Trump’s State of the Union — 6 Ways You Can Take Action
By Naureen Shah, Senior Director of Campaigns, Amnesty International USA
President Trump’s first State of the Union is upon us, and it’s likely to be as notable for what Trump says as what he fails to recognize: His agenda of hate, racism and indifference to human suffering is wrong — and millions of people in the US and around the world are ready to fiercely resist it.
Here’s 6 ways you can take action on Trump’s anti-human rights agenda tonight — and in the weeks to come:
1. Lobby your members of Congress. Sign up for our 2018 Lobby Day and help us secure an increase in humanitarian aid for people who’ve lost their homes — refugees and other displaced people. Many of them desperately need shelter, food, medical treatment and other life-saving services. We’ll get you expert training on how to lobby — and make your voice heard.
2. If you can’t make it to D.C., write your member of Congress a letter about why you support refugees — and you expect your representative to do the same. Lawyers are fighting Trump’s refugee and Muslim ban in the courts, but he continues to demonize them. The United States is now on track to allow the lowest number of refugees in recent history — at a time when the number of people displaced due to war, violence, persecution, and natural disaster is ballooning. Make your letter personal, and use these tips.
3. Sign up to get a table at your local farmer’s market, library or university, and engage your community. Use Amnesty’s short videos and fact sheets to challenge people in your community to understand the journey of a refugee, why businesses thrive thanks to refugees, and who refugees really are (hint: they include orphaned kids and torture survivors).
4. Help free a prisoner from Guantánamo. Tonight, President Trump is expected to take executive action to keep the prison at Guantánamo open indefinitely — a huge human rights mistake. The detentions there are immoral, unlawful and — according to military and intelligence experts, ineffective, counterproductive, unnecessary and expensive. Highlighting the absurdity of the detention facility, more than 40 people are still there, many held for more than 15 years without charge. Take action for Toffiq Al-Bihani, who has been cleared for transfer for an astonishing 8 years, urging President Trump to either transfer him or try him in a fair trial in federal court.
5. Share the virtual reality experience of the Rohingya and ask Congress to act. Over 650,000 of the Rohingya people, an ethnic minority, have fled Myanmar following a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing and violence against them. Yet many people across the U.S. don’t know this is happening. As the president continues to abdicate the role of the U.S. government in defending human rights in here and worldwide, it’s up to us to build the movement for human rights — and get our government to help stop these atrocities.
6. Show President Trump and Congress that gun violence must be stopped: As President Trump and Congress brush off yet another fatal shooting, the NRA continues to push for passage of a bill that would make it easier to carry concealed guns across the country and could lead to more deaths: the Constitutional Concealed Carry Act of 2017 (S.446).
Call your two federal Senators through the Congressional switchboard at (202) 224–3121 and urge them to vote “no” on this reckless bill. Defeating it will help send a message to elected officials that the public will not accept gun violence any longer. Please let us know you made the calls by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.