Friday, August 19, 2011

4 Good Causes

1.  Verizon (from
45,000 working folks are fighting to save the American Dream right now—and they need your help.
Last year Verizon made $12 billion in profits,1 got $1 billion in subsidies, and paid $0 in taxes.2 But rather than sharing the profits with the working people who make the company successful, Verizon is demanding that their workers take pay and benefit cuts of $20,000 a year.3 This is at the same time that their four top executives have pocketed over $258 million in the past four years.4
But these workers are fighting back with the only tool left in their arsenal. They're striking to keep Verizon from killing the American dream for middle class families.5
This strike gets right to the core of what we're fighting for: good jobs for working families. We need to show Verizon that the country is watching, and we're disgusted with their greed and mistreatment of the men and women who built their company.
Call Verizon and tell them, "Support good jobs for workers, not corporate bonuses. Stop refusing to negotiate with your workers."
Verizon: 1-800-837-4966
When it comes to putting corporate bonuses over decent living wages, Verizon's behavior is unfortunately all too common. But because Verizon's workers are in a union, they have the means to fight back. But they need the help of Verizon's customers if they're going to shame Verizon into coming back to the negotiating table.
So make sure they hear you loud and clear. If we let Verizon know that their unfair treatment of workers is damaging the goodwill of potential customers, we can pressure them to come to the table and bargain in good faith.
Thanks for all you do.
–Daniel, Eli, Elena, Adam Q., and the rest of the team
1. "The Artful Dodgers: Telecommunications and Technology," Public Campaign
2. "Verizon Pushes for $1 Billion in Concessions from Workers, While Receiving Nearly $1 Billion in Subsidies from Uncle Sam," Citizens for Tax Justice, August 8, 2011
3. "Verizon workers hit picket lines from Mass. to Va.," ABC, August 8, 2011
4. "Company Refuses to Bargain Seriously, Verizon Proposals Would Take Workers Back Decades," Communication Workers of America, August 7, 2011
5. "CWA Union, Verizon Appeal to Congress Amid 4th Day of Strike," Bloomberg Businessweek, August 10, 2011

2.  AT&T (from
Guess what?

AT&T’s plan to take over T-Mobile is about gouging consumers, destroying a competitor and firing an estimated 20,000 American workers.
We at Free Press have warned about this from day one. Now, one of AT&T's own lawyers has confirmed it. He inadvertently leaked a letter that reveals the merger has nothing to do with expanding AT&T’s coverage to 97 percent of the country – the main argument the company has made to gain Washington’s support – and everything to do with eliminating the cheaper T-Mobile option from the marketplace (and laying off half of its workforce) to pad company profits.1, 2

The truth is out. Every AT&T argument about the supposed benefits of this merger has now been proven wrong.3 As AT&T’s case unravels, we must keep up the pressure and urge Washington to stop supporting a deal that is so harmful to workers, consumers and our economy:

President Obama has repeatedly called creating jobs his "singular focus."  If the White House signals to the FCC and the Department of Justice that this deal should go through, Obama will be breaking that pledge.  Please add your name to our letter and then share via Facebook so others can expose AT&T’s deception.
Last week, 32 respected industry analysts said in a survey that the deal now has less than a 50-percent chance of gaining regulatory approval. That’s a huge shift in momentum against this merger.4

Unless we act now on this momentum, the facts won't matter. AT&T writes more checks In Washington than any other company. (It has spent $200 million on lobbyists and campaign contributions over the years and gives more than $60 million a year to not-for-profit groups, many of whom have lent their name to letters in support of the merger.)5, 6

Regulators now have all the evidence they need to block this deal. If they ignore the public’s outcry and approve the merger, we'll have no clearer example of industry influence in Washington — where well-financed fictions trump reality.
It’s time for President Obama to step up and stop AT&T's charade:

Everyone in Washington must know that the price of approving this deal is too high. We need to remind President Obama that if this deal goes through, we’ll hold him and Congress responsible for higher prices, less choice and tens of thousands of lost American jobs.

Thank you for taking action.
Timothy Karr
Campaign Director
Free Press

1. Karl Bode, “Leaked AT&T Letter Demolishes Case For T-Mobile Merger,” DSL Reports, Aug. 12, 2011:
2. Dave Saldana, "AT&T Takeover of T-Mobile Won't Create New Jobs,” Other Words, Aug. 15, 2011:
3. Free Press, "Five Myths about AT&T’s Takeover of T-Mobile:" (pdf)
4. Todd Shields and Sara Forden, “AT&T Seeks to Bolster T-Mobile Case as Doubts Rise in Poll,”Business Week, Aug. 12, 2011:
5. Influence Explorer, “AT&T Inc. Contributions,”
6. Eliza Krigman, “AT&T Gave Cash to Merger Backers,” Politico, June 10, 2011:

3.  Bradley Manning (from

Gather your friends to celebrate and support the most important whistleblower of our time.

Bradley Manning Support Network

We are at an important crossroads. In a couple months, we expect the prosecution of Bradley Manning to begin in earnest with his first pre-trial hearing.

Hosting a dinner party can be a simple and fun way to raise awareness and funds for the Bradley Manning Defense Fund. Friendly conversation over dinner is a great opportunity to reach out to connections who might not already know about Bradley Manning's plight.

The Bradley Manning Support Network is powered by people around the world volunteering countless hours to educating their communities about what is at stake regarding Bradley's upcoming military court martial proceedings: Truth and accountability vs. a culture of secrecy and fear.

While our network is people-driven, a campaign of this magnitude is not without significant financial expenses. These costs include: fully funding Bradley's selected civilian legal team, producing and internationally distributing campaign materials, contractors for media and technical work, and a minimal staff to facilitate grassroots action. Now that appears the military will drag out the prosecution of Bradley over the next nine months or so, we need to ensure that we continue to build our campaign as to give Bradley a fighting chance for justice.

The good news is that it's as easy as making dinner.

So will you join us, September 9th and 10th?
Click here to register as a host, get materials and recipes, and get started.
We saved a seat for you
Thank you for supporting Bradley.

4.  Oppose the Internet Blacklist Bill (from:

Here it comes.  CNET's reporting that the House is about to introduce its own version of the Internet Blacklist Bill.
Will you urge your friends to demand that Congress reject this awful legislation?  You can use these links:

[fb]If you're already on Facebookclick here to share with your friends.
[fb]If you're already on Twitter, click here to tweet about the campaign: Tweet

Here's CNET:

[Bob] Goodlatte, a leader in Congress on technology policy, told a crowd of over a hundred that the House is working on its own version of the Senate bill....The House bill will be introduced in the next few weeks, and hearings will be scheduled for mid-September, Goodlatte said.

The Internet Blacklist Bill -- S.968, formally called the PROTECT IP Act -- would allow the Department of Justice to force search engines, browsers, and service providers to block users' access to websites that have been accused of facilitating intellectual property infringement -- without even giving them a day in court.  It would also give IP rights holders a private right of action, allowing them to sue to have sites prevented from operating.
Please urge your friends to demand that their lawmakers oppose the Internet Blacklist Bill:

[fb]If you're already on Facebookclick here to share with your friends.
[fb]If you're already on Twitter, click here to tweet about the campaign: Tweet

Thanks for fighting for Internet freedom.

-- The Demand Progress team

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