The week summed up in 2 quotes:


RUWMI Announcements

Do you find you miss local actions because you don’t hear about them until it’s too late?

Do you wish you could participate in a really meaningful way that doesn’t require a large time commitment?

If so, WE NEED YOU! to be part of our RUWMI Local Action Team! – RUWMI will be collaborating with the CD-1 Progressive Coalition (as well as other groups such as Indivisible and MoveOn) to turn out at local actions in the coming months.  Many of these actions are as simple as showing up and holding a sign! We will always reach out via this newsletter and on Facebook to make everyone aware of the events, however, we realize that not everyone is able to keep on top of all the events that are happening.  Additionally, some events, by design or need are organized very quickly.  We are looking to create an email list of people who are interested and willing to show up for those local (and usually one-time) events.  

The idea is simple, just email to Riseupwesternmass@gmail.com and let us know you want to be put on our RUWMI Local Action Team list.  When local standouts, rallies, congressional office visits etc., are scheduled, we will email you with specifics about the event. 

Please note that these emails are not meant to be simply informational, but more a call to action, so it is the expectation that most people receiving the email will in fact show up (or let us know that they can’t).

Action Items

  • RUWMOneSmallThing – While we were focused on the shutdown, locally known immigrant activist Eduard Samaniego was denied due process. We can’t let this story get buried. So, this week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing, one small thing you can do that will make a difference, is to sign and share this petition. If you have a little extra time you can make some phone calls to ICE Atlanta Field Director, Sean Gallaghar: (404) 893-1206, and Asst. Director, Kristen Sullivan: 404-893-1203, and emphasize these points: 1) EDUARDO MUST RECEIVE DUE PROCESS in court. 2) Eduardo is not a flight risk or danger– he must be released to receive urgently needed medical care at his home in MA. 3) He should not be incarcerated while he works towards a path to permanent protection. Lastly, we can write to – Kirstjen M. Nielsen, Secretary of Homeland Security, 800 K Street, NW, #1000, Washington, DC 20528. Include in your letters: I am writing in support of Eduardo Samaniego (A#: 206-862-839). My name is [YOUR NAME]. (Something about how wonderful Eduardo is here). End with: Eduardo is not a flight risk and we demand his immediate release on bond so that he can pursue medical treatment and legal remedies.
  • Join Postcards to Voters – Got a little time to write some postcards from home?  Then sign-up with Postcards to Voters. Postcards to Voters are friendly, handwritten reminders from volunteers to targeted voters giving Democrats a winning edge in close, key races coast to coast. What started on March 11, 2017 with sharing 5 addresses apiece to 5 volunteers on Facebook so that they could mail postcards to voters in Jon Ossoff’s race grew! Now, we consist of over 59,000+ volunteers in every state who have written close to 4 million postcards to voters in over 140 key, close elections.  They have a postcard campaign going on now to help flip a state seat in a special election in Tennessee. 
  • Where are the children? – From: Immigrant Justice Now, A new report by the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services estimates that thousands of children were being separated from their parents for at least one year before the administration announced their separation policy to the public. HHS officials failed to keep records of the identity or tracking of these children because they say they were not legally required to do so before the June 2018 court order. The human rights of thousands of children were violated by this administration and we demand answers. We demand accountability. We demand justice. We must demand that Secretary Nielsen explain where these children are and that our members of Congress investigate #WhereAreTheChildren?
    • Text “congress” to 50409 [via ResistBot] and tell your representatives we DEMAND accountability and transparency.
    • Take the next step by asking your representatives to take the Pledge for Immigrant Justice using this link.  
  • Support Humanitarian Workers on the Border – From Indivisible MA: Four humanitarian aid workers affiliated with No More Deaths/No Mas Muertes were found guilty at a bench trial on Friday of misdemeanor charges for leaving water and food for migrants in a restricted area of Arizona’s Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, where 137 migrants have died. This is the first time in a decade that a humanitarian aid volunteer along the border has been found guilty; “If giving water to someone dying of thirst is illegal, what humanity is left in the law of this country?” asked a No More Deaths statement. Since Trump’s ascendancy, the permit to enter the refuge requires initialing a “new clause saying that . . . you are agreeing to not put food, water, blankets, socks, medical care out on the refuge.” Let’s call the Border Patrol at 877-227-551 to remind them that leaving anyone to die in the desert is immoral. Let’s also lend our support to No More Deaths.
  • Learn about Progressive Massachusetts legislative priorities – From Rogan’s List: The group Progressive Massachusetts has announced its 2019-2020 legislative priorities—16 bills that will advance shared prosperity, racial and social justice, good government, and a healthy environment. Let’s look at the list here, and let’s tell our state legislators that we want them to co-sponsor these bills.
  • Join MoveOn’s Crisis Response Network – MoveOn has activated its (Nobody is Above the Law) Crisis Response once already, and they are prepared to do it again if Trump declares a state of emergency to get his wall. If Trump takes this extraordinary step, it may also allow him to enact other brazen anti-democratic policies, which is why hundreds of thousands of MoveOn members are ready to mobilize in protest if Trump tries to seize broad new authorities by declaring a state of emergency to build his wall.  In order to be notified of the specifics of the response near you, you need to sign up with the network ahead of time.  There are two local ones in our area.  You can use this link to sign up for the Springfield based response and this link for the Longmeadow based response.
  • Join our Facebook Group – We have launched our new community Facebook group and we need your help to bring it to life!  This group will allow you, our members, to share information and engage in conversations. Use this link and send a join request.  You will be directed to two screener questions and then admitted into the group.  Let’s connect!

