RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR MARCH 23, 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

Next Solidarity Lowell General Meeting – This Sunday!

Sunday March 28, 5:30pm, via Zoom

This month we’re preparing for our Coordinating Committee elections in April, and you’ll get a chance to meet the current CC members, ask questions, and learn what they do and how you can contribute. We’ll also discuss the Progressive Massachusetts Legislative Agenda.
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83928598186
Meeting ID: 839 2859 8186
Passcode: 675233
Are you interested in joining the Coordinating Committee? Email us at contact@solidaritylowell.com.

Solidarity with the AAPI Community

Go to StopAAPIHate.org to volunteer, donate, and access resources on how to support the AAPI community.

Go to the Asian American Commission  https://www.aacommission.org/statement-against-violence-and-xenophobia-faced-by-asian-communities/  for Massachusetts resources.

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Postcarding anyone?

To join our postcarding efforts to write to legislators on issues of interest , please fill out the following form:
https://forms.gle/h2V7gJ1e2WbY9dKU9

Local Events and Actions

Next City Council Meeting

(every 2 weeks, on Tuesday at 6:30pm)
Tuesday, March 23, 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. 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.  This week there are motions reaffirming the city’s commitment to inclusivity, requesting a report on hate crimes, especially anti-Asian hate crimes, in the city. For more details see the March 19 RRTCCR post by Lisa Arnold.

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, March 25, 5pm (now meeting bi-weekly)
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

Watch for an announcement of the next meeting, with Zoom link at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2658623527701727/

Monthly Sustainability Council Meeting

(4th Thursday of every month) Thursday, March 25, 6:30pm

March for Moses

Saturday March 27, 12:00-2:00pm (rain or shine)
850 Lawrence Street, Lowell
March to Lowell Police Headquarters (JFK Plaza/Arcand Drive)

Demand justice for Moses Harris, who disappeared during an encounter with the police. No police report has been made public as of publication date. Although Moses has been found, there are still a lot of questions that have not been answered. Deaths involving police should be investigated by an independent body not the police department involved in the incident.

Hosted by CAJE: Community Advocates for Justice and Equality https://www.facebook.com/CAJE.LowellMA

Moses’ 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

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.

HERE’S THE LATEST FROM COURT AS OF MARCH 22:

Our people were arrested and charged arbitrarily and capriciously with three bogus charges. As of their March 22 arraignment, one of those charges was dropped. That means our people will need to continue to appear in court over and over until the truth sings louder than the police screaming at us to get off a public sidewalk. Getting arrested is expensive. Going to court is expensive. As a community that protects one another, we can’t let our people who were robbed of their safety, go without. They gave for Moses, for the Harris-Wahpo family, and for all of us as we stand up for a better world. Being thrust into the injustice system for the simple act of seeking justice is abusive, and it’s violent, and it’s traumatic to every single person out here who is committed to fighting for a better world.

And! Please head over to insta and give @beckywiththegudhurr a follow to thank her for the awesome court support photo! https://fundrazr.com/CAJEsupports

Contact City Councilors Seeking 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 disappearance 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. The Harris-Wahpo family has been seeking answers about the incident, and the police have yet to release the police report. 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).

Mill City Nonprofits Nominated for Donations by MillTown Helping Hands

MillTown Helping Hands is a community give-back program. Each month, from all nominations received, MillTown will select 3 – 4 well-deserving local charities that could use a little help. Voting takes place throughout the month, and the nominee with the most votes will receive $1,000 donation.

March’s nominees are Pawtucketville Youth Organization, Nevins Family of Services, Challenge Me, Inc.-Andover Destination Imagination.

To vote for one, go to: https://milltownplumbing.com/milltowns-helping-hands/

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 The German Home; Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Inc.; International Institute of New England

Voting ends March 31.

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

Other Events

Be an Agent of Change: Achieve Health Justice

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2021 07:00 PM

Join A Faith That Does Justice and Healthcare for All for a conversation about the actions you can take as an individual to work towards justice, equity, and inclusion in health care. We learned at our most recent community meeting how disparities are impacting the health of communities of color. Now join us for a hands-on discussion about how you can put your faith into action to be an agent for change.

The workshop will be led by Peter Gyves, SJ, MD with Chris Noble, Health Justice Campaign Organizer at Health Care for All.

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMkcO-gqT4vE9EWDx-PThfBCGCLdCOVVpIo?_x_zm_[…]13573390272.a278a05283bf27fe1e02e9750954adc8&_x_zm_rhtaid=976 (edited)

Indivisible: State Advocacy Training

Wednesday, March 24, 8:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Framing the Issue
Indivisible National is launching a State Legislative Advocacy program to support the work that groups are doing on the ground to advocate for progressive legislation. The first session is entitled “Framing the Issue.” Attend this webinar to learn how to incorporate the intersections of race, class, gender, and experience into State and Local advocacy for 2021.

Get the details on each session and register HERE.
https://indivisible.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwkfu6hrz0jGN0PwjFqILy5-uiSPPNwMa50

(h/t Indivisible National)

The Holy Grail: Can Social Media and Civil Discourse Coexist?

March 25, 2:00EDT
To register:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lab-102-the-holy-grail-can-social-media-and-civil-discourse-coexist-tickets-142277079575

Join us for a provocative look at the intersection of social media and civil discourse. We will explore the impact that social media outlets and often contentious speech play on society, including its economic impact, consumer boycotts, the “cancel culture” phenomenon, relationships among friends, family and colleagues, as well as the positive benefits of social media.

