Tuesday, June 23, 2020

We Won't Be Silent Anymore

Happy Juneteenth!
Which side are you on? If you choose to remain neutral in situations of injustice,  Bishop Desmond Tutu states you have chosen the side of the oppressor. The following are some photos of a local Juneteenth march and community event celebrated by those who have chosen to take the side of the oppressed. They have chosen to take this message to the streets and declare boldly, "Black Lives Matter!"
Juneteenth celebrates the date June 19, 1865, the day when the last of the slaves in the defeated Confederacy were informed of the Emancipation Proclamation. If you're not familiar with it, you're not alone. It's not a holiday that's taught much in American schools because history texts are written predominantly by the "winners," and we all know from the past 155 years that white supremacy has reigned in the good ol' U.S. of A.
But this year the holiday has taken on special meaning in the wake of the George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery killings (among others). It has become a wake up call that freedom for all may be proclaimed by those in power, but in reality it doesn't exist until all are free from the tyranny of police brutality and governmental manipulation.
There was music, singing and public declarations of solidarity once the marchers made it to their destination at the Frederick Douglass Community Center. This is the beauty of Juneteenth--the continued freeing of the minds of those enslaved by the predominant racist culture in America.
As the song says, "Somebody is hurting our people, and it's been going on far too long. And we won't be silent anymore!" 2020 is the year to break both the chains of bondage and silence that keep the immoral oligarchs in power.

Our lives begin to end the day that we become silent about things that matter. --MLK

We Won't Be Silent Anymore
by C.A. Matthews
This past Saturday, June 20, the first day of summer, the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival was to take place in Washington, DC. Unfortunately the coronavirus pandemic shut down the marches, protests and speeches that were planned to be given live in our nation's capital. Still, this seemingly insurmountable obstacle didn't stop the PPC organizers.

The Poor People's Moral March on Washington went digital instead. The three and half hour broadcast was available on Facebook and other online platforms and gathered an audience of (at last count) two million and a half. It was filled with interviews, songs, sermons and prayers, but most of all it was filled primarily with the visuals and the voices of the poor themselves--people of all colors, ethnicities and religions, children, LGBTQ folks, immigrants (documented and undocumented), indigenous Americans, the elderly, the health challenged, workers making slave wages, unprotected "essential" pandemic workers, workers who are persecuted when they try to organize into unions for their own welfare and protection...

These are the voices that need to be heard after all--not those of celebrities or the ordained clergy who sympathize with the plight of America's poor. The poor can eloquently and succinctly tell their own stories, thank you very much. There's no need to patronize them or treat them as less than able. There's no need to have an overly self-entitled, educated person "interpret" the poor and their life stories as many in the mainstream media are wont to do.

The strength of this "Call for Moral Revival" comes from the unvarnished, uncensored narratives of those affected directly and intensely by racial discrimination, sexual harassment, police violence, capitalist exploitation, environmental devastation of their communities and lack of adequate health care. The Poor People's Campaign gives these voiceless people a voice and a chance to change their narrative for the better.

But will those who hoard the nation's wealth and power listen to these newly-voiced poor? It remains to be seen. But perhaps, combined with millions of masked activists marching in the streets this summer, our voices will at last be heard and become an undeniable fact to the immoral status quo. Perhaps, at last, we will be able to cry out as Martin Luther King Jr. did over fifty years ago and sincerely mean it, "Free at last, free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

For those who didn't get a chance to watch the broadcast, the following link will get you up to speed on the Poor People's Campaign.


PPC co-chair Dr. Barber speaks at about 2 hours 48 minutes into this video. (Thanks to The Tim Black Show for recording the broadcast on their You Tube channel.)


The Sunday before the Moral March, Dr. Barber gave the sermon at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.  It's a "truth to power" talk you can't afford not to hear. His spirited oratory is very reminiscent of the late Dr. Martin Luther King's. Listen carefully to his outline for how we can make life better for all Americans. Let your elected officials know that you support the PPC and want them to heed Dr. Barber as well.

