Anti-Trump solidarity: Petitions, Marches and Other Actions

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We may have different religions, different languages, different colored skin, but we all belong to one human race. We all share the same basic values.
Kofi Annan

Surfing the web the other day I came across an article about JK Rawling the author of Harry Potter. It seems that all of us have a strong opinion about Trump and do not hesitate to express it as did JK Rawling even if doing so means upsetting her fans.

J.K. Rowling’s Twitter feud with Trump supporters is so bad she’s now fighting some of her fans
Read More:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/02/03/j-k-rowlings-twitter-feud-with-trump-supporters-is-so-bad-shes-now-fighting-some-of-her-fans/?tid=hybrid_experimentrandomuk_1_na&utm_term=.f7ab0a858480

As a UK citizen you can be told it is not your concern, but this is most certainly not true of course, Trump’s actions as president of the US affect us all worldwide. But even if his actions affected only residents of the US it is still the business of everyone as we all share the same humanity. It should be everyone’s concern regarding the afflictions that befall other people regardless of their race, location, politics or any of the other divisions we use to segregate one another.

As J.K. Rawlings rightly says “When a man this ignorant & easy to manipulate gets within sniffing distance of the nuclear codes, it’s everyone’s business.”

The world is in turmoil there is no doubt about that, in the US a man unsuitable for the position of president now for all intents and purposes is the most powerful man in the world. Though I have to say frankly that China most likely does not see it that way.

From time to time I will publish a selection of actions you can take in protest to Donald Trump and his administration.

Below are actions worldwide, and in the UK in opposition to Trump. Please take as many of the actions below as you can, there is something suitable for everyone. Every signature on every petition is a form of protest. Not all of us can attend marches but if you can please do so, we should not allow the momentum to subside, we must not become complacent, our very lives, the lives of future generations, other species and the earth itself may depend on what action we take now .

Marches

PLEDGE TO MARCH AGAINST TRUMP’S VISIT TO BRITAIN

“Donald Trump’s presidency is turning out to be every bit as dangerous and divisive as we feared. The rhetoric of his campaign, and his early executive orders, have sparked a wave of fear and hatred. Those who are often already marginalised and discriminated against – particularly Muslims – have been particular targets for Trump.

Read More and make the pledge to attend a mass march against Trump to “oppose this state visit to the UK and commit ourselves to one of the biggest demonstrations in British history, to make very clear to our government, and to the world, this is not in our name.”

https://www.stoptrump.org.uk/

Petitions – Please sign and share the following  3 petitions

1) Tell the EPA: Attacking Clean Air Standards is the Wrong Move

“President Trump has taken direct aim at one of our most critical public health and climate protections: Clean Car Standards. This EPA initiative takes aim at the greenhouse gas pollution from America’s tailpipes—emissions responsible for about one-third of our total climate pollution.”

Don’t let this administration unravel the crucial progress we’ve made. Tell EPA Administrator Pruitt: Hands off the Clean Car Standards—and all climate pollution limits.”

Please read more, sign and share:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/208/792/322/?z00m=28958977

2) This is really nine petitions against Obamacare repeal

“Here are nine petitions to protest the Obamacare repeal if you want it to stay.”  Please note that the second petition on the list from Change org is closed

https://www.bustle.com/p/9-petitions-against-obamacare-repeal-that-will-carry-your-voice-straight-to-republicans-30867

Trumps health care plans will hit the poor the hardest. Surprise Surprise who would have guess it. America your president is not working for you – unless you are rich that is!

Donald Trump has blithely said he knows his healthcare plan will hurt poorer Americans the worst.

The president said “yeah” as he nodded along during a Fox News interview on Thursday as host Tucker Carlson noted problems with the plan he is mooting to introduce, replacing Obamacare. The less well-off were most likely to vote for him.

During Wednesday’s interview, Carlson said: “A Bloomberg analysis shows that counties that voted for you, middle class and working class counties, would do far less well under this bill than counties that voted for Hillary.”

Trump said: “Oh, I know. I know.”

Read More: Donald Trump Glibly Acknowledges His Healthcare Plan Will Hit The Poor the worst

3) Demand Donald Trump be banned from entering Canada for promoting hate propaganda

We, the undersigned concerned Canadians, demand that Donald Trump be prevented from entering into Canada due to his widespread and well-documented hate propaganda against a number of minorities in Canada in direct violation of Canadian Criminal code section 319.

Please read more and sign the petition
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/504/652/644/demand-donald-trump-be-banned-from-entering-canada-for-promoting-hate-propaganda/

Please sign the Pledge

Stop Hate Dump Trump

Please speak out, show your solidarity by signing the following pledge

We believe Trump is a grave threat to democracy, freedom, human rights, equality, and the welfare of our country and all our people.

We have witnessed Trump inciting hatred against Muslims, immigrants, women, the disabled. We have seen him evidencing dangerous tendencies that threaten the bedrock of democracy: unleashing a lynch mob mentality against protestors, calling for the expulsion of Muslims from the country, bullying, and fear-mongering.

History has shown us what happens when people refuse to stand against hate-filled leaders.

We pledge ourselves to speak out in every way possible against the politics of hate and exclusion he represents.

Please sign and share
http://www.stophatedumptrump.com/

Sign the Global Open Letter to Donald Trump

The world rejects your fear, hate-mongering, and bigotry. We reject your support for torture, your calls for murdering civilians, and your general encouragement of violence. We reject your denigration of women, Muslims, Mexicans, and millions of others who don’t look like you, talk like you, or pray to the same god as you.

Add your voice to the open letter below to join the resistance

Read more and please sign and share.
https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/president_trump_letter_loc/?pv=552&rc=fb

Already there are over 5 million signatures, the level of response is amazing, it restores your faith in humanity. Millions of us reject all the hate spewed forth from the mouth of Trump and his cohorts.

Each week care2 has a new resistance page:

Weekly Resistance: How to Take Action Mar. 20-26:
http://www.care2.com/causes/weekly-resistance-how-to-take-action-mar-20-26.html check every week for further actions. This page will soon be out of date. 

