Racial and Immigration Justice: Take Action This Week

 

Dear Friends: 
Many of us continue to feel mobilized in response to the long history of racist brutality and white supremacy in our country, most recently with the murders of George Floyd and many others. We know that our community will want to find ongoing ways to respond and that actions will be unfolding in real time.  We will post here as we hear about them, and please email Martha or Almas with information we may want to include. 

The Racial Justice Action Committee wants to help FPB members increase our collective impact in the critical work of racial and immigration justice and, at the same time, build a supportive community. 

Movement for Black Lives emphasizes that there are opportunities for those who are unable to physically show up to still take action. 

Stay safe, know that you are not alone, and reach out for connection when you need it.  First Parish in Brookline is a caring community with a justice, anti-racist mission.  We can be there for each other as well as for the world beyond our doors.

For more information, contact Martha Leader or Almas Dossa.
 
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1. RACIAL JUSTICE RALLIES, VIGILS, AND MARCHES

Listings of  Upcoming Black Lives Matter Demonstrations in the Boston Area: 
 
 

Other Upcoming Rallies in Boston

A. NO COST CALLS RALLY

Saturday, September 26, 12-2PM
Boston Statehouse

The time is now to pass No Cost Calls legislation, allowing families across the Commonwealth to stay in touch with their loved ones in prison and jail. FAMILIES ARE NOT A VALID SOURCE OF INCOME FOR PRISONS AND JAILS! Through this rally, we will demand a response from MA legislatures to support bill S.2846, granting no cost phone calls to incarcerated people in MA prisons.

Bring your friends and family - kids enthusiastically welcome! Please sign up to join the SURJB (Showing Up for Racial Justice Boston) contingent

B. LET OUR FAMILIES DRIVE: MARCH & RALLY

Saturday, September 26th, 2:00 PM
Meet us outside the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) located at 136 Blackstone St, Boston (by the Haymarket T Station)

After months of organizing district meetings, actions, and demanding for the passage of the Work & Family Mobility Act - thousands of Black and Brown immigrant families continue to live in fear of ICE detention for being stopped for a traffic violation and many are being deported - even during a pandemic. Join MA JWJ and their partners in demanding that all families deserve the right to move freely in our state and live in dignity. Together, we will imagine and fight for another world where all people are safe and protected. Sign up for more information and to join SURJ next week here.

C. RALLY TO COUNTER FASCIST ORGANIZING

Saturday, September 26 - Sunday, September 27, exact time and place TBD

We will show up again to demonstrate that hate is not welcome in our communities and our state! We will rally to drown out pro-police, pro-white nationalism messaging and stand in solidarity with local activists. Sign up for more information and to join SURJ next week here.

2. Overwhelmed as an Antiracist and Activist?

Knapsack Antiracism Group

Wednesday, September 23, 4-5pm

We meet weekly to discuss how we are dealing with our feelings of "overwhelm" due to the many issues with racism and our efforts as antiracists. We know we can't do it all. How do we decide what to do? How do we manage and be the most effective instead of giving up and doing nothing? How are you dealing and doing self-care? What do you want help with? Hopefully by sharing what we are struggling with, we can get some tools to better manage and balance our days, to feel less overwhelmed so we can sustain as activists and antiracists. Register here.

3. IMPORTANT LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY

NOTE: Thanks to public pressure for key racial justice bills and pandemic relief, the Massachusetts legislative session has been extended through the end of the year. We will continue to post actions for important bills during this period.  Keep up the pressure, find your state legislators here and contact them.

A. Housing Justice

CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS TODAY: DEMAND HOUSING RELIEF FOR MA RESIDENTS
According to housing advocates and agencies, more than 100,000 Massachusetts households can't pay their rent or mortgage and we are headed for a housing "catastrophe". A MA bill stops evictions until October 17, and a new national one till December 31, but those only buy us a few months. The Guaranteed Housing Stability Act (H.4878/S.2831) would:
  • prevent evictions for at least another year
  • prevent rent hikes
  • establish a Housing Stability & Recovery Fund to relieve small owners
Call and email your legislators using this easy tool. Ask them to support the Housing Stability Act H.4878/S.2831. If they’re a co-sponsor, ask them to request that Speaker of the House Robert Deleo and Senate President Karen Spilka schedule an immediate vote.

B. Immigration Justice:  Support the Safe Communities Act from UU Mass Action

Protect Immigrant Families

Help us get the Safe Communities Act passed this session!

