Today we report on yesterday’s inspiring youth-led EarthCare organizing meeting in preparation for the Sept 20 General Strike and as is our habit now, Sunday at the Movies offers two video on the NM asylum seeker detention disgrace. Ten US cities brace for mass ICE raids today: all done with your tax dollars, in your name and to our nation’s shame.
Events, Actions & Opportunities
- Monday, July 15, 7:30am: Retake Our Democracy 2019 Legislative Report Card is published: What Happened, What Didn’t & Why….and we name names.
- July 13 Retake Our Democracy on KSFR 101.1 FM with Darien Fernandez, Town Council member and Democratic Party Chair in Taos County who is challenging Sen, Carlos Cisneros, one of the eight Senators who voted no to decriminalize abortion, despite publicly committing to support the bill. Click here to listen to the podcast.
- Join Santa Fe Dreamers for a public education forum on Wednesday, July 17 from 5:30-7pm at the United Church of Santa Fe, 1804 Arroyo Chamiso Rd. Our Executive Director Allegra Love will discuss migrant children detention, updates in asylum law, potential ICE raids in Santa Fe, etc. Come get your facts straight about news on the border and learn more about what you can do to support migrants in New Mexico. To get motivated to attend, take a look at the rest of this post as it provides information and video on our nation’s disgraceful response to asylum seekers.
- Protest against 40,000 Acres of Navajo Land for Fracking. July 20, 11am-1pm At BLM Offices, at 110 Sun Ave NE #300, Albuquerque, Protest against 40,000 Acres of Navajo Land for Fracking. July 20, 11am-1pm At BLM Offices, at 110 Sun Ave NE #300, Albuquerque,
- July 20, 3-5 pm, 1420 Cerrillos. Democratic Legislative Panel on ethics, national popular vote, voters’ rights, gerrymandering, redistricting and more with four NM State legislators
- July 23, 7pm-9pm, Retake Our Democracy in Embudo Valley, Embudo Valley Community Library, 215 NM 75, Dixon, NM
- Aug 6, 6:30-8::30 Retake Our Democracy Organizing Meeting in Santa Fe
HUGE THANK YOU TO EARTHCARE YOUTH ACTIVISTS: They Have a Plan
EarthCare and the Youth Climate Activist Team staged an amazing organizational feat on Saturday at the Center for Progress & Justice. The outpouring of interest reflected in the 140 or more people who jammed the Center for Progress & Justice created a logistical nightmare for organizers who had planned a series of small group breakouts to advance organizing efforts among the business, education, faith, and non-profit sectors, but who couldn’t have anticipated the huge turnout. While it was very hard to hear, people stuck to the task and plans were advanced in preparation for a Sept. 20 General Strike followed by seven days of acts of disruption. On the 20th, a sit in at the Governor’s office is being contemplated and demands are being formulated. While they announced the demands at yesterday’s meeting, EarthCare leadership asked that we hold off on publishing them until they have a chance to incorporate input gleaned from the meeting yesterday.
I went to this meeting about as depressed as I can remember. It takes a toll reading as much online as is necessary to prepare five posts a week. And of late, whether you are reading about the moral offenses that are part of the daily diet of Trump news, Democratic Party leadership verbal sniping at the leadership of growing progressive wing, or the most recent climate news, it is wearying on the soul. I was even contemplating taking a hiatus to recharge the emotional batteries. But then I attended the EarthCare meeting with about 40-50% of the audience young people, mostly youth of color, showing an urgency and focus so lacking in much of the Nation’s response to the dual crises: threats to our climate and threats to whatever democracy we have left.
When the Poor Peoples’ Campaign was launched over a year ago, I had hopes of it igniting an escalation in civil disobedience calling out how far we have strayed as a nation. But the movement really didn’t ignite much. Perhaps it is time to pass the torch to youth. At the EarthCare meeting there was a sign up for those willing to be arrested at the Governor’s office, with a long line of folks signing up (Roxanne and I among them). I am eager to see what this group of EarthCare-trained youth can do to lead not just the General Strike on the 20th but other actions going forward. It is somehow appropriate that a movement focused on climate and economic justice be lead by youth in a state that is 50th in most all child-youth indicators and is the source of the only methane plume visible from outer space.