Related Links

It seems that so many people manage to mention Trump whenever possible, which shows the impact, sadly negative, which he has on so many people’s lives.

These Puppies Will Make You Forget Who the President Is
http://www.care2.com/causes/these-puppies-will-make-you-forget-who-the-president-is.html

Take Action Against the Latest US Travel/ Muslim Ban

http://izquotes.com/quote/246074 Poem engraved on a Bronze Plaque mounted inside the statue of Liberty’s pedestal.

There are are several petitions and other actions you can take further down. Please take as much action as you can.

He doesn’t give up does he. No matter what the courts decide nor the vast outpouring of public concern and protest the Trump administration is determined to continue with its anti Muslin agenda. The Travel/Muslim ban was reinstated March 6th with yet another in a long line of executive orders. It has some changes – but basically it has the same effect.

“Despite a few modest revisions, there is little to indicate that the order signed today is different in intent. Trump’s own surrogates have publicly stated that it is intended to be effectively identical to the much-derided order signed in January. Steven Miller, a senior adviser to the president, described it as “the same, basic policy outcome for the country.”

Read More:
Intent of Trump’s New Executive Order is Basically Identical to His Original Muslim Ban.
https://theintercept.com/2017/03/06/intent-of-trumps-new-executive-order-is-basically-identical-to-his-original-muslim-ban/

Also

Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0 Is Just as Inhumane — and Even More Frightening

“The Trump Administration’s new Muslim ban is like a badly graded term paper. The first version was a mess. The revision is longer and better presented. But the thesis is still the same: Enshrine a cruel indifference to refugees and anti-Muslim prejudice into law and call it counterterrorism.

“Although much is being made of the “scaled back” ban, that’s a misnomer. This second ban still decimates the country’s refugee admissions program, shutting it down for four months and leaving thousands of refugees stranded. Refugees who were poised to come to the U.S. after spending years going through intensive vetting — who sold their few belongings, said goodbye and set their sights on a better future — will be left with no option but to return to perilous situations, including in refugees camps and war zones.”

Read More
https://time.com/4692814/trump-travel-ban-muslims/

Contrary to the Trump administration’s propaganda:

Trump’s Updated Muslim Ban Won’t Protect Americans

“The bottom line: This order won’t protect Americans from the risk of terrorism. In fact, it may increase the risk of terrorist attacks. A new Muslim ban will condemn untold numbers of refugees to death as they scramble for entry to the West, as well as undermine America’s status on the global stage.”

Please read more and sign the petition at the end of the article:
http://www.care2.com/causes/trumpshttp://www.care2.com/causes/trumps-updated-muslim-

Check out the following link from the above article if you have not already done so.
“ACLU’s side-by-side comparison of the original policy and the most recent ban.”

https://www.scribd.com/document/341097259/ACLU-Trump-s-travel-ban?secret_password=oz7P4PTKw44pCkgfCADg#from_embed

The new immigration executive order is still a Muslim Ban

Take Action

Stand against Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’

This is a petition

TO: The CEO’s of Disney, IBM, Walmart and the Trump Administration’s 16 other corporate advisors

Publicly demand that President Trump rescind his immoral and illegal immigration policy and end your collaboration with his dangerous administration

Read More and please sign the petition

https://actions.sumofus.org/a/stand-against-trump-s-muslim-ban

Please sign Amnesty international’s petition to stop the ban

IT’S BACK ON. FIGHT TRUMP’S MUSLIM BAN.

We’ll fight this new ban with everything we’ve got, just like we did last time. Take action now – tell President Trump to stop this ban and to protect human rights”

Please click the link below and add your name:
https://www.amnesty.org.uk/

US citizens please send a message to your senators:

From American Civil Liberties Union  ACLU

SENATORS: OPPOSE NEW MUSLIM BAN
https://ssl.capwiz.com/aclu-action/issues/alert/?alertid=75062626&type=CO&ms=web_170306_immigrantsrights_religiousliberty_nationalsecutiry_muslimban2

Petition

Trump: Don’t Ban Immigration from Muslim Majority Countries!

“Newly elected President Donald Trump doesn’t seem to understand the foundation upon which the USA was founded. We are a nation of immigrants and our welcome of “Give us your poor, your tired and your hungry” is the hallmark of our country. It’s what the world admires most about us. However, President Trump is throwing that all away with a promise to ban immigrants from Muslim majority countries. This goes against the grain of our democracy!”

Read more and please sign the petition
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/534/215/981/trump-dont-ban-immigration-from-muslim-majority-countries/

To be frank I rather think petitions to Trump will fall on deaf ears. Nonetheless they are worth signing as an indication of how US citizens and people world-wide consider these unjust polices. Petitions are also a way of voicing your protest, so please sign and share.

Related Links

A large number of suggested actions from Care2 against Trump and his administration’s agenda. Seemly each week there are a new set of actions and information along with a News Letter.

Learn How you can get involved and speak out this week.

Weekly Resistance: How to Take Action Mar. 6-12

“The 45th President of the United States has passed his 45th day in office, but Americans aren’t taking it lying down. There’s lots to do this week, from contacting your legislators about issues that matter to you to hitting the streets on International Women’s Day. Join the resistance!

And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to keep up with the latest.”

Read more:
http://www.care2.com/causes/weekly-resistance-how-to-take-action-mar-6-12.html

 

 

Benefit Sanctions

Please watch the following videos about Benefit Sanctions. Why am I writing about this now? It seems to me that much of the publicity concerning the unfair treatment of benefit claimants is dying down, forgotten, swept under the carpet. I came across this video quite by accident and just had to blog about it. It is good that this young man spoke out despite the consequences, more people need to do so. If you work in a job centre and unfairly sanction benefit claimants you are part of a great injustice which should not be tolerated in any modern progressive society.

If you have received a benefit sanction you can get help here:
https://gingerbread.org.uk/content/2080/If-you-receive-a-sanction?gclid=CMzwpoGV09ECFUcQ0wodTb0BAQ

The videos below shed light on the injustice of benefit sanctions

What I learned working in a UK job centre #WeAreAllDanielBlake

“With the new and acclaimed Ken Loach movie I, Daniel Blake finally hitting screens, here is why I believe we need a strong and supportive welfare system. My story includes experience both of signing on and working in a UK job centre. This is why I am Daniel Blake.”

