Philippine human rights advocate Jerome Aba tortured at San Francisco airport

Benicia’s Rev. Dr. Mary Susan Gast works on behalf of human rights in the Philippines.  She alerted me to the shocking case of Jerome Aba.

Jerome Aba, a human rights advocate from the Philippines, was invited by church groups to speak at a human rights conference in Washington, D.C.

Upon arrival at at San Francisco International Airport last week, he was detained by US Customs & Border Protection (CBP), held for 28 hours, stripped naked in front of an industrial cooling fan, badgered and threatened, denied legal counsel, made to sign blank pieces of paper, and sent back to the Philippines.

Serious and consequential questions arise as to why a Filipino human rights advocate invited to the US by multiple church organizations would be tortured here in California and returned to the Philippines.  U.S. ecumenical activists are working with Senator Kamala Harris and other elected representatives to investigate.  See the 3-minute video and more info below.  #Justice4Jerome

More:

The mistreatment of Jerome Aba by Border Protection agents at SFO last week was horrific.  Senator Kamala Harris serves on the Committee on Homeland Security, which has oversight of Border Protection.  Please join in urging Senator Harris to investigate and hold Border Protection responsible.  Follow the steps below.  Pass this message along to others and urge them to make contact.

Contact Senator Harris

  • Go to https://www.harris.senate.gov/contact
  • Click “email”
  • Fill in your name and contact information
  • For “Subject” enter: Border Protection’s treatment of Jerome Aba
  • Check “Homeland Security/Natural Disaster”
  • Paste your comment in the comment section (You can use or adapt the message below)
  • Click “Submit”

Or you can phone Senator Harris’ office, identify yourself, give the name of the city where you live, and leave your message.

San Francisco office:  415 981 9369
Washington, D.C. office:  202 224 2200

Sample Message

Just last week Jerome Succor Aba, a young peace advocate from the Philippines, was detained by Border Protection at SFO for 22 hours and subjected to grossly inhumane treatment.  He was then sent back to the Philippines despite his valid visa and an invitation from religious and community organizations to take part in Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington, D.C. and a U.S. tour promoting peace in the Philippines.  This is totally reprehensible. We look to you as our Senator and a member of the Committee on Homeland Security to find out why this happened and who is responsible, and hold them accountable. Thank you for your commitment to justice.

Rev. Dr. Mary Susan Gast, Chair
Northern California Chapter
National Ecumenical-Interfaith Forum
For Filipino Concerns

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Crude oil tank cars derail in Texarkana – no spill or explosion

Repost from KSLA 12 News

Crews work to clear Texarkana train derailment

By Brett Kaprelian, Digital Content Producer, April 22nd 2018, 4:35 pm PDT

KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

TEXARKANA, TX (KSLA) -Crews are working to clear a train derailment in Texarkana, Texas, Sunday afternoon.

It happened around 11:30 a.m. at the Union Pacific Texarkana Rail Yard.

A Union Pacific spokesman said the southbound train that derailed had 12 tank cars carrying crude oil from Canada down to Beaumont, Texas.

Nine cars are on their side and three are standing upright.

No injuries or leaks have been reported.

Crews are on site trying to clear the trains from the roadway.

According to the Union Pacific spokesman, the train tracks have been damaged by the derailment. Crews will work through the night to clear the scene and fix the tracks.

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Major Bank Ends New Investment in Arctic Drilling, Tar Sands/Oil Sands, and (Most) Coal Projects

Repost from The Globe and Mail

HSBC to stop funding most new fossil fuel developments

LONDON REUTERS, PUBLISHED APRIL 20, 2018
The HSBC bank logo is seen at their offices in the Canary Wharf financial district in London on March 3, 2016. | REINHARD KRAUSE/REUTERS

Europe’s largest bank, HSBC, said on Friday it would mostly stop funding new coal power plants, oil sands and arctic drilling, becoming the latest in a long line of investors to shun the fossil fuels.

Other large banks such as ING and BNP Paribas have made similar pledges in recent months as investors have mounted pressure to make sure bank’s actions align with the Paris agreement, a global pact to limit greenhouse gas emissions and curb rising temperatures.

“We recognise the need to reduce emissions rapidly to achieve the target set in the 2015 Paris Agreement … and our responsibility to support the communities in which we operate,” Daniel Klier, group head of strategy and global head of sustainable finance, said in a statement.

HSBC said it would make an exception for coal-fired power plants in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam.

“There’s a very significant number of people in those three countries who have no access to any electricity,” HSBC chief John Flint told HSBC shareholders at the bank’s annual general meeting in London on Friday.

“The reasonable position for us is to allow a short window for us to continue to get involved in financing coal there … if we think there is not a reasonable alternative,” he said.

Aside from the coal exemptions environmental campaigners Greenpeace welcomed the move and said HSBC’s new energy strategy would prevent it from providing project finance for TransCanada Corp.’s proposed $8-billion Keystone XL oil pipeline to Nebraska.

“This latest vote of no-confidence from a major financial institution shows that tar sands are becoming an increasingly toxic business proposition,” John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said in a statement.

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For safe and healthy communities…