Hello fellow RUWMI activists,
This week we were reminded that the blue bubble we live in is far less tolerant than it purports to be. Watch and share this video of a press conference by the candidate we endorsed for US Representative, Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, as she responds to the bigotry she has encountered on the campaign trail.
Beware of Trolls! – We are privileged to have several platforms on which to publish and share important political and social action information. We are keenly aware that with this comes a responsibility to keep the information accurate and fact based. In the age of trolls and bots, those who seek to undermine our democracy have multiple tools available to them. We at RUWMIare committed to keeping our media as free from those types of infiltrations as possible. To that end we wanted to share some of the things we are doing to stop the spread of “fake news”.
- We cull though hundreds of emails weekly and only post action items and events from trusted original sources such as: Indivisible, MoveOn, ACLU, Planned Parenthood, March On, MIRA, Lift Every Vote, Swing Left, Everytown for Gun Safety, Sister District, ORMA, OFA, etc. as well as from individual candidates’ campaigns and local action groups.
- We also use action items from trusted compilation sources such as: Wall-of-Us, Rogan’s List, 413 Staying Connected, Mom’s Rising, etc. and our regional and state Indivisible coalition groups. And when we post action items, we do our best to list the source for that action item.
- In general, we don’t repost news stories (we are an action-based group not a news-based group). On the limited occasions when we do, we use trusted major news sources or local news outlet responses (MassLive), or responses from our elected officials.
Even with all of this careful work, we are not infallible. So, we seek your help. If you see that we have posted a source that looks suspicious or you know to be fake, please let us know. Similarly, we ask that you not post or send links that do not come directly from trusted, vetted sources. Together we can make sure we are all getting the most accurate and useful information.
- RUWMOneSmallThing– Our primary is so soon and we need all hands on deck! We know you’ve heard this call to action a lot and we also know that canvassing, phone-banking, or f even text-banking might not “be your thing”. BUT, we just do not have the luxury of sitting this one out and hoping for the best. So, this week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing, one small thing you can do that will make a difference is to step outside your comfort zone and TAKE ONE ACTION that you haven’t tried before. Register a friend to vote, make calls to help flip a seat in another state, try canvassing for a local candidate you support. The action is up to you. You may find that you surprise yourself and you might even motivate others to do the same. Post below and tag a friend and let’s see how many “first time” actions we have! Want to do something but don’t know how to get started? You can scroll through our FB feed and chose and event or action item we’ve posted. You can read our newsletter (link will be posted to FB this evening), or you can message us on FB and ask!
- Find out where our state candidates stand on Medicare for All – Use this linkto read about our candidates running for state office and where they stand on Medicare for All.
- Demand Legislators Block 3D Printing of Guns —Everytown for Gun Safety writes: Two weeks ago, we were faced with a reality where anyone with an internet connection and a 3D printer could create fully functional guns on demand — until you stepped in. But we’re not out of the woods. Here’s a rundown of everything that has happened in the last two weeks, and why we need you to take action.
- First: The State Department decided to allow one company to post its gun blueprints online enabling anyone — including terrorists, convicted felons, and domestic abusers — to download these plans to print functional, untraceable, and undetectable guns.
- But Then: Across the country, Americans like you took a stand against this dangerous reality and sent more than 160,000 calls and messages to the State Department DEMANDING that it stop the distribution of downloadable guns.
- After That: Your voice was so powerful, news outlets all over America began reporting on downloadable guns, making it a national issue that everyone should be terrified of.
- As a Result: 21 State Attorneys General recognized how dangerous this would be and issued a joint letter to the State Department with their concerns. Plus, several Members of Congress introduced pieces of legislation that would prevent the publication of downloadable guns online and strengthen gun laws prohibiting undetectable firearms!
- And Finally: After several states sued in a Washington court, a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order against the State Department that STOPS the company from posting its gun blueprints online.