Some legislators have unequivocally stated their support for the Safe Communities Act. Some refuse to support event basic protections of immigrant rights.
There are enough legislators we still need to confirm, however, that will support the Safe Communities Act and help us reach the majority we need to get the bill passed this session.
We need you to help make  this happen!

Join fellow UUs and help with weekly phone banking.  Here's the dates and registration links for the next 2 weeks - you'll need to register to have access to the dialing system. 

If you could also click the button below and let UU Mass Action Staff know you're coming, we'd appreciate it!

Monday, 9/21, 5:00-8:00PM - Register: bit.ly/SafeCommunities_921

Thursday, 9/24, 5:00-8:00PM - Register: bit.ly/SafeCommunities_924

Tuesday, 9/29, 5:00-8:00PM - Register: http://bit.ly/SafeCommunities_929 

Thursday, 10/1, 5:00-8:00PM - Register: http://bit.ly/SafeCommunities_101 

 

C. Indigenous Solidarity: CONTACT YOUR REPS: CHANGE THE STATE FLAG AND SEAL!

The House of Representatives has not yet voted for a review of the racist Massachusetts state flag and seal. Call and email your reps TODAY during this extended legislative session and urge them to vote to change the flag and seal, and to ban Native mascots! Follow the link for an easy way to send messages to your elected officials.

D. The fight for No Cost Calls for those who are incarcerated and their families continues!

100 organizations asked the MA legislature to take action on S2846. Let the Senate know you’re watching what happens and families can’t afford to wait any longer!  Read the text of the open letter to the MA Senate here!

Please call AND email your State Senator and Senate President Spilka and ask them to pass S2846 right away.
 
 
Senate President Spilka
 
(617) 722-1500

4.  Anti-racism and Activism against Police Brutality and Mass Incarceration

A. Justice for Jacob Blake
Contact local and state officials to demand justice for Jacob Blake and for the police officers involved to be held accountable:
  • Kenosha District Attorney: 262-653-2400,
  • Kenosha Mayor and City Administrator: 262-653-4000, ,
  • Kenosha City Attorney: 262-653-4170, , Edward Antaramian at
  • Wisconsin DOJ: 608-266-1221
  • There is also a GoFundMe for Blake's family, raising funds for "medical bills, legal representation, support for his children and therapy costs." 
  • See other suggestions in #5A
B.  WEEK OF ACTION: BUILDING UP PEOPLE NOT PRISONS
 Follow link to the current Week of Action 
C.  Join BOSTON KNAPSACK ANTI-RACISM GROUP
Knapsack is a multiracial/cross-class group of folks dedicated to the struggle for shared liberation. We engage in a variety of group discussions to build community and awareness, and take action to disrupt the systems of racism in the U.S. and beyond. We support the efforts of racial justice leaders and organizations.

5. Messages and webinars from UU initiative Side with Love  and UUSC (Unitarian Universalist Service Committee)

A. For those of you who are outraged, or activated, or desperate to find a way to be of use right now, we pray for you to channel that energy into organizing. Show up in the streets with your own local Black-led organizing collective, and donate to the Milwaukee Freedom Fund supporting bail, ticketing & legal support for organizers in Kenosha. Watch this conversation organized by Freedom, Inc. featuring WI (Wisconsin) -based Black and Hmong organizers, talking about violence and safety in the wake of Jacob Blake’s shooting. Demand that your city defund the police, and work to enact the BREATHE Act. Stay tuned as further demands and opportunities to support emerge from Southeastern Wisconsin.
 
B. We invite you to participate in an exciting new webinar series : A Collective Breath: Deepening our alignment with the Movement for Black Lives, a five-session series built around the elements of the BREATHE Act. The webinars will explore the components of the BREATHE Act  and utilize its structure as a way to focus our energies to effectively support ongoing racial justice work. Come learn and build with local and national partners who are shaping conditions to make liberation possible. This is an invitation to locate yourself in this moment as well, we each have a role to play. Click this link to register:
 
 
The BREATHE Act seeks to reform federal laws and eliminate funding for federal programs that criminalize Black, Muslim, and immigrant communities, reinvesting our resources in community solutions for education, health, and the environment.
 
September 22 4pm PT/ 6pm CT/ 7pm ET 
Webinar 4: Environmental Justice and Public Health. 
Panelists: Environmental Justice Advocates and Directors Roundtable
 
October 13 4pm PT/ 6pm CT/ 7pm ET 
Webinar 5: Holding Officials Accountable & Enhancing Self-Determination of Black Communities.
Panelists: Minister Sheena Rolle, Deputy Director Faith In Florida; Nicole Pressley, National Organizer UU The Vote and Let My People Vote Campaign
Please register now for these exciting sessions