who would rather ignore it.

That’s more or less the opposite of what happened this week: A violent, hateful, mob broke down the doors to stop the functioning of Democracy and demand that their already-powerful leader be given more power, or else. They brought with them the failed emblems of other white supremacist insurrections. And they clearly felt entitled to seize power, no matter who they had to hurt, step over, or disenfranchise to get there. When police pushed back and arrested a paltry few of the thousands or rioters, they responded with shock and alarm – literally saying “they’re supposed to shoot BLM not [us].”

Like I said, lots more to say on this in the future. But for today I’ll leave you with this simple image: Of Rev Warnock, now a United States Senator, being arrested peacefully at a non-violent, civil disobedient prayer vigil for universal health care in 2017. It’s a lot like a lot of actions we’ve helped organize during the Trump regime’s rise to power. And we wont stop until all of them are gone and barred from our government for good.

Laura, Katrina & a chemical fire: Katrina 15 anniversary

Tomorrow marks Katrina 15, a decade and a half of ongoing recovery from Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf South. And just as organizers were gathering to mourn, remember, rally and act together – Hurricane Laura slammed into the petrochemical hub West of New Orleans.

Today, thousands are without access to power, or clean water and at least one chemical plant was still burning Thursday evening. That means, as one New Orleans ally just explained to me, that people who lost their roof in the storm are being told to stay ‘indoors’ because the air outside is toxic.

The profound level of environmental and climate in-justice that permeates this moment is hard to take. But community leaders from across the Gulf South have been planning for months to commemorate the 15th anniversary of Katrina.

In the wake of Hurricane Laura, and the unfolding tragedies in its wake, we invite you to join them for a day and honor the sacrifice of the region in the global fight for climate justice.

Here’s an update in their words:

In solidarity with our family recovering from Hurricane Laura which made landfall on the Louisiana central coast this week, we are shifting our #Katrina15 programming to center the frontlines impacted by Hurricane Laura, offer lessons learned from 15 years of ongoing recovery from Hurricane Katrina, and share disaster recovery resources and ways to stand in solidarity with communities in Louisiana and Texas. Register here to join us for an abbreviated virtual program, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020 at 10amCDT.

If you’re able, we encourage you to also make a donation to support frontline groups in Louisiana and on the Gulf coast who are rendering direct, mutual aid to impacted people and communities. Our friends have begun compiling a list and there should be more information on the call tomorrow at 10amCDT.

IMPEACH!

198 methods was born out of the ‘election’ of Donald Trump. It seemed clear, three years ago, that we needed new kinds of action and campaigning. Trump represents all our worst fears of fossil-fueled-fascism.

Now, for a moment, he’s being held accountable for (some) of his mis-deeds. Only two presidents have ever been impeached by the House of Representatives. The evidence against Trump is clear and unequivocal – whatever he and his cronies may spin or say about it on Fox News. This is one of those moments history remembers – and remembers where we were.

So don’t sit on the sidelines. Join the tens of thousands of people on Tuesday, December 17. Together we’ll ensure every member of Congress sees that the public supports impeachment right before they vote.

The quick plan is for people to gather at every congressional office and town square in America. Most of the events are after work – around 5 or 6 local time, and all of them are family friendly, peaceful, and solemn. More than 500 events are planned already, and more keep getting added to the map every hour.

Make sure you R.S.V.P. and then share the event with your friends and family.

This is our last chance to show Congress and Trump that the people won’t stand for corruption, high crimes, or abuse of power before the House votes. Let’s tell Congress to do their duty to impeach and remove Trump because nobody is above the law.

Click here to find an event near you, R.S.V.P., and then invite your friends, family, and neighbors.

Sign Now to Demand bold protections for climate refugees

If you’re one of nearly 120,000 people who signed our petition demanding justice for climate refugees from the Bahamas, you already know that it’s time to act. Will you sign here to tell Congress to protect climate-displaced communities?

If not, here’s a quick reminder: Last September September, the Bahamas were slammed by Category 5 Hurricane Dorian. The storm killed dozens of people and left more than 70,000 Bahamians homeless.

You probably also remember that in 2017, Puerto Rico was hit by Category 5 Hurricane Maria, killing 3,000 people and leaving over $90 million in property destruction.

If you’re a close watcher of climate news, you might even have seen that, just this month, hundreds of thousands of people in Kenya, Somalia, and South Sudan have been displaced due to climate-fueled super storms and the unprecedented flooding that follows.

