Dear PAGE Activist,
This week is about making some noise for those who are left out of the headlines. As the US-American mainstream news focuses on the tweets of men in suits in Washington, we call your attention to those struggling for basic rights and justice.
We’re inspired by the opening of the Equal Justice Initiative’s National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, which documents thousands of forgotten racial terror lynchings of black people in the US. The memorial is a space for people to confront and reflect on the country’s history of racial inequity, including the enslavement of black people, lynchings, racial segregation, and police violence. Read the EJI report, Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror, learn why the memorial is important, and share.
“Raise Up,” a sculpture by Hank Willis Thomas, at the memorial. Photo by Audra Melton / NYT / Redux
Then, turn to this week’s actions: take action to stop police violence against black women by calling for the firing of the police officers who assaulted Chikesia Clemmons. Support Nicaraguan protesters fighting government violence and privatization of public services (and listen to this protest song from a friend of PAGE). Protest the ongoing Israeli violence against Gazans. And as always, help us mobilize US-Americans abroad to register to vote.
Please help us spread the word about PAGE, by forwarding this email to friends, family members, and like-minded acquaintances, where they can join our community by clicking on this link to our sign-up sheet.
As always, our actions are curated for US Americans abroad and global citizens. If you’re new to PAGE, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out our website and updated toolkit.
PAGE Global Coordinating Committee
1. Justice for Chikesia Clemmons. Clemons was eating with friends at a Waffle House restaurant in Saraland, Alabama, USA, and requested to talk to the manager when they were told they would be charged extra for disposable silverware to go with their leftovers. The restaurant called the police instead. When officers arrived, they threw Clemons to the ground to arrest her, exposing her breasts, and threatened to break her arm (watch the shocking attack here). This violence - and the media that often keeps silent on the experience of women like Clemons - are all too reflective of the brutality faced by women of color every day. Read Clemons’ words and consider what this incident says about racial disparities in use of force by police.
2. Support Nicaraguan Protesters. This week, thousands of Nicaraguans have joined street protests, after the government announced austerity measures that would privatize most remaining public services. Human Rights Watch documented wide-scale government violence against protesters, including injuring hundreds of people, government killings of dozens of people, and the shutting down of media covering the protests.
Read up on “how the people lost their fear” to get up to speed on what’s going in in Nicaragua. Discuss with your PAGE group: what do we as activists have to learn from what is happening there now?
Follow Amnesty’s lead to contact Ortega and demand an end to the violence.
Follow FRIDA’s call for action from the international community. If you are a member of a civil society organization, human rights defender group, or other activist space, consider releasing a solidarity statement similar to FRIDA, or calling on policy members to take action.
3. Solidarity with Gazans. Israeli violence continues against Gazans fighting for their rights, even as the United Nations criticized the Israeli government’s “excessive force.” Palestinians are demanding the right to return for Palestinian refugees and protesting the inhumane conditions of life in Gaza. In the past few weeks since Gazans began the Great March of Return, Israeli soldiers have killed 40+ Palestinians and wounded more than 5,000 people protesting along the border fence. Israeli soldiers are reportedly intentionally shooting Palestinians in the legs, resulting in amputations, since the Israeli authorities consistently reject medical evacuations.
US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) drafted a letter, signed by several colleagues, to urge the State Department to act now to stop the violence and help alleviate Gaza’s humanitarian crisis. Call on your Senators to join, asking for restoration of funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which provides support for hundreds of thousands of refugees in Gaza, and easing restrictions on basic freedom of movement for people and resources in and out of Gaza.
Call for artist Ziggy Marley to cancel his performances in Israeli territory, with CodePink, to increase pressure in the media.
Celebrate the Durham, North Carolina City Council for passing a resolution to prohibit police exchanges with Israel. These exchanges promote militarized policing and civil rights abuses in both countries. Thank Durham for being the first US city to take this step, and check out their action plan for ideas for your own communities.
4. Forgotten Idea: Read up on a Jobs Guarantee policy. A jobs guarantee would drastically reduce poverty and have a disproportionately positive effect on communities of color. Historically a fringe idea, it is getting much more support recently, including from Presidential hopefuls, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Corey Booker (D-NJ), and Sanders. Read activist Ady Barkan’s call for a jobs guarantee.
5. Join our Global Get Out the Vote Efforts! We have a call 12 pm US Eastern Standard Time on Sunday, April 29. Email us to get call-in details.
Join fellow US-Americans abroad to Get Out The Vote for November elections! Share this series of skits from our friends at Action Together Zurich - here’s PAGE’s personal favorite! Their work recently was covered in USA Today.
Share widely with friends and on social media, along with a link to VoteFromAbroad.Org. Don’t forget to use this form to organize and track the number of people you register to vote and tweet us @PAGEofdemocracy to tell us about your efforts, using #NotTooFarAwayToVote!
The 2018 election is full of bold, exciting candidates; each week we feature one or two you should check out. This week we’re excited about Rochelle Galindo, who is running in Colorado House District 50. Rochelle grew up in a working class household, and is running on a platform of jobs, education, and transparency. She’s already served as an elected official for the City of Greeley, and was the first openly gay representative to do so.
** Thank you for your progressive action! **