A Look Back & Forward: An Update on Trump’s Family Separation Extortion & More

A look at this week’s opportunities followed by an update on Trump’s shameless family separation policy and a review of last week’s blogs: Trump’s embarrassing G-7 performance, childhood poverty in NM, and video and analysis of family separation.

Actions For This Week

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Donate to Retake Today! If you believe in what we are doing, we need your financial support to cover ongoing expenses. Most of these expenses are largely ‘invisible’ but amount to between $300-500/month. We really don’t waste money here and we are 100% volunteers, so we do depend on you to cover these costs. While many have stepped forward, many more have not and every little bit helps. And Thank You!!!!

Screenshot 2018-06-13 07.31.11Poor People’s Campaign. Action 6.  Monday, June 18, 2pm Roundhouse and 5pm in Gallup.  The sixth and final of the planned Direct Actions launching the Poor People’s Campaign will occur at the Roundhouse TODAY at 2pm with a theme of: Challenging Our Nation’s Distorted Moral Narrative.

In a separate action in Gallup, NM Poor People’s Campaign is staging a second rally focused on protecting our water from the uranium mining industry.

The series of actions have been organized to build support for the Poor People’s Campaign which has its national launch in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, June 23. Roxanne and I have timed our Look, Listen and Learn Road Trip (Roxanne’s title) so that we will be able to attend the march in D.C. If any of you plan to be there, let us know. paul@retakeourdemocracy.org.




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Wed. June 20, 5:30-7pm. First Christian Church, 645 Webber St., Santa Fe.  Family Separation on the Border with Allegra Love, Santa Fe Dreamers Project.  We are all offended by the zero tolerance practices being implemented at the border, separating parents from children as young as 18 months of age. Find out more about the practice, the impact and what you can do.  Please RSVP at info@santafedreamersproject.org.





Local Action Team Mtg. TODAY, Monday June 25.  6-7:15pm at New Energy Economy 343 E. Alameda. The Local Action Team has been organizing around issues in Retake’s 22-pollicy People’s Platform. Today, the team will discuss narrowing the focus of advocacy to a smaller number of policies and will also discuss how best to educate the community and our elected officials about these policies.

The team is also focused on school board issues like school closures and use of schools as venues for parent and student education, leadership development and community action after school hours and on the weekends. This is a great way to advocate for social justice at a city level. For more information, contact Jennifer Johnson at gridded@mac.com.


Roundhouse photoRoundhouse Advocacy Team. Thursday, June 14 & 28, 4:30-6:30pm at New Energy Economy, 343 E. Alameda. The Roundhouse Advocacy Team (or the Rat Pack) has been meeting for a year to develop a 2018-2019 Election and Legislative Strategy. We meet the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month, same time, same location.

At this Thursday’s meeting, we will finish defining the roles for each member of the team over the next seven months, taking us through the general election and leading up to the Roundhouse session in January.  We will also distribute calling responsibilities for reaching out to other communities to begin developing our Rapid Response Network. Finally, we will plan participation in the Roundhouse Interim Committee Hearings. This would be a very good meeting for people who haven’t come before, to jump in. We need twice as many folks to devote a few hours a week to this work. There is much to do and a very cohesive, well-organized team already in place. Join us!

And if you can’t make it to these meetings, please just write to me, as there is PLENTY you can do from home and at your own pace. Write to me at Paul@RetakeOurDemocracy.org. This is where the action is, my friends. A tremendous team doing amazing work and a testimony to what a small group of committed folks can do.

Beyond Shameless, Trump is Using Children as Tools to Advance His Bigoted Goals.

They are looking at each of us, wondering when and how we act.

According to the Washington Post, on Friday, Trump suggested he would not change the policy of separating children from parents at the border unless Democrats agreed to his other immigration demands, which include funding a border wall, tightening the rules for border enforcement and curbing legal entry. He also is intent on pushing members of his party to vote for a compromise measure that would achieve those long-standing priorities. Earlier in the week, Trump falsely claimed it was the Democrats who were forcing this policy when it has clearly been Jeff Sessions.  “The Democrats are forcing the breakup of families at the Border with their horrible and cruel legislative agenda,” Trump tweeted. After listing his demands in any immigration bill, he added, “Go for it! WIN!” This amounts to a high stakes poker game with innocent children as disposable chips. And while it may pressure Democrats to relent on some of Trump’s heinous immigration agenda, it also risks dividing his party and its chances in November.

