Today is the Day: SONG Joins Over 55 LGBTQ Organizations and 70 Cities for the National Day of Action to End Deportations
Today is the day!
SONG is participating with over 55 LGBTQ organizations and 70 cities for the #not1more Day of Action to STOP DEPORTATIONS, because we know that there are 267,000 undocumented queer and trans people navigating the cogs of the deportation machine. As LGBTQ people, and undocumented people, we also know that silence still equals death. We stand in solidarity with those seizing this moment to come out of the shadows.
We are participating in this day of action because our families are being ripped apart. This cannot wait. It is urgent that we raise our voices because our families are too often left out of current immigration reform discourse. Many queer and trans people experience rejection and misunderstanding within their families of origin. So, we find family in one another, we love and need one another.
SONG is supporting marches, rallies, and political education forums in 4 sites across the South
Atlanta, GA, rally and march will kick off Saturday April 5th @ 10AM at the GA Capitol Bldg, Downtown Atlanta (on Washington St) and we will walk to the ICE offices (Spring Street). More info at https://m.facebook.com/events/
Harrisonburg, VA, rally and march will begin on Saturday April 5th @ 4PM on the Downtown Court Square and we will march to the local jail (South Liberty Street). More info athttps://www.facebook.com/
Durham & Raleigh, NC, Love Without Borders truck will begin @ 1PM at Durham Plaza Shopping Center, will move to the Durham Police Station @ 2PM and rally will begin @4PM at La Villa Latina at 421 Chapanoke Rd., Raleigh. https://www.facebook.
Birmingham, AL, #Not1More Teach-In weaving together the movements for racial, immigrant, and lgbtq justice begins @ 1PM. Location TBA. More info atwww.facebook.com/events/
In additon to actions today, SONG members, Angel Hernandez-Gomez and Cecilia Sáenz Becerra, are participating in the Blue Ribbon Commission, an independent review process of the Obama Administration’s deportation enforcement policies by people whose lives are directly affected by them. The findings of the Commission will be released later today.
You can support and join our work today to tell President Barack Obamato end the violence of constant surveillance, detention, and deportation of people we love by
- Finding an action near you http://www.notonemoredeportation.com/take-action/april-5th-day-of-action-against-deportations/
- Follow us on social media today to follow live actions across the South and share our message, memes, and hashtags using #queeringimmigration, #not1more, #ni1mas, #2million2many
- Join the Transgender Law Center, SONG, and a broad coalition of LGBTQ organizations to endorse the #not1more campaign http://transgenderlawcenter.org/archives/10129
- Become a SONG member to get connected to ur ongoing work https://song.ourpowerbase.net/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=3
- Learn more about the #not1more campaign at http://notonemoredeportation.com
#not1more #ni1mas #2million2many #queeringimmigration
Media Contact: Paulina Helm-Hernandez 404-919-1412
LGBTQ Southerners Join the National Day of Action to End Deportation
Southerners on New Ground (SONG) is bringing the call of the national Not1More campaign to four locations in the South on Saturday, April 5th.
We are North Carolina SONG. We are artists and organizers, educators, students, and parents. We are fighters, survivors, lovers and rebels, and bookworms who work in coffee shops, punk kids who bus tables at the diner, and butch queens who tune cars all week. Black, brown, queer, and not leaving. We live in the South, where our roots run deep in the red Carolina clay, generations strong, thick and resilient. Even as many of our ancestors were pushed off the land and out beyond the rocky tops of the Appalachian mountains, still, there were some of us who could not be pushed and stayed.
These roots hold us here, where our foremothers, brought in shackles to plantations like Somerset and Stagville, tucked cowry shells between walls of slave shacks in Horton Grove. Here, in Durham, where SONG was born over 20 years ago, we move in this legacy, which is still with us – alive.
Bull City, where porch-sit is a verb, and late afternoon sounds like a train whistling into town, banda music jumping from car windows, sirens blowing by, thunderstorms washing away your footprints, the music of dogs and fireworks in the distance, bass coming from cars outside the tattoo shop, the squealing brakes of school busses giving children back to their mothers, and whirring cars that need repair but are holding on for now.
In our town, schools are too often places where young people – our hope, and our future – are slipping through the cracks, bullied and harassed, profiled and pushed out. On these streets, the police do not serve and protect us. Traffic stops and checkpoints pad county budgets, and mark the beginning of a descent into detention, deportation, and loss. We know this is not the “new” South, although developers try to sell us back the tobacco and textile mills where our grandparents toiled, as gated lofts and restaurants where we can’t afford to eat. This is our home.
So we celebrate our survival here, seeking the spaces where we can connect to each other and to what is real. We build family like patchwork quilts, from the remnants, stitched together, stronger at the seams. We know our liberation depends on us coming together across lines of difference, and we are all part of one another.