Mark Your Calendars – Upcoming Events

  • Instant Issues After Hours: Eric Lesser on Leadership & Negotiation – Tuesday, January 29, 5:30-7:00PM, Merriam-Webster Inc, 47 Federal Street, Springfield. The World Affairs Councils of western Massachusetts is a nonpartisan international affairs organization that serves the community through monthly events featuring speakers with international expertise, a school partnership program to enhance the classroom experience including our annual Academic WorldQuest competition for area high schools, and the United States Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. The World Affairs Council will present Massachusetts State Senator Eric Lesser in conversation with Dr. Joshua Weiss, program director for Bay Path University’s Master of Science in Leadership and Negotiation, at an Instant Issues After Hours event on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at 5:30 p.m at Merriam-Webster, Inc. 47 Federal Street in Springfield on Leadership & Negotiation Challenges in the World of Politics: International Relations Edition. Please RSVP by Friday, January 25, 2019. Light refreshments will be available. Free parking is available.  Please enter at the front of the building.

The Instant Issues series is generously sponsored by Wilbraham & Monson Academy and Sir Speedy. View the event on Facebook here.

  • Town Hall with Jim McGovern – Saturday, February 2, 2:00-4:00PM, The Deuce (World War II Club), 50 Conz St, Northampton. Let your voice be heard! Join Congressman Jim McGovern (MA Dist 2) for a Town Hall Discussion with Tiffany Muller, President & Executive Director of End Citizens United. If you plan on attending please sign up through this link.  For more information you can view the event on Facebook here. This event is free and open to the public.
  • Achieving High Quality Affordable Healthcare in MA – Sunday, February 3, 9:30AM-12:00PM, Sinai Temple, 1100 Dickinson St, Springfield. How Can We Achieve High Quality Affordable Health Care in Massachusetts: An Interactive Discussion and Informational Session. Access to affordable high-quality health insurance continues to be a top issue in the United States and in Massachusetts.  Social justice and Jewish ethics support the idea that health care should be a basic human right, available to all. This educational program, sponsored by the Sinai Temple’s Social Action Committee, will include conversations about your concerns with the health care system, an overview from experts about current approaches being debated on Beacon Hill, and will include a Jewish perspective. This event is open to everyone who would like to attend. View more details here.
  • Fund Our Future – Thursday, February 7, 5:30-7:30PM, Forest Park Middle School, 46 Oakland Street, Springfield. Join with other Springfield community members to find out what you can do to end the generations long underfunding of local public schools and public colleges and universities this year. For decades, Massachusetts has failed to address the persistent education inequality that often exists between students in one community and those in the city or town right next door. It’s wrong, we know it’s wrong, and we can’t wait another year for our state leaders to provide the funding they promised to fix it.  View event details here.
  • Section 7 Organizing and Community Supported Unionism – Saturday, February 9, 1:00-2:30PM, St. Philip’s Church, 128 Main Street, Easthampton. Despite the weakness of U.S. labor laws, Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act does protect “concerted activity” by workers with or without a union, citizen and non-citizen alike. This workshop is for non-union workers (alas, the majority of us) and students going into the workplace. While getting into the details of asserting their rights, it also introduces the role of Jobs With Justice and community organizations in their defense and helps them decide when to actually form a union.

This is a free offering of the Truth School; registration is required. Register at truthschool.org or view event details here.

