Hello fellow RUWMI activists!
What an amazing day Saturday was. Whether you marched locally, joined our bus to DC, or supported the march in other ways, there is no denying that we were participating in an historic moment. We adults owe these amazing teens a debt of gratitude. We owe them the promise that we will amplify their voices and that we will have their backs.
Our own Erin Freed reflected on her experience marching in DC. She had this to say:
#enough is #enough
RUWMI joined forces with Rebecca Powell and Nancy Moriarty from Trinity Church in Springfield to organize a bus for 50 Western Mass marchers to attend the DC March for Our Lives. Our bus riders joined the legion of 800,000 people speaking out for freedom from gun violence in DC yesterday.
With all of the rally speakers below the age of 19, our young people are leading the way with their passion and determination. They are calling on ALL of us to live our values OUT LOUD and require our lawmakers to protect ALL of our children from gun violence, or we will replace them with lawmakers who will.
The sheer size of the crowd was exhilarating. If you’ve ever been in a crowded subway, you know how it feels to be packed like sardines. Now imagine a 2-mile square area of people packed together like that. Impressive.
To give you a relative sense of crowd size, here are a few stats:
Patriots Game @ Foxboro “Sold Out” – 62,920
Nascar Daytona, “Sold Out” – 101,500
Trump’s Inaugural (1/20/2017) – 140,000
I Have a Dream Rally – (8/28/1963) – 250,000
Women’s March (1/21/2017) – 440,000
March For Our Lives (3/24/18) – 800,000 !!!!!
Obama’s Inaugural (2009) – 1,800,000
To view photos from the DC march, click here.
To view photos from the Springfield march click here.
- RUWMOneSmallThing – As the students so eloquently noted on Saturday, they demand change and they will soon be able to vote out any legislators who do not listen. We marched with the students and now we need to support them in their promise to vote. So, this week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing, one small thing you can do that will make a difference, is take at least one of the actions below which will help get teens registered to vote.
- Read and share this information or this link about preregistration to any teen you know age 16 or older. MA is one of the states that allows for preregistration at age 16.
- Share this link to online voter registration in MA, with any teens you know.
- Share this information about absentee ballots in MA. This is especially important for any teens who may be away at school during the elections.
- Help our Senator, Elizabeth Warren turn up the heat on shareholders who are making money off of gun sales – Check out YouFundGuns.com an easy website to help you call or tweet to the country’s biggest investment firms and ask them to use their leverage and help reduce gun violence across the country. Ultimately, in any public company, shareholders hold the reins. They determine what those companies do, and the shareholders in gun manufacturers like Smith & Wesson, Sturm, Ruger & Company, and Vista Outdoors are in a powerful position to encourage gun manufacturers to regulate their own weapons. There’s a lot that gun manufacturers could do. They could ask retail outlets to impose higher minimum age requirements to purchase of their weapons. They could ask stores to require waiting periods prior to purchase. They could fund research aimed at developing safer weapons. Let’s turn up the heat on shareholders who are making money off every sale of every weapon.
- Email your state rep and urge them to pass the Social Media Privacy Act – From ACLU of MA: The Social Media Privacy Act will prevent employers and school staff from snooping in people’s private social media messages. Employers and teachers have no right to read your mail, listen to your private conversations, or check out your home movies! Our social media needs the same protection. Use this link to send a quick and easy email to your state rep.
- Sign this petition from Senator Kamala Harris – Senator Harris is calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to testify before the Judiciary Committee to answer questions on the firing of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. He must explain the Department of Justice’s process and whether this is an attempt to target, punish, or silence those investigating Russia and the Trump campaign. You can view and sign her petition via MoveOn, here.
- Help Make MA Guns Laws even better – MA ranks first in the nation in gun safety, having the lowest gun death rate (2016 data). This is good news but we can do even better. Of seven common-sense laws, consistent with the Second Amendment, MA has enacted only 4. Let’s work to get the other three in the books. Read about them and get contact info for our state leaders here.
- Support Civics Education in MA – Bill S.2306, has been introduced by the Massachusetts Senate President Harriette Chandler to ensure that every student receives an effective civics education, preparing them with the skills, knowledge, and dispositions to be engaged citizens throughout their lives. You can help support this measure by contacting your State Senator and Rep and asking for them to support this bill. You can write a letter using this template. Or call using this script.
- Help gather 1,000 Letters of support for Lucio – From Sanctuary in the Streets: Say NO to the deportation of Lucio and YES to a stay of removal and the reopening of his case! If you are not familiar with Lucio Perez, you can read about him here. Join in this campaign to collect 1000 letters in support of Lucio, asking Immigration Officials to approve his Motion to Reopen his case and his Stay of Deportation. Get the details here.