The policy has cracked Trump’s usually united conservative base, with a wide array of religious leaders and groups denouncing it. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Southern Baptist Convention issued statements critical of the practice.

The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, who delivered a prayer at Trump’s inauguration, signed a letter calling the practice “horrible.” Pastor Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s Purse, a vocal supporter of the president’s who has brushed aside past Trump controversies, called it “terrible” and “disgraceful.” In addition, numerous Republican legislators have distanced themselves from the policy, including Paul Ryan. While it is possible to be distracted by the political debate here and the negotiations on immigration, it is important that all of us retain an eye on the inhuman implications of this practice and what it says about this country and us. I will be tracking what local, state and national immigration leaders and their direction as to actions. Stay tuned. This is not ok and some form of direct action is called for, it is just not our call what form that takes. We need to follow the lead from others.

Click here to read a very clear Washington Post discussion of how Trump is using the children as a negotiating tool.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne

A Look Back at G-7, Singapore, NM Childhood Poverty and the Tax Policy that Creates It & Family Separation

The intros to links to last week’s blogs include a bit of updated editorializing on the weeks events. Enjoy.

After G-7 Embarrassment Trump Heads to Singapore. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?  Actually Quite A Lot. Tue. June 11.  An unhinged President heads to Singapore after trashing our closest allies at G7. One couldn’t be optimistic. What could go wrong? Two mentally unstable leaders, each with nuclear capacity, getting together for a chat. So what happens: an agreement. Click here to read the full report and view the video reporting on Trump’s trashing our closest allies on the eve of his trip to Singapore. This is such a strange time. I don’t ever want to credit Trump with doing anything of value, but his entirely naive recognition that South Korea-US military exercises could be viewed as provocative (duh!) and are very expensive (duh!) and so we just shouldn’t do it (duh!), flies in the face of so much about our colonialist domination of the world. We do these things because it helps wealthy American investors in the military industrial complex while intimidating any world power that might have the audacity to express some level of autonomy. What is so odd about this is that only one day earlier, Trump launched all over Justin Trudeau and really all of our Eurpopean allies. If only the child like logic Trump employed in relation to North Korea could then be applied to our dominant policy in Gaza, Yemen, Venezuela, Honduras, Iran and about 100 other countries across the globe.

NM Children Live in Extraordinary Poverty. They Don’t Have to and We Have the Tools to Fix This.  Let’s Do It!. Thursday, June 13.
NM is Last or Near Last in Almost Everything. What you need to know about how easily this could be fixed. Also, a week full of action alerts. Much to do in Santa Fe almost every day this week.  Check it out. Lots of opportunities to get in the game. Depending on the source, NM ranks virtually last in most every socio-economic indicator, dead last in childhood poverty.  Today, we examine one of the root causes of NM’s plight.Click here to read the very thorough NM Voices for Children’s analysis of how NM tax policy prevents us from addressing a wide range of injustices with a focus on the plight of NM children.


Report & Video on Family Separation at the Border. What Do We Do About It and How? Saturday, June 15.  I don’t think I’ve ever been more ashamed of my country than right now. And the question posed today is: How much lower do we descend before we mount a national strike or some truly revolutionary act? And what can we actually do? Quite a few folks pushed back against my suggesting that the shameful practice of separating children from their parents was a tremendous departure from heinous US policies over the decades and centuries. I will be posting on Tuesday with the thinking of these astute readers.  Click here to read the full report on current immigration policy, family separation and its impact on parents and children and commentary on how we might challenge these policies. Post includes a thorough analysis of the situation on the border presented by Democracy Now!

Categories: Personal & Collective Action

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7 replies

  1. In an e-mail from Senator Elizabeth Warren I received a list of eight critical groups working to protect kids separated from their families by ICE and I am sharing it below. As we go forward to figure out the best way to support kids and end the abhorrent policy of separation of families at the border, check out these organizations and help them if you can and are moved to do so.

    We Belong Together – women for common sense immigration policies

    United We Dream – the largest immigrant youth-led network in the country

    Women’s Refugee Commission – advocating for the rights and protection of women, children, and youth fleeing violence and persecution

    ACLU – fighting attacks through the legal system

    Kids In Need of Defense (KIND) – protecting unaccompanied children who enter the US immigration system alone to ensure that no child appears in court without an attorney.

    Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project – providing asylum seekers with legal aid and community support across the country

    Human Rights First – helping refugees obtain asylum in the U.S.