Related articles:

A Moral Agenda for a Troubled America

Greta Thunberg on Black Lives Matter Protests: People Are Starting to Find Their Voice


Trump ally Senator Rick Scott is calling for sanctioning countries that request aid from Cuba’s medical missions, including the teams fighting COVID-19 around the world! For Trump & friends, spreading lies is more important than saving lives!
Trump and his allies are at it again, trying to convince the world that Cuban medical volunteers treating COVID-19 in 27 countries are actually victims of human trafficking. This time Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) is the one peddling the lie, and he’s gone so far as to ask the White House to sanction countries that receive help from Cuban doctors!
We know the truth: Cuban doctors are working all over the world as an expression of solidarity and love. As we formally launch the campaign to award the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize to Cuba’s Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade, we must also fight the vicious smears they are receiving. 
Click here to tell Senator Scott that demonizing Cuba’s medical missions is cruel, completely misguided and irresponsible, particularly during a global pandemic!
The claims about human trafficking are completely baseless. Cuban medical personnel volunteer for their missions abroad and earn more money on these missions than they make at home. Not all the missions earn revenue - only the countries that can afford it actually pay for the services. Some of this revenue goes to the doctors, while most goes directly to Cuba, where it is then reinvested in education and healthcare, thereby contributing to the wellbeing of the Cuban people and enabling Cuba to send even more missions abroad. That is a far cry from human trafficking, but Trump and his allies are more interested in spreading lies than in saving lives!
This is part of a coordinated plan to ruin Cuba’s economy. Just last week, the Trump administration imposed new sanctions on Cuba’s tourism industry and on its ability to handle remittances. Cuba’s medical cooperation is another important part of its economy. Rather than exporting weapons and violence, like the U.S., Cuba exports medical assistance!
Tell Senator Rick Scott that Cuba’s medical missions are an example of solidarity we should imitate, not sanction! Medea will deliver the petition to his office in Miami later this week.
Of course, the best response to Trump, Scott and their allies would be for Cuban medical personnel to win the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. CODEPINK is proud to be part of an international coalition seeking to recognize Cuba’s solidarity and internationalism. Check out the links in the p.s. for more info!
In friendship,Medea, Teri, Michelle and Leonardo
P.S. The Cuba Nobel campaign officially launched this week! Here’s what you can do to follow this campaign:
  1. If you haven’t already, sign the petition!
  2. Like and follow the campaign on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram 
  3. Check out the campaign’s website!
  4. Tell your friends about the campaign and help it grow!
  5. Check out Medea and Leonardo’s article on the Trump administration’s latest sanctions and threats towards Cuba
P.P.S. On Thursday at 11 a.m. Eastern / 8 p.m. Pacific, listen to Medea Benjamin talk about the campaign on CODEPINK radio!

Black men were found hanging from trees, but police dismissed their deaths as suicides. Demand justice now!


Sign Now

White Americans are increasingly waking up to the reality of racist police brutality, and now we're being faced with yet another terrible realization: that the evil of lynchings isn't confined to the past. In the last two weeks, three Black men have been found dead in public areas, their corpses dangling from ropes strung up in trees. The symbolism of using a noose to hang African Americans shouldn't be lost on anyone — this is directly related to hundreds of years of terror that have been inflicted on Black people. Yet police near Los Angeles and in New York don't seem to care about that.
In fact, in all three cases, officials have jumped to label the deaths as "suicides" — before autopsies had even been performed. In one case, police even lied about there being "no security cameras" nearby that could have recorded the murder, when in fact at least four existed. Malcolm Harsch, Robert Fuller, and Dominique Alexander all had full lives ahead of them. They had families who loved them, dreams, and aspirations. Now all three are dead, and the police have been reluctant to take their hangings seriously. Sign the petition to demand that police investigate these men's deaths as homicides, and that the U.S. Department of Justice review them as probable hate crimes!
Thank you for all that you do,
Miranda B.
The Care2 Petitions Team
P.S. At a time when the public is increasingly demanding police accountability, it's disturbing that they're so quick to assume "no foul play" in these lynchings. Demand that authorities find the racists who murdered these three men!

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