Kudos to EarthCare. I recall about five or six years ago, meeting with Co-Director Bianca Sopoci Belknap at a southside café to discuss EarthCare’s transition. Her vision was to shift the emphasis from being a somewhat tame youth-focused environmental organization that focused on gardens. compost and recycling education to more of a youth-led climate and social justice organization. Mission accomplished. I left Saturday’s meeting with no thoughts of a hiatus, but with energy to help in any way possible to advance EarthCare and their Youth Climate Activists efforts. Stay tuned. We will be reporting more on their plans, our plans, and hopefully your plans as they unfold..
Santa Fe Dreamers Project Shines a Bright Light on a Dark Reality: Detention Centers in NM
As Trump’s threatened campaign of mass arrests and deportation of our immigrant neighbors unfolds, today’s short movies are designed to offer an opportunity for your reflection on the tragic course our nation is taking. Part of why I am so encouraged by EarthCare’s activism and their plan for the 20th is that we are in such dire need of a complete change in our country’s direction. I noted above, the dual crisis of threats to our climate and threats to our democracy. I should have added threats to our moral fiber and nowhere is that threat more evident than in relation to our horrid mistreatment of immigrants, asylum seekers, families, fellow humans, who have left such desperate homeland situations that they would walk 1400 miles toward an uncertain future. Read on and view the video from Santa Fe Dreamers. They plan a forum on Wednesday that will update us on what has transpired beginning today and what is going on in New Mexico. Click here to read an NPR report on where ICE raids are planned and how the ten targeted US cities are preparing for ICE raids due to begin today.
In the last few weeks there has been a shifting of the tide in this country in our understanding of how we are currently treating refugees in this country. What is happening on our southern border right now is a humanitarian crisis and needs to be treated as such. Are we as human beings capable of realizing that history is repeating itself while we are in the midst of living it and take action to change it? Now is the time to do just that. Our government’s brutal caging and incarceration of human beings who have fled everything they know in search of safety will go down in history books as one of the most shameful moments in this country. Below are two short films – each telling the stories of some of our political asylum clients who were detained in these horrendous facilities.Take a few minutes to watch them and better understand what is happening to asylum seekers, and then share widely with your networks.
There are several ways to take action around this issue outlined below. Each of you is a powerful voice around this issue and your actions matter. It is time for all of us to stand up to protect the most vulnerable among us and show that never again is now.
Private Prison Divestment
After a series of theatrical screenings in New Mexico and Colorado, we are publicly releasing Refuge(e) today. It is a 15 minute film that traces the incredible journey of two refugees, Alpha and Zeferino. They each fled violent threats to their lives in their home countries and presented themselves at the US border asking for political asylum, only to be incarcerated in for-profit prison for months on end without having committed any crime. They represent thousands more like them who can’t tell their stories.
One powerful tactic for pushing back on the incarceration of refugees is divestment from private prisons. Learn about how you can get involved with divestment here: www.prisondivestsfdp.org
The prison divestment movement is gaining a lot of traction nationwide, and you can read more about how Millions in US taxpayers’ money is invested in private prison firms in today’s headline article from The Guardian.
If you are interested in hosting a screening of the film and starting the conversation about divestment in your community, we have created a screening toolkit with divestment resources that you can download here
Luz’s Story, a 5 minute piece about one of our transgender asylum seeker clients was released Tuesday on The Atlantic. This is may well expose you to realities that you to which you have not been exposed, but that are part of the fabric of the human experience that we must understand and accept.
Santa Fe Dreamers Project stands for the abolition of all immigration detention but also, specifically, the abolition of trans detention. It serves no theory of punishment and cannot be done safely. There are perfectly viable alternatives to detention where trans individuals can pursue their cases for asylum in the comfort and safety of communities that are competent to welcome and care for them and provide them a space to pursue their dreams outside of prison. You can take action by helping us recruit sponsors who can host trans women in their homes. You can also donate to legal services for trans detainees. Santa Fe Dreamers Project represented Luz and continues to help women detained all over the US. We cannot do it without your help.
Paul & Roxanne