Solidarity Lowell is a coalition of community members of Greater Lowell working towards social justice and standing together against hate and discrimination.

Join our mailing list!

Help Marius Cover His Lawyer's Fees and Stay in the Country

Marius is a Togolese asylum-seeker, who has recently moved to Lowell to fight for asylum in the Boston federal immigration courts. Marius comes from a family of political dissidents fighting for greater democracy, and was forced to flee his country after his parents were murdered by the government. He has been threatened everywhere he's tried to rebuild his life, and last year decided to journey across South and North America to seek asylum in the United States. But Marius cannot do it alone. The Merrimack Valley Interfaith Sanctuary Network is providing housing for him, but he also needs funds for legal, medical and living expenses. We need to raise $500/month for his living expenses, plus at least $2000 in lawyer’s fees so any amount you can donate is greatly appreciated.

 

Use THIS donation button to make a tax-deductible donation (please write “asylum” in the “special notes” part of the donation form).

For more information and for a non-tax-deductible way to donate, here is the GoFundMe page.

From the Rapid Response Team

SOLIDARITY LOWELL RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR APRIL 06, 2021

SOLIDARITY LOWELL
RAPID RESPONSE TEAM
ACTION LIST FOR APRIL 06, 2021
The RRT (Rapid Response Team) Action List compiles action items from the week and upcoming events into one place. If you would like to add anything to the weekly update, please send it to Dee Halzack at dee@solidaritylowell.com.

BE CAREFUL OUT THERE FOR THE SAFETY OF YOURSELF AND EVERYONE YOU KNOW!

Priority Actions

LTC Community Panel on Discrimination & Racism

Thursday, April 8, 6pm

To register: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_kaZ2zfJFQ_CSoqWoAkmoWw

Join LTC for a panel discussion with a diverse group of community members from different religious, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds across Lowell. The panel will focus on recent incidents of antisemitism and racism in the city of Lowell.

How best can we listen to the voices of those most impacted? What can we do to actively come together and build the kind of Lowell where we are all safe and have a voice?

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Postcarding for Progress

Sunday, April 11, 3:00pm

Bridge the new and the old by Postcarding for Progress. Join Solidarity Lowell this Sunday, April 11th for a virtual gathering where we will write postcards in support for progressive legislation. We will provide the topic and script. You provide the postcards, stamps, pens, and creativity.

Email caroline@solidaritylowell.com for the Zoom link.

Local Events and Actions

Citizens Advisory Council

(second Thursday of each month)
Thursday, April 8, 5:30pm

Agenda: https://www.lowellma.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_03112021-1885

Members of the public wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending an email to mmanzi@lowellma.gov indicating the agenda item and a primary/secondary (backup) phone number to call to be conferenced into the meeting. If no access to email, call 978-674-1903 to register to speak.

Bi-Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, April 8, 5pm

Concerned about the eviction crisis in Lowell? Would you like to join a group working on ways to address it? This is the group. Current plans include publication of a resource booklet, a simple flier with steps for folks facing eviction, and neighborhood organizing.

978-222-7877 lowellhousingaction@riseup.net

Next City Council Meeting

(2nd and 4th Tuesdays at 6:30pm)
Tuesday, April 13, 6:30pm

At the beginning of the emergency, the City Council voted to meet every 2 weeks to facilitate safe distancing. Watch the meeting on LTC (Channel 99 or https://www.ltc.org/watch/channel-99/). Members wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending an email to the City Clerk indicating the agenda item and a phone number to call so that they may be issued a Zoom link into the meeting.  Email address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV.  If no access to email you may contact the City Clerk at 978-674-4161. Requests must be received by 4 pm the day of the meeting. (Note: they will keep you in the waiting room until it’s your turn to speak, so in order to follow the meeting you need to listen on TV, but turn that off when you speak because there’s a delay on the speakers.)

The agenda is posted at http://lowellma.gov/agendacenter the Friday before a meeting. Look under City Council, look for the date of the meeting of interest, click on Download, and select the version (HTML, PDF, or packet, which includes background) you want to see.

For more details, keep an eye out for the April 9 RRTCCR post by Lisa Arnold.