- However, this temporary restraining order only lasts until August 28! Use this call script from 5Calls to call your Rep and demand that legislators block 3D printing of guns by supporting, the Undetectable Firearms Modernization Act.
- Honor RGB with a donation to Planned Parenthood – This past week, Ruth Bader Ginsburg celebrated 25 years on the supreme court. Better yet, she pledged to stay for at least another 5 years!! As you are able, let’s honor RGB with a donation to Planned Parenthood. They need our support more than ever, especially given the threat of Trump’s new Supreme Court nominee. You can donate
- Celebrate AVR and thank those who passed it! From Common Cause MA: It’s official: Governor Charlie Baker has (FINALLY) signed Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) into law, making Massachusetts the 14th state to adopt this crucial reform! Use this linkto send a letter of thanks directly to your state elected officials. Then pop over to Lift+Every+Voteon Facebook and send a little love to Joyce Hackett who championed this effort from the start and worked tireless until the last minute to make sure it was passed!
- Oppose Reduction in Green Cards – From: Indivisible MA: We saw what this administration could do to migrant children and their families. Now the administration is putting forth a proposal to limit legal immigrants from attaining citizenship. The number of immigrants who were granted green cards dropped 20% from 2016 to 2018. Ultimately, this policy will result in increased deportations, hunger, and homelessness for families and children. Let’s register our outrage to DHS by contacting them via: Telephone: 202-282-8000, Email: DHSSecretary@hq.dhs.gov, Web Site , Facebook, or on Twitter: @DHS.gov
- Sign The Petition: Keep Firearms Out Of The Hands Of Domestic Abusers– From Everytown for Gun Safety: Here’s the reality: more than half of the women killed with guns in the U.S. are murdered by their partners. We know that common-sense gun laws will protect domestic violence victims and save lives. The gun lobby refuses to support common-sense changes that would reduce violence against women, but these laws just make sense. Congress needs to close the loopholes that make it easy for domestic abusers and stalkers to get guns without a background check. Sign the petitionnow to tell Congress: Support common-sense gun laws to keep firearms out of the hands of domestic abusers and stalkers.
- Help Support RiseUpWesternMass Indivisible – RUWMI is completely volunteer run and self-funded to date. Your donation will support the direct costs of our organizing in the greater Springfield area — things like meeting room rental, posters/art supplies, printing, postage, transportation, and more! Any amount is appreciated and you can donate via ActBlue here… and then post about it using #TheVoteOfYourLife.
- Black Panther In The Park– Tues, August 14, 7:30-10:30PM (movie to start at dusk), Marshall Roy Park, 1437 Carew Street, Springfield. Come and enjoy Black Panther in the Park with your family and friends. Hosted by the East Springfield Neighborhood Council in cooperation with the City of Springfield. Special thanks for the financial support of the Springfield Cultural Council and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Rated PG-13. Free for all. View the event on Facebook
- Housing is a Human Right– Wed, August 15, 6:30-8:00PM, Bangs Community Center, 70 Boltwood Walk, Amherst. The rent is too damn high, and real estate developers and their government lackeys have been undermining public housing at every opportunity to leave us no alternative but to pay up, struggle, or die. Capitalism and the relentless drive for profit lies at the root of the housing crisis in the US and across the world. Join us for a panel discussion on local housing struggles from Lyman Terrace to McDonald House, and the fight for housing as a human right. For details and suggested readings, view the event information
- Postcards at Panera for Tahirah!– Tuesday, August 21, 6:30-8:00PM, Panera Bread (East Longmeadow, MA), 450 North Main Street, East Longmeadow. Come and join RUWMI us as we write postcards for the Tahirah Amatul-Wadud campaign! Our MA primary election is literally right around the corner (Sept 4). And, because we live in a strongly Democratic state, the primary WILL determine the winner in this race. We endorsed Tahirah for Congress, now let’s use these last few weeks to get her elected! Join us for an evening of postcard writing and conversation (with the option to purchase dinner if you choose). All necessary supplies will be provided! This event is kid friendly. View event details and RSVP here(so we can plan for number of supplies etc.)
