Resist Hate Rhode Island (RHRI) is calling for a Week of Resistance to start off the month of May and used their fifth meeting, held at the Juanita Sanchez Education Complex (JSEC), as a hands on planning meeting.
“On a national level our grassroots activism stopped the ACA repeal,” said Jane Tucker, ticking off recent successes, “Though Gorsuch was confirmed, our Democratic senators stood strong and filibustered. That was huge. Both Sessions and Nunez are recused from the Russia investigation, and Bannon is out of the NSC! These successes are the direct result of our work in Rhode Island and the work that is being done across the country.
“On a local level, our state legislature is noticing our activism. We’ve had unprecedented turnout for hearings on earned sick time, the Roe v Wade bill, and the gay conversion therapy ban bill, and many others. Our rally and canvassing around the Corvese immigration legislation has resulted in three out of six co-sponsors removing themselves from that bill and it is, from all reports, dead on arrival.
“It’s fair to say that legislators and corporate lobbyists in Rhode Island are freaking out a bit seeing the amount of involvement and energy from our side. They’re realizing that something is really happening here.”
Vanessa Flores-Maldonado and Sofia Wright spoke about the Community Safety Act (CSA), which is having its public hearing in the Providence City Council tonight (April 10, 5:30pm). Years in the making, the CSA is an ordinance that seeks to prevent police profiling “based on race, ethnicity, skin color, based on what their first language is, sexual orientation, gender expression, sexuality, based on religion, on disability, that’s what we’re talking about here,” says Flores-Maldonado, “We want to protect everyone.”
“We are really trying to get this passed this month. It is incredibly urgent for us,” continued Flores-Maldonado, “Especially as we are having ICE crack-downs happening up and down in Olneyville. We need to make sure we have protection for our undocumented folks.
“There’s a lot of talk about sanctuary cities, but where is it in writing? Here’s an ordinance that puts that in writing.”
The CSA had two break-out groups. One was about the general planning for Monday night’s Providence City Hall meeting, the other was specifically for those who live in East Side City Councilor Seth Yurdin and Sam Zurier‘s districts. As of this writing, neither has committed to supporting the CSA.
Jessica Sherwood passed the bucket to collect funds, not for Resist Hate RI, but for DARE (Direct Action for Rights and Equality), Fuerza Laboral and Dorcas International Institute. This is a new initiative to raise money for worthwhile community groups.
The other new initiative launched at the meeting was the Resist Hate Restaurant Week, scheduled for April 21-27. The restaurants are all local businesses owned by immigrants and/or people of color and most were only a few minutes away from JSEC.
Representative Aaron Regunberg (Democrat, District 4, Providence) spoke about how Resist Hate RI, now in its fifth month, needs an organizational structure. To that end, an official Resist Hate RI steering committee is being formed.
The group then broke out into break-out sessions to plan actions for the Week of resistance. “Our goal,” said Bethany, “is to have the General Assembly and the Governor take notice.”
- Immigration: Trust Act
- Immigration: Sanctuary Cities
- Single Payer Health Care
- Defending the Affordable Care Act
- Environment: Climate Change and Carbon Pricing
- Environment: Fighting Fossil Fuel Infrastructure
- Providence Community Safety Act
- Gun Violence Prevention
- Reproductive Rights
- Conversion Therapy Ban
- Earned Sick Days
- $15/hour Minimum Wage
- Free College Tuition
- Voting Rights
- General Strike Preparation
- Resistance Choir
- Marijuana Policy