Why I Am Daniel Blake

“This is my experience of the welfare system, and why I’m not ashamed of it. Please make and share your own videos about your own. We are all Daniel Blake.”

“I am Daniel Blake” refers to the movie I Daniel Blake: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfilms/film/i_daniel_blake

I am Daniel Blake – and there are millions more like me

“What kind of person are you if you aren’t angry, devastated, furious, howling when you leave the cinema after seeing Ken Loach’s Palme D’Or winning film, I, Daniel Blake?

If you aren’t angry that Stephanie Bottrill deliberately walked in front of an articulated lorry on the M6, after her benefits were sanctioned, what kind of person are you?

If you aren’t angry that Linda Wootton died within weeks of being assessed fit for work, as her letters from the Department of Work and Pensions were delivered to her hospital bed, what kind of person are you?”

Read More:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/22/i-am-daniel-blake-millions-like-me-jack-monroe-ken-loach This article is well worth taking the time to read for its invaluable insight of what it is like in the UK if you are unfortunate not only to not have employment but to be sick and disabled.

The film I Daniel Blake is once again highlighting the plight of people on benefits and hopefully revives public awareness of this great injustice.

The 2017 award for outstanding British film has gone to I, Daniel Blake at the Baftas.

“Winning the BAFTA for Best British Film, Loach used the platform to speak out both against the current state of the benefits systems – which forms the underpinning theme of his film – and the Government’s reversal on its promises to accept thousands of refugee children fleeing the terrors of Syria and other deadly conflicts.”

BAFTAs 2017: Watch Ken Loach’s passionate attack on the Government’s ‘disgraceful’ treatment of refugees

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/baftas-ken-loach-i-daniel-blake-acceptance-speech-refugees-syria-government-benefits-a7576676.html

Is the film accurate?

The deaths, sanctions and starvation that prove I, Daniel Blake is accurate – despite what some critics say

Read the complete article:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/i-daniel-blake-accuracy-ken-loach-benefits-sanctions-deaths-iain-duncan-smith-toby-young-a7384581.html

I, Daniel Blake is a realistic depiction of life on benefits. Isn’t it?
Frances Ryan

“Accusations that the film is inaccurate are part of the ongoing attempt to dismiss what is being done to vulnerable people in Britain’s toxic social security system.”

Read the complete article
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/16/daniel-blake-realistic-life-benefits – Includes video the real Daniel Blakes

Clearly “I Daniel Blake” is an accurate depiction of how people on benefits are treated and the hardships they endure.

For anyone who does not know, and frankly I rather suspect many people are unaware of this unfair treatment of people on benefits including sick and disabled people on ESA, Sanctions are a form of punishment – there can be no other word for it – for people who have infringed on DWP rules. Such as failing to turn up for appointments even if there is a reasonable excuse and the person has telephoned to explain, being late for appointments even if only by a minute or two , or the claimant has been determined to not have made sufficient job applications. As a penalty for these supposed infringements, most of which are in themselves unjust and unreasonable, the claimant’s benefit is stopped for a minimum of four weeks !  In some cases benefits have been sanctioned for three years.

If goes without saying that sanctions result in much suffering and lead to poverty, hunger debt, homelessness, an increase in depression and other ill-health even suicide and crime in order to survive. One shocking case is that of  David Clapson, who died penniless and starving without even the money to pay for his electricity to keep his fridge running in which he stored his insulin, and this is the reason he died.

Here is another example of an ex soldier sanctioned unfairly
http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/ex-soldier-darren-veal-loses-universal-credit-after-failing-to-make-jobcentre-meeting/story-29939999-detail/story.html

Below is a list of some of the more unreasonable and unfair benefit sanctions.  There are many more, as so many of these injustices go unreported.

A Selection of Especially Stupid Benefit Sanctions

http://stupidsanctions.tumblr.com/

Take Action

Please sign the petition:

Benefit Sanctions Must Be Stopped Without Exceptions in UK

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/benefit-sanctions-must-be-stopped-without-exceptions-in-uk

“I Daniel Blake”,Ken Loach’s BAFTA winning masterpiece is out now on DVD & Blu-ray. 

Here is the official Trailer:

More Information

Despite all the evidence to the contrary the government continue to claim that sanctions work

“Even more shocking is the claim that Sanctions, can be handed out indiscriminately simply to meet job centre targets

Read More:
Jobcentre ‘hit squads’ set up benefit claimants to fail, says former official
Bosses accused of setting targets for sanctions, while unscrupulous staff targeted weak and vulnerable customers
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jan/20/jobcentre-hit-squads-benefit-claimants-sanctions

Why sanction benefits when there’s no proof the harsh approach works?

“The National Audit Office (NAO), fulfilling its invaluable role as the voters’ official fact checker, reports today that – surprise – government policy is once again evidence-lite. This time the policy in question is benefits sanctions, which has caused so much misery in the past five years. No one, it turns out, actually measures whether the government gets value for money from sanctioning benefit claimants if, for example, they miss an interview at the jobcentre, nor even whether sanctions actually do what they are supposed to do and improve attendance rates at jobcentres.”

Read More:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/30/benefits-sanctions-imposed-proof-work-welfare-nao-jobcentres

Benefits sanctions: a policy based on zeal, not evidence

“Most damning of all is the unravelling of the claim by ministers that sanctions are instrumental in getting people into work. This was a fragile claim to begin with: the DWP’s own advisers have pointed out that there is no evidence to support it. Employment companies running the DWP’s work programme warned last year that for most jobseekers, sanctions actually made getting a job harder.”

