January 2004 Report
Feb 2005 || April 2004  ||  Oct 2003 | Jul 2003
Jun 2002 | Apr 2002 | Mar 2002 | Feb 2002

Action Alert:
Respond to the State of the Union

In this message:
  1. Take Action: State of the Union Responses
  2. Defend Civil Liberties Now
  3. Japanese Environment Activists Seek Your Help
  4. Our Day Sponsors Make It Possible
  5. New Peace/Justice/Environment Merchandise

Dear fellow activist:

comic On Tuesday night, 20 January 2004, I joined a roomful of grimacing peace and justice activists to watch George Bush's State of the Union address. I cannot recall a more extremist, fundamentalist, and disingenuous speech by a (purported) United States President.

How we respond in the next few days is crucial. You saw the grim faces: Not only Ted Kennedy and other Democrats, but even many of the invited guests scowled. A little push from us over the next few days can help ensure that the Bush address is a huge political flop.

Letters to the editor in local newspapers will help set the tone of news coverage and public response. Messages to Congress over the next week will help decide whether the speech boosts Bush's agenda or fizzles.

There were so many terrible points in the address that it's hard to know where to begin ... and you can expect numerous progressive causes to clamor for your attention in the coming days. Fortunately, ProgressivePortal.org will make it easy for you.


1. Easy Daily Action in Response to State of Union

Alerts Editor Henry Norr and I are culling the best Action Alerts from Web sites and groups throughout the country (and producing some of our own). On each of the next several days, we'll post a new alert on an issue mentioned in the State of the Union address. Selected alerts are on our home page; for all alerts, see our alerts page.

There you'll find our daily action alerts, our own key campaigns, an inspiring quotation, and a political cartoon.

You can also subscribe to receive the daily action alerts by e-mail. Request all alerts, or pick specific topics. Simply send a blank e-mail to one or more of the following addresses (change "[AT]" to "@"):

All Alerts
Middle East
Death Penalty 
Other Alerts alerts-other[AT]progressiveportal.org
  (all EXCEPT environment, Middle East, Cuba, and death penalty)

One of our purposes at ProgressivePortal.org is to help weave disparate organizations and causes into a more coherent progressive movement. Our Alerts service connects you with the good works of many groups. There is no charge for this service.

Several of our earlier Action Alerts also relate to issues raised in the State of the Union. See the alerts marked with stars on our alerts page.

Top of Page

2. Immediate Action: Civil Liberties

While boasting that U.S. overseers are helping "to draft a basic law with a bill of rights" for Iraq, Bush is stepping up efforts to dismantle our rights here at home. He called on Congress to make the temporary provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act permanent, and has been working to add more draconian government powers to the list, including ability to strip citizenship from Americans and deport them to uninhabited islands.

If you haven't already -- or you feel it's time to do it again -- send an ActionGRAM to Congress opposing these actions and urging restoration of our liberties. ActionGRAMs are printed messages that resemble telegrams but are much cheaper.

Top of Page

3. Japanese Environment Activists Seek Your Help

dugong The gentle dugong is a sea mammal closely related to the manatee. To the Japanese, the dugong is a symbol of peace. It's most ironic that the remaining 50-100 Japanese dugongs are threatened by U.S. plans to build an offshore airbase near Okinawa island, destroying the dugongs' feeding grounds and coral-reef habitat.

We have received word from Japanese activists that the effort to save the dugong is at a critical stage right now. If you have not already done so, please send a letter to Japanese and U.S. officials.

Top of Page

4. Day Sponsors Make It Possible

How are we able to continue bringing easy action opportunities? Our Day Sponsors play a big role. Becoming a Day Sponsor means supporting a full day's operation of ProgressivePortal.org each year for a surprisingly small cost. In return, we feature you (or an honoree of your choice) in the top-left corner of almost every page on the date you choose to sponsor. Sponsoring a full day costs just $31.25 a month; or you can sponsor one-half day, or one-quarter day (just $7.82/month). More than 25,000 people use our site to send letters and make a difference, but we don't yet have enough Day Sponsors to cover our costs. We need 30 new sponsors in the next 30 days -- will you become one?

Top of Page

5. New Merchandise

Calendar We're also supported by sales of progressive-themed shirts, flags, posters, patches, magnets, stickers, and other items. We add new offerings regularly. Some of our new patches would make nice little Valentine's gifts for kids (of all ages), and we have just added some new bumper stickers. We've also discounted the popular Baring Witness calendar, depicting peace protests in the buff around the world; get one while supplies last. [Calendar no longer available, sorry.]

As always, thanks for doing your part for this troubled world.



Steve Freedkin

P.S. Two final points:

  1. Please act now to counter Bush's State of the Union. Check our home page daily, or sign up for frequent action alerts by e-mail (instructions above).
  2. To keep ProgressivePortal.org going, we need 30 people to sign up as Day Sponsors within the next 30 days, so if you are so inclined (or you'd like to make a one-time contribution), please visit the signup page now.


Progressive Portal Home  |  Top of This Page