In Syria, the Assad regime has laid siege to the town of Madaya (some 40 miles from Damascus) since July, encircling the town with landmines so no one escapes, and keeping aid out of the town, such that its 40,000 citizens are perpetually in danger of starving to death. The regime finally allowed food aid from the U.N. into the town earlier this week, but that'll last perhaps a month, and this occurred after Syria's U.N. Ambassador -- whom we will not name, lest he thinks his works have earned him anything but scorn -- not only declared that no one in Madaya was starving, but that media reports about that suffering were "fabricated." You won't be surprised to learn that Madaya residents took part in the massive peaceful protests preceding the Syrian civil war, and that now the Assad regime accuses Madaya of "harboring terrorists," by which I presume they mean anyone who doesn't like the regime. Hence Avaaz helps you tell U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to intervene to lift the siege.
Meanwhile, food processing corporation Cargill has lately fired nearly 200 Muslim workers for the offense of praying at their jobs. And not for, you know, interrupting their work to pray, but for praying on their 15-minute breaks or their lunch breaks, in designated rooms, no less, all of which Cargill had allowed since 2009. What changed their mind? Gosh, I don't know -- maybe they thought their plant workers were sitting in designated rooms not actually praying but beaming murderous energy to the Paris attackers; I mean, you just don't know what goes through the minds of CEOs these days. But our laws don't permit corporations to fire workers for praying if it doesn't cause "undue hardship" to the day's business, and being on your assigned break is pretty much the definition of not causing undue hardship. And not that I should have to say this, but replacing the word "Muslim" with the word "Christian" in the first two sentences above would result in the same injustice. So Sum of Us helps you tell Cargill to stop oppressing the religious freedom of its workers.
Finally, if you've been following the water emergency in Flint, MI -- in which Flint's "Emergency Manager" forced Flint to draw its drinking water from the polluted Flint River rather than Detroit's water supply in an effort to "cut costs" -- you know that Gov. Snyder has issued a state of emergency there, but this comes after the Governor knew Flint's water had high lead levels and still told them it was safe to drink and after our federal Department of Justice began investigating. Hence Food and Water Watch helps you tell the Obama Administration to declare a federal state of emergency in Flint and give Flint's citizens what they need to recover. Once kids take in lead (and the chemicals used to "clean" the river water corroded Flint's lead pipes so badly that those pipes now also pollute the cleaner Detroit water Flint gets again), the brain damage they suffer is pretty much permanent, meaning future health care costs will go up. And of course Flint will need new water pipes. So how does that "cost-cutting" move look now?