Read More:
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/nov/30/benefits-sanctions-a-policy-based-on-zeal-not-evidence

Benefits sanctions don’t work and plunge claimants into ‘hunger and depression’, National Audit Office finds

The benefit sanctions system has become a ‘postcode lottery’ and is doing more harm than good, according to the public spending watchdog
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/benefits-sanctions-plunging-claimants-into-hunger-and-depression-cuts-dwp-government-theresa-may-a7446166.html

 

Some Comments on the The Great Wall of Mexico

“The first man who, having fenced in a piece of land, said “This is mine,” and found people naïve enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau

… well its not really great is it? How many of us thought Trump would really seriously go ahead with such an outrageous project! Though of course at the present time it is only a proposal.

I know so much has been said about the wall but I want to add my two peneth.

Firstly some light relief. A spoof concerning Trump’s Mexican Wall using footage from the new Chinese film The Great Wall.

I love the following condemnation of the wall by Vicente Fox Quesada,  it is one of many tweets by the former president of Mexico.

Finally someone who is outspoken.

‘s ego monument real cost is around 25 billion USD. I ask you, America, what would you prefer instead of that ?”

https://twitter.com/VicenteFoxQue  

Some estimates put the cost even higher at £40 billion

It is time world leaders including our PM Teresa May spoke out in an honest and forthright manner. Sadly trade agreements are worth overlooking one of the great social injustices of our time and one of the most insane proposals to come out of the white house. I so support this recent Tweet by Vicente Fox Quesada:  “UK beware of , he likes to manipulate so he can look good to the world. You need to be united, don’t yield to him, STAND UP!”

Who the hell does Trump think he is Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China who built the Great Wall of China or the Roman Emperor Hadrian who built the defensive fortification known as The Roman Wall or Hadrian’s wall here in the UK.

Here is an interesting article comparing walls from times past, the great wall of China, Hadrian’s wall and the Berlin wall with the Proposed Mexican Wall:

Trump’s Wall Vs The Great Wall Of China, Hadrian’s Wall & the Berlin Wall:
http://www.newhistorian.com/trumps-wall-vs-great-wall-china-hadrians-wall-berlin-wall/7944/

The huge amounts of money required to build the Great Wall of Mexico could be far better spent on improving the lives of the American people, such as health care, the relief of poverty and education to name just a few more pressing needs.

Thousands of Americans are dying from preventable illness and lack of adequate health care yet there is money to build a wall.

Millions of tax payer dollars are potentially going into a wall not education, not housing.

The wall is a monument to racism, so says the former Mexican president. And he is right.

While people die as a result of lack of proper health care and veterans sleep on the street Trump plans to spend billions, some estimate as much as 25 billion, on a wall to keep out a few desperate immigrants who simply wish to find a better life. Though one has to ask if this is possible in Trump’s America.

Not only is the wall a detriment to human beings, a monument to racism and human stupidity but it is a hazard to the environment and a threat to endangered species

Nearly 2 million tons of carbon dioxide will be emitted into the air as a result of making the cement needed to build the thousand mile long wall. The wall will also cut off endangered animals from part of their territory. Also the Mexican Wall will block migration routes for jaguars, ocelots, mountain lions and deer .

The Environment

The great wall of Mexico is a detriment to the environment

Trump’s Wall Would Also Be Terrible for the Environment

“Now that this terrible idea could actually become a reality, scientists and conservationists have also voiced their concerns. In addition to allegedly blocking people from entering the U.S., a concrete wall along the border with Mexico would obstruct important wildlife migration routes for jaguars, ocelots, mountain lions, deer and other animals.

Of these animals, the wall would be the most harmful to highly endangered jaguars, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. If the small population remaining in northern Mexico becomes blocked off, the U.S. population will never be reestablished.”

Continue reading:
http://www.care2.com/causes/trumps-wall-would-also-be-terrible-for-the-environment.html

“Donald Trump’s Great Wall on Mexican border will damage environment in ‘insane act of self-sabotage’

Making the cement needed for a 1,000-mile concrete wall would emit nearly two million tons of carbon dioxide and cut off endangered animals from part of their territory.”

“Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall between the US and Mexico is “insane, useless” and an “act of self-sabotage”, environmental activists claim, as they say it will have a noticeable impact on climate change and threaten endangered species such as jaguars and ocelots without actually affecting immigration.”

Read More:
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/donald-trump-great-wall-mexican-border-damage-environment-insane-self-sabotage-wildlife-mexico-a7548861.html

Here is the latest information to take into consideration. Sixty-Two miles of the proposed Mexican wall belongs to the Native American Tohono O’odham Nation. For the past 150 years their land has been divided between these two boarders. The wall will split tribal land the most of which is in Arizona with a small portion in the Mexican state of Sonora.

Wall would split tribal territory

“Our roots are here,” Richard Saunders said, standing by a border gate in San Miguel, which he and his wife pass through — when it is open — to visit her grandparents’ graves, 500 yards into Mexico. “Our roots are there, too, on the south side of this gate.”

The Tohono O’odham — they call themselves “desert people” — have been around since “time immemorial,” Jose likes to say; they and their predecessors were nomads in the region for thousands of years, roaming for water and food on mountains and lowlands.”

Read More:
http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/wall-would-split-tribal-territory/article_18debf95-9732-5131-9ae6-9309706c554e.html

Better things 25 billion could be spent on.

Health Care

“We doctors have many new ways to prevent deaths from hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease — but only if patients can get into our offices and afford their medications.”
It’s estimated there are between 20,000 and 45,000 deaths a year due to lack of health insurance.

This is the face of health care in America, yet Trump’s priority is to build a wall in addition of course to repealing Obamacare also called Affordable Care or Affordable Health Care Act.

I admit to not know a lot about the Affordable Care Act, it is so complicated. What really is needed is a universal system of health care like we have here in the UK. However as it appears to me Obama Care is thus far the best option.

This is how American health care kills people:
http://theweek.com/articles/666799/how-american-health-care-kills-people

Key Facts about the Uninsured Population
http://kff.org/uninsured/fact-sheet/key-facts-about-the-uninsured-population/

What is needed is a publicly funded universal health care plan, the USA is a rich country there is no reason why people should die simply because they cannot afford insurance, the cost of which gets higher as people become chronically ill, have a preexisting condition or as they get older.

