The House and Senate Republican leadership is racing to ram through bills before Congress adjourns that will create a smokescreen of fear, hatred and smear tactics to influence the elections. Telephone calls, e-mails, visits, vigils and other actions are urgently needed to oppose this offensive.

IMMIGRANT RIGHTS A draconian package of racist, anti-immigrant bills includes: HR 6061, “Secure Fences Act” to erect a 700-mile fence along the U.S. Mexican border. (Approved by the House Sept. 14 and now before the Senate.) HR 6094, the “Community Protection Act” and HR 6095 together would strip immigrants, including legal permanent residents, of due process rights clearing the way for mass deportations. The GOP leadership will attempt to attach them as appropriations bills to the Homeland Security spending bill. Urge members of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security to block these amendments in committee.

VOTING RIGHTS HR 4844, the so-called “Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006” requires a government-issued, current photo ID proving citizenship in order to vote, starting in 2010. (Approved by the House and now pending in the Senate.) Court rulings in Georgia and Missouri overturned photo IDs requirements which would suppress the votes of poor and working class voters and people of color. Urge your senators to block this assault on voting rights.

CIVIL LIBERTIES Legislation authorizing massive Federal wiretapping without warrants is under debate. Also, after denouncing the Bush bill, Senate Republicans agreed to legislation authorizing military tribunals at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo, Cuba. These measures are flagrant violations of U.S. and international law. Democratic Senators have been mostly silent. It is time they speak out. For more information contact: Center for Constitutional Rights; Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights; ACLU.

VICTORY IN MISSOURI Missouri voters recently won a historic voting rights victory. On September 14, Judge Richard Callahan of the Circuit Court of Cole County, struck down section 115.427 of SB1014, the MO Voter Protection Act (otherwise known as the photo i.d. law). He called the law unconstitutional. The Act requires voters to show a federal or state issued photo i.d. at the polls. Over 200,000 MO voters do not have a state issued photo i.d. (like a drivers license), including many people of color, the elderly and the disabled. Denise Lieberman, an attorney with the Stetin Law Center for Social Change said that photo i.d. laws send a clear message. “This is a right-wing attempt to legally disenfranchise voters, especially working class voters. MO is a testing ground. They want to disempower voters. ‘Don’t bother!’ That’s their message.” Similar laws are being fought in Arizona, Georgia, Indiana and Michigan and could greatly impact voters’ participation during the upcoming Congressional elections. The MO Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal on October 4. Their ruling could come just before Election Day. We have been setting up voter education workshops with our members and allied organizations. We plan to commit some volunteers as voter protection poll watchers in targeted wards on Election Day. - Tony P.

TRUE MAJORITY ACTION ANIMATION Click and enjoy this animation by True Majority Action. While they focus on only 30 Congressional Districts, while we would include more, the animation is fun and effective to pass along.