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

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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 10/10/19

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Solidarity Lowell Endorsed Candidate Celebration!

Monday, October 24th, 6-9pm, Warp and Weft, 197 Market St, Lowell

Join Solidarity Lowell in celebrating our recently endorsed candidates for City Council and School Committee! After completing our candidate surveys and participating in our forum (for City Council candidates), Solidarity Lowell is proud to have endorsed the following for City Council: Juan Castaneda, Ty Chum, John Drinkwater, Harry Kortikere, and Vesna Nuon. And the following School Committee candidates: Sherri Barboza, Hilary Clark, Jackie Doherty, and Ben Opara. We hope you’ll join us to meet these candidates and hear where they stand on important issues!

More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/368904267327296/

Solidarity Lowell Endorsed Candidate Postcard Party

Sunday, October 13th, 6-8pm, Sweet Journey, 30 Central St, Lowell

Let’s get out the word for Solidarity Lowell’s endorsed City Council and School Committee candidates! Treat yourself to some delicious honey toast or bubble tea and help write postcards to local voters in support of these progressive candidates.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/436035317313849/

 

SAVE THE DATE! Solidarity Lowell October Meeting: Restorative Justice

Sunday, October 27th, 5:30-7pm, Christ Church United, 1 Bartlett St, Lowell

Join us for the monthly general meeting of Solidarity Lowell! This month our guest speaker is Margot Fleischman, president of the Board of Directors of Communities for Restorative Justice (C4RJ) and a civic leader in the town of Bedford, MA. She has been a Bedford Selectman since 2012 and previously served for five years on the Bedford Planning Board. Margot has held a variety of leadership roles in local and regional organizations, bringing a focus on promoting healthy communities to her work.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/405215050400351/

 

Join the Cleanup Crew!

We’re looking to start organizing a cleanup of South Common. After holding our Cultural Exchange Potluck there the past two years, we’ve found a lot of trash that needs picking up! If you’re interested in helping, please sign up below!

Sign up here: https://forms.gle/pcr5vC5sy9pkVyhWA

 

Little Free Libraries

Solidarity Lowell and Chaos Bookery are joining forces to add a Little Free Library to each neighborhood in Lowell! We’re looking for locations (preferably on private property), stewards (folks to maintain the libraries and check on them on a weekly basis), and builders (there are plans online but let us know if you want to help build the libraries). If you’re interested, please sign up below!

Sign up here: https://forms.gle/HHbWF7vveUD8rqey6

 

Local Events and Actions

Donate to Keep Vibol Sok in the US!

On October 3rd, Lowell resident Vibol Sok was taken into ICE custody. He has lived in the United States since he was 8 years old and is now at risk of being deported back to Cambodia. Please pitch in whatever you can to cover his legal fees. You can learn more from his sister, SoSo Sok, here: https://www.facebook.com/khmersoup/videos/10218934973779544/ and here: https://www.facebook.com/khmersoup/videos/10218966882217235/

Donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/vibol039s-legal-assistance-to-stop-deportation

Time to Meet Ty Chum for Lowell City Council

Thursday, October 10th, 5:30-7:30pm, JJ Boomers, 705 Pawtucket Blvd, Lowell

This is the last physical fundraising event for City Council candidate Ty Chum. Please drop by and show some love and support. From Ty, “Remember you’re my boss and I can’t do my job right if you don’t let me know your wants and needs.” Ty Chum is endorsed by Solidarity Lowell.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/657196794767143/

 

Drinkwater for Lowell Canvass

Saturday, October 12th, 10am, 26 Market St, Lowell

Join John and volunteers as we get out and talk to Lowell voters about John’s priorities and the importance of getting out to vote on November 5th! John Drinkwater is endorsed by Solidarity Lowell.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/1446422285497220/

 

Commemorate Indigenous Peoples in Massachusetts: Indigenous Resistance and Resilience in 1670s Lowell Tour

Monday, October 14th, 1-2:30pm, Lowell National Historical Park, 246 Market St, Lowell

This 90-minute walking tour explores how Indigenous people living in greater Lowell in the 1670s confronted and resisted colonialism through combat, and through their command of the Algonquian and English language. The walk will also discuss how nineteenth century Lowellians selectively remembered and celebrated their past, and what implications that has for our understanding of Lowell’s past.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/2327884347540305/

 

Westford Climate Action Now Rally

Thursday, October 17th, 4-7pm, Westford Town Common, Westford

Come protest on the Westford Town Common for climate action now! We have 11 years left to take dramatic action to stop the extinction of not only our own species but of one million total species and creating an unlivable future. We must make change now, before it is irreversible!

More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/397190804249591/

 

October Canal Cleanup

Saturday, October 19th, 9am-12pm, Guaranteed Aluminum, 349 Bridge St, Lowell

We’re squeezing in one last cleanup this year under the Centralville side of the Cox Bridge on Bridge St. Focus again will be on removing trash and invasive plants (some of which are a bit thorny). Hope to see you there.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/523740741749152/

 

 

 

State- and National-Level Events and Actions

Musical Protest Against Detention with HONK!

Sunday, October 13th, 8:30-10pm, South Bay Detention Center, 44 Bradston St, Boston

Join Resist the Raids, Massachusetts Jobs with Justice and bands from the Honk! Festival of Activist Street Bands to show musical solidarity with our friends, family and neighbors who are locked up in Suffolk County House of Correction and the ICE immigrant detention center. Bring your drums, horns, pots and pans to break the silence around incarceration, raids and deportations. We want our folks home where they belong! Honk! down the walls! Meet up at the corner of Southampton St. and Bradston St. in Boston.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/1237385166449617/

Support Data Equity Now!

