Tag Archives: Ilhan Omar

15,000 Minnesota Nurses Launch Historic Strike to Put ‘Patients Before Profits’

“We feel like this is the only thing we can do,” said one nurse. “Hospitals tell us it’s our fault, but we’ve been actively involved and getting nowhere.”

By Jessica Corbett  Published 9-12-2022 by Common Dreams

Photo: TakeAction Minnesota/Twitter

About 15,000 nurses in Minnesota walked off the job on Monday for a historic three-day strike after months of failed contract negotiations during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Members of the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) last month voted overwhelmingly in support of what the union says is the “largest private sector nurses strike in U.S. history.”

Nurses with MNA argue that hospital executives who make millions of dollars per year “refuse solutions to short-staffing, retention, and better patient care.” Continue reading

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Nearly Every House Republican Votes Against Codifying Right to Contraception

“If they had the chance they would ban it,” said Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).

By Julia Conley  Published 7-21-2022 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: C-SPAN

With many lawmakers expressing disbelief that a law codifying the right to use birth control is needed in the U.S. in 2022, House Democrats passed the Right to Contraception Act on Thursday—joined by just eight Republicans as the party denied access to contraception is under attack.

All 220 Democrats voted in favor of the bill.

“One hundred ninety-five House Republicans just voted against protecting your right to access contraception,” said Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.). Continue reading

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‘Good Trouble’: 17 House Democrats Arrested Protesting Roe Reversal at Supreme Court

“Even though they arrested us, we won’t stop our organizing, agitating, and legislating for justice,” declared Rep. Cori Bush.

By Jessica Corbett  Published 7-19-2022 by Common Dreams

Representatives Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Cori Bush, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Photo: Cori Bush/Twitter

Several members of Congress were among the demonstrators arrested outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday while protesting right-wing justices’ recent ruling against the constitutional right to abortion.

“Today I was arrested in a civil disobedience action at the Supreme Court to protest Roe v. Wade getting overturned and the assault on reproductive rights across the country,” said Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) in a statement.

“Our reproductive rights are under assault across the country, thanks to an extremist court with little regard for precedent or our basic rights,” she added. “I will do whatever it takes, including putting my body on the line, to protect our reproductive rights.”

Analilia Mejia, co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy Action, said that “today, the CPDA network and Democratic members of Congress sent a powerful message to Republican lawmakers and SCOTUS: We will not back down.”

U.S. Capitol Police confirmed in a tweet Tuesday that officers arrested 35 people, including 17 members of Congress, for “crowding, obstructing, or incommoding.”

Others arrested include Reps. Alma Adams (D-N.C.), Cori Bush (D-Mo.), Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.), Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Andy Levin (D-Mich.), Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.).

“This Supreme Court has been relentless in stripping away our reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy, but we’re not backing down,” said Pressley. “Today, we put our bodies on the line to defend abortion rights because the stakes in this fight could not be higher.”

Pressley noted that “due to the cruelty and callousness of this court, millions of people now face insurmountable barriers to abortion care and the health of our most vulnerable—especially our Black, Brown, low-income, disabled, Indigenous, and LGBTQ+ siblings—is now further at risk.”

“I’m grateful to all of the advocates on the frontline of this fight who led us in peaceful protest today and have been leading this movement for generations,” she added. “Abortion rights are human rights, and we won’t stop fighting until our policies and budgets reflect that fundamental truth.”

Chants at the demonstration included “shut it down,” referring to the high court, and: “What do we want? Freedom! When do we want it? Now!”

Lawmakers and others in the road were warned, “Cease and desist or you will be arrested.”

Bush—who on Monday introduced legislation to boost access to medication abortion—shared a photo of fellow “Squad” members at the demonstration and vowed that “even though they arrested us, we won’t stop our organizing, agitating, and legislating for justice.”

Some of the participants invoked the words of the late John Lewis. The civil rights leader who became a Democratic congressman and represented Georgia for over three decades famously encouraged getting into “good trouble” when fighting against injustices.

