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Weekly Actions: Mar 26, 2017

March 26, 2017

1.  PRIORITY: (1) Get to know the Budget to Make America Great Again (Yes, it’s actually called that) so you can (2) contribute to the PAGE strategy for resisting cuts to the State Department, USAID, and other international programs.  

 

America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again proposes about 28% cuts to State Department, USAID and other international educational programs, all while increasing funds for defense spending.  Please take a look at linked document above (or our summary points below) and email engage.with.page@gmail.com with stories or statistics about how you, and people in your country of residence, and people in your home state would be impacted by these proposed cuts. We’ll use your stories and ideas to create  call scripts and actions in the coming weeks.

 

Tips for writing stories:

  • The more detailed you can be, the better. If you’re able to include statistics and details about your countries of residence, that’s very helpful. (For instance: I live in Niger, where climate change impacts XXX number of people and causes famine, flooding and other public health problems.)

  • Do you know of any ways that US Americans in living in particular states will be impacted by these programs? For instance, what will cutting the UN mean for the economy of New York city? Do you know people from your home state with Department of State Educational and Cultural Exchange grants? Although as humanitarians, we may not like to make these arguments (humanity first! Not America first!) they are very effective for getting the attention of local congressional representatives.

 

Summary of the Trump Budget Proposals:

  • According to the document, “the Budget seeks to reduce or end direct funding for international organizations whose missions do not substantially advance U.S. foreign policy interests, are duplicative, or are not well-managed”

  • The document also says that “Additional steps will be taken to make the Department and USAID leaner, more efficient, and more effective” (but who knows what that means)

  • The document says that funding will be maintained for

    • Embassy security

    • Security assistance to Israel

    • Certain health programs

  • The following programs are at risk for being completely eliminated or seriously cut:

    • The Global Climate Change Initiative

    • US funding to the United Nations’ (UN) climate change programs

    • US funding for UN and affiliated agencies, including UN peacekeeping and other international organizations

    • Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance account

    • Department of State’s Educational and Cultural Exchange (ECE) Programs

    • World Bank support

    • Others detailed in the document

 

2. PRIORITY: On March 30, get an Italian Bank to Divest from DAPL! Last week, we worked with friends in Spain pressure the Spanish bank BBVA to divest from DAPL. This week, we’re working with resisters in Italy to pressure Banca Intesa Sanpaolo to divest. These actions are making a difference. BBVA is reconsidering their investment, and ING has divested.

 

Don’t do this quite yet, but coordinate with your group to do it on Thursday, MARCH 30.

We want to bombard them with messages to divest! Take 5 minutes on Thursday, March 30 to demand that Intesa SanPaolo divest from the DAPL project by sending messages (see sample Tweets below)  to them directly across multiple social media platforms using the hashtags #NoDAPL #DivestDAPL.

 

If your PAGE group is meeting earlier than March 30, take some time to plan how to participate that day, or reach out to friends to participate. RSVP on the Facebook event here to promote the event in your network.

 

Here’s what to do on that day:

 

  • TWEET at @intesasanpaolo

    • Hey @intesasanpaolo! The world is watching and wants you to #DivestDAPL. Don’t invest your money in a massive human rights violation! #waterislife

    • Il mondo sta guardano @intesasanpaolo e chiede di #DivestDAPL. Non investite nelle violazioni dei diritti umani! #acquaevita

    • .@intesasanpaolo are you removing your investment in DAPL? I don't want my money paying for fossil fuels! #NoDAPL #DivestDAPL

    • .@intesasanpaolo Toglierete i vostri investimenti in DAPL? I miei soldi non devono andare per combustibili fossili! #NoDAPL #DivestDAPL

    • Tag your posts with the following media outlets for greater visibility: @corriere, @repubblicait, @ilmessaggeroit, @lastampa, @rainews, @radiopopmilano, @lifegate, @tgla7, @mediasetTgcom24, @TheLocalItaly, @TheLocalEurope

  • Write on their Facebook wall. This is what got most attention from Spanish bank BBVA last time!

    • Start with the tweets above and keep writing as there is no limit on FB.

  • If you're a client of Intesa SanPaolo, you're also encouraged to close your account on March 30th and/or ask your friends and family to consider divesting. If you do divest on the 30th, please take a pic of yourself with an #IDivested sign in front of your Intesa SanPaolo branch, sharing that image on social media using the hashtags: #NoDAPL #DivestDAPL #IDivested.

    • Translation: Se siete clienti, potreste chiudere il proprio conto Intesa SanPaolo il giorno 30 marzo e/o chiedere ai vostri amici e familiari di fare lo stesso. Se decideste di trasferire i vostri soldi altrove, potreste scattare una foto con un cartello con lo scritto #IDivested davanti alla filiale della banca, postandola con gli hastag #Idivested #DivestDAPL e #NoDAPL.