Moses Harris’s Family needs the support of their community

A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help with their material needs.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/moses-harris

T-shirt fundraiser

See the flier on the CAJE Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CAJE.LowellMA

Support those arrested at the protest on March 20

From CAJE: We need EVERYONE to support our people who were arrested, and who responded to this emergency, by donating to cover their expenses. LPD’s violence has now manifested as FINANCIAL ABUSE.
https://fundrazr.com/CAJEsupports

Contact City Councilors to Seek Justice for Moses Harris

We ask that you contact city councilors regarding the incident with Moses Harris to ask for an independent investigation.

Form to contact Lowell City Councilors: https://www.lowellma.gov/FormCenter/Contact-the-City-Council-5/City-Council-Contact-Form-45

Sample Script: “Hello, this is [Name] calling from [Address, City, State, ZIP] and Solidarity Lowell. The death of Moses Harris in Lowell should be the subject of an independent investigation.  Moses Harris disappeared into the Concord River on December 19th during an encounter with the Lowell Police and his body was found in early March. The Harris-Wahpo family has been seeking answers about the incident. I ask that you call for an independent investigation of this incident, and find out which department policies were followed or violated that allowed this to happen. Thank you!”

NOTE: It is important that you include your full name and address (including ZIP code).

We Share a Common Thread Foundation Awards

Every quarter, this Jeanne D’Arc Foundation awards a grant to a local non-profit through Give-A-Click, based on community voting.
This quarter’s contestants are:

  • L’Arche Boston North
  • The Bridge Club of Greater Lowell
  • St. Paul’s Soup Kitchen

Voting ends June 30.

To vote, go to: https://www.weshareacommonthread.org/Give-a-Click/

Other Events

Overview of State Elections Actions

With Eliza Sweren-Becker of the Brennan Institute for Justice
Wednesday, April 7, 7:00pm

To register: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUuduyurj0sH9TLtS3wtlOKpagaDLFLfO1j

It isn’t just Georgia. In January of 2021, many state legislatures proposed bills to scale back voting.  Eliza Sweren-Becker of the Brennan Institute for Justice and her team have been counting and analyzing the 253 bills from 43 states proposed to curtail Americans’ access to the ballot.  Find out where they stand now and the ramifications moving forward.

Indivisible Acton Forum

Monday, April 12, 6:15-7:45

To register: https://www.mobilize.us/indivisibleacton-area/event/380799/

On the agenda: 1) For the People Act (H.R.1/S.1) and 2) Reforming the State House

Voices for Justice – “John Lewis: Good Trouble” Roundtable

Tuesday April 13, 7:30pm

To register: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_bqIQ421jSlOffs2bAT3RDg

This virtual roundtable conversation is a continuation of the Cambridge Public Library Foundation’s Voices for Justice series.

On April 13th, Callie Crossley (WGBH) will moderate a discussion about “Good Trouble” today with panelists Prof. Danielle Allen (James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University), Elijah Booker (Activist and current Legislative Aide at the MA House of Representatives), Shirley Mark, (Director of Community Partnerships, Tufts University), and Rev. Ray Hammond (Co-Pastor, Bethel AME Church). For more information about these featured guests, please visit www.cplfound.org/goodtrouble.

PLEASE NOTE: On April 10th, registered attendees will receive a link to screen the documentary film “John Lewis: Good Trouble.” The event on April 13th will consist ONLY of a roundtable discussion of the film and is not a film screening. Attendees are strongly encouraged to view the film prior to the roundtable using the link provided. The film will be available for screening through April 16th.

Indivisible CD-03 Town Hall with Rep. Lori Trahan

Wednesday, April 14, 5:30-6:30pm
To register & submit questions: https://www.mobilize.us/cd3/event/381473/

State-level Events and Actions

Email Joint Rules Conference Committee about transparency

If the Legislature is going to start diving into the work of the new legislative session in earnest, they need to pass a set of Joint Rules. These Joint Rules govern how committees operate and how bills can proceed.
But due to opposition to basic transparency measures from the MA House, there is no agreement yet on these basic operating procedures.
The transparency measures embraced by the Senate, listed in the sample message,  are both essential and non-controversial and will help legislators do their own jobs better and strengthen the participatory nature of our democracy.
A Conference Committee of three senators and three representatives is currently negotiating what that final set of Joint Rules will look like. Progressive Massachusetts is calling on us to email the Conference Committee today in support of an open and transparent process.

