Thursday, August 31, 2017

March for DACA, NYC Hurricane Harvey Solidarity Vigil

Friends marching to support Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a US immigration policy from Obama administration that allows undocumented immigrants who came to the country when they were underage, to have a period of deferred action from deportation as well as eligibility for a work.

Flooded homes in Houston: " residents-warned-to get-out-or-die-as-harvey-unleashes-new-waves-of-punishing-rains-and-flooding..."

This is Houston!
The streets of New York reflect what is happening in the world.  We are profoundly a part of it, influenced and reacting, shaping and molding the modern world.  The world moves and we move.  We tremble and the world shakes.  And vice versa.  Cities offer countless solutions for modern living. We thrive on the dynamic energy of immigrants.  And revel in solutions which we create to make cities livable and sustainable.  

A dozen years ago, we traveled through New Orleans a week before Katrina hit, watching what happens when cities must grapple with flood waters without supportive infrastructure.  That was supposed to be a storm of the century.  And then in 2012, New York endured Sandy and we learned that our infrastructure was not ready to cope with climate change.  That was supposed to be the storm of the century. And this week, on the anniversary of Katrina, Houston learned it was not ready, as flood waters enveloped the sprawling city, killing thirty so far. And this is billed as the storm of the century.  But so many more will be displaced. 

My friend’s dad had his house destroyed by Katrina he moved to Houston, where his next home was destroyed.  Life is cruel.

The immigrants and climate refugees will only increase now in Texas.  Lets hope they are treated well.  But the climate is not friendly.

Donald Trump is threatening to end protections that let 800,000 immigrant youth go to school, work and walk the streets without fear. We can’t let him!

Wednesday, August 30, I joined our union, the PSC, Make the Road New York and groups from across the city for a march to defend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program put in place by President Obama, and to tell Trump loud and clear that immigrant youth are here to stay!

Starting at 5 p.m. at Columbus Circle, we marched.

“Love not hate, DACA makes America great!” we chanted. “This is what America looks like!”

“No ban, no wall! Sanctuary for all!”

Sunrise NYC, NY Renews, Working Families Party, and New York Communities for Change sponsored a vigil for the 30 plus dead in Houston after the floods of Hurricane Harvey.

They wrote:

Join us for a vigil of mourning and reckoning.

On Wednesday, join with your fellow New Yorkers as we gather at the Exxon Building (former ExxonMobil headquarters) in Midtown Manhattan to mourn the lives, homes, and livelihoods lost to Hurricane Harvey; reckon with the reckless greed and corruption responsible for this crisis; and gather up donations and collective courage for the road ahead.

Since Friday, Hurricane Harvey has churned over Southeast Texas, already taking at least 5 lives and threatening millions of others. New Yorkers know the tragedy that storms supercharged by climate change bring. As we approach the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, Houston faces paralysis
by immense flooding,  in another climate change fueled disaster that puts the poor at risk.

But make no mistake these disasters are fueled by the greed of a handful of a few wealthy executives at fossil fuel corporations.

The groups offered a plan to hold New York politicians accountable to do more than talk, but to actually do the things we can do to combat climate change today. Three simple things New Yorker leaders could do would include:

Divesting New York’s pensions from money from fossil fuel companies.

Updating and retrofitting all New York’s buildings to meet efficient energy standards.

Committing New York to renewable energy sources.

And passing the NYRenews energy platform.  Pass the NY Renews policy platform

We voice sorrow, sympathy, and solidarity with the people of Houston and southern Texas. As you read this, flood waters are disrupting tens of thousands of lives, drowning streets, destroying homes, and jeopardizing people’s safety, their savings, and their communities. As in many disasters of this scale, the most vulnerable—and especially the homeless population—are being worst impacted.

It’s a cruel nightmare.  The odd twist of all this is Texas votes for leaders who deny climate change. They voted against Sandy aid to New York.  Maybe this will force the state to re embrace its liberal roots.

I love Texas and spend countless evenings in Galveston, now flooded.  I hope everyone is going to be ok.  I hope they get the support they need.

But its not the Red Cross that is going to get it to them.

As my friend Scott Crow writes, storms offer openings for mutual aid:

Two things I wish the media would report:
1. That many of those 'bad' anitfa people and groups that were demonized by corporate media last week are the same ones doing direct relief on the ground in Texas or solidarity work in their regions around Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath.

2. That there a many liberatory, and autonomous decentralized disaster relief efforts are going on in many places beyond the eye of media. Just look for them and give them coverage. The Red Cross doesn't need more PR.

 Storms are openings if only we can learn from them. Today, we are in the middle of one.

Scenes from a DACA rally and vigil for Houston. 

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