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Coalition of Undocumented Immigrant Families Calls on Biden to Stop Deportations | The State

Vice President Biden promised deep immigration reform.

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Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

A coalition of advocates for undocumented immigrants and their families called on the president-elect Joe biden help them in the face of the coronavirus pandemic and stop the persecution for their deportation.

“I am here today to personally ask Joe Biden to deliver on his campaign promises and to act immediately when he takes office next week to protect families like mine who have been persecuted and terrorized simply for daring to exist on this’ earth. of freedoms’ ”, expressed Jeanette Vizguerra, an undocumented activist who has been living in a sanctuary at Denver’s First Unitarian Society since 2015.

She joined a group that traveled to Wilmington, Delaware, to ask the Democrat for a meeting, even though she and other applicants were in danger of being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents (ICE).

“I hope that the people, and especially the president-elect, understand the seriousness of the suffering we face and that led me to take risks today.”Vizguerra explained.

Among the organizers of the Familia coalition are the Trans Queer Liberation Movement, Metro Denver Sanctuary Coalition, Never Again Action, RAICES, Immigrant Justice Network, among others.

They demanded a moratorium on all deportations, as well as administrative relief for all undocumented, a group targeted by President Donald Trump, they charged.

“From your first week in office to your last, Donald trump it has mercilessly attacked immigrants, systematically undermined our rights and unleashed a torrent of abuses against us, ”he said. Nancy meza of RAICES.

The group was supported by religious groups leading the same fight and provided hospitality at Grace United Methodist Church.

“Our scriptures remind us that we should treat the stranger among us as one of our own,” said the Reverend Edwin Estevez, Grace’s senior pastor.

The president-elect Biden has promised that one of his priorities will be immigration reform, which would include a citizenship plan for the undocumented, in addition to redirecting ICE’s actions, to focus on the arrest of immigrants with criminal records.

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Headline USA New York

Now is not the time for a public transportation hike in New York, says user coalition | The State

NY.- Public transport advocates voiced their vigorous protest to the Governor Andrew Cuomo this Sunday and warned that they oppose the increase in the subway rate and tolls on the city’s bridges, which “would be catastrophic for aggrieved public transport users and workers excluded from federal unemployment benefits due to the recession of the coronavirus pandemic ”.

The broad coalition of organizations is targeting Cuomo, who controls the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), and has proposed a 4% rate hike that would fall overwhelmingly on essential workers and unemployed New Yorkers, they said.

No upward at the expense of essential workers

Passengers and workers rejected the fare hike and demanded that Governor Cuomo find progressive revenue streams to fund public transportation rather than balance his budget at the expense of essential workers and New Yorkers with no other transportation options.

“Governor Cuomo must stop the regressive increase in transit fees for essential workers and millions of low-income New Yorkers who have no other way to get around,” said the Executive Director of Riders Alliance, Betsy Plum.

Activists from the New York Communities for Change, during the protest.

The MTA’s goal is to raise $ 153 million by 2021, that organization said.

Plum stressed that the Governor needs to find progressive funding sources for public transportation, “instead of hitting the pockets of passengers. And under no circumstances should the governor raise transportation funds to pay for his other priorities. “

The MTA is about to approve increases in rates and tolls, even as a $ 4 billion bailout is expected from Washington, defenders protesting outside the Governor’s office in Manhattan said.

“This is not the time to raise rates and tolls. We are strongly opposed to paying more ”, ratified the activists who have been demanding that the operation of the subway be restored at night, as well as the frequencies of the buses.

“The reduction in night service means that thousands of New Yorkers cannot get to their jobs because they do not have transportation,” he demanded. Alberto Solis of New York Communities for Change.

Cuomo is the one who decides the increase

The protest sought to make it clear that they oppose a revision of fare and ticket policies, a process that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has carried out through a series of virtual public hearings due to the health crisis.

The Riders Alliance insisted that Cuomo dominates the state budget process that determines how and how much New York spends on public transportation.

Ultimately, the governor is the one who will decide whether to raise MTA rates and, rally attendees argued, “New Yorkers should hold him accountable for that decision.”

Speakers argued that the MTA’s proposed rate hike is particularly counterproductive given the health crisis the city is currently experiencing. For example, they say, many white-collar employees work from home indefinitely and do not have to pay the fee to get to their jobs. A fare hike would now overwhelmingly fall on New York’s essential workers, 38%, some 840,000 passengers, who depend on public transportation.

