Thank you and your volunteers for your fight against the bigotry and hate in my state! – From a Second Generation Arizonan
Archive for July, 2010
The following were arrested on July 29th during non-violent civil disobedience in response to SB1070. Many have been arraigned and released. Some are awaiting arraignment as we speak. Please hold them and their families, as well as all who were arrested (total 83) in your thoughts and prayers. And give them a big THANK YOU if you see them!
Rev. Colin Bossen
Rev. Melissa Carvill-Ziemer
Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray
Rev. Jan Meslin
Rev. Peter Morales
Rev. Pallas Stanford
Rev. Ian White Maher
Rev. Greg Ward
Rev. Wendy Von Zirpolo
On Wednesday Orelia Busch, SSL activist, UUA Legislative Assistant for Women’s Issues, was arrested by District of Columbia police for participating in a sit-in protest at the U.S. Capitol.
Since the fall of 2009, I have listened to promises and timelines for the passage of the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA), and I have seen them broken and abandoned over and over again.
Every day, people across the country are getting fired from their jobs and threatened or harassed not because of a lack of skills or ability, but simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Our lawmakers have the opportunity to end this state sanctioned discrimination, and yet, they are not doing everything they can. They are not being the fierce advocates we need. They are telling us that we need to make them stand up and be our allies. I am tired of waiting.
Lawmakers like Nancy Pelosi have asked me and others to “start the drum-beat” for ENDA and full legal equality. I heeded their call by engaging in civil disobedience in the hopes that they will remain accountable to those of us who have put them in office and trusted them to uphold our rights. Getting arrested felt spiritual, almost like my voice and my actions were not merely my own. I was performing a ritual to take back the Rotunda, the center of D.C. and a symbol of the power of our nation and its people. Non violent direct action locates my body, the core of my being, squarely in between the oppressed and the oppressor in order to disrupt a cycle of institutional violence against communities I identify and align myself with.
I was called to put my body on the line for ENDA because I am lucky enough not to have to do so every day. Being a white, middle-class, bisexual woman offers me some level of protection and camouflage in this world. I possess privilege due to my class and skin color, and my queer identity is not always outwardly apparent. My gender identity and expression match what I was assigned at birth. My identity is not called into question or used against me on a daily basis. So many others in this country do not have the same luxury. I took action for all those whose voices are silenced out of fear for their lives and their jobs and their families. I took action for all those who are dying and homeless because they lack basic workplace protection from discrimination and harassment.
I will continue to do everything I can to witness and remain in solidarity with all people who are marginalized and face discrimination because of who they are. No matter what challenges or privileges we live with, our fates are inextricably tied to one another as members of one human family. As I write this, my friends and colleagues are being arrested in Arizona for protesting immigration enforcement policies that egregiously violate human rights. I am proud to know them and to work with them so that the laws, policies and culture of our nation truly respect the worth and dignity inherent in all of us.
No one can stand alone in this struggle. I was supported in my actions by an incredible group of local activists and organizers who had all come to the same conclusion that I have – our voices will be heard. I am doing my best to learn how to build bridges between and within the communities around me so that we can all stand on the side of love with each other.
We are all somebody. We deserve full equality right here, right now.
To all our UU brothers and sisters, and everyone else present to witness to the institutionalization of racism in the form of SB1070, please know that you are not alone.
WE STAND ON THE SIDE OF LOVE WITH YOU!!!
We stand firmly with you. Arm in arm even though we can’t all be there. You are on the frontlines of this struggle but you have our support, our faith and our love behind you. Because that is what is needed when fear, hatred and ignorance fuels our policies and laws.
We all come from somewhere else. It does not make us legal or illegal, only welcome or not welcome. And, as people of faith, our question must be: what makes a person NOT welcome? Si se puede!!
UU Congregation at Shelter Rock
Here is a prayer we received from Rev. Leela Sinha in coastal Maine. Thank you for standing on the side of love in solidarity.
May you be whole and well tonight;
may your presence move hearts, open doors, break chains, and sound a call for freedom,
the golden torch that calls us to integrity as a people united,
integrity as a nation,
values brought to life by laws
that give everyone a chance
no matter who we are
no matter what language we speak,
no matter what stress or circumstance cast us upon these shores,
we shall judge and be judged “on the content of our character
and not on the color of our skin.”
May your courage inspire courage,
may your pride inspire pride.
May your bodies be your voices
and may your voices stand for all of us,
that we may strive to be the country
that we claim to be.
May you call us to our highest ideals.
May we all, every one, hear you
in that place where the still, small voice
echoes from mountaintop
and it cannot be denied.
May we not close our ears,
nor deny what we hear.