June 21, 2020
"It goes on one at a time,
it starts when you care
to act, it starts when you do
it again and they said no,
it starts when you say We
and know you who you mean, and each
day you mean one more."
- "The Low Road", Marge Piercy
Whether this is your first time getting our newsletter or your five thousandth, welcome! We hope it will be a resource for us to learn, take action, get more deeply involved, and move our world toward justice.
Feeling overwhelmed? Here are three things you can do right now.
Want to go deeper?
Monday, June 22, 2-5pm, Reggie Lewis Center to the State House
Join Violence In Boston Inc. & Black Lives Matter Boston as we march from the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center to the State House demanding Governor Charlie Baker allocate adequate finding away from Police and towards Social Justice and Violence Prevention.
Tuesday, June 23, 3pm at City Hall
Saturday, June 27, 12:30-2:30pm, the State House
The same group that threw the Straight Pride Parade, where activists were brutalized by the police, plans on having a pro-police, anti-protest rally and march at the State House and throughout Boston Common. Once again, we as a city must come together to drown out their hate.
After protestors took off his head on June 12, the Christopher Columbus statue in Boston’s “Christopher Columbus” Waterfront Park has been temporarily removed by the City. But Mayor Walsh will not commit to its permanent removal. In solidarity with Indigenous People’s Day MA, please sign this petition to Mayor Walsh and the City Council to demand the permanent removal of the Christopher Columbus statue!
We've heard mixed reports over the last week that Trader Joe's management has been asking employees not to wear any masks or clothes that say "Black Lives Matter". Before taking further action, we'd like to get clarity on what Trader Joe's policy is.
We'd like you to take the following independent actions:
2) If you already patronize Trader Joe's, please ask to speak to a manager the next time you're in a store and ask them what their policy is around staff wearing clothes and masks that say "Black Lives Matter". When you do this, please send an email with what you learn to SURJBostonTJ@gmail.com.
Together, we've raised $5,000 for the annual Maine Lobster Feed! The Lobster Feed supports eight incredible local grassroots organizations:
Another world is possible -- support long-term organizing for justice! Can you help SURJ raise $6000 for the movement in Boston?
The Youth Justice & Power Union (YJPU) are calling to defund the Boston Police Department, fund black and brown communities, and fund youth jobs. Sign their petition and see the prison abolition section of this newsletter for even more ways to intervene in the police state.
Housing Court staff estimate 20,000 eviction cases will be filed immediately after the moratorium ends. An Act to Guarantee Housing Stability during the COVID-19 Emergency & Recovery will provide protections for renters and homeowners for a year after the state of emergency is lifted to ensure housing stability beyond the state of emergency. You can read more about the protections the bill will include here. We will provide more information next week about contacting your legislators to urge them to support this bill.
As Governor Baker rolls out his reopening plan, Massachusetts residents may soon face eviction, foreclosure, and huge amounts of housing debt when the state of emergency officially ends. It's going to take thousands of people to join the housing justice movement calling to:
Are you, or someone you know, worried about getting evicted? Call City Life/ Vida Urbana's hotline.
Kimya's House is a re-entry home run by and for formerly incarcerated Black women -- open on time in spite of setbacks from the pandemic.
Thursday, June 25th, 12-1 PM
Register for Abolition Hour here
This is a version of our action hours designed to focus on political education and action specifically on ending prisons, policing, and parole. Sign up and bring a friend!
During Week 14 of Action for Family for Justice as Healing's Building up People Not Prisons Campaign, we will focus on continued efforts to defund the BPD. Furthermore, The MA Senate Ways and Means Committee is considering S.2759 – a bonding bill that could potentially increase spending on prisons and policing by over $170m, taking money away from communities and pouring it into harmful systems of incarceration. Please join us in contacting State Senators to STOP the SPENDING.
The website containing a new list of actions will be updated by Monday! Keep checking back. As ever our weeks will feature:
Black and Pink’s mission is to abolish the criminal punishment system and to liberate LGBTQIA2S+ people/people living with HIV who are affected by that system, through advocacy, support, and organizing.
These drop ins welcome any kind of abolitionist energy, whether reading and entering mail into the database, writing letters, playing cards, or just chatting. Formerly incarcerated and court involved people especially encouraged to attend. Cis, straight and/or free world allies are welcome!
Support Movimiento Cosecha in their fight for immigrant justice! There are two bills in Ways and Means that we need to move to a vote before the end of the legislative session this July! The two acts are The Work and Family Mobility Act and An Act to Provide Equal Stimulus Checks to Immigrant Taxpayers. Click this link for information on the bills, petitions, and scripts to call and email your legislators!
The SIM DACA fund provides economic support to DACA recipients in MA to help pay the $495 in application renewal fees. Support MA DACA recipients by donating to the DACA Renewal Fund here!