We long for Durham to be a place where all of our children can be safe in our streets and in their schools. Toward that vision, we are engaged in SONG’s regional campaign – building BeLoved Community around young people in the heart of the South. Our work begins with listening closely to their voices, asking them what they experience and what they need to feel safe. It calls us even deeper into community, finding our people at the High School GSA, the gay bar downtown, the skate park, and the mall. We are collecting stories because they help us see the connections in our struggles, strengthen our analysis, and target the site where power can be transformed. We are gathering people, building trust and alignment, sharing skills and rooting deep. We need your help.
North Carolina Field Organizer
To find out how you can get involved, please contact serena@southernersonnewground.
- give a brief update of what is in motion towards April 5th + beyond!
- get a collective idea of what folks are working on at the intersections of LGBTQ organizing + Immigration!
- brainstorm on ways to better coordinate LGBTQ visibility and actions towards the shared demands of the #not1more campaign!
- Dar una breve actualización de lo que está en movimiento hacia el 5 de abril + más allá!
- Obtener una idea colectiva de en que la gente está trabajando en en las intersecciones de la organización LGBTQ + Inmigración!
- Tener una lluvia de ideas sobre formas de coordinar mejor visibilidad y acciones LGBTQ hacia las demandas colectivas de la campaña # not1more!
WHY IS SONG PART OF A NATIONAL CAMPAIGN (NOT1MORE)?
While the South is where SONG works and grows, and where we are most accountable, we know that we owe our base, and Southern people, organizing that reflects that we understand that we are part of a bigger picture. We are part of movements that the South will play a key role in and that have impacts outside of this region.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer people understand a good deal about being pushed into the shadows to suffer and die because of who we are and where we sit in any given moment of political history. We know what it is like to long to be reunited with our loved ones, and we know what it is like to live in fear as we walk down the street. While our realities can be different, the hounding, caging and exiling of immigrant people is either our reality because we are LGBTQ undocumented people or because it reverberates with the homophobia and transphobia that haunts our lives. Our lives as out LGBTQ people have been shaped by a colonial legacy of social exile and we know what coming out can do to transform our lives, our imaginations, and our future.
It is not surprising then that the Not1More campaign, through Shutdown ICE actions, the unrelenting prioritization of undocumented people and its coming out spirit, has captured the hearts of people in SONG’s base and leadership. We are very proud that our people have been willing to take the risks and make the choices necessary to fight the exile, caging, and forced removal of undocumented people through our work to support the call of the Not1More campaign, and we have been transformed by those choices.
We have chosen to be part of the Not1More campaign because it is a multiple-strategy campaign that places accountability on President Obama to provide an immediate Administrative Relief solution, such as an Executive Order that expands Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to all, and halts deportation numbers that are currently nearing two million. This number does not represent two million anonymous or hypothetical lives, but two million of ourselves, our family members, and our people. Our political priority mandates that not one more precious loved one is ripped out of our communities via the Poli-Migra deportation machine.
Not1More is a place where SONG’s work and values align, where we can support accountable and visionary national immigrant rights leadership, and where we can be accountable to our base and our communities in helping to advance the demands of a growing national movement where the fight around immigrant rights meets LGBTQ self-determination. We have much to learn from our work in Not1More through both action and reflection on the ways to confront power in the 21st century; lessons that our base desperately wants and needs.
SONG’S POSITION ON COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM
SONG understands that historically Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) has been the primary demand of the immigrant rights movement, and a place of hope and unity for many immigrants struggling every day with the constant limitations and the challenges of being undocumented, but we believe that CIR cannot be the only strategy or demand.
In January 2014, the Pew Research Center released a finding that a majority of Latinos and Asian Americans want deportation relief more than a path to citizenship. We must be accountable to that grassroots reality, and avoid the trap of assuming people do not want a permanent solution, because it acknowledges the desperation many of us feel when we have to choose our immediate safety versus our long term well-being. We know many in our communities have immediate needs that include legal residency, driver’s licenses, documentation to work, the ability to apply to colleges and universities, legal protection from violence, and access to healthcare. We know the painful reality of not being able to go to our countries of origin to visit families and loved ones or to even be able to bury our ancestors in our homelands. Those hard realities cannot be changed by a symbolic head nod that CIR will eventually pass.
For SONG, our political position is not a question of CIR vs. nothing, nor is it a question of whether CIR is ‘politically dead.’ The immigrant rights movement grows stronger and bolder by the day, and SONG will continue to push for tactical and strategic decisions that strengthen that movement. Our position is guided by both the real suffering of our people and the life, dreams, desires, and strength of the immigrant rights movement. At the heart of that strength is our people’s organizing power and resiliency, as well as the ultimate shared demand for the decriminalization of immigrant people and a permanent citizenship policy solution.
