ACLU briefing

Sara Paretsky, a writer well-known for her progressive views and actions, attended an ACLU briefing  and sent this report:


     The good news: in the wake of 9/11, people were afraid to speak out against infringement of civil liberties, but today, many people are speaking up.
     The difficult news: challenges to civil liberties, LGBT rights, immigrants, refugees, and reproductive health, inter alia, will be coming quickly and from both national and state governments. The ACLU sees keeping Planned Parenthood going as the top priority alongside immigrant and refugee rights: they are the health care providers of last resort for millions of low-income women, and if Congress removes their funding, millions of women will be in dire straits. PP provide not just reproductive health and abortion services but cancer screening and other well woman services. The ACLU urges all of us to support Planned Parenthood: Romero said, if you write a check to ACLU, send one to Planned Parenthood at the same time. Currently, the Federal Government gives them about $1 billion annually in support, and we will be hard-pressed to raise that money in the private sector if Congress cuts it out.
     Their best guess is that the new admin will want to make good on their anti-immigrant threats first, followed by dismantling Obamacare and Planned Parenthood. They’re thinking that Giuliani will likely be the Attorney-General, which has implications for anti-immigrant dragnets as well as Giuliani-style policing on the national level.
     The ACLU has been able to do some preparation. In July, after the republican convention, they did a thorough study of the candidate’s positions on issues that affect that Constitution. This has given them some pre-inaugural sense of where the biggest threats are. The report is available on their website.
     They are also preparing strategies for challenging some of the key sub-cabinet posts, which don’t usually attract media attention. They believe they can “peel,” their language, some republicans away from some votes. For instance, one south FL congresswoman who’s kind of alt-right also has a Transgender child.
     Strategies for individuals: don’t just give money but give service — we can write letters to the editor, participate in radio call-in shows, write our congress members, and visit state and national offices of elected officials. The speakers stressed that physical letters to Congress carry more weight than emails.
     More anon.


And more from me, SJ, anon, too.

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