Essential workers are often underpaid, with 8% living at or below the poverty line and 24% at double or below the poverty line, the activists added.

“My family relies on public transportation for all of our weekly appointments, groceries, medicine, school and work,” said worker Pedro Valdez-Rivera, who participated in the protest.

Valdez-Rivera added that for families like hers who don’t have “money to pay for Uber,” a fare increase would be devastating and that every penny counts these days.

“I want to tell Governor Andrew Cuomo: This is the worst time to increase transportation rates,” Valdez-Rivera said.

Transport hike is a tax

Protesters claimed the rate hike would amount to a regressive state tax. They explained that although the MTA is technically “out of budget,” its finances are intertwined with the state budget.

In a statement issued by the Riders Alliance it was detailed that, at this time, the state is withholding $ 600 million from the MTA in dedicated transit taxes that the state normally collects and then forwards to the MTA.

The MTA is asking for $ 12 billion in federal emergency funding, which according to Reinvent albany they include $ 600 million to offset the loss of “state subsidies.”

If the governor raises fares while withholding tax money from the MTA, the fare increase is not only regressive on its own, it is actually a state tax on public transportation users to support overall state operations. .

For its part, the MTA said in a statement that it can delay drastic layoffs and cuts in services with funds that it will likely receive from Washington, but the process to increase rates and tolls next year is already underway.

Although the exact amounts have not been finalized, the proposals include increasing the base fare for a subway ride to $ 3, eliminating the unlimited one-week MetroCards, cutting services and laying off thousands of employees, are some of the proposals that they have been discussed in the hearings. Drivers would also see toll increases on bridges and tunnels, possibly with different amounts depending on the time of day.

The ultimate audience

The last hearing to define the increase in public transport will take place virtually this Monday from 10 a.m. To know the process you can visit the website: new.mta.info/2020hearings.

The range of MTA proposals

  • Increases from 2% to 4% in all types of tickets.
  • The basic passage of the subway would go up from $ 2.75 to $ 3 dollars and the price of the tickets for an individual trip (single ride) to $ 4.
  • Put the 7% bonus back into effect on MetroCards, but at the same time eliminate the unlimited 7 and 30-day cards, which offer discounts to commuters, by giving them additional trips.
  • If the basic rate does not go up and remains at $ 2.75, then the weekly MetroCard would be increased from the current $ 33 to $ 36 and the monthly would go from $ 127 to $ 139.
  • 8% increase in tolls for bridges and tunnels.

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Technology US

International coalition of activists launches protest against Amazon


An international group of climate activists and Amazon warehouse workers have launched an online campaign called “Make Amazon Pay,” calling on the tech giant to provide better working conditions for its employees and to reduce its expanding carbon footprint. The protests come just as the New York Times reports that the Seattle-based company has been on a hiring spree this year, expanding its global workforce.

“During the Covid-19 pandemic, Amazon became a trillion dollar corporation, with CEO Jeff Bezos becoming the first person in history to amass $200 billion in personal wealth,” the campaign states on its website. “Meanwhile, Amazon warehouse workers risked their lives as essential workers, and faced threats and intimidation if they spoke out for their rights to a fair wage.”

Launched on Black Friday, the campaign provides a list of demands for Amazon, which include raising pay for workers in Amazon’s warehouses, extending paid sick leave, and allowing workers to organize in unions. The campaign also tasks Amazon with “committing to zero emissions by 2030” and paying back society by “ending partnerships with police forces and immigration authorities that are institutionally racist” and “paying taxes in full, in the countries where the real economic activity takes place.”

The campaign lists a wide variety of international partners, including Progressive International, Amazon Workers International, 350.org, Greenpeace, and more. And the organization has planned a number of demonstrations in countries around the world. “Today there’s a global day of action with strikes, protests, and stunts across five continents,” James Schneider, the communications director for Progressive International, tells The Verge.

The first demonstration got underway with a strike in Sydney, Australia, he says. Stunts — some in person and some online — are planned to take place in the Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Germany, Poland, Spain, Luxembourg, France, Greece, the United Kingdom, the United States, and more. Organizers have projected the “Make Amazon Pay” slogan on Amazon buildings in London, Berlin, and Hyderabad. A hashtag of #MakeAmazonPay is listed on the campaign’s website, and those who support the initiative can sign a petition on the site to “tell Jeff Bezos directly.”

