Friday, June 23, 2017

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Terry McAuliffe, Commute William Morvas Sentence Now!

To participate in this action send your own letter to Gov. Terry McAuliffe in Virginia here.

Dear Governor McAuliffe, 

I am writing to respectfully request that you halt the execution of William Morva and commute his sentence.

Williams Morva has been diagnosed with a mental disability, and his delusional disorder may have contributed to his crimes. However, the jury never heard this vital evidence. 

You can use your executive clemency to correct this error. 

International law prohibits the execution of people with mental disability, whether or not that mental disability is a relevant factor at the time the crime was committed or whether it developed while the person is in detention, before or after conviction. If the United States is to follow international law, William Morva cannot be executed. 

Executions are never justice, and the death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. 

Please consider the facts of this case, and take into account William Morva’s mental disability and the impact it had on his crimes when you evaluate his application for clemency. Commute his sentence to life.

Thank you,
William K. Rosen
Lombard, Il

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Come and hear us Jul 17th @ 5pm and 8pm

 Get your tickets here! 
Windy City Gay Chorus and Windy City Treble Quire present Pulse 
under Artistic Director Dr. Eric Esparza.  

The word "pulse" has many different meanings: the human heartbeat; a single vibration of sound or light; recurring rhythmic figures; mood; vitality. These definitions are the inspiration behind our upcoming Pride concert, Pulse

Led by Dr. Eric Esparza, the concert will explore a variety of musical styles including classical, pop, contemporary, Broadway, and world music featuring composers from Brahms to Gershwin. This eclectic array of songs will be sure to touch and inspire audiences. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to assist those affected by the Pulse Nightclub tragedy. 

Performances are Saturday, June 17  
5:00 PM & 8:00 PM 
at the Chicago Temple 
First United Methodist Church
77 West Washington Street 
Chicago, IL 60602
$20 General Admission and $35 Limited Reserved Seating tickets 
are available for advance purchase
 Student/Senior tickets are available for $10 at the door.

Celebrating 38 Lyrical Years, Windy City Performing Arts is Chicago's premier LGBTQ choral arts organization encompassing Windy City Gay Chorus and Windy City Treble Quire. Windy City Performing Arts celebrates diversity, honors creativity and cultivates pride through the transformative power of music and the arts. 
Vote for Us!

Windy City Performing Arts is thrilled to be nominated for Best LGBTQ Organization in Chicago! Please show your support and vote for us here.
Windy City Performing Arts, Center on Halsted, 3565 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60613
Sent by in collaboration with
Constant Contact

Friday, May 26, 2017

Support Innocent Buddhists At Larung Gar

To European Council President

At the EU-China Summit, support innocent buddhists at Larung Gar
Your Excellency EU President Donald Tusk,
I am writing to you in your capacity as President of the European Council to urge you to use the forthcoming EU-China summit in Brussels to publicly raise the ongoing forced removals and demolitions at Larung Gar Buddhist Academy in Tibet.

In December 2016, the European Parliament issued a strong resolution (2016/3026(RSP) explicitly calling on China to stop the demolitions at Larung Gar and the eviction of its residents, and to respect Tibetans' freedom of religion. The June summit in Brussels is a key opportunity for the European Union to follow up on these calls and directly request that the Chinese government brings the forced removals, demolitions, and other violations of freedom of religion in Tibet to an immediate and unconditional halt. This is a particularly important opportunity given that the last China-EU Human Rights Dialogue did not take place.

The demolitions and forced removals at Larung Gar remain ongoing and have been a source of deep grief for Tibetans both inside Larung Gar and throughout Tibet. By raising Larung Gar, and calling for the demolitions and removals to be halted, the European Union could make a decisive contribution towards preventing further harm to the site and its residents. 

Specifically, I urge you and the EU representatives at the forthcoming summit to publicly ask the Chinese delegation to:

- Immediately halt all further demolitions and forced removals at Larung Gar, and permit those who were forcibly removed to return.
- Reverse its decision to put Larung Gar under majority control by members of the Chinese Communist Party, and instead permit residents and clerical authorities to run the site's affairs.
- Put an end to its wider violations of the right to freedom of religion in Tibet, including lifting the internal surveillance at monasteries, lifting restrictions on freedom of movement on monks and nuns, and allowing Tibetans to conduct religious celebrations without interference.
- Provide adequate compensation and the re-housing of Tibetans who have been evicted during the demolitions in Larung Gar and, for whatever reason, cannot return to the site. This re-housing should be at a place of their choice and should allow them to continue their religious activities.
- Address concerns regarding overcrowded religious institutes by allowing Tibetans to establish more institutes and build more facilities.
- Agree to specific dates for a visit by the UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, ensuring that they are granted unrestricted access to Tibet. 