    La Union del Pueblo Entero – founded by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, a community union that works in the Rio Grande Valley from the grassroots up

  2. People need to start connecting the dots or waking up! Take a look at how the topic of Asylum Seekers having their children torn away from them and jailed in empty Wal Marts has been covered by local “News.” They are deliberately conflating Asylum Seekers with “Criminals” in the Albuquerque Journal. The New Mexican has nice look at Racism and Baseball in today’s edition. The same regurgitated nonsense from the seventies. Even the article about the confederate monuments, deliberately leaves out the local ones, by design. The facts might cut into tourism and real estate industry revenues.

    The local news that only barely covered the plight of children in this state for decades, and blamed the poor. The same local media outlets that failed to keep people informed with facts, and peddled Fascism,as normal. If we want to see why and how the Movement is being undermined, just look at local news coverage.

    Somebody should be rethinking the use of Facebook for any kind of activity, other than selling things. Having our data collected for “Marketing Purposes” and the passivity with which people are still unquestioning, should have been considered. The facts have not been covered about Facebook since our local Media and so called “progressive” politicians shut down any alternative opinions except for cut and paste right wing propaganda and their own sycophants. The incremental steps that led to the horror at the border now, and the apathy that is allowing this to continue were visible all along.

    None of our “Progressive” Politicians anticipated any of this, or even bothered to look at it when they were in charge. We don’t see any of them calling for a Boycott, of heaven forbid, the corporations that are sponsoring this cruelty.

  3. Only one worker has spoken up, at the detention facilities in Arizona. The rest of them either desperately need the paycheck, or believe in what they are doing. It looks as if all of the “professionals’ they hired went along with traumatizing children. These kinds of facilities exist right here in New Mexico, they have a lot of experience with our own Foster Care System, and in other states.

    Here is another wonderful “non profit”, contracted with our tax dollars to exploit children. The CEO is making millions, denying the conditions there. No one paid attention here in New Mexico either. Children are just another commodity to be exploited.

    They do have a really nice looking website.


  4. I’m thankful people are finally starting to take notice after 242 years of almost unremitting hostility, war and abuse at our U.S. borders. Maybe someday we’ll deserve the Statue of Liberty but not yet.

    Thank you for your words about facebook. Our society is already addicted to a commodified and industrialized internet that makes us worse than slaves, that is, we don’t even know (or care) that we’re enslaved. No wonder suicide rates are rising. With Heinrich and the government bought off, we are left to beg Bill Gates or the Kock Brothers to call off the border goons.

  5. Two Governors (Colorado and New York) have issued orders prohibiting the use of state resources (National Guard) to separate families at the borders. And there may also be others who just aren’t getting any press. We need to turn up the heat on Susanna and force the Gubernatorial candidates to take a position.

  6. GO, GO, GO Charles and Mavis! We need to keep hitting Americans, especially the self appointed Progressives, with the truth about our country. If I tell US born people that they were born in an Empire and that I was born in one of it economic colonies (Argentina) they tend to look at me with disbelief if not with outright animosity. The patriarchal, imperial warrior consciousness is the OS of our country, NOT DEMOCRACY!!
    Let us recognize that the country/empire known as the US is a tool of the patriarchs residing within the plutocratic class. Capitalism, in its past and present iterations, is an economic model, or program, designed specifically to exploit resources and all Life in the planet for the benefit of the plutocrats, oligarchs, aristocrats and feudal lords of the 21st century. It is the male of our species that profits the most from this socioeconomic model/program.
    If we want to achieve the necessary change to do away with exploitation, poverty and the killing of life on earth, we must go back to our personal ‘drawing boards’.
    We need to stop trying to promote ‘progressives’ for the democratic party because it is just an application performing a needed task for the economic-political-social program, capitalism. Democrats, and Americans in general, do not want to learn the history that teaches us that the dual party system is another well developed, and frequently updated, program servicing the American OS. And that because of its design the Democratic Party is designed to deceive and constantly betray the 90-99%.

    When confronted with ‘news’ and articles about our present situations, political, social or environmental, I think that we all need to go back to school. More specifically to Democracy School. https://celdf.org/how-we-work/education/democracy-school/
    They were in NM at least 3 times already, as far as I remember. And it is worth every penny.

  7. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) has called for the resignation of the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Republican Governor of Massachusetts Charlie Baker has refused to send National Guard assets to the border in protest over the separation policy, and every living First Lady has weighed in against it. This could turn out to be a pretty good news day.

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