rosefox: A sci-fi landscape and the words "DISSENT IS PATRIOTIC". (fandom-dissent)
[personal profile] rosefox posting in [community profile] thisfinecrew
I'm using "locally" in two senses: your physical location, and groups that you're a part of. No matter where you are or what your resources and capabilities are, you live in a place, and you're connected to people. Those are two great starting points for activism. Here are some things you can do:

Research local organizations to volunteer with or donate to. Start by searching for the name of your area plus "help for immigrants". In NYC, start with New Sanctuary NYC. In Texas, start with the Texas Civil Rights Project.

Register to host a refugee or immigrant in your home or sponsor them in your community. Positive Action (U.K.) matches refugees with people who have spare rooms, and is looking to expand to the U.S. Freedom for Immigrants (U.S.) is hoping to create alternatives to detention for undocumented immigrants.

Encourage your city to adopt policies in support of immigrants and refugees.

Visit someone in detention.

If you're part of a faith community, ask your community's leaders to join Sanctuary Not Deportation. Also look for organizations specific to your faith or denomination, such as HIAS and Bend the Arc, the American Friends Service Committee, Catholic Charities USA's Immigration and Refugee Services, and Islamic Relief USA. Asking your local faith leaders for suggestions of faith-based organizations to support will encourage them to do that research if they haven't already, and will also tell them this is a significant issue for you and others in your community.

If you're part of a group that has a regular newsletter and invites contributions from members, write a piece for it on how members of your group can take action. (It can be as simple as a list of links like this.)

Organize a fundraiser. Stand for Kids will help you donate your child's lemonade stand profits to charities that assist kids at the border. Fundly has some good ideas for things on the scale of car washes, bake sales, and garage sales—well within reach for most of us. If you want to think bigger, Joan Garry has thoughts on how to hold a fundraiser house party for 50–70 people, and Classy has suggestions for medium-size events in rented or donated spaces (trivia night at a bar, art auction at a gallery, etc.).

This article has a map of detainment centers. If there's one near you, search for the name of it plus "protests" and join or support organizations holding protests there. You may have to do a little digging; news articles on protests often say "activists" or "protesters" without mentioning the names of organizations. But keep looking, because someone got those protesters there. (It took me about 20 minutes of searching for info on protests at the Essex County Correctional Facility in New Jersey, the nearest one to me, to find Resist the Deportation Machine and Casa Esperanza N.J., which seem to be either leading or supporting those protests.)

There are immigrants everywhere, which means that no matter where you live, you may witness or hear about an ICE raid. Here's some information on what to do if that happens:

Know the rights of immigrants. This is a great thing to keep bookmarked on your phone.

Organize an ICE raid rapid response network in your area.

Learn how to respond to an ICE raid if you see or hear about one (PDFs, 10–20 MB, thanks to [personal profile] squirrelitude for hosting them):

- Full toolkit, with appendices:
- Without appendices:
- Just the appendices:

If you have other suggestions, please do share them in the comments.

And if you are struggling with feelings of "Am I doing enough?", as a lot of us are, here are some wise words from Roxane Gay:
My point is, there is a lot going on in the world. There is a lot going on in my world. There is a lot going on in your world. This is the nature of life. We try to find ways to balance taking care of ourselves and our families, with caring about the world we live in and the greater good. Sometimes, we will fall short in one of these areas. Sometimes we will fall short in all of these areas. Most of the time, we do the best we can.

I don’t have an easy answer for you, but I do think many of us get overwhelmed because we think we have to care about everything all the time, as if that’s even possible. We get mired in solipsism and delude ourselves into believing that the proverbial struggle cannot go on without us. This is rarely the case. The grand thing about collective effort is that we can generally trust that someone is out in the world, doing important social justice work when we are too tired or burned out to join in.

...Every day, everywhere, people are doing the work of resisting oppression and tyranny in ways great and small.

...If I focus on just one issue and apply genuine effort and attention to it, I just might contribute something useful. I choose to invest that energy in different ways, whether it’s writing about a pressing issue, amplifying the voices of others, donating money and time to nonprofit organizations, or whatever I can think of that might be useful. Sometimes, I have no idea how I can be useful, so I ask people who are well positioned to point me in the right direction because I recognize that I don’t have to have all the answers.

What you describe in your letter is not apathy. You aren’t indifferent to the current state of the world. You are human, a woman trying to balance your own needs with doing good in the world, and right now, your own needs are winning out. Take the time you need. There is no shame in that so long as you remember to extend your empathy as far as you can when your emotional stores have replenished.
For more practical tips and suggestions, see "The Overwhelmed Person's Guide to Activism" by Clio Chang.

Solidarity! ✊

Date: 2019-06-25 01:30 pm (UTC)
baranduin: (Default)
From: [personal profile] baranduin
Wow! Thank you!


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