Referencing anti-choice legislation recently enacted by GOP Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Republican state legislators, Escobar said:

Protesting injustice in our country is as old as our democracy itself; it is a cornerstone of our history, a principle of our nation, and a faithful mechanism for the will of the people to be heard. That is why, in the face of unprecedented attacks on abortion access and reproductive justice, like the draconian laws and anti-woman agenda we are seeing from the Texas state Legislature, Gov. Abbott, and the Supreme Court, I joined several of my colleagues in front of the highest court in the land to make good trouble.

My arrest today for civil disobedience was a small act in the centuries-long battle to ensure every woman has the freedom to make personal decisions with those they love and trust without politicians trying to control them. We stand on the shoulders of giants whose struggle against injustices everywhere lights the way forward: The fight didn’t start here, and it’s far from over.

Levin, the only male lawmaker arrested, tweeted that “I’m always down to stir up #GoodTrouble and fight for our rights. We cannot give in to this extremist, right-wing court. I’m angry and ready for ACTION!”

In a recent opinion piece for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Rep. Nikema Williams (D-Ga.) noted that July 17 marked the two-year anniversary of Lewis’ death. The congresswoman suggested that if her “friend, mentor, and predecessor” were still alive, “he would be moved to act, like he did throughout his entire life,” in response to “the Supreme Court’s cruel and damaging decision to strip more than half the country of their right to access abortion.”

Watson Coleman pointed out that “on Friday, Democrats in the House passed legislation to protect the right to choose.”

Although House Democrats approved the Women’s Health Protection Act and Ensuring Access to Abortion Act, neither bill is expected to get through the Senate due to the filibuster rule and obstruction by the GOP as well as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

Maloney highlighted that while overturning Roe was a longtime ambition of Republicans in U.S. politics, they are not likely to stop there.

“The Republican Party and the right-wing extremists behind this decision are not pro-life, but pro-controlling the bodies of women, girls, and any person who can become pregnant,” she said. “Their ultimate goal is to institute a national ban on abortion. We will not let them win. We will be back.”

This work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)
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Day of Action for Biden to ‘Pick Up the Pen’ and Cancel Student Debt Announced

“We’re going to the Department of Education on April 4th to force Biden to cancel student debt,” said the Debt Collective.

By Kenny Stancil.  Published 2-14-2022 by Common Dreams

Progressive organizers on Monday announced an upcoming day of action to pressure President Joe Biden to use his executive authority to wipe out $1.8 trillion dollars in student loan debt.

On the RSVP page for the protest—scheduled to take place on April 4 at 12:00 pm ET at the Eisenhower Memorial in Washington, D.C.—the Debt Collective explained that “debtors and our allies are taking action to say: Pick up the Pen, Joe. Cancel student debt for all 45 million Americans.” Continue reading

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Major Police Overhaul Goes Down in Minneapolis, But Austin and Cleveland Advocates Notch Wins

“It’s a long road to liberation and our journey doesn’t begin or end with Question 2,” said one campaign group in Minneapolis.

By Julia Conley.  Published 11-3-2021 by Common Dreams

Protest march against police violence in Minneapolis. Phoyo: Fibonacci Blue/flickr/CC

Advocates of a push to amend Minneapolis’ city charter and replace the city’s police department with a “public health-oriented” Department of Public Safety were undeterred from their fight for far-reaching reform on Wednesday after their proposal failed to win a majority of voters’ support, while activists in other U.S. cities celebrated victories against powerful law enforcement structures.

The grassroots group Black Visions Collective applauded the “historic” Yes on 2 campaign, which helped push nearly 44% of Minneapolis voters to support Question 2 after launching a petition to demand the question be included on the ballot. Continue reading

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Low-Income Americans to Congress: ‘I Am the Cost of Cutting Build Back Better’

“We need to stop asking, ‘How much does a bold Build Back Better agenda cost?’ and instead ask, ‘How much does it cost not to Build Back Better?'” said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II.

