NicaNotes: Sanctions Kill! End US Sanctions on Nicaragua

Feb. 26, 2020

By Chuck Kaufman

When we hear the word sanctions, most Latin America solidarity activists think immediately of Venezuela. But Nicaragua is also the target of unilateral coercive measures illegally imposed by the US and the most serious sanction, the NICA Act, can’t be blamed on the Trump regime since it was imposed by Congress. Unilateral sanctions are illegal under both the UN and OAS Charters. Alliance for Global Justice is partnering with Friends of Latin America, a local committee in the Washington, DC region, to target both the Trump regime and Congress with a petition and letters to Congress demanding an end to illegal sanctions against Nicaragua.

The Trump regime has sanctioned a number of individuals, such as Vice President Rosario Murillo and functionaries in the Sandinista government, police, and army. These sanctions have an impact beyond the individual sanctioned because banks, importers, and potential investors are worried that any transaction they conduct with Nicaragua could be found to violate US sanctions resulting in loss of business with the world’s largest economy or even multi-million dollar fines.

The Nicaraguan people rejected the US-funded coup attempt in 2018 and the economy is recovering toward pre-coup levels, but US sanctions create uncertainty internationally. From experience we know it is harder to wire money to Nicaragua than it was before the coup and any business has to think twice before investing in new factories or expanding current ones. It is indicative of the US’s fading influence that there is as much post-coup investment as there is! ….


Reconciliation is dead, Revolution is alive. Support the Wet’suwet’en!

In the past two weeks, the Wet’suwet’en have faced brutal colonial and corporate violence. The RCMP forcibly removed community members and land defenders from their yintah (land) with snipers, helicopters, and dogs.

But, an incredible indigenous rights movement is fighting back. The best and most urgent ways you can show up right now are:

  • Organize a solidarity action where you live. Here’s a toolkit from Unist’ot’en camp about solidarity actions. This could be anything from a rail blockade to a film screening fundraiser.
  • Donate to Gidimt’en for logistical needs and legal support

Rail and port blockades continue to hold across so-called Canada, and the Canadian legal system is trying to criminalize and remove land defenders with sweeping injunctions. The grassroots community has been organizing inspiring, revolutionary actions in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Nation.

The Tyendinaga Mohawk community and allies have been holding a rail blockade on their territory for over two weeks in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en, and were just removed in a violent raid by the police last night. Already, a grassroots uprising has responded by blockading one of the largest bridges in Montreal, blocking the port in Vancouver, marching in Ottawa- and over 8 blockades created in one day.

We need you to show up to support this incredible resistance. Donate, and start organizing in your community today.

By burning illegal injunctions and continuing to hold prayer and ceremony in the face of colonial and corporate violence, the Wet’suwet’en maintain a powerful and inspiring praxis.

We demand that the Coastal GasLink project not move forward without Indigenous consent, and that the Canadian and B.C. governments remove the RCMP from Wet’suwet’en territory.

No matter where you live, there are relevant actions to plan. As mentioned in the Wet’suwet’en strong supporter toolkit, there are many responsible for the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

First, hundreds shut down all of the above-ground entrances to the B.C. Legislature building, postponing the Throne Speech, after over a week of holding protests drawing thousands to put pressure on John Horgan- premier of British Columbia.

Second, hundreds are targeting investors. Just last week, hundreds of people in London targeted one of the biggest CoastLink pipeline investors who is planning to buy 65% of the project, KKR. The fierce land defenders sat in at their office

We’re also excited to announce that Rising Tide North America will be sharing more organizing strategies in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for that!

In the meantime, if you’d like to stay in the loop on all the amazing resistance coming out of Canada right now,, sign up for the Unist’ot’en Solidarity email list. It has a daily summary of actions and news from camp.

Talk soon,

Mary Lovell

PS: Also, even as the Canadian state continues in their violent and colonial ways, there are major victories. Indigenous land defenders and campaigners had a major win yesterday, as Teck Frontier the largest ever proposed tar sands mine has rescinded the application in recognition of Indigenous rights and title, the climate, and the uncertainty of construction in Canada.