- Candidate Forum– Thursday, August 23, 5:30-7:30PM, Forest Park Middle School, 46 Oakland Street, Springfield. Join the Ward 6 Dems for a candidate forum for all races that include Ward 6. Come hear from Democratic candidates who will represent the Forest Park area of Springfield on all levels of government. View the event on Facebook
- Women’s Equality Day Breakfast 2018– Sun, August 26, 10:00AM-12:00PM, The Boylston Rooms, 122 Pleasant Street, Easthampton. Join us for a unique event on the 98th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment to honor women of the past by celebrating the intersectionality of women’s leadership here in the Pioneer Valley today. This is a non-partisan/non-profit celebration of unity ~ Democracy is stronger when all participate. All are welcome. For details and tickets view the event on Facebook
- 50 Miles More: Rally – Sunday, August 26, 12:00-2:00PM, Smith & Wesson, 2100 Roosevelt Ave, Springfield. Hosted by March for Our Lives: Boston & Stop Handgun Violence. Join us in a rally at Smith & Wesson, a company which is making guns in Massachusetts that cannot be legally sold in Massachusetts. These guns (Semi-Automatics) are commonly sold to neighboring states and then illegally transported back into Massachusetts. Smith & Wesson continues to be part of the problem and we demand that they finally become part of the solution. View the event on Facebookfor more details.
- RUWMI Primary Planning Meeting– Tuesday, August 28, 6:30-8:00PM, Chicopee Public Library, 449 Front Street, Chicopee library. This MOST IMPORTANT meeting will be our first after our summer break. Our focus will be all about the MA primary election on Sept 4th! We will discuss action items and “last weekend” ideas to make that final push to the polls, as well as share any calls to action from our progressive candidates. Come, bring a friend, and leave with ideas you can take (along with the potato salad) to your Labor Day BBQ! View the event and RSVP
- Hampden Senate Candidates Forum– Wednesday, August 29, 6:00-7:00PM, Focus Springfield Community TV, 1200 Main St, Springfield. The community is invited to join the candidates for the Hampden Senate District seat. This is your opportunity to ask questions of the candidates Amaad Rivera and James Welch about issues of importance to you. The hour-long format will include prepared questions from the League and co-sponsors, an exchange of questions between the candidates, and questions submitted by the audience. The event will be broadcast live and live-streamed on the internet and Facebook. View the event details
- Hampden Senate Debate – Thursday, August 30, 5:30-7:30PM, Mason Square Branch Library, 765 State St, Springfield, The Democratic Ward Committees of Springfield are proud to host a debate between the candidates for Hampden Senate. Join us on August 30 at the Mason Square Branch library for a conversation between the candidates for the September 4 primary in the Hampden Senate election: Amaad Rivera and James Welch. Doors open at 5:30pm with the event to begin at 6:00pm. All are welcome! Don’t know if you’re in the Hampden Senate? Check at this link. View event details
- 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. Also, to be “in the know” about what Indivisible groups are doing across Massachusetts, sign up for the MA ACTION newsletter by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark the anniversary of Charlottesville by recommitting to the work of ending white supremacy. We all have a part to play in ending oppression in all of its forms, especially in our communities. Take a moment this weekend to read our guide on ways to put this into practice, including how we model this in our groups, what makes for effective allyship, and resources to learn more.
The More You Know
Canada and Saudi-Arabia are fighting?
- The Saudi Arabia-Canada fight, explained in under 600 words
- Saudi Arabia picks a pointless fight with Canada
- If you’re surprised by Saudi Arabia’s fight with Canada, you haven’t been paying attention
- Beating Up on Canada Again: the Canada Letter
Check This Out
You’ve been arrested by a dishonest cop. This is an imaginary scenario based on a Times analysis of L.A. court records and interviews with attorneys. Can you win in a system set up to protect officers? Click this link and find out.