Tech Now + Beyond

Trump’s Muslim ban brought record donations to ACLU

Unsurprisingly, the ban on all people from 7 Muslim-majority countries (Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Libya, and Syria) is unconstitutional, and thankfully, Americans are fighting back – hard.

Internationally, people are reeling from the horrifying consequences of such a widespread ban. The plan from the White House was to stop all refugee entry into the United States for 120 days and to ban over 218 million people from possibly entering the country for over 90 days.

The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) reported a surge in donations last weekend.

Their regular annual donations online garner around $4 million.

But, over the weekend, the ACLU raised over $24.1 million in an outstanding wave of support.

If you go to their official website, there are many prompts to donate to help fight this discrimination.

The record-breaking donations came from over 350,000  people, and many were first-time donors.

Other legal and humanitarian groups, such as the National Immigration Law Center, the U.N. Refugee Agency, and the International Rescue Committee, have also seen an increase in financial support over last weekend, .

Celebrities, comedians, authors, are magnanimously supporting the American Civil Liberties Union by donating to it.

Using #ACLUmatch, hopeful donors were finding others on Twitter, who could successfully match their donations.

Several mega-companies such as Google and Lyft also confirmed major donation plans for the ACLU over the last week.

Google confirmed that they will be dedicated to creating a crisis fund where they will match donations of the employees of up to $2 million as well as independently donating another $2 million. This could lead to a potential $4 million.

Lyft, on the other hand, has promised to pledge $1 million dollars over the next 4 years to the ACLU.

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Senior News & Society Editor Asma Elgamal launches Policy channel to face the new political era

2016 was a tough year. In looking at the global political landscape, 2016 presented us with events like Brexit and the Trump administration, propelling hate groups into mainstream platforms and frankly terrifying the hell out of some of us.

[bctt tweet=”In times like these, the most powerful thing we can do is equip ourselves with knowledge.” username=”wearethetempest”]

Social activism hit a new high, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat – all became tools to resist and to make our voices heard. But even that sometimes, isn’t enough. As horrific as it is, a lot of the awful things that have been happening are completely legal. It’s like Hydra has infiltrated the highest levels and we are playing a very tricky game of dismantling policies while pretending that evil isn’t currently reigning over us.

“In times like these, the most powerful thing we can do is equip ourselves with knowledge,” Elgamal noted.

Like most things governmental, policies are shrouded in technical language, used to make things complex and drawn out. Some policies and legislation are incredibly long and honestly, that kind of information is not appealing to read. Although it’s super important to know what laws govern us, who really has the time to go through all these new documents to ascertain what is going on?

It’s hard to speak out against something that we don’t really understand.

So to help us deal with the aftermath, Asma Elgamal, our Senior News & Society Editor at The Tempest decided to approach things in a different way, launching the Policy channel at The Tempest.

Elgamal said, “The sole purpose of this vertical is to target and help decipher laws and policies so that everyone knows exactly what is going on. The aim of this is so that it is easier to understand which policies affect you and what they set out to do. In turn, preparing us for doing whatever is necessary to combat these policies.” Read more about The Tempest’s Policy vertical here.