Action this Week – July 5, 2019

IMV Picnic Tuesday July 9th 6:30 pm, VENUE CHANGE!

Tuesday, July 9, 6:30-8:30 pm, IMV will hold its annual Summer Progressive Potluck Picnic, at  Cherrywood’s new pavilion at 1 Cherrywood Circle just off Route 5 in Clinton.  (The NH Town Park is too hard to access because of the Farmer’s Market on Tuesdays).

This is the point when we celebrate all the hard work that went into issues over winter and spring, including all the outstanding advocacy done by our IMV issue work groups during the legislative session in in Albany (January-June).

The picnic marks our pivot toward electoral politics for summer and fall so that we can win seats at the city, town, and county level.  We want to add progressives and Democrats to city councils, town boards, and we have a major goal to help flip the Oneida County legislature!

By actively working on local campaigns for November 2019 elections, we practice the political activism skills we will need in 2020 for state and national elections including canvassing and get out the vote efforts.

Bring a dish to pass.  There will be kids activities and a fun night for all.  If there’s rain, we’ll just move inside to our usual meeting spot.  See you Tuesday!

Vigil to End the Camps on Friday, July 12th at 8 pm

On Friday July 12th, 2019, Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Concentration Camps, will bring thousands of people to locations worldwide as well as to concentration camps across the country, into the streets and into their own front yards, to protest the inhumane conditions faced by migrants.

IMV’s Vigil is co-sponsored by 1199 SEIU (labor) and InterFaith Matters.  We will gather on the strip of grass along Commercial Drive in front of Applebee’s at Consumer Square.  There will be electric tea lights, but feel free to bring your own or a candle to light at 9 pm,when darkness falls.  Here is the FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1775123332590575/

Our goal is to lift up the humanity of the children and adults in these horrific camps, and to raise awareness in the public and among our elected representatives.  We will not close our eyes to children who are traumatized, and watch silently as human beings go without food and water, and lack sanitary conditions, legal aid, education, recreation, and contact with the world outside because they have fled poverty and violence in their own countries.  When the US detains immigrants, we become 100% responsible for their care and well and being.

Join us on Friday, July 12th.  We stand in solidarity with the migrants and with those who are gathering for the vigil at major detention facilities in TX, FL, and CA.  For more information click HERE. Bring signs. #ClosetheCamps

What Else Can You Do About the Camps?

IMV members are strongly encouraged to write and call our Members of Congress, especially Anthony Brindisi.  Democrats are in the majority in the House and yet have not yet pushed hard enough to close these camps and they have not stood up together against the executive policies behind these conditions.

Trump and the GOP want more money for the camps so they can house more and more people there for longer and longer periods.  We need to stop that madness.There is no good reason why those migrants who are awaiting asylum hearings can not do so while living together as family with families and friends in this country.

One of our members has provided a helpful template for a letter that you can send today:

Congressman Anthony Brindisi, 430 Court Street, Suite 102, Utica, NY 13502

Dear Congressman Brindisi;

It is unacceptable that there are thousands of children and families suffering right now in immigrant detention. Children are denied soap and toothbrushes, crowded into unsafe conditions, and are going hungry because they are not provided enough food to eat. Separated from their families, they are subject to cruel and inhumane treatment that leads to lasting traumas. And some are dying in custody—or dying with parents as they cross the Rio Grande. 

These conditions are the product of the Trump administration’s cruel agenda to terrorize immigrant communities, criminalize migration, and dismantle our asylum laws. 

In the past week, Close the Camps protests were held across the country to declare that members of Congress must use all of their power to stop the atrocities now. 

Here are three clear ways I request you to act: 

1)  Close the Camps.

2)  Not One Dollar for Family Detention and Deportation. 

3)  Bear Witness and Reunite the Families. 

First, to close the camps, you must end the zero tolerance policy. This is the crucial Department of Justice directive used as justification for family separation and the massive increase in immigrants held in detention. Also, remember that your powers are not limited to passing legislation. As a member of Congress, you have a large microphone and can leverage your power to pressure the Trump administration to act. 