Poverty and Hunger in the USA

In the USA 17 million children go to bed hungry. Forty-Five Million Americans Struggle to put food on the Table More than 1 in 5 children is at risk of hunger. Among African-Americans and Latinos, it’s 1 in 3.

What Urban Hunger Looks Like Now
http://www.citylab.com/politics/2016/03/what-urban-hunger-looks-like-now/474846/

In 2015 there were 43.1 million people in poverty. 19.4 million Americans live in extreme poverty. This means their family’s cash income is less than half of the poverty line, or about $10,000 a year for a family of four”

Click the link below for more facts and stats, while there has been some improvements over time in some areas the huge number of people suffering hunger and poverty in one of the richest countries in the world is extreme. Frankly it is a grave social injustice that anyone anywhere dies of hunger when in the right circumstances enough food can be produced to feed everyone, however anyone suffering such deprivations in a rich country where food and other of life’s essentials is readily available in abundance is just appalling.
http://www.worldhunger.org/hunger-in-america-2015-united-states-hunger-and-poverty-facts/

Here is a shocking and shameful statistic
Majority of Holocaust survivors in US live in poverty, charity says
https://www.rt.com/usa/375354-20-growth-need-holocaust-survivors/

Homelessness

Tied in with poverty and hunger is of course homelessness

There are an estimated 1.56 million people who are homeless in the USA though these estimates vary. Estimates show that nearly 1.4 million children are homeless in the USA every year.

Number of homeless children and adults in America has increased:
http://www.phillytrib.com/news/health/number-of-homeless-children-and-adults-in-america-has-increased/article_08d18cac-6d3c-55ab-92f1-857321b82252.html

Millions of people in the US are evicted every year because they cannot pay the rent.

No place like home: America’s eviction epidemic

Soaring rents and low wages have hit the poorest families in the US hard. Harvard sociologist Matthew Desmond introduces an extract from his heartbreaking book about the crisis

“In America, families have watched their incomes stagnate, or even fall, while their housing costs have soared. Median rent has increased by more than 70% since 1995. Meanwhile, only one in four families who qualify for housing assistance receive it, and in the nation’s biggest cities the waiting list for public housing is not counted in years but decades. The typical poor American family does not live in public housing but receives no government assistance whatsoever. The result? Today, the majority of poor renting families in America spend more than half of their income on housing, and at least one in four dedicates more than 70% to paying the rent and keeping the lights on.

It is estimated that millions of Americans are evicted every year because they can’t make rent…”

Please read the complete article:
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/feb/12/americas-eviction-epidemic-matthew-desmond-housing-crisis

Homeless Veterans

Shocking fact around 47,725, or about 8% of the homeless population, are veterans. 

“Homeless veterans have served in several different conflicts from WWII to the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Washington, D.C., has the highest rate of veteran homelessness in the nation (145.8 homeless veterans per 10,000). 45% of homeless veterans are black or Hispanic. While less than 10% of homeless veterans are women, that number is rising.”

A further1.4 million veterans are at risk of homelessness. This may be due to poverty, overcrowding in government housing, and lack of support networks. Research indicates that those who served in the late Vietnam and post-Vietnam era are at greatest risk of homelessness. War-related disabilities or disorders often contribute to veteran homelessness, including physical disabilities, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury, depression and anxiety, and addiction.”

Read More: http://www.socialsolutions.com/blog/2016-homelessness-statistics/

I don’t know about putting America first, but its time to put people first, all people regardless of race, creed, nationality, rich or poor – though frankly it is time that there were no rich and no poor, it is greed and capitalism that is the root cause of poverty, hunger and homelessness.   It is time for equality, genuine equality including material equality. It is time to do away with greed and the struggle for power, the roots of all the evils of this world. We do not need to be building more walls that’s for sure.In the twenty-first century whether it be the USA or Africa no one should die because they cannot afford to eat because others have more than their needs, because others have so much power they can squander resources to bolster their own prejudices and egos and destroy lives including that of other animals and the very planet itself.

If anyone is in any doubt concerning the sheer stupidity of such a huge project as the Mexican wall, the following video may add some perspective.

Here’s the entire US-Mexico border in 6 minutes.

Related Links

Donald Trump’s #MuslimBan sparks outrage and fear:
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/01/donald-trump-muslimban-sparks-outrage-fear-170128070007650.html – maybe a different kind of wall but a wall nonetheless.

https://twitter.com/hashtag/MuslimBan?src=hash

What it would take to build Trump’s border wall – includes video
http://edition.cnn.com/videos/us/2016/02/16/trump-border-wall-explainer-animation-orig-nws.cnn/video/playlists/donald-trump-immigration/

 

 

Please Sign Petition: Tell Congress: Don’t Take Away Our Health Care

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So I can’t show you how, exactly, health care is a basic human right. But what I can argue is that no one should have to die of a disease that is treatable.
Paul Farmer

Please sign and share the following petition

Tell Congress: Don’t Take Away Our Health Care

“It’s easy to forget how bad things were before we passed the Affordable Care Act. But six years ago, almost half of all Americans were at risk of being denied access to health care because of pre-existing conditions. Insurance companies could deny coverage to children with cancer.”

Please read more and sign and share the petition

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/713/819/785/?z00m=28775294  -Anyone worldwide may sign this petition. 

As we all are so painfully aware Trump intends to dismantle Obamacare ( Affordable Care) which while not anywhere near perfect and complicated it is far better than previous options.

I am not a resident of the USA and do not know all the ins and outs of Affordable Care sometimes called the Affordable Care Act ACA or Obamacare but know that if it is repealed many people will die or suffer from illnesses which are treatable simply because they do not have the money to pay the huge price of medical treatment in the USA. I think the majority of people would rather see improvements to the existing Affordable Care rather than have it scrapped.

