20 Ways You Can Act Now To Support Muslims/Immigrants + Resist DT: A Solidarity Sundays Emergency Guide

photo from slate.com

On the afternoon of Friday, January 27, 2017 (which happens to be Holocaust Remembrance Day) Donald Tr*mp issued an unprecedented, devastating, and likely unconstitutional and illegal executive order that bars citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) from entering the US for the next 90 days, suspends the admission of all refugees for 120 days, and bans Syrian refugees indefinitely. Between 1975 and 2015, foreign nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen killed exactly zero Americans on U.S. soil, according to an analysis of terror attacks by the Cato Institute. This ban effects more than 130 million people, including dual citizens, families and children, college students, and traumatized victims of war. The executive order also bars green card holders from those countries from re-entering the United States.

The ACLU and other legal organizations have already filed lawsuits, but for those who want to do something, NOW, to act against this unbelievably chaotic, racist, and inhumane move, the folks at Solidarity Sundays have come up with the following ideas. Maybe you can do one thing, maybe you can do three. Maybe you do em all. What matters is that you do SOMETHING.

***UPDATE: On the evening of Saturday Jan 28th, a Federal judge in Brooklyn granted the American Civil Liberties Union’s request for a nationwide temporary injunction that will block the deportation of all people stranded in U.S. airports under President Trump’s new Muslim ban. This stay is a MAJOR victory, but DT’s administration will almost certainly try to rewrite the order or challenge the decision. This fight is NOT over, so the actions below remain necessary + relevant.***

WHAT CAN I DO?

  1. Call/email/fax (yes, fax!) your Members of Congress and demand to know what they’re doing to oppose this cruel, unconstitutional, and dangerous policy. Get personal, and get REAL. Yes, be polite, but also—don’t be afraid to get emotional. What are we doing to our fellow humans? This is NOT ok! Call/write as a parent/a Christian/a Jew/a Catholic/an immigrant/a teacher/a 1st/2nd/3rd gen American/a Native American (the ONLY non-immigrant population!)/etc.
  2. In addition to these national calls, we must act locally as well, on the state and city levels. Think about the populations of the state you live in , and call your Governor. We are seeing Governors and Mayors standing up against this—if yours is one of them, call to thank them and to ask what else they’re doing. Ask them to keep getting on TV/on camera/on social media to DENOUNCE LOUDLY. If your Governor/Mayor has acted otherwise (or not at all) CALL. Ask “What will you be doing to protect our immigrant and refugee populations?
  3. Reach out to anyone you know who is affected by this. Your neighbors/co-workers/friends etc who are Muslim/brown-skinned/from any of the 7 named countries/immigrants/green card or VISA holders. Ask what they need, what you can do. What can you offer in addition to love and support? House keys? Legal support? Phonecards?
  4. Take stock of your own skills/connections/strengths and brainstorm how you can leverage them. Graphic designer? Make t-shirts, posters, and stickers! Web designer? Offer your services or make a sweet site. Attorney? Explore pro bono work. Work at a bar or restaurant? Maybe your spot can host a fundraiser. Massage therapist? Show up at a protest and rub tired shoulders ;) Basically: get in where you fit in. The spectrum of productive and impactful activism is vast, and it’s all about finding your groove and what you can contribute.
  5. Translators and people who speak Arabic/Farsi/other language of Muslim-majority/Middle Eastern countries are needed—if you or anyone you know has these skills, figure out how to lend them.
  6. Is your city a sanctuary city? If not, look into making that happen.
  7. Ask your City Council and/or local public school district to issue clear statements in support of ALL citizens. You can do this by calling/emailing/visiting City Council members/school board members, or showing up to City Council meetings to speak out.
  8. If you’re a parent of school-aged children, ask the principal/PTA how they plan to address this, and to protect/support vulnerable students and families. If the school has Muslim/immigrant/undocumented students, make this a priority. Like, do it on Monday.
  9. Reach out to your local Islamic center/mosque (call or go by in person) and ask what support the community can offer. You can also bring flowers/letters/cards of support, but I recommend including a clear inquiry/offer around support. We are here for you. What services can the community provide to help you and your community feel safe?
  10. Find your local/regional CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) chapter, and contact them. How can you help? What do they need? What services/skills can you offer? Legal? Tech? PR? Outreach? What connections can you offer?
  11. Make your support of your Muslim/immigrant neighbors visible by displaying a sign in your window or your workplace.
  12. Contact the media! Write a letter/email/call your local radio and TV stations and NPR affiliates, as well as national media. Ask that they cover this, share your opinions, let them know what you think!
  13. If you’re part of a faith-based community, ask what the congregation will do to resist this. Whether you’re a Christian, a Jew, a Unitarian, a Catholic, a Buddhist, a Hindu—bring it up and ask how the community will stand against clear religious discrimination and intolerance.
  14. If you use social media, share your thoughts! Follow resistance orgs and hashtags like #NoBanNoWall and #NoMuslimBan.
  15. Consider your workplace: do you work with/employ/serve/engage with immigrant/Muslim populations? Do you have undocumented co-workers/employees? How can your workplace support/resist? This might be a small act of privately letting a co-worker know that you have her back, or a company-wide conversation and public stance. No matter what, can you bring it up at work?
  16. Donate money: to the ACLU, who is leading many of the litigation efforts; to the Southern Poverty Law Center; to the Council on American-Islamic Relations; the National Immigration Law Center; and to one of the MANY non-profits who work with refugees around the world. Consider the International Rescue Committee or Circle of Health Intl among many others.
  17. Find an airport protest/demonstration in your area (or, a protest/demo in general). Show up. Make sure you know your rights.
  18. Learn about immigration law so that you’re as informed as possible in your resistance. Here is a great resource.
  19. If you have DT-supporting relatives that you’re STILL talking to (kidding, a little) reach out to them on this one, especially if they’re religious—they may be anti-choice and anti-gay marriage but do they also support religious discrimination? For many (certainly not all, but some) DT supporters, this may be a potential tipping point.
  20. Support Muslim writers/artists/journalists—follow @randajarrar and @pkhakpour and @saladinahmed and @Lsarsour and many many more.

There is MUCH more that can be done—this list is the result of me (Kate Schatz) sitting down to brainstorm, and getting ideas from one social media thread. This is an international issue but we need to be acting immediately and locally to defend, protect, and RESIST! Please add more suggestions for ACTION and RESISTANCE in the comments. Thank you!

#NoBanNoWall #TheResistance #SolidaritySundays