Mini Daily Action for #ILoveMyPublicSchools Week

“I love my school because I love going to specials and learning math.”
– Caiden T., fourth grade, Brass Community School via Kenosha Unified School District

Good morning,

I am happy to report that the first day of #WeLoveOurPublicSchools Week was a booming success! Let’s keep is going!

MINI DAILY ACTION: Share a post on your personal social media or group page celebrating schools in a district other than your own! The post above from Kenosha Unified School District is a great example. We have also shared a lot of examples on our Facebook page. This action emphasizes that Public Schools are loved in every corner of the State!

#PublicSchoolProud  #ILoveMyPublicSchool.

Have a wonderful day full of love for Public Schools,


Building Unity Statewide Tour Beginning March 7, 2020

All Hands On Deck! Starting March 7th – 8th (International Women’s Day), Building Unity groups and partners will launch the 35-weekend Building Unity Tour calling on Wisconsin citizens to Defend Democracy – Register & Vote! The Building Unity Tour is a non-partisan family-friendly project to engage, inform, inspire, and empower voters. We will also be building a united movement for Peace, Justice, Sustainability, and Democracy.

Visiting over 70 communities across Wisconsin, we will listen, learn, share, and help each other to vote. Most legs of our tour will be completed in one day. It’s time to vote our values and face our global and local challenges – together.

We Need You!

Please, fill out this on-line volunteer form:

Tax deductible donations to the Building Unity Tour can be made to Wisconsin Network for Peace, Justice & Sustainability (WNPJS), 520 University Ave. #160 – Madison, WI 53703 (Put Building Unity Tour in memo line.)

For more info: call 608-630-3633 or follow us on Facebook: or on the web at:

Building Unity Tour Schedule for First 8 Weeks (subject to change):

March 7th – Ho-Chunk House of Wellness in Baraboo

March 8th – Reedsburg, Baraboo, and Sauk City

March 14th-15th – Milwaukee

March 21st – Mazomanie (WI Grassroots Festival)

March 28th – Madison

April 4th – Milwaukee

April 11th – Oregon, Stoughton

April 17th – 19th – Milwaukee

April 25th – Milwaukee

May 1st – Milwaukee – May Day with Voce de la Frontera!

Building Unity

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EPA Employees Intensify Efforts to Fight Attacks on Their Work

Employees of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are mobilizing across the country to garner support from members of Congress and the public to protect the EPA from Trump’s ongoing attacks on its workers and mission.

Not only did the Trump administration roll back more than 90 environment and human health protection rules and regulations, the administration also trashed EPA employees’ union contract and unilaterally imposed its own anti-worker rules. AFGE forced EPA management to return to the table after filing unfair labor practice charges and grievances over the agency’s decision to repudiate our previously negotiated contract.

“[House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi was not the first person to rip up a document,” said AFGE Local 3631 Chief Steward Jan Nation after participating in AFGE’s silent gathering at the Hart Senate Office Building earlier this month. “Back in June, this administration ripped up our negotiated contract. And they imposed upon us a contract, made no negotiations, no say from us, just shoved it down our throat and took away workers’ rights and union rights. Those two things go hand in hand together, and we’re going to fight to get them back.”

With less than a month to secure a fair contract, EPA workers are intensifying their efforts to mobilize support for the EPA Workers’ Bill of Rights to protect the agency’s mission and the people who carry it out.

So far, there are 3,948 signatures on the Bill of Rights – including 40 lawmakers. The Union for Concerned Scientists has signed onto the Bill of Rights, giving EPA workers a boost in their fight to be able to do their jobs and protect the public health without political interference.

“We’ve got to build on this momentum and add thousands of more names to the EPA Workers’ Bill of Rights,” said Gary Morton, president of AFGE EPA Council 238. “Our efforts are making an impact. Our vision of a strong EPA where workers have the resources they need to ensure clean environments is becoming a reality. But we need to keep up the energy to make it happen.”