Here is what one of the signatories of the above petition says about Affordable Care Act

“I have a chronic life threatening illness that will not ever go into remission. If I have a crisis I need immediate emergency medical care or I will die. This is not an exaggeration. I’ve been to the ER 28 times in the last two years for emergency treatment. Without the ACA my family would be destitute. “

Here is what  Bernie Sanders says about the proposal to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act:
“As Republicans try to repeal the Affordable Care Act, they should be reminded every day that 36,000 people will die yearly as a result.”
Sen Bernie Sanders

Instead of spending huge amounts of money on building the monument to racism, the Mexican border wall, the USA should spend the money on medical treatment for all. The USA is a rich country, it is shameful that people die or are ill simply because they cannot afford health care.

I don’t know about put American First, such nationalist slogans go against all I believe in. However it is time to Put People First. How can anyone with any decency who claims to have the interests of the American people as foremost on his agenda, than go on to deny these same people adequate health care. From my perspective Obamacare is a vast improvement on the previous system and the focus should be continued improvement rather than repeal.

However, isn’t it time for universal health care?

“No society can legitimately call itself civilized if a sick person is denied medical aid because of lack of means.”
Aneurin Bevan

Here is what happens in the UK. In the late 1940s the Nation Health Services was founded. Since that time regardless of your financial situation you are entitled to free health care. If you get sick you telephone the surgery where you are registered as a patient and book an appointment with a GP (general practitioner). There is no charge no matter how many times you have to see a GP. Your medication may not be free if you are working but if you are a child, a pensioner or someone on certain benefits your prescriptions are free. For everyone else there is a basic charge of £8.40 per item. Not ideal I know and frankly it is time prescriptions were free as they once were when the NHS first came into being. Nevertheless the cost in most cases is far less than the cost of the medication particularly in comparison to the huge charge for medication in the USA. If you require hospital treatment it is entirely free from the most basic of treatment to the most expensive. You will not be charged if you have to call an ambulance as is the case in the USA. You are also entitled to certain health screening services though this is restricted to age. For the optician and dentist there is a charge for some people but again children, the retired and those on certain benefits are entitled to an eye test though for the glasses there is a charge.

Being seriously or chronically ill is a life changing event without the additional worry of financing treatment, the cost of which in the USA is astronomical. Not everyone can afford insurance which in any case is not ideal, insurance companies are after all in it for profit. Without insurance treatment, major surgery for example is beyond the means of most people.

Incidentally regarding cost, the USA charge far more than most other countries for medical treatment. Consider the following:

In the USA heart surgery is about $90,000, in India it is just £1,8000 while treatment for diabetes is less than 10% of what it costs Americans.

“In Bangalore, India, heart surgeons perform daily state-of-the-art heart surgery on adults and children at an average cost of $1,800. For the record, that’s about 2% of the $90,000 that the average heart surgery costs in the United States. And when it comes to the quality of the heart surgery, the patient outcomes are among the best in the world.”

U.S. health care needs a wakeup call from India: Column
http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/01/29/health-care-surgery-india-america-disruption-column/97056938/

Though this is cheap most families in India and indeed the USA still cannot afford insurance or find the money to pay for treatment even at this low-cost. Healthcare still needs to be universal, free for everyone. Nevertheless such low-cost needs to be commended and is better than the state of affairs regarding over priced medical care in the USA, furthermore “…contrary to what Americans may assume, the entire surgical experience is cutting edge, and beyond what is available almost anywhere in the United States.”

Time to make health care a universal right for everyone regardless of income or location.

The NHS has been there during my life time and I cannot imagine what it must be like not to be able to receive treatment when I am ill. The insecurity, particularly for poor people must be a significant detriment.

Health care USA Style

The following is a shocking and harrowing story of the struggle for survival of a seriously ill man as he tries to get the treatment he desperately needs to save his life and his difficulties concerning the enormous bills which rapidly accumulated.

“Matthew Stewart owes $62,668.78 for drugs, surgeries, and other treatment. With both bankruptcy and possibly fatal liver failure looming, he doesn’t even bother opening his bills anymore, he told The Week. “There was no point. They just upset everyone,” he says.

Stewart is 29 years old,…”

“The details of Stewart’s story are immensely complex, but the basic reality is fairly simple. A man got very sick, and had to have a serious medical procedure, or die. That care was available, and he did get it. But the medical system then bled him of every last penny it could legally get its hands on, despite his supposedly good insurance. The immense cost wrecked his finances, but merciless means tests made it all but impossible to access the skinflint social insurance system in Texas.”

Continue reading:

http://theweek.com/articles/666799/how-american-health-care-kills-people – If you are in any  doubt about the complexity of healthcare in the USA be sure to read this article, I cannot even begin to imagine the hell that this poor man and his family endured trying to navigate the complexity of this chaotic, callous health care system where medical providers find loopholes that they can exploit to their advantage.

“Doesn’t ObamaCare have out-of-pocket limits that would prevent this sort of thing?

It does indeed. But there are numerous loopholes that medical providers can and do take advantage of.”

The above is a  good case in point for the introduction of a universal health care system similar to the NHS here in the UK. In the mean time Obmamacare has made improvements but much more needs to be done to improve it rather than repeal it, such as fixing the above mentioned loopholes.

Here is what will happen without Obamacare

Katie’s Story And Why America Needs Obamacare

“The Republican leaders don’t seem to care about Kate, about you, about me, about Americans.”

“With the Republican leadership meeting behind closed doors last week to consider the future of America’s health care system, I want to share a pertinent story. Before the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) passed, my wife, Katie, sat with Michelle Obama during the president’s speech on health care to a joint session of Congress. Three weeks before that, Kate introduced President Obama at the town hall on health care held in our home town.  Kate was selected for the town hall because she was once dropped by her health insurance company, something President Obama wanted to highlight that day.  But in truth, Kate’s story with recurrent cancer includes at least a half dozen of the problems that Obamacare solved.”

