A school I used to work for uses painful electric shocks that the UN considers torture on people with disabilities. I’m calling on the FDA to ban the use of these machines.

I used to work at a school for children and adults with severe disabilities, a school where painful electric shocks are considered treatment. That experience haunts me every day of my life. Now I’m taking action to make sure the FDA bans the use of electric shock on people with disabilities.

In 2002, an autistic student named Andre McCollins at the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC), the school where I worked, was strapped down and given electric shocks for hours, leaving him with burns and permanent brain damage. All because Andre refused to take off his jacket.

When I first started working at the JRC, I thought I was helping these severely disabled people, but it quickly became clear that we were torturing them. I was told that the machines, which deliver shocks stronger than a stun gun, were FDA approved. I was lied to. Now I’m doing something about it.

Right now the FDA is considering action that would ban the use of the devices used by the JRC. Will you sign my petition asking the FDA to ban the use of electric shocks on people with disabilities?

The devices used at the JRC are not electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). These are machines that students wear at all times and deliver shocks administered by JRC whenever they feel a student has done something wrong. I had to shock students for behaviors like closing their eyes or tearing a paper cup. It made me sick.

The JRC has a long documented history of abuse. The United Nations has investigated the school and called their practices “torture.” The founder of the JRC, Dr. Matthew Israel, resigned after being charged with misleading a grand jury by destroying video footage of students being shocked.

It’s hard to believe this could be happening in the United States. Treating animals like this would be illegal, but we don’t have the same protections for the most vulnerable people in our society.

The FDA is holding a hearing next week where I plan to bring your signatures to show the massive amount of support for banning the JRC’s use of these machines. The FDA has taken action in response to petitions before. I know we can convince them to protect people with disabilities from electric shocks that amount to torture.

Please click here to sign my petition calling on the FDA to ban the use of electric shock machines used on people with disabilities.

Thank you,

Gregory Miller
Berry Creek, CA

P.S. Video of Andre McCollins’ horrific ordeal is on my petition. It took 10 years to get it released to the public. It’s hard to watch, but it shows just how painful these machines are.

Shock Treatment

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Sign the petition to Ecuador’s president: Save the Amazon from another Big Oil disaster!

“As concerned global citizens, we stand in solidarity with these indigenous nations and urge you to immediately stop plans for new oil drilling in Ecuador’s rainforests!”Add your name:
SierraRise petition box test button PNG


Take Action

Jaime Vargas, an Ecuadorian tribal leader, stood proudly in the howling wind and rain to send us this urgent plea: “Big Oil will stop at nothing to destroy our sacred rainforest home. But with your help we can save it!” [1]

Jaime and his Achuar people are guardians of a spectacular land teeming with one-of-a-kind plants and animals. But Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, is racing to sell off the Achuar’s rainforest home and the neighboring Yasuni National Park to greedy international oil companies.[2]

The president is determined to put profit ahead of his own people — even though they’re still suffering from Chevron’s decades-old oil disaster. [3]

More than 1 million people have stood up to save Ecuador’s threatened rainforests [4] — now it’s time for the SierraRise community to join the fight. Let’s stand with Jaime and all Ecuadorians and flood the president’s inbox with 50,000 messages!

Tell Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa: The world is watching — protect the irreplaceable Amazon and halt all plans for oil drilling!

Big Oil can’t be trusted to operate safely in the rainforest. For three decades, Texaco, now part of Chevron, dumped 18 billion gallons of toxic oil waste into the beautiful Ecuadorian Amazon. [5]Thousands of people are still suffering a plague of deadly cancers and devastating birth defects. [6]

This land is not only crucial for wildlife, but also to the seven vibrant indigenous communities that call it home. Jaime says it best: “For us, the indigenous people, the rainforest is life. There we are in touch with everything.” [7]The Amazon can’t afford another deadly oil disaster like Chevron’s.

Last November, hundreds of everyday Ecuadorians protested the proposed oil drilling. President Correa and his government, feeling the pressure, shut down Pachamama, a local nonprofit fighting the oil drilling, stifling his people’s free speech. [8] It’s clear — President Correa is feeling the heat.

Carmen, will you stand with Jaime and his tribe to save the Ecuadorian Amazon from another Big Oil catastrophe?

In it together,

Ashley Allison
SierraRise Senior Campaigner

P.S. Five signatures are even more powerful than one — after you take action, be sure to forward this alert to your friends, family, and colleagues!

Reject and Protect


A Major Anti-Keystone Protest, And Other Important Climate Stories

This year’s Earth Day coincides with the start of a week-long protest against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline that promise a “bold and creative” instance of civil disobedience. The Cowboy and Indian Alliance (CIA), a group of ranchers, farmers and indigenous leaders from along the pipeline route, will ride into Washington, DC and host an encampment on the National Mall, culminating Saturday in a 5,000-person ceremonial walk by the Capitol. The protest is called “Reject and Protect.”

Just last week, the State Department announced that it is delaying its decision on whether to construct the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. And while many pipeline supporters claim there are good reasons to think it was a politically motivated choice, according to Climate Progress, there are also “actual complications standing in the way of the pipeline’s imminent approval or rejection.”

In honor of Earth Day, here are some other top climate stories: