Hello fellow RUWMI activists!
So late last week we did a thing – we created an action item urging everyone to call Governor Baker and urge him to sign on to the ‘States for Gun Safety’ Coalition (which included CT, RI, NJ and NY and conspicuously omitted MA). You all heard the call for action and responded big time! In just a few short days we were successful and this weekend Massachusetts joined the coalition. Activism works and it works because we all made a decision to take part in our democracy and make a difference. So, thank you all, and never doubt that what you do makes a difference!
Do yourselves a favor and put March 19 on your calendar. RUWMI will be hosting Tahirah Amatul-Wadud who is running for Congress (MA-District 1) in the primary against Richie Neal. She will join us to talk about her platform and answer our questions. You won’t want to miss this unique opportunity to learn about Tahirah! Details can be found here or in the event section below.
- RUWMOneSmallThing – This weekend we learned that Governor Baker signed on to the ‘States For Gun Safety’ Coalition. We know that politicians need to hear from us not just when they are doing something wrong but also when they have done something right. So, this week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing, one small thing you can do that will make a difference, is to call Governor Baker and thank him for joining Massachusetts to the coalition. You can reach him at the Main Office at (617) 725-4005.
- Sign this Petition from Change.Org – Ban “bump stock” full auto conversions of assault rifles. “Bump stock” kits allow legal semi-automatic rifles to perform similarly to fully automatic machine guns that are tightly regulated by present law. “Bump stocks” and all similar devices should be banned, or regulated along with machine guns, and all sales and transfers of these dangerous devices should be banned or tightly regulated. Sign the petition
- Spread the Word about Wakanda the Vote – As part of their Electoral Justice Project, Movement for Black Lives has launched Wakanda the Vote. This campaign focuses on getting individuals across the country registered to vote as they attend the movie Black Panther. Learn more here and spread the word on your own social media accounts.
- Share Your Story – The best way to fight back against the TrumpTax cuts is to share stories about how hard-working Americans are getting left out in the cold, while the rich receive massive tax breaks. Are you facing a tax hike? Are you only receiving a small tax cut, while the rich disproportionately benefit? Were you laid off from your job? Has your employer offered you a bonus, but not a raise? Share your story about how the TrumpTax impacts you! Use this link to submit your story.
- Oppose the repeal of Obama’s Clean Power Plan – Tell Scott Pruitt: Hands off the Clean Power Plan. The EPA is collecting public comments on the planned repeal of the Clean Power Plan, and we need everyone to speak out against this egregious assault on our climate and health. Submit your comment
- Tell Governor Baker: Remove NRA leader Ronald Amidon as Commissioner of Fish & Game – and remove links on the Massachusetts state website to NRA affiliate Gun Owners Action League. Amidon was president of the Gun Owners’ Action League (GOAL), the NRA’s state affiliate in Massachusetts. Fish & Game is now directing visitors on the state website to GOAL for more information on gun ownership. GOAL advocates for the repeal of our state’s gun safety laws. The NRA’s positions on gun safety DO NOT reflect the values of Massachusetts’ residents. Sign the petition
- Help Support the March for Our Lives GoFundMe – If you are able and interested in a monetary action, please consider donating to the GoFundMe for the March for Our Lives. The #NeverAgain movement as well as the March for Our lives was founded by the students at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. The funds will be spent on the incredibly difficult and expensive process that is organizing a march like this. They have people making more specific plans, but for now know that this is for the march and everything left over will be going to the victims’ funds. Please note that donations are not tax-deductible.
- Make Some Signs – We have another march coming up and from the looks of it so far, it’s gonna be huge; so, you’ll need a sign! Take some time this week to make a sign or better yet make two (one for you and one to share with someone who doesn’t have one at the march). If you’re looking for company you can join this sign-making event hosted by the Badass Activists on March 18th. Or simply gather some friends, some poster board (and maybe a glass of wine) and get creative at home!
Mark Your Calendars – Upcoming Events
- The #MeToo Movement and Minority Voices: Shaheen Pasha and Gina Beavers – Feb 27, 7:00-9:00 PM, Northampton Friends Meeting, 43 Center St, Ste 202, Northampton. At a time of national reckoning and accountability around sexual harassment, what challenges and opportunities do women of minority communities experience in speaking out against men both inside and outside their identity groups? What does the #MeToo movement represent for women of color? What are the causes of misogyny in the broader American culture and what are the legal, political, and social shifts required to address the prevalence of sexual harassment in society? Hosted by Critical Connections and Karuna Center for Peacebuilding. Click here for more information.
- ACLU Training (via Phone Conference): Students Know Your Rights! – March 1, 8:00PM. Students around the country are turning last week’s heartbreaking school shooting in Parkland, Florida, into an inspiring push for change. Plans for coordinated student walkouts have been making national news and have already spurred disciplinary threats from some school administrators. That’s why it’s so important that everyone – especially students and allies – learns about students’ rights. Thus, the ACLU is providing this training conference call for students, parents, teachers/staff and other allies. To register for the call use this link.
- Labor in the Age of Trump: Fighting the Right-Wing Agenda – March 2-3, Free two-day conference, UMass Amherst Central Campus, Amherst Center, Massachusetts. Free Two-Day Conference. Friday March 2, 9-4: research presentations. Saturday March 3, 10-3: workshops with scholars and activists. Lunch provided with View the event on Facebook to see the list of presenters.
- Youth Protest Against Gun Violence Planning Meeting – March 3, 1:30-2:30 PM, Sixteen Acres Library, 1187 Parker Street, Springfield. In response to the tragic school shooting at Stoneman Douglas high school, Springfield high school students will be mobilizing and protesting. Facebook event
- Activism That Works – March 4, 2:30-4:30PM, Springfield Public Library, 220 State Street, Springfield. Many of us are horrified by this administration’s attacks on immigrants, the environment, health care, voting rights, women’s rights, and more, and we would like to do something to stop the damage – but what? There are countless requests to sign petitions, attend protests, boycott products, etc. Which are worthwhile and which a waste of time? In this workshop, Betsy Leondar-Wright will share 5 criteria for what makes public action effective. The criteria are drawn from research as well as her own social justice movement involvement over many years. Together the group will evaluate resistance efforts now in progress. Participants will leave with ideas for action steps to protect whatever each individual values most in this country. Hosted by Sojourner Truth School for Social Change Leadership. Click here for more information.
- International Women’s Day Events – March 8, The Springfield Women Organize will host the 2nd Annual International Women’s Day on March 8th.
- 12:30-3:00, Springfield Library 220 State Street. They will bring together women from around the city to network and enjoy speakers, performers, poetry, and songs with a delicious hors’d’oeurves & refreshments! for all attendees! They will honor 6 Amazing Women from the Springfield Community who have made a major impact in Western Mass and Beyond! The event will have speakers that will highlight this year’s theme “Self-Care for Women”.
- 7:30 PM, March to Shine a Light on Women’s Issues, Gather at City Stage, 1 Columbus Circle, Springfield. We’ll gather at City Stage to and begin a march to Court Square; (or join us directly at Court Square (across from City Hall, Springfield) and end the night with a Candlelight celebration to “Shine a Light On Women’s Issues”. See event page here
- Why I March – Women Activists Speak Out – March 9, 7:00-10:00 PM,
Northampton Center for the Arts, 33 Hawley Street, Northampton. Come be inspired – or inspire others! Join local women activists who will be sharing their passion for a cause and what keeps them motivated. Join as an audience member – or sign up to be a speaker here (And you don’t have to be a perfect speaker – you can use notes! And you don’t need to be the world’s most active activist!). View the event on Facebook.
- Meet Congressional Candidate Tahirah Amatul-Wadud – March 19, 7:00-8:30PM, Chicopee Public Library, Community Room, 449 Front St, Chicopee. RUWMI is hosting Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, candidate for Congress, MA-Dist. 1. She will speak about her platform and her vision for Western MA, and answer your questions. You can learn more about Tahirah on her website. For more information and to RSVP please view the event on Facebook.
- March for Our Lives – March 24. The students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida have called for a nationwide day of action to protest the unending gun violence in the U.S. There are many marches nationally. Here is the info for three you might be interested in
- Northampton – 12:00 PM Northampton High School, 380 Elm St, Northampton. Meet at Northampton High School and march to Pulaski Park in downtown Northampton. Hear from high school students who have been failed by politicians, gun companies, and the NRA. The march will also feature a “lie in” in Pulaski Park to symbolize the needless deaths of high school students and other victims of American gun violence. View the event on Facebook here.
- Boston – 12:00 PM, Boston Common, Boston. View the event here.
- New York – 10:00 AM, Location TBD. View the event here.
- Washington D.C. – We are working on getting a bus from the Pioneer Valley to the march in D.C.!! We will send an email once we have the details. For now, here is the Facebook event for the DC march.
- To get the most up to date list of events, go to Rise Up Western Mass’s event calendar here. Also bookmark the National Resistance Calendar for additional events.
From Indivisible National
Vote Them Out
In the 19 years since the Columbine massacre, the gun lobby has paid for Congress’ gut-wrenching inaction to the tune of more than $30 million. The only way to stop the horrific gun violence in this country is to change what happens in Congress. And the only way to change what happens in Congress is change who represents us.
Go to indivisible.org/votethemout and commit to #VoteThemOut: “Thoughts and Prayers” aren’t enough. #NeverAgain #Enough
View the Indivisible FB video here.
Keep Your Eyes On
#BoycottNRA is gaining traction among US companies. Let’s support those who do, and vote with our wallets against those who don’t.
- The NRA is being supported by these companies
- First National Bank dumps NRA, will no longer issue NRA Visa card
- Growing list of companies are cutting ties with NRA
- These are the companies cutting ties with the NRA after Florida shooting
- Twitter – Companies breaking ties with NRA
Check This Out
All in the Family tackles the issue of gun control in 1972. Watch it here.