Continue reading:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/katies-story-why-america-needs-obamacare_us_588eb9c2e4b06364bb1e2776

Health insurance facelift requires a scalpel not an ax

“Tom Bohigian, former state director for Sen. Barbara Boxer, says as the new administration and Congress prepare to chloroform the Affordable Care Act, it is important to look at the broad picture of our fellow Americans. More than 20 million Americans who did not have health insurance before the ACA now do”

“The Affordable Care Act has continued that progress of keeping more Americans healthy. I hope our leaders today will take the time to think this through before acting. It truly is a matter of life and death.”
Read more:
http://www.fresnobee.com/opinion/readers-opinion/article130670114.html#storylink=cpy

Today there are people trying to take away rights that our mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers fought for: our right to vote, our right to choose, affordable quality education, equal pay, access to health care. We the people can’t let that happen.
Kerry Washington

Here is what Trump says about health care

“I support health care for people. I want people well taken care of. But I also want health care that we can afford as a country. I have people and friends closing down their businesses because of Obamacare. “
Donald Trump Emphasis mine

The last sentence sums up nicely his real agenda. As for affording health care… The USA is one of the richest countries in the world. There is money to cut corporate Tax, build walls , wage wars but no money for health care? 

I don’t know about making America Great Again but it is certainly time to Make America Healthy Again don’t you think Mr Trump?

Please sign and share the petition:

Tell Congress: Don’t Take Away Our Health Care
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/713/819/785/?z00m=28775294

Related Links

More about healthcare USA  style
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_insurance_in_the_United_States

A slightly different issue but related nonetheless

Healthcare and Trump’s travel ban: data shows success of doctors trained abroad

Research shows slightly better outcomes for US patients treated by doctors educated outside US – and many come from countries affected by Trump order

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/02/us-doctors-trump-travel-ban-health

 

 

The Tory Government is no Longer Accepting Disabled Refugee Children Escaping the War in Syria

Just when you think this government could not get more callous, more cruel, more indifferent.

The Tory Government is on longer accepting disabled refugee children escaping the war in Syria and elsewhere because it says it cannot cope with their needs.

syrian-wheelchair

According to the following article in the Independent the Government’sVulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme, which is supposed to rehome 3,000 children with their families from countries including Syria, Libya, Yemen and Iraq, is not accepting young people with complex needs, including disabilities and learning difficulties.”

Shantha Barriga, director of Human Rights Watch’s disability rights division, said: “Shutting the door on vulnerable children is an affront to British values.

“People with disabilities endure unimaginable hardship during conflict, and many faced huge hurdles in escaping the violence. That the UK now says it’s not prepared to accept refugees with disabilities is unthinkable.

“It’s an indefensible decision and blatant discrimination. The UK is not simply lacking ‘suitable accommodation’ in this case, but seems to be lacking political will.”

Read more:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/disabled-child-refugees-uk-suspend-entry-home-office-resettlement-unhcr-united-nations-lord-dubs-a7571451.html

So many of the comments following the above article are just appalling, how people can say such things so openly, particularly when it concerns the welfare of children is shocking, their selfishness and bigotry is so palpable.

Shame on the government, a new low even by Tory standards. The UK is one of the richest countries in the world, of course we can care for these disabled children. It is just that the government does not want to, they would rather give tax concessions to corporations. The Tories have no humanity, no compassion. These long suffering and very vulnerable children should be taken in and given refuge, we are more than able to provide the care these children need here in the UK as we are the care that our own disabled children and adults need but which they are often denied .

Sadly we do not take care of disabled people already living in this country. In both cases it is not the lack of finances or the inability to provide for disabled people whether refugees or otherwise, it is simply that the government do not want to do so. With cuts in services and to benefits life is a struggle for disabled and sick people here in the UK. This latest decision to deny access to the UK for disabled refugee children confirms the government’s callous uncaring attitude to disabled and sick people.

Not only the government of course it seems that as a country we have become less caring, ignoring the plight of others with callous indifference even outright hostility, not only of people from other countries but at home also. So few have stood against the government’s assault on disabled people, the cuts in  benefits and services which have left disabled people struggling, making already difficult lives more miserable.

If we – as a nation – get used to being mean-spirited to refugees, then we will end up being increasingly mean-spirited to others ‘closer to home’.  The ‘not my problem’ mantra will turn into a habitual mindset, which will eventually include (or exclude) all of us.

The above comment on the independent article sums this up nicely. It is one of the very few supportive compassionate comments.

Also the UK the UK government announced it will end a scheme that allows unaccompanied child refugees to come to the UK.

Action you can take – petition, tweet, send e-mails/letters

Stand up for the right of unaccompanied child refugees to seek a safe home in the UK.

Please sign petitions and take the other actions below, while they do not specifically relate to disabled refugee children they nonetheless concern refugee children the UK had previously promised to allow entry in the UK

Petition

UK: Don’t abandon Syrian child refugees

“The Syrian war has left thousands of children without a family. Alone in the world, carrying the trauma of the horrors they have been through, many of these children still have nowhere safe to call home. Please sign this petition to demand that the UK government honour its pledge to give sanctuary to 3,000 Syrian child refugees.

Please read more and sign the petition:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/711/816/620/uk-dont-abandon-syrian-child-refugees/

Please read the following from   Global Citizen and take the suggested actions

“On Wednesday, our government announced it will end a scheme that allows unaccompanied child refugees to come to the UK.

I believe this is shameful – and requires immediate public outcry. Click here to send a tweet to Home Secretary Amber Rudd calling for reversal of this decision.

The scheme was devised by a former child refugee – Alfred Dubs – who was rescued from the Nazis and brought to London as a 6-year-old by the ‘Kindertransport’ in 1939. He now says he owes his life to Sir Nicholas Winton, who started the scheme.

We are not talking about terrorists. We are talking about children who are alone, with no family, home, or safe place to go. If we, as one of the richest countries in the world, cannot find the compassion to help, who will?

I believe Britain is better than this. If you agree, click here to tweet Amber Rudd calling on her to keep this scheme running and allow unaccompanied child refugees a safe home in the UK.

With hope,

Zoe and the Global Citizen team

PS. Not on Twitter? Click here to write a letter to a refugee instead.

There are just 3000 children, a small number.

Write to Amber Rudd and Teresa May voicing your concerns about the abandonment of lone refugee children along with the UKs’ recent rejection of disabled children. Both shockingly shameful acts. Please be polite. I know it makes those of us who care about others very angry, we cannot understand the cold indifference to suffering, particularly to vulnerable children, which of course all children are whether able or disabled.