  • Write to friends in Italy and educate them about DAPL and encourage them to participate. Feel free to use the text below. (You can do this one before March 30!)

    • WHAT IS DAPL? The Dakota Access Pipeline Project (DAPL) is a $3.78 billion conduit being built from the oil-rich Bakken fields in North Dakota, near the Canadian border, through South Dakota and Iowa, to Patoka, Illinois, where it will join up with existing pipelines to transport up to 570,000 barrels a day of crude to refineries and markets in the Gulf and on the East Coast.

    • WHAT IS THE THREAT? The pipeline is being built near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. The pipeline disturbs sacred sites, infringes on past treaty promises and tribal sovereignty, and is a significant danger to their water supply since it passes underneath the Missouri River — the main source of water for the reservation.

    • IN CHE COSA CONSISTE IL DAPL? Il Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) è un progetto di 3.780 milioni di dollari destinati alla costruzione di un oleodotto che parte dai giacimenti del North Dakota (nelle vicinanze del confine statunitense con il Canada), attraversa il South Dakota e l'Iowa, per arrivare nello stato dell'Illinois, dove si collega con gli oleodotti già esistenti al fine di trasportare fino a 570.000 barili di idrocarburi al giorno alle raffinerie e ai mercati del Golfo di Messico e della costa est degli USA

    • QUAL’E’ LA MINACCIA? L’oleodotto viene costruito nelle immediate vicinanze della riserva della tribù degli Indiani d’America Sioux di Standing Rock, in prossimità di Cannon Ball, North Dakota. La tribù sostiene che l’oleodotto stia profanando le sue terre sacre, che violi le promesse sottoscritte in trattati pregressi, nonché la sovranità della tribù stessa, e che rappresenti un pericolo significativo per le loro forniture di acqua dato che passa proprio sotto il fiume Missouri, la fonte principale di acqua per la riserva.

 

 

3. Read this global perspective on the Trump administration, written by Ximena Restrepo, who is “a Colombian writer and an entrepreneur whose family sought refuge in the United States during the Colombian armed conflict, and lived there for seven years of her childhood.” Discuss in your PAGE group. What do US-Americans owe to people like Ximena? Have you heard any similar stories from people in your community of residence?

 

Or, have you heard other perspectives that would be interesting for the Global Perspectives section of the Americans Resisting Overseas blog?  Get in touch with the blog directly or contact PAGE and we’ll help connect you.

 

Ongoing projects

Maybe your PAGE group has been meeting for a while now and doing weekly actions, and you’re ready to dig in a bit deeper in an area that’s important to your country of residence. Great! Here’s a menu of options, from our four areas of focus. We choose these areas because they allow us to have the most impact from abroad. Let us know if you’re interested in one of these, and we will connect you with another PAGE group around the world doing the same project!

 

Refugees/Immigration.

  • PAGE is working on a list of legal and support resources for folks abroad who will be impacted. Write to us if you have ideas or want to help coordinate this.

  • Reach out to local Muslim leaders in your country of residence and ask how you can provide support to them during this time of heightened Islamophobia and immigration bans. Contact us at engage.with.page@gmail.com if you’d like support and advice for this action.

  • Connect and work with local groups supporting refugees in your country of residence. As the United States closes its borders, we can work to ensure that refugees have options.

 

Climate Change and the Environment

  • The March for Science is on April 22. Find out if there’s a sister march in your community. If not, think about organizing one! If that’s not possible, consider reaching out to a scientist in your country of residence, and see if there is an opportunity to promote their work, on social media or through other channels. Reach out to the PAGE network if you’d like to do this, and we can see if we can use our network’s connections to help you do this.

  • The People’s Climate March is April 29. Find out if there’s a sister march in your community. If not, think about organizing one! If that’s not possible, use this opportunity to reach out to an environmental activist in your country of residence, and see if there is an opportunity for your PAGE group to support their work.

  • The growing global climate movement 350.org is organizing global divestment activities the week of May 5-May 13. See if there’s a divestment action in your country of residence ! If not, consider reaching out to local environmental activists to organize one.

 

Corporation Watch

  • Divest from the Dakota Access Pipeline. As you saw in activity 1, organizers around the world are targeting the banks which have invested in DAPL. See a bank in your country of residence? Reach out to us and we’ll help you get started.

  • Global Trump Boycott. While you might think that most of the resistance action is happening in the US, we have a special edge being abroad in that we can target and organize against Trump’s international businesses. Consider organizing a boycott in your community of residence.

 

US Foreign Policy + Aid

  • Trump has proposed MASSIVE budget cuts to the State Department and USAID. PAGE is organizing a coordinated response here, which will involve coordinating with Indivisible groups in the US, keeping an eye on various congressional committees and organizing global social media pushes. It will be fun! Let us know if you’d like to help.  (See item 1- which is the first step in this process!)

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