August 14 actions: Take action against white supremacy

Good morning, FAM. I’m sure, like me, you are feeling overwhelmed, saddened, and disgusted in the wake of the racist and anti-Semitic violence in Charlottesville. The thing is, although they were horrifying, the events in Charlottesville were not shocking or surprising. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are 917 active hate groups in the U.S., and they are emboldened by a president who continually dog whistles his support of their agenda and refuses to denounce their actions.

Here are small steps you can take today to combat hate:

National. Donate to an organization like the Southern Poverty Law Center that is dedicated to fighting hate groups. To donate to the SPLC, click here.

National. In the wake of Charlottesville, Representative Jack Bergman tweeted, "These bigoted acts should be condemned and denounced by all Americans!" While it is good that Jack is denouncing bigotry, his refusal to specify whose bigoted acts he is condemning (like Trump’s refusal to do so) is troubling. Let’s call Bergman (202-225-4735) to demand that he specifically condemn the actions of white supremacists, and that he condemn them as acts of domestic terrorism. Let’s demand that our representatives in Congress hold Trump accountable for his refusal to distance himself from white supremicists. Specifically, we could ask Bergman to sponsor, as this article from The Atlantic suggests, "a bipartisan congressional resolution that condemns white supremacists and censures the president."

National. (via Daily Action): "Today’s Daily Action is to call the White House at 844-241-1141 (will put you through to either the main switchboard or the comment line) to condemn President Trump’s statements regarding the tragedy in Charlottesville and to urge him to do better. Trump’s statement which cast the blame on "hate on many sides" created a false equivalence between white supremacists, racists and anti-semites – and the counter-protestors.

A later statement from the White House tried to clarify what the President said but only made things worse – because the President refused to say it himself.

Indeed, the founder of a neo-Nazi website called the Daily Stormer thanked Donald Trump for his support saying ‘He didn’t attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us. When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room. Really, really good. God bless him.’
The White House needs to know that we are watching. If the lines are busy, call again.

We are tracking the number of calls and so even though the President tries to lie about everything from TV ratings to inaugural crowd sizes and approval poll numbers, he will not be able to lie about how many people have called him today to condemn his coddling of violent domestic terrorists."



CTE millage vote tomorrow – Tuesday, August 8

Dear FAM,

Don’t forget to vote at your usual polling place tomorrow for the career and technical education (CTE) millage! As a recent Daily Mining Gazette op-ed put it, "If passed, this millage would support relevant training and career exploration, provide technical and employment skills for students to be successful in their chosen career field and provide our community with future trades people, health care workers and college graduates to meet the needs of local businesses in the Copper Country."

Polls are open from 7AM to 8PM. Please turn out to vote and enourage others to do so. This is our chance to make a meaningful difference in our loal community.



Local Action: Letter to the Editor workshop at tomorrow’s FAM meeting

Hi FAM! At tomorrow’s meeting, Stephanie Carpenter & I will be leading a workshop on writing letters to the editor. (Stephanie & I both teach writing courses at Michigan Tech.) Bring a draft if you have one. If you don’t have a draft just bring yourself and your ideas, and we’ll help you get started! Hope to see you there.

FAM Letter to the Editor Writing Workshop
Tues June 6, 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Portage Lake District Library Community Room

Saturday, May 13: Bergman/Trumpcare Die-In — Noon, Veteran’s Park

Join us in Veteran’s Park on Saturday, May 13 at noon for a "Bergman/Trumpcare Die-In" (organized by the Houghton County Democratic Party, Houghton/Keweenaw FAM, and Indivisible) to expose the American Health Care Act for the harm it will do, to hold Congressman Bergman accountable to his constituents for the lives that will be lost, and to put the Senate on notice.

If you are not sure what a "Die-In" is , see this how-to guide from Indivisible. As they put it, "A die-in is a form of nonviolent direct action protest where participants publicly pretend to die to highlight a deadly problem."

Here are the details for Saturday’s event:

  • Gather in Veteran’s Park at noon this Saturday, May 13.
  • Bring a sign shaped like a tombstone–see the photo in this article for ideas (the sign could name a preexisting condition that would no longer be covered, comment on the AHCA, or call out Bergman/the GOP directly). There will be a sign making event in the Michigan Room of the Portage Lake District Library on Thursday, May 11 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. You can drop in at any time during these two hours to make a sign. We will have supplies on hand. (If you don’t have time to make a sign but would still like to participate in the die-in, please come anyway!)
  • The MC will make opening remarks about the AHCA, and then signal that it is time to die (lie down) with the phrase "Here are the consequences." At that point, everyone lies down and holds up their tombstones. (If you are not able to lie down, you could bring a folding chair to sit in or remain standing). Those who are sharing ACA stories should remain standing & lined up next to the MC.
  • Around 10 people will share brief (1-2 minute) stories about how the ACA helped them, or about how the AHCA would negatively effect them or people they love. If you would be willing to share a story, please email me at marika.seigel.
  • *The MC will make closing remarks, and then signal that it is time to stand with the phrase "We will rise."

I’ve attached the press release for the event. Please join us, and help us spread the word!


Die-In Press Release.docx

May 5 action: Stay angry, stay focused, & keep calling

The GOP managed to push Trumpcare through the House, but remember that it’s not over yet. This article from the Washington Post gives an excellent overview of the different things that could happen as the AHCA moves to the Senate (we’re on step 2). Take a few minutes to read it; I think you’ll find it encouraging.

Before we focus our attention on the Senate, however, let’s flood Jack Bergman’s offices (DC: 202-225-4735 TC: 231-944-7633 Marquette: 906-273-2227) with calls telling him exactly what we think about his voting yes on this immoral, irresponsible bill.

Some talking points:

  • Tell him how the AHCA would affect you or someone you love
  • Tell him that you believe it was irresponsible for him to vote for the bill without knowing its CBO score
  • Tell him that you will remember his failure to vote in the best interests of his constituents come 2018

If you feel fired up to make more calls, you can call (844) 241-1141 to be randomly connected to one of “the most politically-vulnerable Representatives who voted for the yesterday’s terrible health care bill” courtesy of today’s Daily Action. The purpose of these calls is to make “an example of these future ex-Congressmen in order to send a warning to the Senate (ahem: Senator Heller and Senator Flake who are both up for reelection in 2018).”



Local action: Worker’s Memorial Day event tonight in Calumet

There is a "Worker’s Memorial Day – Italian Hall Vigil" event from 7:30 – 8:30 pm this evening at 7th & Elm in Calument. Here is the event description:
"On April 28, the unions of the AFL-CIO observe Workers Memorial Day to remember those who have suffered and died on the job, and to renew the fight for safe jobs.

JOIN US for a short ceremony to commemorate the workers and children who died in the Italian Hall Tragedy of 1913, and to draw inspiration from the brave Copper Country workers who stood up for workers’ rights and safety in the workplace. All are welcome!

If anyone knows how to play the guitar or can sing we would love to have a song at the end of the ceremony!

Contact Katie Barglind at 906-282-1390 or uprlfcoord for more info!"