We Can Help Immigrant Families

Los Angeles March for Immigrant Rights by Molly Bloom

Like any parent with some awareness of what’s happening in the world, I have been deeply disturbed by the “zero-tolerance” immigration policy that our president and his administration have adopted. Just as he instituted it, he can stop the barbaric, heartless and inhumane practice of separating children, often young, from their parents. He has chosen not to. Instead he is doubling down on separating families and putting children into what are, at best, prison camps and, at worst, concentration camps. I would encourage you to read what former Japanese internment camp prisoner, now psychotherapist, Satsuki Ina had to say about what the current administration is doing and the lasting effects it will have on the thousands of children being held.
We are not helpless. There are things we can do and I wanted to share some resources I’ve come across recently. To be clear, these aren’t things to make us feel better about what’s happening. I would encourage you to remain uncomfortable and disturbed. As odd as that may sound, the moment we stop being emotionally impacted by what’s happening is the moment this practice becomes normalized and accepted. It is not normal and it is completely unacceptable.

As Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.” Paying for great journalism is one way we can have an impact. I recommend the New York Times, Washington Post or The Guardian. Good journalism takes a lot on money to sustain. Many of the stories that have been written and syndicated about the separation of families and detailed accounts of the prison camps where children are being held would not be possible without the money generated by subscriptions.

The Cut has a great list of things you can do right now to help immigrant families separated at the border. Just today I donated to The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) as well as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Both organizations are doing some of the most important work on the issue.

If you can’t volunteer or give money, there’s an awesome app called 5 Calls that makes it exceptionally easy to call your elected officials. No matter what issue(s) you care about, calling elected officials is a simple and impactful action you can take on your lunch break or any other small window of downtime in your day.

My hope is that this information shows that you can do something. Stay angry, upset, outraged and disturbed, but don’t wonder what action you can take. If there are other things you’re doing, hit reply and let me know. Just like you, I want to help and am trying to gather as much information as I can.

Originally sent to subscribers of Outcome Unknown, an email list focused on parenting.

I just contributed on @theactionnet: LEAF Project for Universal Representation for Unaccompanied Children. Contribute here: https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/leafund

BRYCE DOT VC: Actions Speak Louder Than Avatars

BRYCE DOT VC: Actions Speak Louder Than Avatars

Senate will vote on bill to significantly expand military’s ability to imprison civilians, indefinitely and without charges or trial, in the United States and abroad. ACLU and Senator Udall (D-Colo.) oppose the bill.

Senate will vote on bill to significantly expand military’s ability to imprison civilians, indefinitely and without charges or trial, in the United States and abroad. ACLU and Senator Udall (D-Colo.) oppose the bill.

Stop Wondering What You Can Do To Support The Occupy Movement

My father taught me the importance of activism at a young age. He was on the national board of the ACLU and my first internship was at the ACLU office in Kansas City, MO. My father protested the Vietnam War and was expelled from the University of Kansas for participating in protests. He wasn’t afraid of being a troublemaker. It’s one of the reasons he’s my hero. He had a way with words and always encouraged non-violence. He was a pacifist, but also a black belt in karate. He had guns. He worked out almost every day of his life. I remember asking him why he worked out all the time. There were the obvious health-related reasons, but he also said something that stuck with me. He told me he worked out all the time to be prepared for anything. And I trust that he wasn’t messing me. I know he wasn’t. I know he would have a lot to say about the Occupy movement and I imagine us traveling somewhere together to participate.

I’ve been following the Occupy movement since it began. I’ve done my share of protesting in my life and tend to write a lot of letters to people. I call my representatives on a pretty fairly regular basis. The Occupy movement has me pretty angry though. The violence and brutality against peaceful protesters is absolutely disgusting, maddening and extremely upsetting. It’s really been bothering me a lot lately. I feel somewhat helpless. The fact that the mainstream media isn’t covering the events is inexcusable, though not surprising. I’ve written President Obama asking that he publicly stand against the brutality just like the administration did against similar police activities that happened in Egypt and other countries in the Middle East.

This is America! We have fundamental rights and we’re pissed off! My hunch is that if the brutality doesn’t stop, we’ll see citizens taking up arms. Something has to give. My hope is that the police don’t kill anyone, but it just might take a death to bring attention to the Occupy movement. Until then, if you’re mad about what’s happening to our fellow citizens and want to support them, talk about it. Talk about it with your friends and family. Send emails, sign petitions and make phone calls to officials. It took me all of 15 minutes to send an email to Lt. John A. Pike, the officer that pepper sprayed the UC Davis students and another to Chancellor Katehi. Stop wondering what you can do, and just start taking action. You have time and it’s not difficult.

Some resources to follow and read if you want to keep up with what’s not being covered in the mainstream media:

 – Follow Xeni Jardin, John Perry Barlow, Democracy Now! and Greg Mitchell on Twitter
 – Read This Is Why We Are Protesting on Tumblr
 – Track the #occupy tag on Tumblr