By Kenny Stancil, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 10-28-2021

With President Joe Biden and many congressional Democrats bowing to right-wing party members’ demands to gut their once far-reaching agenda to tax corporations and the wealthy to fund expanded public benefits and climate action, low-income people from across the United States convened in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to say that “I am the cost of cutting the Build Back Better plan.”

“We need to stop asking, ‘How much does a bold Build Back Better agenda cost?’ and instead ask, ‘How much does it cost not to Build Back Better?'” Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of Repairers of the Breach, said during Wednesday’s rally, which was organized by the Poor Peoples’ Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, an effort that he co-chairs. Continue reading

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‘This Cannot Happen’: Biden DHS Seeks Contractor for Migrant Detention Center at Guantánamo Bay

The solicitation for bids—which requires some guards who speak Spanish and Haitian Creole—comes as the administration is under fire for mass deportations of migrants, including thousands of Haitians

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams.  Published 9-22-2021

Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay. Photo by Kathleen T. Rhem [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“This is an embarrassingly bad decision. Do better.”

That’s how U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) responded Wednesday to reporting that the Biden administration, already under fire this week for its immigration policies, “is seeking a private contractor to operate a migrant detention facility at the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, with a requirement that some of the guards speak Spanish and Haitian Creole.”

Though the White House, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) did not respond to requests for comment, the revelation from NBC News‘ Jacob Soboroff and Ken Dilanian sparked widespread condemnation. Continue reading

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How social media – aided by bots – amplifies Islamophobia online

Islamophobia has changed in the 20 years since Sept. 11. Now, much of it plays out on social media.
Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Saif Shahin, American University

In August 2021, a Facebook ad campaign criticizing Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, the United States’ first Muslim congresswomen, came under intense scrutiny. Critics charged that the ads linked the congresswomen with terrorism, and some faith leaders condemned the campaign as “Islamophobic” – that is, spreading fear of Islam and hatred against Muslims.

This was hardly the first time the pair faced Islamophobic or racist abuse, especially on the internet. As a communications professor who studies the politics of race and identity online, I have seen that Omar is often a target of white nationalist attacks on Twitter. Continue reading

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Demand for ‘Moratorium on Drone Warfare’ Follows Latest US Killing of Afghan Civilians

“The U.S. went into Afghanistan seeking revenge and bombing civilians. Twenty years later, the U.S. is leaving Afghanistan seeking revenge and bombing civilians.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 8-30-2021

Aftermath of a drone strike in Kabul on August 29,2021. Photo: Dr. Keith Rose/Twitter

The largest Muslim civil rights organization in the United States demanded Monday that the Biden administration immediately put in place a “moratorium on drone warfare” after the U.S. killed at least 10 Afghan civilians—including half a dozen children—with an airstrike in Kabul over the weekend.

“Enough is enough,” Edward Ahmed Mitchell, national deputy director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said in a statement. “For more than ten years, our government’s drone strikes have killed thousands of innocent people in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and elsewhere in the Muslim world—destroying family homes, wedding parties, and even funeral processions. The civilian casualties in Kabul are simply the latest victims of this misused technology.” Continue reading

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‘We’re Staying’: Line 3 Opponents Camp at Minnesota Capitol to Protest Oil Pipeline

“The cops are gathered here by the hundred and the governor’s brand new fence glimmers in the background, but our spirit is resolved.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 8-26-2021

Demonstrators protest the Line 3 pipeline on the grounds of the Minnesota capitol building on August 25, 2021. (Photo: RootsAction)

With Enbridge on the verge of completing its multibillion-dollar Line 3 pipeline, thousands of Indigenous leaders and environmentalists brought their protests against the sprawling tar sands project to the grounds of the Minnesota state capitol building on Wednesday to demand that lawmakers intervene before the dirty oil starts flowing.

Roughly 2,000 demonstrators—including Indigenous leaders who marched over 250 miles along the pipeline’s route—rallied at the capitol Wednesday afternoon and hundreds stayed through the night as Minnesota police officers guarded the building’s perimeter, which was surrounded by a chain-link fence installed in anticipation of the protest. Continue reading

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