And yet, Donald Trump’s racist policies seek to turn away climate-displaced peoples from the Bahamas, Kenya, Sudan and other communities. He even denies disaster assistance to communities of color in Puerto Rico and California while protecting his own resorts in Florida.

It’s up to Congress to act: Sign here to tell them to pass a pair of bipartisan bills that will protect climate-displaced people from Trump’s racist policies.

These are only a few recent examples of climate-fueled disasters around the world. Storms, droughts, fires, and floods will all get more extreme as our planet tips towards climate chaos. And climate disasters are already driving a global wave of migration that will only accelerate in the coming years

We must, of course, take bold action at the local, state and federal level to reduce emissions and institute a Green new Deal. But while those solutions are enacted we must pass humanitarian protections so climate refugees are guaranteed safe passage to new communities in the U.S where they can rebuild their lives.

Time and time again, communities of color, the poor, and those in the global south are hit first and worst by climate disasters. Instead of turning away climate refugees — who are often from countries and communities least responsible for the climate crisis,– Our elected officials must step up to meet these climate refugees’ needs.

Sign if you agree: Climate refugees deserve safe passage to the U.S.

Fortunately, lawmakers who see the strong connection between migration and the climate crisis have introduced S. 2565 and H.R. 4732 to support directly-impacted communities. If passed, these two pieces of legislation would both create a designated immigration status for climate-displaced persons and would establish a global climate resiliency fund to provide humanitarian aid and relocation services.

If you’re ready to welcome climate refugees from across America and across the world into your community, please sign this petition and tell Congress it’s time to protect climate-displaced communities.

Justice for the Bahamas; Justice for climate refugees.

It’s been just over a month since the Bahamas were slammed by Hurricane Dorian. The Category 5 storm killed dozens of people and left more than 70,000 Bahamians homeless.

But when families fled for the US mainland looking for shelter and a safe place to stay while they rebuild, the Trump administration slammed the door. In one instance 119 refugees were forced off a ferry headed to Florida because they didn’t have proper Visas for the Trump administration.

Turning away Bahamian hurricane survivors is cruel and heartless. Sign now to demand that Congress pass legislation to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for the Bahamas while the country rebuilds.

The solution is simple: TPS is an immigration program that provides legal status to migrants from countries that have suffered natural disasters, prolonged unrest, or conflict.

It was a standard practice of the US Government to offer TPS to natural (if that’s the right word for climate-fueled super-storms) disasters under the Clinton, W. Bush, and Obama administrations. And at one point, Trump’s own acting Customs and Border Protection chief, Mark Morgan, said it would be “appropriate” to extend TPS to Bahamians in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. But Trump lashed out against the idea, using racist and xenophobic language to block TPS for not just Bahamians, but Venezuelans, Haitians, and others he deemed “very bad people.”

If Trump and team wont act, Congress must. Congress can grant TPS to thousands of Bahamian climate refugees so they can work and live in the United States without fear of deportation. Reps. Yvette Clarke (D-NY-9), Stacey Plaskett (D-VI), and Barbara Lee’s (D-CA-13) have introduced the TPS for Victims of Hurricane Dorian Act, and five presidential candidates signed onto similar legislation in the Senate as well.

Storms, droughts and floods will only become more extreme as our planet tips towards climate chaos. And climate disasters are already driving a global wave of migration that will only accelerate in the coming years.

We must join together now to demand that Congress pass legislation that offers a humanitarian response to the growing crisis of mass climate displacement and provides relief to Bahamian hurricane survivors.

Sign the petition: Urge lawmakers to grant TPS to Bahamians displaced by Hurricane Dorian.

Vote imminent on Wheeler

Quick update – Andrew Wheeler, Trump’s climate-destroying nominee to lead the EPA is on the Senate calendar today for a so-called “unanimous consent” vote.

That’s the same motion that Lisa Murkowski used more than a year ago to whisk through several nominees to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. At that time, no single Senator objected, and as a result we’ve had approvals of dozens of new gas pipelines and export terminals.

The damage that Andrew Wheeler could do as head of the EPA is even greater, and touches on a wide range of issues – from climate chaos, to poisoning farmworkers and contractors with chemicals, to poisoning whole communities (usually communities of color) with mercury pollution from power plants.