You can contact Amber Rudd here:
http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/commons/amber-rudd/3983

You may wish also to send your comments to Teresa May:
http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/commons/mrs-theresa-may/8

Related Link

50,000-name petition against the scrapping of asylum scheme for child refugees is delivered to Downing Street

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/50000-name-petition-against-scrapping-9800408  It is so good to see that many people care about this grave social injustice.

Join March Against Racism

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“There is a link between inflammatory statements by politicians and racist attacks and hate crimes on the street. There has been a rise in such crimes in Britain, following the EU referendum and a similar pattern has emerged in the US. Now is the time for people of goodwill to unite and stand up to racism.”
Diane Abbott 

Please join the following national demonstration on 18th March 2017 

National demonstration: March Against Racism March 18 2017, UN Anti-Racism Day London, Glasgow and Cardiff

National Demo- Refugees and Migrants Welcome – Stand Up To Racism, Islamophobia & Anti-Semitism

Amid a vitriolic atmosphere of anti-migrant hysteria following the EU referendum, Prime Minister Theresa May has announced she will trigger article 50 by the end of March 2017 in order to “have the freedom to choose the way we control immigration.”

In a situation where migrants, Muslim women and anyone considered to be ‘foreign’ are being attacked on a daily basis and refugees are being abandoned by Britain and Europe to destitution, drowning and exploitation, there has never been a more important time in recent history to stand up to racism.

Read more – includes details of march and public transport information.

http://www.standuptoracism.org.uk/national-demo-refugees-migrants-welcome-stand-racism-islamophobia-anti-semitism/

Check Twitter and facebook for more action ideas and notifications

https://twitter.com/antiracismday?lang=en

https://www.facebook.com/events/1092335410814754/

“We’ve got to face the fact that some people say you fight fire best with fire, but we say you put fire out best with water. We say you don’t fight racism with racism. We’re gonna fight racism with solidarity.”
Fred Hampton

Since Brexit and Trump’s election there has been a marked increase in racism, or at least these two events have given racists leave to openly display their hatred. Since last year racists have been emboldened as a result of these occurrences, particularly the US elections.  Unless we speak out, as a result of the hateful rhetoric and the actions of Donald Trump and others both in the USA and here in the UK there could well begin the normalisation of racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-immigrants, anti-Muslim, even anti-Semitism and hatred for refugees despite their obvious plight and the enormous suffering they have endured.

With the election of Donald Trump racists the world over now feel encouraged; their hatred, prejudice and bigotry inflamed, now sanctioned by the most powerful man in the world, the president of the US. Trump used people’s prejudices and hatred to secure his election victory inciting hatred towards Mexicans, black people, immigrants and Muslims.

The aftermath of the UK’s EU referendum has also resulted in a sharp rise in racism including hate crimes ranging from verbal abuse to violent attacks. Such attacks have focused on Polish immigrants and Muslims, one pregnant Islamic woman lost her baby as a result of one such attack  and many Polish people have been the focus of racist motivated abuse and violence.

In both cases the flames of racism have been fanned by politicians. In the USA immigrants have been used as scapegoats. Trump’s campaign rhetoric portrays a country under siege from refugees and immigrants, particularly Mexicans and Muslims.  To stir hatred he slanders Mexicans as “rapists” and “murderers,” threatening to build a wall and imposes the Muslim ban. The conservative government has used a similar tactic to distract from the financial crisis and their failing economic policies blaming immigrants and refugees for many of the ills that have befallen this country as a result of the Tory policies of Austerity. Encouraged and baited by the government and the media many people now blame immigrants for the shortage of housing, long NHS waiting lists and job shortages to name just a few of the many grievances for which immigrants have been scapegoated. I consider that many people voted to leave the EU simply as a result of their zenophobic/racist attitudes. The UK was once a more tolerant society who stood up for the underdog, we had a reputation for lack of racism and other prejudice. Sadly so much has changed. I like our multicultural society, the presence of other cultures enriches our own. We are, after all said and done, one species, one race, the human race.

Please attend the March on the 18th March we must never allow the current climate of racism and other prejudices to become acceptable.

More anti racist quotes

“Pit race against race, religion against religion, prejudice against prejudice. Divide and conquer! We must not let that happen here.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

“Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.”
Joseph Fort Newton

“Forty-two years after Dr. King was murdered, we are still a nation of inequality. People of color, women, gays, lesbians, and others are still treated as second-class citizens. Yes, things have changed but we have still not achieved equality among all humans. And nonhuman animals continue to be chattel property without any inherent value.”
Gary L. Francione

“I wish I could say that racism and prejudice were only distant memories. We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust…We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.”
Thurgood Marshall

We all have no choice but to do better.

The world is in turmoil, the rise of right-wing political agendas, bigotry, rampant racism,  anti-Muslim, anti-Semitism
ant-migrants, anti-refugees, homophobia, sexism … I have I missed anything, it seems that everyone hates everyone else. It has to stop, we need one world, one race, the human race.

Related Links

Keep in mind it is not only over in the USA and here in the UK but also in the rest of Europe that we need to be concerned about the rise in racism and other prejudices.

It’s not just Trump’s US. Anti-Muslim hate threatens Europe too

The Islamophobic ideologues at the heart of the new US administration have allies on this side of the Atlantic. We must all fight the spread of their divisive lies
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/02/trump-us-anti-muslim-hate-europe

8 Surprising Facts About Migration the Tabloids Don’t Want You to Know
https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/facts-migration-immigration-impact-uk-tabloids/

Blaming immigrants and a tolerant society
http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/23292/labour-markets/blaming-immigrants-and-a-tolerant-society/

Muslim-Mexican scapegoats in Trump’s America: Voices
http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/02/01/muslim-mexican-scapegoats-trumps-america-column/97309202/

Brexit: Surge in anti-immigrant hate crime in areas that voted to leave EU
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/brexit-hate-crime-racism-immigration-eu-referendum-result-what-it-means-eurospectic-areas-a7165056.html

Credit: Racism quotes from Good Reads http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/racism