Monica Anderson, Pew Research Center, and Beau Kiniry, BuzzFeed
Ian Curtiss, Guest Moderator

Massachusetts Town Hall on Anti-Asian Racism

Thursday, March 25 from 6-7:30pm
The COVID-19 pandemic has fueled xenophobia and anti-Asian racism. But Asian Americans have experienced violence long before the pandemic. Join this town hall, sponsored by a coalition of groups, highlighting how the Asian American community in MA is organizing against racism and learn how to support the community during the pandemic. Register here.

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_b6KfYzl4RfO6MuiYNjpRPA

HIAS Book and Film Club: “They Live Here, Now”

March 26, 2021 | Friday | 12:00-1:00pm ET

To register: https://www.hias.org/events/hias-book-and-film-club-march

Join the HIAS Book and Film Club for a discussion of “They Live Here, Now” with filmmaker Jason Outenreath and Rabbi Rachel Grant Meyer, HIAS Rabbi-in-Residence.  “They Live Here, Now” is an intimate fiction/doc hybrid, cinema-verite portrait of daily life for refugees from all over the world living at Casa Marianella, a volunteer-driven emergency homeless shelter in East Austin, Texas serving recently arrived immigrants, endangered refugees, and asylum seekers from around the world.

Advance registration required. Please click here to access the film and RSVP.

HOUSING IS A HUMAN RIGHT: WE CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN

First event: Saturday March 27 9am
A virtual exploration and call to action:
Housing in the US has become a commodity only available to the highest bidders—whether that be buyers or renters. Those who do not meet the financial challenge become homeless and are treated as if their situation is a personal failing, not the result of systemic issues designed to accommodate those with the resources. We believe that this system must change.

Join us for a virtual series on increasing access to affordable housing in Franklin County.

• On March 27, 2021 at 9 am, we kick off the event with a panel who will explore why affordable housing is difficult to find. We will consider how housing became a commodity, how it has been impacted by systemic racism created by government policy and what we can do with or without government help to create more affordable housing.

Panelists include: Brian Sargent, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, UMass Amherst; Linda Dunlavy, Executive Director, Franklin Regional Council of Governments; State Senator Jo Comerford and US Representative Ayanna Pressley (invited).

• 8 virtual workshops in April and early May will dive deeper into specific action areas
A full list of workshops and registration is available at https://housingishumanright.com. There is no fee for the keynote or any of the workshops.

Sponsored by Greening Greenfield and Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution.

March Movie Night Series

Sunday nights at 7pm ET
March 28

Learn. Discuss…spur conversations on our future as a cooperative society

CommunityBridge.com presents – An engaging series of films to spur conversations on our future as a cooperative society. March is Rebellion and Cooperatives month on CommunityBridge. This series of documentaries and films focuses on the United States history of uprisings that are left out of our school curriculum.

In US culture, these topics are usually framed to raise guilt and further repression, preventing positive dialog and actions to change the future. These films are presented as an opportunity for discussion, not blame, for building a movement towards an enlightened future and finding our part in the process as loving caring people working together to build a cooperative and inclusive economy for all.

We will share our thoughts on solutions and actions we can take as individuals and organizations working towards positive change and cooperative lives.

PRIMER: A link to a 4 minute video description of worker-owned cooperatives: https://youtu.be/pKN-gxmVRUc

March 28th

Mississippi’s War: Slavery and Secession – 1hr

State’s Rights vs Slavery?   What was the motivating factor that led to the conflict? Examine the reasons behind Mississippi’s decision to secede from the United States, and the ramifications that action had on its citizens.

Invite your friends to Movie Nights by sending them this link to sign on to the Movie Nights Invitation List:

https://lists.mayfirst.org/mailman/listinfo/movienight

Race Amity

Tuesday, March 30, 7:00-8:30pm
To register:  www.tinyurl.com/goodnowraceamity
Lecture and Media Presentation

By Award-Winning Race Relations Media Producer, Writer, Author and Documentarian William H. “Smitty” Smith, E.D.

Sponsored by the Goodnow Library Sudbury CARES Series and the Sudbury Committee for Racial and Social Justice

State-level Events and Actions

Ask Legislators to Support an Equitable Vaccine Rollout

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit communities of color in Massachusetts–communities already facing the brunt of crises of housing insecurity, economic inequality, and over-policing— especially hard. The vaccine rollout–characterized by technological failures, logistical confusion, and oversight after oversight–has compounded this inequity, as the rates at which communities of color have been vaccinated has been far less than their rate of hospitalization due to COVID.
The Vaccine Equity bill (SD.699 /HD.1283), filed by Senators Becca Rausch and Sonia Chang-Diaz and Representatives Liz Miranda and Mindy Domb, would ensure that equity is prioritized in the vaccine rollout in Massachusetts, recognizing that we can only have a successful recovery if it is an equitable one.
Contact your legislators in support of the bill: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/we-need-an-equitable-vaccine-rollout

Ask your legislators to co-sponsor 5 indigenous legislative agenda priorities

At the link you’ll find an editable email that lists the 5 bills.
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/indigenous-legislative-agenda-co-sponsorship-drive/thankyou?delivery_id=57871164

Tell your legislators you want remote access to government meetings to continue

At the link you’ll find an editable email to legislators in support of a bill that would revise the Open Meeting law to make remote access permanent.
https://action.aclu.org/send-message/tell-lawmakers-update-open-meeting-law

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 February meeting: https://docs.google.com/document/d/16ScrNKyVMRjXW7z-r19paPM__69hkMfCKSg10IY3OOA/edit?usp=sharing

Recording of our February meeting: https://youtu.be/nepLC8-Y5og

Solidarity Lowell is a chapter of Progressive Massachusetts. Click here to join: https://www.progressivemass.com/contribute

Posted by Caroline Snow