We need ever Senator who cares about the planet to vote against Wheeler this week. If we convince Senators this is a litmus-test on energy and environment, we’ll have a much better chance when it comes time to prosecute the Trump team for their corruption, collusion with polluters, and criminal neglect of our climate.​

More than 12,000 198 methods supporters have signed a petition opposing Wheeler. And we know this strategy can work because Wheeler’s vote in committee was on party lines. Now, I need your help to melt the phones in the Senate with calls opposing Wheeler.

Click or call (202) 224-3121 and tell your Senators you want them to vote NO on making climate-wrecking coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler the permanent head of EPA.

Last year, we convinced every Senate Democrat to vote against a Trump nominee for FERC. Now, we’re trying to repeat that vote with Wheeler – and maybe add a few Republicans too since some of them have voiced concerns about Wheeler.​

Need a little more on Wheeler? No problem, we’ve got you covered in the blog. You can also mention that, just this month, Wheeler said that the Green New Deal would threaten the entire electric grid – belying both a failure to understand how Renewable Energy works, and willingness to lie to the press in service of the Trump administration and the coal industry.​

If you’re ready, click here or call (202) 224-3121 and tell your Senators you want them to vote NO on making climate-wrecking coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler the permanent head of EPA. And don’t forget to call back, everybody has two Senators!

Wheeler, Schumer and a week of action in DC

This has been a busy week for Congress, which means it’s been a busy week for activists. On Tuesday afternoon, Drew helped run a training session at the Friends of the Earth headquarters in Washington D.C. and prepared to take action at Andrew Wheeler’s confirmation hearing. At the training, six of us (including Drew) volunteered to risk arrest by speaking out during the hearing.

The plan was to enter in pairs, splitting the roles so that one would stand and read out a story from someone impacted by Wheeler’s dirty EPA policies or by the government shutdown. The other partner would silently hold a sign reading, “Shut down Wheeler, not the EPA.”

protest in the hallway
Photo by Liz Gorman

The stories to be read were compiled from Friends of the Earth members and public reports on the impacts of EPA policy. The goal was to highlight the injustice of Andrew Wheeler’s confirmation hearing while hundreds of people are impacted by the ongoing government shutdown. With so many people unable to pay their mortgages or afford critical medications, why is Congress prioritizing the confirmation of a puppet to the coal industry to lead the EPA?

The next morning, we arrived on Capitol Hill to line up. We had to hide our posters in bags and under coats. But Capitol Police and Republican Senate staffers suspected something – and in an attempt to prevent any kind of disruption, they filled the hearing room with EPA staff and Republican lawyers before the public was even let in. For this reason, Drew and I were the only pair to make it successfully into the hearing room before the doors were closed and those still in line were moved to the overflow space.

Silent protestors hold signs while emily and other FOE friends are arrested for refusing to be quiet

Photo by Liz Gorman

We waited until Wheeler made his opening remarks and allowed him to introduce his family before standing up. I held a sign and Drew shouted out the story a Texas woman who lives near a coal fired power plant that Wheeler wants to allow to pollute more. Capitol Police ushered us quickly out into the hallway where more than a dozen allier were also chanting and holding up posters. Four more friends were ultimately placed under arrest for refusing to stop chanting or disburse from outside the hearing.

The rest of the crowd stood in the hallway outside of the hearing room with their posters in silence until all of us were escorted out. All six of us were released after paying a fine of fifty dollars.

Drew is placed under arrest for disrupting the hearing of Andrew Wheeler for EPA Administrator

Photo by Liz Gorman

Later that same night, we were back at it, attending a meeting with 350 to plan and train folks for an action the following morning at the office of Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer. The plan was for a large group to enter the office of Senator Schumer and read out a letter demanding that he sign on to the Green New Deal. Members of the group would also tell their own stories about how the climate change movement has affected their lives. As we exited the office we would sing protest songs while two floors above, four people would drop a banner over the side of a balcony to be viewed from below.

Banner dropped over Sen Schumer's office
photo by 350

On the morning of the action, we met at Union Station and briefed a larger crowd that had not been able to attend the previous night’s training. Then we walked over to the Capitol to file through metal detectors and security checkpoints before making our way to Chuck Schumer’s office. The stories and testimony insider from impacted young people were powerful. And the songs and chants outside echoed through the hallways and marble lobby of the Hart office building. No arrests were made that day, since our banner team chose to comply with orders by Capitol Police to pull up the banner.