I am grateful for the efforts the EU has taken in the past to raise Larung Gar and freedom of religion in Tibet. I believe that a strong statement at the Brussels summit will greatly strengthen these previous efforts and send a clear and unambiguous message to China that the EU is firmly opposed to the damage being done to Larung Gar and the wider restrictions on freedom of religion in Tibet.
Yours Sincerely,
Lombard, IL
United States Of America 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Treatment Action Group Condemns Murderous White House-proposed 2018 Budget Cuts for Health and Research

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Treatment Action Group: Kenyon Farrow, +1.202.550.7640

New York, NY, May 24, 2017- The full disclosure of President Trump's FY18 budget yesterday reaffirms the current administration's intention of scaling-back critical progress in programs and research made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, TB, HCV, and other domestic and global health issues. Treatment Action Group, alongside many partner organizations, calls on all members of Congress to immediately ensure these proposed cuts are dead on arrival.
 Fy2018 budget table CDC 3
In presenting the budget earlier yesterday morning, Mick Mulvaney, Director of the White House Office of Management of Budget (OMB), contended that cuts and reductions made across agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and others were not to be deemed as "anti-science." Yet the net effect of the full budget proposal on promising scientific research and programs undertaken and supported by these agencies tells a much different story.

"Another way of continuing to blatantly undercut the value of science is to defund science and programs that implement the fruits of our investments," says Mark Harrington, Executive Director of TAG. "While the Trump administration continues to value massive tax cuts on the rich, the true costs will be the loss of health, lives, jobs, scientific breakthroughs and, the future of the human race."

In addition to virtually destroying Medicaid and throwing millions out of health care through the American Health Care Act (AHCA), some of the deadliest and most dangerous of the President’s proposed budget cuts include:

Research and HIV:
  • A 20% ($8 billion annual) reduction to research at NIH;
  • The entire elimination of the Fogarty International Center, critical in training scientists in HIV and TB research from around the world to combat global health threats;
  • A 20% funding cut to CDC-funded HIV prevention programs;
  • $59 million in cuts to the Ryan White Program made through the elimination of Part F and Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS).
  • Elimination of the Secretary of Health and Human Services Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative (MAI)
  • Trimming $700 million from PEPFAR and $225 from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, The New York Times estimates these cuts will cost a million lives;
  • Eliminating funding for global health commitments to International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and advancing microbicides research.
  • Reducing the CDC's Division of TB Elimination (DTBE) budget by $12 million after years of success in contributing to declining TB rates domestically and promising research being done by the TB Trials Consortium (TBTC).
  • A $62.2 million slash to global TB programs at USAID, during a time where TB is currently the number one global infectious killer;
  • Eroding the budget of the Global TB Drug Facility (GDF), a critical lifeline to treatment access worldwide. 
Viral Hepatitis:
  • Stagnation of CDC hepatitis prevention efforts at $34 million, despite the recent tripling of new hepatitis C virus (HCV) cases linked with the explosively out-of-control opioid epidemic;
  • Continuing to limit the use of federal funding to purchase syringes, which prevent transmission of HIV and viral hepatitis and are a vital approach to ending these epidemics.
"Trump's budget agenda continues to target research and programs that have proven to save lives, while bringing in substantial savings through prevention and expanding access to treatment," said Tim Horn, Deputy Executive Director of HIV and HCV Programs. He added, "We cannot let this budget slide by or negotiate away decades of progress built by activists and researchers in our movement. The time to act is now."

About TAG: Treatment Action Group (TAG) is an independent, activist and community-based research and policy think tank fighting for better treatment, prevention, a vaccine, and a cure for HIV, tuberculosis, and hepatitis C virus. TAG works to ensure that all people with HIV, TB, or HCV receive lifesaving treatment, care, and information. We are science-based treatment activists working to expand and accelerate vital research and effective community engagement with research and policy institutions. TAG catalyzes open collective action by all affected communities, scientists, and policy makers to end HIV, TB, and HCV.
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