Students Walk Out to End Gun Violence

walkout march 14 2018

On Monday throughout the country, tens of thousands of students walked out of their classrooms, making their statement to end gun violence. Gathering onto athletic fields and city streets students responded to the recent Florida high school shooting in which 17 died.

walkout march 14 2018 - washington dc

The major cities of New York, Washington, Chicago, Seattle, as well as hundreds of smaller towns and communities witnessed student walkouts.

The student demonstrations were mostly approved by school administrators. Many school officials even coordinated walkouts.

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But reports state there were some schools where protest were no allowed, or where students were penalized for walking out.

The walkout preceded a scheduled March 24 student march on Washington that is expected to draw hundreds of thousands.

Walkout and march supporters assert that the demonstrations realize emerging dissatisfaction among young people with the state of the country and world they will inherit. Young Americans, having grown up in an age of continual wars, mass shootings, and bitter national politics, are now demanding that the value of their lives be protected.

Many walkout participants have consistently expressed frustration with adults and political leaders whose actions — or lack thereof — have not addressed gun violence, school safety, and mental health issues, creating less safe conditions for them and their peers.

Without expressing party preference, walkout demonstrators intend to make an impact this election year on both Republicans and Democrats, with the demand of effective outcomes in student safety.

Women’s March Youth Empower, one of the lead coordinators of Wednesday’s walkouts, is demanding that lawmakers increase the age for people to purchase weapons, ban military-style weapons and demilitarize police ­forces.

Fatima Younis, a student organizer with Women’s March Youth Empower stated, “We want our Congress to know that some of us will be old enough to vote in the midterm elections, and the rest of us are going to be able to vote in 2020 or 2022, and they’re going to lose their job if they don’t do what we want to keep us safe.”

walkout march 14 2018 - white house

Politicians and administration officials in Washington D.C. were greeted by hundreds of local high school and middle school students who assembled at the White House with signs protesting gun violence and disparaging those who are in opposition to taking measures for gun control.

At 10AM, the gathering silently sat down with their backs to the White House, fists and signs held high, to honor the Stoneman Douglas victims — one minute for each of the 17 dead.

At 10:17 they stood up and chanted “We want change!”

Across the country, in both red and blue states, students expressed an outpouring of grief and solidarity with schools and victims’ families, as well as an impassioned demand for politicians to act.

Find more on Monday’s student walkout at The Washington Post: Thousands of students walk out of school in nationwide gun violence protest, the source of this information.

San Francisco ICE Spokesman Resigns, Accusing Trump Administration of Misleading Claims Against Immigrants

SF ICE spokesman resigns

A spokesman for the San Francisco Division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has resigned with an accusation against the Trump administration and Attorney General Jeff Sessions of spreading “false information” against immigrants.

James Schwab, until Monday an ICE spokesman, stated to CNN, “I just couldn’t bear the burden — continuing on as a representative of the agency and charged with upholding integrity, knowing that information was false”.

Schwab’s comments were inspired by a February 27 press release from Acting ICE Director Thomas D. Homan criticizing Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf as “reckless” and “politically motivated” for publicly warning of broad upcoming ICE raids.

Acting Director Homan criticized the Oakland mayor stating, “The Oakland mayor’s decision to publicize her suspicions about ICE operations further increased that risk for my officers and alerted criminal aliens – making clear that this reckless decision was based on her political agenda with the very federal laws that ICE is sworn to uphold”.

On behalf of the Trump administration, the Department of Justice, headed by Attorney General Sessions, has taken issue with sanctuary cities, and has recently sued California over state sanctuary policies.

Schwab’s concerns, leading to his resignation, is stated to be the manner in which statements representative of ICE and the Trump administration implied sweeping immigrant criminality and ICE’s representative criticism of Mayor Schaaf’s actions.

The source contributors to this information are Salon: San Francisco ICE spokesman resigns, slams Trump for spreading “false information” and Washington Examiner: San Francisco’s ICE spokesman resigns over ‘false’ information from Trump administration.

Trump Sues the State of California Over Sanctuary

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California Attorney General Xavier Becerra sees the purpose of law enforcement in the state to be focused on public safety, not deportation

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Apparently the Trump administration disagrees.

Escalating a confrontation over whether states have the right to legislate requirements that officials within their jurisdictions decline cooperation with ICE deportation efforts, Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday announced at a California Peace Officers Association conference (CPOA) that the U.S. Justice Department is suing the state of California over sanctuary law and policies.

Sessions announces Trump suit against California

Attorney General Sessions’ Speech before the California Peace Officers Association

The lawsuit filed in Sacramento federal court on Tuesday, charges three states, one of which is California, with a violation of the U.S. Constitution by establishing sanctuary within their jurisdictions.

Officiating over the Department of Justice under the Trump administration, Attorney General Sessions is committed to ridding the country of undocumented immigrants using sweeping ICE deportations. Sanctuary, being one prime hindrance to that effort, has moved the Trump administration, supported by Sessions, to the point of legal resistance.

Three state laws are the target of the Justice Department’s lawsuit:

  • Assembly Bill 450, prohibits private employers in California from voluntarily cooperating with federal immigration officials.
  • Senate Bill 54, prevents state and local law enforcement from giving federal immigration officials information about when they intend to release an illegal immigrant from their custody.
  • A third law empowers the state to inspect federal immigration detention centers.

gov brown responds to trump sanctuary lawsuit

Governor Jerry Brown and State Attorney General Becerra promised to defend the state against the federal lawsuit.

Gov. Brown stated that the lawsuit is “a political stunt” and declaimed the Trump administration for “basically going to war against the state of California.”

Attorney General Becerra declared that the 10th amendment of the U.S. Constitution “provides California with the right to decline to participate in civil immigration enforcement”.

For further information on the Trump administrations federal suit against the State of California, see BUSINESS INSIDER: Trump administration sues California over ‘sanctuary’ policies, the primary source of this information.

 

NEWS BIT: As ICE Raids Increase, Contra Costa launches hotline for legal help, reporting ICE sightings

ICE arrests

There is a Contra Costa Hotline for reporting ICE sightings and access to legal help.

See El Cerrito Progressives on Facebook and East Bay Times for details.

Find the Hotline phone contact number and information on reporting at Stand Together Contra Costa.

New Hope for Dreamers!

Supreme Court won't hear Trump bid to end DACA program

On Monday the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear arguments in respect to the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, temporarily affording DREAMers continued protection under DACA.

The Supreme Court’s stance also relieves pressure on Congress to immediately act on a DACA vote.

President Donald Trump had ended the DACA program, placing up to 800,000 DREAMers — undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children — in jeopardy of being deported to countries of origin many of them have never known.

Under orders from a California federal judge, the Trump administration extended a six-month renewal period until March 5, 2018 for DACA participants. After the March 5th date, DREAMers would have no longer been under DACA protection.

The Supreme Court’s actions on Monday, while not a ruling for or against DACA, is a plus in forestalling escalation of the move to terminate the program.

Further information on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision concerning DACA can be found at CNN: Supreme Court won’t hear Trump bid to end DACA program, the source of this communication.