Tuesday, October 15th, 10am-6pm, Massachuetts State House, 24 Beacon St, Boston

H.2681 suggests that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts standardize state forms to collect optional race and ethnicity data to more closely resemble the way the federal Census breaks down demographic data. This allows for more comprehensive research, analysis, and provision of services to all of our Commonwealth’s diverse communities. This would highlight and uplift data representing communities in our Commonwealth including but not limited to Vietnamese, Cambodian, Bangladeshi, Nepalese, Haitian, Cape Verdean, Ethiopian, Somalian, Puerto Rican, Salvadoran, Dominicans, and Colombians.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/838868316511241/

 

October Jericho Walk at the Burlington ICE Office

Tuesday, October 15th, 1-2pm, 1000 District Ave, Burlington

Join us for our monthly Jericho Walk at the ICE office in Burlington, MA. The Jericho Walk is a silent interfaith prayer and act of solidarity. The walk draws inspiration from the Battle of Jericho, in which the community marched around the city of Jericho seven times, causing the city walls to fall. The Jericho Walk of today is a silent, peaceful, and prayerful walk to bring down the walls of our unjust immigration system and is open to people of all or no faiths. Please bring signs!

More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/2387208214940495/

 

Call to Support the Cambodian Community

Senator Elizabeth Warren: 617-565-3170
Senator Edward Markey: 617-565-8519
Representative Lori Trahan: 978-459-0101

Sample Script: “Hello, I’m [Name] from [Address] and Solidarity Lowell. I would like to express my grave concern about the detention and deportation of Cambodian Americans who are members of our community in Lowell. Since 2017, we have seen a sharp increase in the arbitrary detention and removal of Southeast Asian American community members. This increase heavily impacts communities in Massachusetts such as those in Lowell and Lynn, which have the second and third largest Cambodian populations in the United States. I am urging you to demand that the Department of Homeland Security halt all ICE raids targeting the Cambodian community, including many long-term Cambodian American residents of Massachusetts. Thank you!”

More information: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1V2tj0Fu4N3o-NBIiwPZcknmXB1d_yShp/view

 

Support Election Day Registration

Please contact your state representative (find yours here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator):
House Speaker Robert DeLeo: 617-722-2500

Rep. Thomas Golden 617-722-2263
Rep. David Nangle 617-722-2520
Rep. Rady Mom 617-722-2460
Rep. Colleen Garry 617-722-2380
Rep. Tram Nguyen 617-722-2425

Sample Script: “Hello, I’m [Name] from [Address] and Solidarity Lowell. As voting rights are under attack in other states, we need to strengthen the right to vote here at home. That means making sure that all eligible voters who want to cast a ballot on Election Day are able to participate. Massachusetts’s 20-day registration deadline, however, denies thousands of eligible voters the right to vote. It is arbitrary, unjust, and unnecessary, and our neighbors in Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Vermont have already done away with their voter registration deadlines. I urge you to support legislation bringing Election Day Registration to Massachusetts (H.685). Thank you!”

More information: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/S396

 

Support the Student Opportunity Act

Please contact your state representative (find yours here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator):
House Speaker Robert DeLeo: 617-722-2500

Rep. Thomas Golden 617-722-2263
Rep. David Nangle 617-722-2520
Rep. Rady Mom 617-722-2460
Rep. Colleen Garry 617-722-2380
Rep. Tram Nguyen 617-722-2425

The Student Opportunity Act passed the Senate! Now we need to encourage our State representatives to do the same!

Sample Script: “Hello, I’m [Name] from [Address] and Solidarity Lowell. The Student Opportunity Act (S. 2350) will provide $1.5 billion per year in new school funding to help the students who need it the most. Thank you!”

More information: https://fundourfuturema.org/take-action/

 

 

 

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Chelms-FED Up Postcarding

Every Tuesday, 9:30-11:30am, The Java Room, 14 Littleton Rd, Chelmsford

Fed up in Chelmsford? Come join us at The Java Room! We will be writing postcards for upcoming municipal elections! Information, addresses, and supplies provided, but feel free to bring your own supplies and info as well. See you there!

For more information, contact Hope at hope@solidaritylowell.com

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. He will be eligible to apply for a work permit at the beginning of November. 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 in 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)

 

Join the Affordable Housing Subcommittee

As a result of our recent Strengthening Our Cities workshop series and activities at meetings, Solidarity Lowell is creating a subcommittee that will focus on the topic of affordable housing. If you are interested in joining, sign up using the form below.

Sign up here: https://forms.gle/RcDDqskH7bsurq4D9

 

Join the Elections Subcommittee

Our endorsements for the 2019 election cycle have been announced, and now we need to support these candidates! If you’re interested in helping out, please contact us at the email below.

If you’re interested, please email contact@solidaritylowell.com

Posted by Greg in Rapid Response Team

Upcoming Events

Things of Note

Got Questions on the Lowell Voter Lawsuit?

You may have heard something about the lawsuit being filed against the City of Lowell’s all at-large local voting system for City Council and School Committee. You might be wondering, why a lawsuit? And how is an all citywide at-large local government discriminatory? You can download this PDF, which answers a lot of these questions.Continue reading →

Posted by Lynne in Local Justice, Things of Note, Voting