SOUTHERN HISTORY + CITIZENSHIP
Not1More is about more than just ending deportations and demanding Administrative Relief. It is a call to end the demonizing and criminalization of immigrant people and people of color made ‘illegal’ through a history of White Supremacy, U.S. colonialism, and slavery. This history has perpetuated a rogue and broken immigration system that does not allow our people to move closer to a permanent residency or citizenship solution, and has punished us based on our ethnicities, economic class, religion, genders and sexualities, disabilities, and our refusal to assimilate into a white-washed culture. President Obama, and many administrations before his, have been satisfied with “enforcement only” approaches as a means to address the growing numbers of our undocumented families living in the shadows of our legal and economic systems.
While Republicans and Dixiecrats alike use the ‘immigration debate’ to promote their narrow view of white nationalism, it is important to understand that in the years where Democrats have held the upper hand in both the legislative and executive branches, they have squandered the opportunity to pass an immigration reform solution believing that to do so would jeopardize their political majority and their elected positions. Instead, this misplaced fear and unwillingness to act has not only cost them our political trust, but, most importantly, it has cost us millions of our families, our safety, and our livelihoods. We must hold them accountable for the human cost of this crisis.
Part of SONG’s role in the place where the immigrant rights movement and the LGBTQ movement intersect is to help expand our collective understanding about the root causes of global migration, and migration into the U.S. and the South. We know our struggles are connected to global movements for Indigenous sovereignty and Black liberation that were born in opposition to imperialism, colonization and slavery. These global movements have helped us see that the U.S. South has always been shaped by the very idea of ‘citizenship’ and determining who does or does not qualify for it based on an imposed definition meant to further White Supremacy. The question of citizenship here has always been: who is a master and who is property? Those who do not meet the requirements of citizenship are treated as property and labeled as ‘criminal,’ a classification informed by the Criminal (in)Justice system that was historically built for the purpose of policing, controlling and punishing black and brown communities. This system has funneled generations into the unrelenting machine of mass incarceration; because of this, we know that citizenship without justice is simply not enough. A narrow citizenship demand will only continue to perpetuate an immigration policy that rewards whiteness and forces us to gamble away those deemed as ‘criminal’ to the benefit of the ‘good immigrants.’
The Right Wing political majority in the South propagates this thinking by forcing policies on us that restrict our reproductive rights, our access to healthy food, our access to public spaces, our right to vote, our right to organize, our right to healthcare and our educational rights to Black, Chicano and LGBTQ history. They defend laws such as ‘Stand Your Ground’ that are built on White Nativist sentiments that allow white people to play vigilantes armed with entitlement and racist assumptions that allow our peers and children to be murdered on the streets for being Black / Brown / Asian + Pacific Islander / Muslim / Poor / Trans / Queer. While we align nationally with Not1More, we are grounded and remain committed to the growing momentum to fight back these realities in our local campaign sites in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Alabama and Georgia. Our work from the local to the national is intrinsically connected by our desires, our dreams, and our imperative to work for a ‘citizenship’ that transforms our culture and this moment and that takes us beyond a symbolic relic of the American Dream.
At its root, the immigrant rights movement’s demand for permanent citizenship should stem from the need to transform the very idea of citizenship and free us from the historical criminalization of indigenous people and other folks of color based on the imposition of colonial borders that have been militarized and have become the graveyards for thousands of people seeking a better life. Our root demand, the same demand that we fight and struggle for as LGBTQ communities, is self-determination, choosing our lives for ourselves. For all these reasons, we will continue engaging in Not1More and at the intersection of LGBTQ and Immigrant Justice. We invite you into the same call as we gear up for escalated action to transform this moment and the South by building the political majority we need to make our vision a political and cultural reality.
GET DOWN WITH US!
The #Not1More Call to Action
The Not1More campaign is gearing up for mobilizations around the country on April 5th to amplify the call for an end to deportations. SONG will be collaborating on actions in Georgia and Virginia. We invite you to join us or consider planning an action or event in your community!
- Want to mobilize with SONG in your town or city? Contact Paulina at email@example.com
- Add your events, get graphics, tweet the white house and more at http://bit.ly/april5n1m
- Help promote the national day of action by sharing NDLON’s image on social media https://www.facebook.com/NDLON/photos/a.285998971428417.90403.109002312461418/796960986998877/?type=1&theater
- Contribute to the Path to 2 Million Deportations Timeline and help us compile all the events big and small that have built up to the 2 million deportations to show that it’s not natural or inevitable but calculated and made by concrete decisions. Check it out at http://bit.ly/pathto2million
We hope to see you in the streets!
Watch Our Queering Immigration Video
#Not1More #ShutDownICE #queeringimmigration