The budget process for fiscal year 2021 is coming to a close and the Defund BosCops campaign is preparing for another city council budget hearing on Monday, 6/22, at 12pm. Explore the DefundBosCops Toolkit to learn about the city’s budget process and timeline for BPD funding, stay tuned for updates, and check the Prison Abolition section of this newsletter for more calls from our partners!
On June 11th, community groups throughout New England filed a formal complaint to the Massachusetts Department of Health and Dartmouth Board of Health and demanded an immediate investigation into Bristol County House of Corrections (BCHC). Now they need community members to follow up and support this demand. Learn more about the public health crisis inside BCHC and take action here.
Our partner Boston Education Justice Alliance is continuing to fight the state takeover of 15 schools in the Boston Public Schools. If you haven’t done so yet, please sign and share the petition in the Our City Our Schools Campaign.
Unafraid Educators has set up a COVID-19 Relief Fund for students and families in Boston Public Schools who need financial support during this time. Please share the form with those who might need it, and donate to the fund if you are able.
Call on Governor Baker to follow baseline measures to protect public health in any reopening plan and ensure that all ongoing discussions of Massachusetts' COVID-19 response and recovery include robust representation of labor, communities of color, seniors, and public health experts from across the state.
Wednesdays in June, 12 to 1 PM
Register here for action hours. This link is recurring, you can choose one or more sessions, and you can register again if you don’t know your schedule yet.
SURJB members will guide participants through an hour of making calls, sending emails, signing up for volunteering, and signing petitions. We hope this helps combat isolation while building social solidarity!
In order to simplify outreach about driving opportunities, we want to invite anyone willing to offer this service to our announcements (and clarifying questions) only WhatsApp thread. Click here to join the driving group: Auto-mobilize! We will announce
Joining this thread is a commitment to actively engage and fulfill driving asks. The announcements on this list may not be for general knowledge, do not share anything outside of it without permission.
As this crisis extends, many supply distribution centers are experiencing volunteer turnover, so this is also a great time for you to get in the game if you’ve been on the bench (and we all need to be on the bench sometimes so we can stay fresh!).
SURJB is helping to collect critical supplies for 12th Baptist Church in Roxbury and Cape Verdean Association of Boston. Please email email@example.com for porch drop off information in JP, Roxbury, West Roxbury, Dorchester, Allston/Brighton, Belmont, and Cambridge. We're suggesting that folks who utilize the SURJB porch system drop off donations Tuesday before 8 PM and Friday before 8 PM (SURJB drivers deliver donations every Wednesday and Saturday to our partners).
This week, we'd like to highlight donating non-perishable food, toilet paper, disinfectants, and hand sanitizer.
Drop off only at these times: Saturday, 11 AM to 2 PM; Wednesday, 4 to 6 PM; Thursday, 1 to 3 PM. VietAID boxes at 42 Charles Street, Dorchester.
These donations may also be left on SURJB porches.
Take a look at a portion of what you helped donate to VietAID this week! Let's keep it up!
Redistributing our stimulus checks as an act of mutual aid is grounded in an understanding of the inequitable systems we all operate within and of the value of everyone in our community, individually and collectively. No-one is expendable; we need each other, and we must support and protect each other.
Fundraising team members will be reaching out to pledgers individually to check when they receive their checks and help them direct their money to featured fundraisers or to individuals referred to us by our partners.
This week, the fundraiser we are highlighting is the Material Aid and Advocacy Program. MAAP's mission is to support and empower community members experiencing homelessness or living in poverty, through material aid, access to resources, and advocacy opportunities.
SURJB Brunches - now digital! - are a great place to come together to build community. Each brunch has a different theme and we'll update the dates with topics as we plan them. The brunches will be on the second Sunday of each month from 12:30 to 2:30 PM, except October and December when they will be on the first Sunday. Register for upcoming brunches here.
Knapsack is a multiracial group hosted by Community Change Inc that is committed to challenging the system of racism in the United States and the world. We engage in dialogue, build community, and support the efforts of racial justice leaders and organizations. We are dedicated to the struggle for shared liberation.
Moving From Talk to Action: Find classes and sign up on the WPCR website
SURJ Boston is a project of Community Change Inc (CCI), a Boston-based organization shining a spotlight on the roots of racism in white culture with the intention of dealing with racism at its source.
Join Community Change Inc. (CCI) Zoom Calls
In 1968, as a result of the Civil Rights Movement and in response to the Kerner Commission which named racism as "a white problem”, CCI was birthed. CCI promotes racial justice and equity by challenging systemic racism and acting as a catalyst for anti-racist learning and action. CCI accomplishes its mission through education, advocacy and working in solidarity with others to organize for change.
Commit to doing just one thing this week.
We can do this.