Keeping up the energy they did. EPA workers in North Carolina, for example, took to the streets to protect their mission and call for the EPA workers’ Bill of Rights.

AFGE Local 3428 members had an EPA Worker Bill of Rights signing party. They also met with several members of Congress to garner their support.

Environment is a pressing issue for most Americans

The workers appear to have the public on their side. For the first time in nearly 20 years, a new survey found that the environment is a pressing issue among Americans, on par with the economy. According to the Pew Research Center, 64% of Americans say protecting the environment should be a top priority for Congress and the government on par with 67% who say the same thing about strengthening the economy.

“We’re getting a lot of great feedback and support from Congress people. It’s great to hear. It’s a great morale booster because they’re saying ‘Thank you for all the work you do,’” said Joyce Howell, vice president of AFGE Local 3631 in Philadelphia. “The thing is, for EPA, it’s not only protecting the workers; it’s protecting the work. We want to be able to do the work we came to EPA to do. With all the environmental rollbacks, it’s just demoralizing.”

EPA employees are outraged that the Trump administration is once against proposing to cut the EPA’s budget by 26% next year.

“Seventy percent of EPA’s budget goes out to grants, to the states to help them protect their water and our air, and that’s our mission to protect the health and the environment, and I can’t understand anybody can be opposed to clean air and clean water and the clean environment for our next generations to come,” Nation said.

Morton reminded people why the EPA was created and why EPA employees fight to protect their mission.

“The EPA was created in 1970 because community groups and state groups could not protect the environment. They made environmental decisions based on economics,” he said. “EPA employees just want to do the jobs. They want the resources to keep American safe. This isn’t for personal gain. This is for public service. We want the tools and the backing of the government to do it.”

Have you sign the EPA Workers’ Bill of Rights?

Click here to add your name to our petition!


US Postal Service Fairness Act Nationwide Call-In Day Feb. 25, 2020!

Commit here to taking a stand for US Postal Workers!

On Feb. 25, we are standing up for our public Postal Service. It’s time to protect America’s most cherished institution.

The House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed the USPS Fairness Act. Now let’s get it through the Senate. We are telling our Senators to pass S.2965, the USPS Fairness Act.

In 2006, Congress saddled our public Postal Service with an unfair and unsustainable burden of pre-funding retiree health care benefits for the next 75 years! That means paying now for USPS workers who aren’t even born yet.

The USPS Fairness Act will start to put that right by removing the unfair burden. By repealing the prefunding mandate, the Postal Service would then be able to focus on investing and innovating services in order to better meet its mission to service every American household and business.

Join us supporting our public Postal Service. Sign up to call your Senators on Feb. 25, 2020.

Sign-Up here to be part of the nationwide Call-In Day!

Postal workers and allies march in Detroit August 2010.

Postal workers and allies march in Detroit August 2010.

Committee to Stop FBI Repression: Call-In to save the life of Facundo Molares!

Call Bolivian Ambassador
Walter Oscar Serrate Cuellar at
202-483-4410 ex. 4

When:  Tuesday, February 25, 2020
between 8 am and 4 pm Eastern time

Demand, “We want Facundo Molares Schoenfeld released so he can go home to his family now!” Tell them, “I am concerned for the health and well-being of Facundo Molares.  Release him now and allow him to go home to his family!”

Facundo Molares is an Argentinian photojournalist illegally imprisoned by the Bolivian dictatorship.

The dictatorship arrested Facundo Morales while he was in a coma at the hospital with kidney failure on November 11, 2019, a day after seizing power in a coup d’état. Facundo was in Bolivia reporting on the elections for the Argentinian magazine “el Centenario”.

While imprisoned, and without access to adequate medical care, Facundo Morales lost the use of one eye and there is concern that if he does not receive needed medical treatment, which may include a kidney transplant, that his life could be in danger.

The Committee To Free Facundo Molares asks you to call Bolivian Ambassador Walter Oscar Serrate Cuellar at 202-483-4410 ex. 4. We want Facundo Morales Shoenfeld released now!

Free Facundo Molares!