(Organized by Hungry4Justice)
This movement began when Carolyn Norr of Oakland, CA read and posted an article about detained mothers who went on a hunger strike in the Port Isabel Detention Center after being denied the right to speak to their children. Norr asked if anyone wanted to talk about striking in solidarity with the mothers. Rae Steward, of Santa Cruz, CA said, “I responded to her, and after a few brainstorming calls, the national strike really took on a life of its own. People are so passionate about this cause, and the urgency of fixing this atrocity resonates deeply with so many of us.” In no time she collected over 120 passionate responses, their collective message being, “I am profoundly concerned, appalled, and want to do something to stop this.”
Steward and Norr felt compelled to harness these passionate voices and, in solidarity with the striking detainees, they launched the first hunger strike in Oakland, CA, which took place from July 30th to August 1st. Santa Cruz’s strike is happening now and continues until the Portland group’s strike begins this Wednesday. Their message--the message of the movement--is that the situation is dire and that the need for attention to it is as immediate as the need for food and water. It is a plea for justice, for immediate action, and for widespread attention to this urgent cause.
# # #
From Wednesday to Friday, a diverse group of us will be striking at the Japanese American Historical Plaza. The plaza commemorates wartime incarceration, another blatant injustice that history now judges clearly. We would love to have your support in whatever way possible: come join the strike with us, bring your presence and be there in support, come make signs, share this event with your friends, donate to the organizations helping on the front lines. ***Community mobilization times are at 8am, noon, and 6pm on each of the days. Follow the event page for updates.***
We are all volunteers. Some of us have been directly impacted by immigration policies, many of us are allies, many of us have immigration stories from our own family’s past. Many of us are parents of children, young or older, and have been anguished by reading the news on the treatment of children at the border.
We commit to being true allies, and taking leadership from those on the frontlines of this crisis. We commit to making this organizing effort reflect our values of kindness, generosity, anti-racism, and respect for those who may differ from us. We commit to making our organizing family friendly and supportive of the children and parents involved.
# # #
Below are our demands and why we strike:
We demand that every migrant family separated by this administration be reunited and released from incarceration. We demand that the families receive support and justice for the trauma inflicted by our government.
We are launching a national rolling hunger strike in solidarity with migrant families who are still separated and/or incarcerated.
We were inspired by the hunger strike of mothers inside Port Isabel Detention Center in Texas, who went on a rolling hunger strike after being denied the right to speak to their children.
Community members in one city after another will step up to fast for a few days at a time. As the fast ends in one city, it will pick up in another.
We are parents, we are elders, we are clergy members, we are volunteers, we are teachers. We are ordinary people who have decided that enough is enough.
We will not silently watch government-sanctioned kidnapping and the torture of migrant families. We will not sit back and watch families torn apart, babies and toddlers deemed “ineligible” for reunification, children returned to their parents so traumatized they can’t speak, parents denied food, water, and medical care, children and women subjected to abuse and mockery.
We stand against the criminalization and dehumanization of immigrant families.
We will continue our hunger strike and other solidarity actions until our demand is met.
# # #
Resources and links:
*Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/hungry4justiceforfamilies/
*Organizing Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/222672865039240/
*Mamas Time to Act! - Organizing Toolkit and Resources:
Cities (so far - may not be up to date)
JULY 30 - AUGUST 1
AUGUST 2 - AUGUST 4
AUGUST 5 - AUGUST 7
Santa Cruz, CA
AUGUST 8 - 10
AUGUST 11 - AUGUST 13
Staten Island, NY
AUGUST 14 - AUGUST 15
AUGUST 16 - AUGUST 18
AUGUST 19 - AUGUST 21
New York, NY
AUGUST 22 - AUGUST 24
AUGUST 27 - AUGUST 29