“We’re asking people to add their name to those common demands and to donate to the strike funds for Amazon workers,” Schneider says. “So, today is just the start of the campaign. We aim to build the strike fund to enable further strikes and protests following this day of action.”

The Make Amazon pay campaign comes at the end of a dynamic year for Amazon. The pandemic created an increased demand for Amazon’s online shopping services, pushing the company to greatly expand its workforce in 2020. Amazon now employees more than 1.2 million employees around the world, after adding 427,300 workers between January and October, according to the New York Times.

At the onset of the pandemic, Amazon workers staged protests in an attempt to get the company to take COVID-19 seriously. In October, Amazon revealed that 19,816 of its front-line workers have contracted the virus. On Thanksgiving, Amazon said it would provide holiday bonuses for its employees, with full-time workers receiving $300 and part-time workers receiving $150.

“The pandemic has exposed how Amazon places profits ahead of workers, society, and our planet,” the coalition says on its website. “Amazon takes too much and gives back too little. It is time to Make Amazon Pay.”



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Headline USA New York Politics

NBA’s social justice coalition meets with Pope Francis at Vatican


Pope Francis met with five members of the NBA’s newly formed National Basketball Social Justice Coalition at the Vatican on Monday to discuss issues related to equality. 

San Antonio Spurs guard Marco Belinelli, Sterling Brown of the Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac, Kyle Korver of the Milwaukee Bucks and Memphis Grizzlies power forward Anthony Tolliver were joined by NBA players’ union executive director Michele Roberts and two other union executives — Sherrie Deans and Matteo Zuretti.

‘You’re champions,’ Pope Francis told the players, as quoted by ESPN. ‘But also giving the example of teamwork, you’ve become a model, giving that good example of teamwork but always remaining humble … and preserving your own humanity.’ 

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Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac shares a jersey and other keepsakes with Pope Francis

Pope Francis (in white) meets a delegation of five NBA players, including Jonathan Isaac (far right) and Sterling Brown (second from right) and officials from the National Basketball Players Association at the Vatican November 23

Pope Francis (in white) meets a delegation of five NBA players, including Jonathan Isaac (far right) and Sterling Brown (second from right) and officials from the National Basketball Players Association at the Vatican November 23

Pope Francis receives a golden basketball from Memphis Grizzlies forward Andrew Tolliver

Pope Francis receives a golden basketball from Memphis Grizzlies forward Andrew Tolliver

Pope Francis (in white) has supported demands for social justice following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25

Pope Francis (in white) has supported demands for social justice following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25

Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac (left) and Milwaukee's Sterling Brown at the Vatican

Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac (left) and Milwaukee’s Sterling Brown at the Vatican 

Players responded in an NBPA press release.

‘We are extremely honored to have had this opportunity to come to the Vatican and share our experiences with Pope Francis,’ Korver said. ‘His openness and eagerness to discuss these issues was inspiring and a reminder that our work has had a global impact and must continue moving forward.’ 

The union said the players spoke about their ‘individual and collective efforts addressing social and economic injustice and inequality occurring in their communities.’

The audience came days before a book comes out in which Pope Francis supports demands for racial justice, specifically the actions taken following the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, a black man who died in May. A police officer in Minneapolis pressed a knee against his neck for minutes while Floyd said he couldn’t breathe and pleaded for his life. 

Roberts said Pope Francis sought the meeting with the players, and that it ‘demonstrates the influence of their platforms.’ Demands for social and racial justice have been paramount among players, especially in recent months following the deaths of Floyd and Breonna Taylor, among others.

‘This meeting validates the power of our Players’ voices,’ Roberts said. ‘That one of the most influential leaders in the world sought to have a conversation with them demonstrates the influence of their platforms. I remain inspired by our Players’ continued commitment to serve and support our community.’

Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac (center), who was one of only a few players to stand for the national anthem in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, was at the Vatican on Monday to discuss social justice issues with Pope Francis

Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac (center), who was one of only a few players to stand for the national anthem in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, was at the Vatican on Monday to discuss social justice issues with Pope Francis

After the NBA restarted its season with 22 teams at Disney World following a four-month COVID-19 hiatus, many league players began protesting racism and police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem before games. To drive home the point, players also wore ‘Black Lives Matter’ warm-up shirts and had social justice messages emblazoned on the backs of their jerseys. 