Second, stop funding family for detention and deportation. Kids and families do not belong in cages, and immigrants strengthen, not harm our society. We must transform into a country that welcomes people with dignity and respect. 

Lastly, I ask that you go to a detention center during the July Fourth recess, and connect with community organizations and direct service providers along the border or near a detention facility to get a sense of the full scope of the issues, and then become an advocate for these children and families to be freed and reunited. Your visit is needed to add to the mounting public pressure and achieve a breakthrough. 

Here are some resources to help with your visit. 

●  Guide to visiting an ICE Detention Facility: ​https://bit.ly/2YjHXbd

●  Visit United We Dream’s ICE and CBP tracker: https://unitedwedream.org/the-truth-about-ice-and-cbp/ice-and-cbp-abuse-tracker/

●  Contact Ana Maria at RAICES for advice on setting up a visit and which local 

organizations to contact. Ana Maria Rea, anamaria.rea@raicestexas.org

●  Contact Heidi Altman at National Immigrant Justice Center for resources on immigrant detention and visiting ICE facilities: Heidi Altman, ​haltman@heartlandalliance.org

●  Post about your trip on social media and national organizations will amplify your visit. 

Last December, dozens of partners including the American Friends Service Committee, United We Dream, and hundreds of faith leaders from many traditions went to the border in San Diego to stand in solidarity with migrants seeking refuge. Some engaged in civil disobedience, inching across an invisible line in the sand on their knees in front of armed Border Patrol agents to draw national attention to the need for changes to U.S. immigration policy. 

They were there because they could not stand by silently while migrants fleeing violence and poverty were met with tear gas, military intervention, family separation, and indefinite detention. They were there to speak to the moral imperative of respecting human rights and treating people with dignity, respect, and compassion. They were there to ask our elected officials to demilitarize our border communities and adopt more humane immigration policies. 

And that is what I am asking of you today, as well. It is on all of us to act. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Your name

Whether you send a letter or call, be persistent.  We can’t give up on the people trapped in these detention camps because they have no way to advocate for themselves while hungry, dirty, sick, and alone in cages.

Want to Know More About Indivisible Activism?

IMV’s Calendar below contains several statewide and national calls that you can sign up for and join. It’s powerful to be part of a huge network across New York and the nation that is making an impact on progressive politics.  When you jump on these calls (usually on Zoom so you can see video on your computer, tablet, or phone) you’ll get a better sense of Indivisible’s vision, priorities, and strategies for mobilizing on a range of issues, especially as we head toward the 2020 elections.

Sign up, and when you do, just make sure that you register as a member of Indivisible Mohawk Valley..

Sign Up NOW for Indivisible New York’s Convening in July

Sarah Reeske and her NY Indivisible leader colleagues are holding a Convening for Indivisible groups across the state on Albany on July 27 and 28.  The goal of the convening is strengthening relationships among Indivisible activists. During this Convening, activists and organizers will be laying the framework to collaborate and build collective power in New York and prepare for 2020.  IMV wants to be well represented at this event, so please sign up now.

https://indivisible.org/register-new-york-state-indivisible-convening

Mark Your Calendar for IMV’s August Meeting (It’s on a Wednesday!)

IMV’s August meeting will be held at Cherrywood on Wednesday, August 14th at 6:30 pm  Our focus will be on racial and education justice, and we’ll be hearing from our allies in Citizen Action who have been working with parents in the Utica School District to raise issues of equity, inclusion, and justice.

The Utica OD recently covered some of Citizen Action’s activism in a two part series about racism and the schools in Utica.  There was also an excellent 20 minute segment on Talk of the Town radio show if you want to listen and learn more from Citizen Action’s lead organizer.  Please mark your calendar for a full agenda August meeting!

See you on Tuesday at the IMV Progressive Potluck Picnic!

Democracy is not a spectator sport.