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A few picks from AFSC staff this week:

Why NATO has become one of the most destructive forces on the planet,” by Vijay Prashad, AlterNet

Activist, historian, and scholar Vijay Prashad raises questions about NATO’s role in destabilizing the Middle East and regional security across the globe. “The question of refugees and security are not separate. NATO’s last major campaign—the war in Libya—destabilized the country and delivered it to human smugglers. It has become a major staging post for the refugee transit across the Mediterranean Sea. Victims of wars that have often been egged on by NATO powers and victims of trade policies pushed by European countries now line up on the Libyan shores and in Turkey, waiting for entry into Europe. Their countries have been vanquished by war and poverty. If the “security” strategies of NATO have produced refugees, why should NATO be strengthened?”

"Governor McAuliffe's gambit," by Vann R. Newkirk II, The Atlantic

A Virginia governor restores voting rights to over 200,000 people with felony convictions. “Over a century ago, Virginia first enshrined felon disenfranchisement in its constitution. A Jim Crow-era provision stated that all people who had been convicted of felonies were barred from voting without first receiving formal restoration of their rights from the state’s governor. Its rationale was explicitly racist. The policy resulted in generations of disenfranchisement, and years in which Virginia was a leading state in denying people with felonies civil rights.”

"Transforming a movement: The importance of Black leadership in immigrant rights," by Anshantia Oso, Truthout

As the Supreme Court debates the president’s executive actions on immigration, Anshantia Oso, an organizer with the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, highlights the important work Black immigrants are playing in movements for just and humane immigration policies. “Black leadership—including leadership from Black immigrants and African Americans in solidarity—will make the crucial difference in the fight for migrant rights and justice. From BAJI's executive director, Nigerian-American Opal Tometi, co-creating Black Lives Matter, to the many Black immigrants now leading in the Fight for $15, trans inclusion and women's rights movements, to those running for office in Black immigrant enclaves such as Baltimore, Minneapolis and Miami, Black immigrant leadership, particularly that of millennials, is having an increasingly important impact on progressive movements for social and economic justice.”