On the lower floor, the larger group continued to sing, and share stories of climate impacts, until we were warned to cease and desist. After a second warning, the whole group together then walked over to the park across the street from the capitol building, where reflections and feelings of hope were shared before one final song was sung.

Emily and our team with the banner after the action at Sen Schumer's office
Photo by 350.org

UPDATE: The Mercer Family caught again

Days before the 2016 election, a shadowy group called called Secure America Now made an “Islamic States of America“ ad imagining that Syrian refugees had overtaken America. It shows the iconic Hollywood sign changed to say “Allahu Akbar,” the Statue of Liberty wrapped in a burka and Ground Zero in New York City as place where citizens can “celebrate our Islamic victories.​”

It is, without a doubt, some of the most hateful, racist, Islamaphobic stuff I’ve ever seen.

You’ve probably never seen this ad, or heard of the far-right neoconservative nonprofit that paid for it. And that’s exactly how Secure America Now wanted it. They have no employees or volunteers, and their mailing address is a D.C. law firm. But group, had millions of dollars in funding. And they used those vast resources to run this hateful garbage on Facebook and Google with precise targeting to voters in swing states.

Thanks to the researchers at Open Secrets.org, we know that most of the money came from Robert Mercer and the Mercer family. If Mercer’s name sounds familiar, it might be because he and his daughter Rebekah are at the center of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which exploited the Facebook data of almost 100 million people to help Donald Trump win the 2016 election. We told you about the Mercers last month, and thousands of you signed on to this petition demanding Rebekah resign or be removed from the American Museum of Natural history.

If your disgusted and outraged by this latest scandal, here’s three quick ways to help:

  1. Sign the petition, if you haven’t already, to kick Rebekah Mercer out of the American Museum of Natural History. Racist, corrupt, climate deniers have no place in our public science museums.
  2. After you sign, or if you already have, share the petition on Facebook, Twitter or email friends a link to this post to spread the word.
    1. Share on Facebook
    2. Share on Twitter
  3. Chip in to support our ongoing work on this campaign. We’re planning an event with partners to deliver all the signatures to the AMNH next month and we need your support to fund travel, materials, and other logistical costs. We’ll have more info as the action plan develops.

Kick Climate Deniers out of the Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City is one of the premier institutions for public understanding of science in America. It’s a place children come to learn and develop a sense of wonder about the natural world. And it’s a top scientific institution looking into how our planet and climate have worked for the last million years, and what that means for big issues like climate change.

So what in the world is climate-denying sponsor of Breitbart News, Steve Bannon, and Donald Trump — Rebekah Mercer — doing on the board?!

If Mercer’s name sounds familiar, it might be because she and her father are at the center of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which exploited the Facebook data of 50 million people to help Donald Trump win the 2016 election. Mercer is standing by Cambridge Analytica, where she sits on the firm’s board, despite an ongoing series of reports that the firm lied, stole, used sex workers and more in the service of conservative political campaigns like Trump’s.

Scientists from around the world and inside the AMNH have already asked Mercer to step down. But she shows no sign of bowing to public pressure.

Sign here to kick climate denier Rebekah Mercer out of our science museum. 

The Cambridge Analytica Scandal is only the latest in the Mercer family’s shady, and decidedly un-scientific exploits: The Mercer Family Foundation has spent millions propping up Breitbart.com and their leader Steve Bannon. They’ve supported dozens of climate-denying politicians from Ted Cruz to Roy Moore. And they routinely fund so-called think-tanks like the Heartland Institute, the CO2 Coalition, and the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide that routinely promote junk science denying that climate change is real, urgent, and a danger to our communities.

Clearly, Rebekah Mercer has no place on the board of one of our most famous science museums. But this isn’t just about kicking climate deniers out of our public institutions. It’s about making sure that billionaires can’t use their money to make climate denial and the politicians who support it (like Trump) seem legitimate. From her comfy position on the Board, Mercer can claim the attention, respect and even the tacit support of AMNH staff like Neil deGrasse Tyson.

But by standing together, we know we can win. Two years ago a lot of us engaged in a campaign to kick billionaire climate-denier David Koch off the board of the AMNH, and we won. Now is the time to do the same with Rebekah Mercer.

Sign here to kick climate denier Rebekah Mercer off the board at the American Museum of Natural History.