Addressees (leave spaces around @ out when emailing):

Joan.lovely @ masenate.gov
Ryan.fattman @ masenate.gov
Joseph.boncore @ masenate.gov
William.galvin @ mahouse.gov
Claire.cronin @ mahouse.gov
Paul.frost @ mahouse.gov

Sample message:
Dear Members of the Joint Rules Conference Committee:
Thank you for your work on finalizing a set of Joint Rules for the 192nd legislative session.

The Joint Rules should embody the commitment to democracy and transparency that many residents of the Commonwealth cherish.

In particular, I urge you to include the following measures in a final Joint Rules package:

  • Publishing committee votes on the Legislature’s website in an accessible manner
  • Making testimony accessible to the public, with appropriate redactions as with any other public records request
  • Extending the notice period for hearings to one week

All of these steps will help legislators do their own jobs better and strengthen the participatory nature of our democracy. 

Thank you for your time, and I hope to have your support in this. 

Sincerely,
<name>

 

Help lobby your state legislators to cosponsor the Mass Renews Alliance policies

None of the Lowell legislators has signed on to cosponsor the policies. The policies are encompassed in 3 bills (Building Justice with Jobs, Food Justice with Jobs, and Food Justice Frontline), as well as the eviction ban.
To learn more and sign up: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WMamQfs8Lz8tLBtHQ7chZFAqPuKCIW1YuUUK9AB-2dw

 

Our State Legislators’ Info

Please contact your state representative and state senator (email preferable at the moment)
(find yours here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator):
House Speaker Ronald Mariano: Ronald.Mariano@mahouse.gov 617-722-2500
Senate President: Karen E. Spilka: Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov 617-722-1500
Rep. Thomas Golden Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov  617-722-2263
Rep. Vanna Howard Vanna.Howard@mahouse.gov  617-722-2800 x7302; Google Voice: 978-272-9078.
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Rep. Colleen Garry Colleen.Garry@mahouse.gov 617-722-2380
Rep. Tram Nguyen tram.nguyen@mahouse.gov 617-722-2425
Sen. Edward Kennedy edward.kennedy@masenate.gov 617-722-1630
Sen. Michael Barrett Mike.Barrett@masenate.gov 617-722-1572
Sen. Jamie Eldridge James.Eldridge@masenate.gov 617-722-1120
Sen. Barry Finegold Barry.Finegold@masenate.gov 617-722-1612

Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02133

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Marius is the Togolese asylum seeker whom the Merrimack Valley Interfaith Sanctuary Network (MVISN) is sponsoring. With generous support from people like you and MVISN member groups like ours, Marius has retained an immigration lawyer, filed an application for asylum, and successfully moved his case to the Boston immigration courts from El Paso, exponentially increasing his possibility of ultimately winning his case. Until Marius receives legal authorization to work, our network has committed to financially supporting him with $500/month. Can you chip in towards the $500 we need to meet our commitment to him? Any amount will be gratefully accepted. Consider becoming a “sustaining supporter” by making a recurring monthly donation, no size too small! We are also looking for folks who are interested in helping on an ongoing basis, in any of these three committees: Legal, Fundraising, and Housing. If you’re interested, please email mvisn@solidaritylowell.com

Donate here: http://www.merrimackvalleyproject.org/donate-1/ (please write “asylum” in the “special notes” part of the donation form)

Solidarity Lowell is a volunteer group of community members of Greater Lowell working toward social justice by defending the human rights, dignity, and equality of all persons against all forms of hate and discrimination.

 Visit the Solidarity Lowell website: http://solidaritylowell.com

For more events not listed here, visit the full Events calendar: http://solidaritylowell.com/events/

For volunteer opportunities, visit our Volunteer page: http://solidaritylowell.com/volunteer-opportunities/

View the notes from our March meeting: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tBDTUsYbrenoWGcYoOOuWPlu7jKpxO2w4aJNE48bXvw/edit?usp=sharing

Recording of our March meeting: https://youtu.be/jJfxz4548JI

Solidarity Lowell is a chapter of Progressive Massachusetts. Click here to join: https://www.progressivemass.com/contribute
Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team

Upcoming Events

Things of Note

Racism is a Local Public Health Crisis

As an organization working for social justice for all in our city, Solidarity Lowell feels called to write in support of the Lowell Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Consortium and its letter to the city. It is good to see the City Council taking the Consortium’s letter seriously enough for there to be several motions beforeContinue reading →

Posted by Marissa in Local Justice, Things of Note