  • Springfield Area National Medicare for All Week of Action – Sunday, February 10, 2:00-4:00PM, American International College, 1000 State Street, Springfield. Join as part of the National Medicare for All Week of Action. Hundreds of events are happening across the country as activists come together to win Medicare for All. We’ll talk about what’s at stake, our plan to win, and what you can do to take action and get involved. RSVP here. For more details, view the event on Facebook here.
  • On The Exhale (play) – Sunday, February 10, at 2:30pm (*with post show discussion led by Dr. Bindu Kalesan- Sunday ONLY), and Monday February 11 at 7:30pm, A.P.E. Gallery, 126 Main St., Northampton. A conversation centered around current gun violence in America. Serious Play Theatre Ensemble presents-Staged Reading of compelling new script discovered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last August. The play gets inside the steps a grieving mother takes to cope with her extreme loss. It creates a visceral experience as opposed to the often-intellectual experience of gun violence and human life lost. We will list ways to take constructive action on the program too. Tickets can be purchased here. $20 General, $18 Students / $24 at the door. Performances for 14 yrs.& up
  • Our Revolution’s Medicare for all Barnstorm! – Tuesday, February 12, 6:15PM, Chicopee Public Library, 449 Front St, Chicopee. Our Revolution Chicopee will coordinate with National Nurses United, and other Our Revolution chapters all over the country, to host a Medicare for all Barnstorm. This will be a video viewing event, helping us to prepare and organize for Medicare for All advocacy & education in 2019 & beyond. This topic will continue to be widely discussed on local and national platforms as we enter a new election season, making this the perfect opportunity to spread the word about about Medicare for all! View event details here.
  • How to Apologize for Slavery – Wednesday, February 13, 7:00-9:00PM, Jones Library, 43 Amity St, Amherst. Throughout U.S. history, ongoing resistance to offer a state apology for slavery and Jim Crow has served to deepen divides and continues to adversely impact our nation’s social fabric. Join us to hear Dr. Theodore R. Johnson, a public policy expert on race and social justice, explore these questions and more. This event is part of our Spring 2019 Event Series, “Rehumanizing and Restoring Relationships: The Role of Apology, Memorialization and Reparation in Redressing Historical Injustice”, a collaborative effort hosted by Critical Connections and The Karuna Center for Peacebuilding. View the event on Facebook here.
  • 2nd Annual Black Issues Summit – Friday, February 15, 1:00-5:00PM, Alumnae Library, Elms College, 291 Springfield St, Chicopee. Register now for this free conference that engages us all in pertinent issues in today’s climate using this link. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion will host the 2nd annual Black Issues Summit on Friday, Feb. 15, in Alumnae Library. This year’s theme is “Equity in Justice.” The summit, which provides an opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue about pertinent issues affecting the black community, takes place within the larger context of Black History Month celebrations at Elms College. You can also view the event on Facebook here.
  • 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: news@indivisible-ma.org.

Indivisible National

Your advocacy worked.

For so long, it felt like we were in a stalemate. House Democrats kept passing bills and Senate Republicans kept ignoring them.

But on Wednesday, we called for a movement-wide call-in day of action. And your pressure worked. Indivisibles made 16,821 calls this week (more than 12,000 calls on Wednesday alone!). From all 50 states… to all 100 Senators. This was our movement’s biggest coordinated call-in action since December 2017. And on Thursday, when the Senate took up two different funding bills — Trump’s phony “deal” with nearly $6 billion for the wall and the Democrats’ bill with no funding for the wall — the Democrats’ proposal got more votes. In fact, five Republican Senators flipped, voting for the Democrats’ bill and making it clear Trump’s proposal was dead on arrival.

We made calls Wednesday (Indivisible Guide 101!), and Thursday the tide turned. This week is a great reminder that you never know where the cracks will show up when pressure is applied everywhere — on both our Democratic and Republican Members of Congress (MoCs).

•          Winning the House in November gave Democrats a stronger negotiating hand. The actions and calls you made encouraged them to stay strong under pressure. This easily could have gone the other direction without all the work of committed activists over the last two years.

•          And while constituent pressure applied to Republican MoCs may feel like you’re screaming into the void and they may never publicly change their stance… relentless pressure can often scare them into turning on each other in private.

Trust us, Trump and Republicans didn’t cave out of the goodness of their hearts. They did so because you forced their hand. Take a deep breath, pat yourselves on the back, and take a moment to enjoy this victory. We’re blown away.

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