- Tell Greyhound to stop throwing passengers’ rights under the bus – From ACLU: Imagine taking your regular bus to work or school. The bus pulls over and Border Patrol agents get on board. Row by row, they scan passengers for anybody deemed “suspicious” due to the color of their skin, accent, or the way they dress. You think you’re just taking the bus home, like any other day – but you end up arrested, detained, and in worst cases, deported. That horror story has increasingly become a reality on Greyhound buses throughout the country, because the company allows Border Patrol agents to board its buses and arrest passengers without a warrant. Sign this petition to tell Greyhound to stop violating passenger’s rights.
Mark Your Calendars – Upcoming Events
- Springfield Community Briefing – (RESCHEDULED FROM 3/13). March 27, 5:30-7:30 PM, South Congregational Church, 45 Maple St, Springfield. The legislature needs to hear from us, in every corner of the Commonwealth, that it’s time to pass Paid Family and Medical Leave and a $15 Minimum Wage. Now that we’ve collected enough signatures to put both of these questions on the ballot, our message to the legislature is clear: let’s do this. Join us with legislators from across the region to make 2018 the year that these campaigns are realized for all workers and families across Massachusetts! For more information view the event on Facebook.
- Teen Town Hall – March 31, 2:00-4:00PM, HCC Auditorium, 303 Homestead Ave, Holyoke. Do you know a teen who is tired of feeling ignored or insignificant? Are you a teen who wants to learn how you can fight for a world that you will love? Then come to our Teen Town Hall! You will have the chance to hear your elected officials speak and directly ask them your most pressing questions. This is an event specifically for teens and youth. We don’t want age to be a restriction if you are younger and passionate about this event, however, we want to be clear that if you are outside of those age categories, we ask that you allow the attention to focus on the youth. Please RSVP here if you are coming so that we can get a sense of numbers! Visit our website for more information.
- Civics Education Lobby Day at the State House – April 3, 9:00AM-1:30PM, Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon Street, Boston. The MA Civic Learning Coalition is hosting a Lobby Day at the State House to advocate for support for S.2355, A Bill to Promote and Enhance Civic Engagement. Sign up for the event here.
- Immigrants’ Day at the State House – April 4, 10:00AM-2:00PM, Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon Street, Boston. For the 22nd year in a row, MIRA is organizing Immigrants’ Day at the State House, the biggest lobbying day of the year for immigrants, refugees and allies. After a brief speaking program, we fan out through the building to meet with legislators and advocate for priority bills and funding for programs such as English classes and adult basic education. The theme this year is “Immigrants Get the Job Done.” They plan to highlight the key role of foreign-born workers in some of Massachusetts’ top economic sectors, such as healthcare, technology, and hospitality. RSVP for the event here.
- Call to Action- Six Months after Hurricane Maria! – April 5, 7:00-8:30PM, Centro De Restauracion Emanuel Inc., 237 Chestnut St, Holyoke. Six months after Maria, the Puerto Rican community is still suffering. Many live in hotels, are facing trauma and are being forgotten. FEMA’s support is ending and we do not have the answers we need. Join the community, faith leaders and elected officials for this important gathering. This event is being organized by Pioneer Valley Project Holyoke Chapter Faith Communities. Please share! View the event on Facebook here.
- Take Back the House 2018 Summit – April 7, 1:00PM-4:30PM, Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School, 80 Locust St, Northampton. Have you wondered “What can I do from a blue state to help take back the House in the midterms?” The answer is “plenty!” and our help is greatly needed. Join activists from the 413 area who are coming together to support efforts to flip the U.S. House from red to blue. Participate in interactive informational and skill-building workshops that will demonstrate what we can do to support campaigns outside of Massachusetts that are critical to taking back the House. For more information view the event on Facebook here.
- Save the Date: Face to Face – a workshop on meeting with your reps! April 17th. Hosted by RiseUpWesternMass Indivisible. Join us to learn about how best to engage with your MoCs in face to face meetings. Stay tuned, details to follow!
- 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
Preventing Gun Violence: How Indivisible Groups Can Support #NeverAgain
In the wake of the Parkland shooting, students all over the United States are rising up to say #NeverAgain. From the March For Our Lives to national walkouts, students are leading the way in the movement to demand that Congress stand up to the gun lobby and protect their constituents’ lives.
This is an incredibly important issue that affects us all. Indivisible marches in solidarity with the students and follows their lead in this movement.
But it is unacceptable that our elected officials aren’t doing more to stop gun violence like the Parkland shooting. Like so many other issues, policymakers need to feel the pressure in order to take action. At the federal, state and local level, Indivisibles can have an impact in preventing gun violence. Here’s what you can do.
Keep Your Eyes On
Facebook failed to protect our data. Can we take action to stem the damage now?
- How To Change Your Facebook Settings To Opt Out of Platform API Sharing
- Fed up with Facebook? Here’s how to protect your data
- The Weird and Surprising Things I Found In The File Facebook Has On Me
- How to keep your data safe without having to #DeleteFacebook
- Worried about your Facebook data? Here’s how to protect yourself — or delete your account
Check This Out
Pint-sized inspiration – If you missed the march in DC, check out the speeches by amazing kids!
- Watch 11-year-old Naomi Wadler’s full speech
- MLK’s granddaughter: I have a dream that enough is enough