One exception was Isaac, who defended his decision in August, before suffering a knee injury that is expected to keep him out of the upcoming 2020-21 season. 

Pope Francis is supporting demands for racial justice following the police killing of George Floyd. Francis slammed COVID skeptics and media organizations that spread their conspiracies in a new book penned during the Vatican's coronavirus lockdown. In 'Let Us Dream,' Francis also criticizes populist politicians who whip up rallies in ways reminiscent of the 1930s, and the hypocrisy of 'rigid' conservative Catholics who support them

Pope Francis is supporting demands for racial justice following the police killing of George Floyd. Francis slammed COVID-19 skeptics and media that spread their conspiracies in a new book penned during the Vatican’s coronavirus lockdown. In ‘Let Us Dream,’ Francis also criticizes populist politicians who whip up rallies in ways reminiscent of the 1930s, and the hypocrisy of ‘rigid’ conservative Catholics who support them

‘I believe that black lives matter,’ he said afterwards, as quoted by Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News. ‘Kneeling while wearing a Black Lives Matter t-shirt doesn’t go hand-in-hand with supporting Black lives.’ 

The social justice coalition was created to lead efforts promoting equality. It remains unclear what the coalition’s role will be during the upcoming season, which begins on December 22, but according to Tolliver, the group expects to have the Pope’s support.  

‘Today’s meeting was an incredible experience,’ Tolliver said. ‘With the Pope’s support and blessing, we are excited to head into this next season reinvigorated to keep pushing for change and bringing our communities together.’

Pope Francis blasts COVID-19 skeptics and media organizations that spread their conspiracies in a new book penned during the Vatican’s coronavirus lockdown.

In ‘Let Us Dream,’ Francis also criticizes populist politicians who whip up rallies in ways reminiscent of the 1930s, and the hypocrisy of ‘rigid’ conservative Catholics who support them.

He does not name Donald Trump, but the comparison is unmistakable.

But he also criticizes the forceful downing of historic statues during protests for racial equality this year as a misguided attempt to ‘purify the past.’

The 150-page book, due out December 1, was ghost-written by Francis’ English-language biographer, Austen Ivereigh.

Kyle Korver (center) and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks are pictured after the team boycotted a game in response to the Kenosha, Wisconsin police shooting of Jacob Blake

Kyle Korver (center) and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks are pictured after the team boycotted a game in response to the Kenosha, Wisconsin police shooting of Jacob Blake

At its core, ‘Let Us Dream’ aims to outline Francis’ vision of a more economically and environmentally just post-coronavirus world where the poor, the elderly and weak aren’t left on the margins and the wealthy aren’t consumed only with profits.

But it also offers new personal insights into the 83-year-old Argentine pope and his sense of humor.

Without identifying the U.S. or Trump by name, Francis singles out Christian-majority countries where nationalist-populist leaders seek to defend Christianity from perceived enemies.

The Bucks' Sterling Brown is among the players on the NBA's social justice coalition

The Bucks’ Sterling Brown is among the players on the NBA’s social justice coalition 

‘Today, listening to some of the populist leaders we now have, I am reminded of the 1930s, when some democracies collapsed into dictatorships seemingly overnight,’ Francis wrote. ‘We see it happening again now in rallies where populist leaders excite and harangue crowds, channeling their resentments and hatreds against imagined enemies to distract from the real problems.’

People fall prey to such rhetoric out of fear, not true religious conviction, he wrote. Such ‘superficially religious people vote for populists to protect their religious identity, unconcerned that fear and hatred of the other cannot be reconciled with the Gospel.’

Francis addressed the killing of Floyd, a Black man whose death at the knee of a white policeman set off protests this year across the United States. Referring to Floyd by name, Francis said: ‘Abuse is a gross violation of human dignity that we cannot allow and which we must continue to struggle against.’

But he warned that protests can be manipulated and decried the attempt to erase history by downing statues of U.S. Confederate leaders.

A better way, he said, is to debate the past through dialogue.

‘Amputating history can make us lose our memory, which is one of the few remedies we have against repeating the mistakes of the past,’ he wrote.

Spurs guard Marco Belinelli, a native of Italy, didn't travel far to meet with Pope Francis

Spurs guard Marco Belinelli, a native of Italy, didn’t travel far to meet with Pope Francis 





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