From the Jill 2016 campaign:
Dear Friend —
I’m just back from another whirlwind tour, this time in Texas. I wanted to share with you some of the latest remarkable moments that leave me ever more humbled and honored to be part of this peaceful uprising.
Across the Lone Star State, everyday heroes are coming together for renewable energy jobs, frack-free communities, bailing out students, and an end to the real border security threat – the war on drugs!
In Dallas, I joined community activists in a forum on police violence and environmental racism, including Jarvis Wright, who was locked up for 13 years, starting at age 18, for mere possession of 36 grams of crack cocaine – a substance many health experts consider less harmful than alcohol. Now a production supervisor in a factory, he manages dozens of workers, mentors youth and ex-felons, and mobilizes the community to end mass incarceration.
Alinka Green described how the same communities that are fighting police violence are also fighting environmental violence. She herself has battled a toxic smelting plant, an incinerator, refinery, landfill, and polluting meat processing plant. Her words ring so true – that we can’t chose between a Black Lives Matter protest and a climate justice forum. We have to bring these movements together. When we do, like Alinka, we’ll be unstoppable.
In Houston, I joined the breakfast meeting of the League of United Latin American Citizens, where there was tremendous interest in our call to end immigrant deportations and detentions, as well as the U.S. trade, drug and foreign policies creating failed states and mass refugee migrations to start with. While there, I had the special pleasure of dancing with a incredible Mexican folklore dance troupe.
It was an honor to stand with the Palestinian Solidarity Rally in Houston, where community leaders were so excited to discover a voice for human rights and international law in the presidential race. They appreciated that we are calling for an end to U.S. support for all governments committing war crimes and systematically violating these foundations of civilized society – including the Netanyahu and Saudi governments. We humbly note that U.S. administrations generally fall into this category as well, which is why we need deep political change, starting with voting out of office the major political parties funded by war profiteers, climate criminals and predatory banks.
I met with anti-fracking activists from all over the state. It was especially moving to talk with families suffering illnesses commonly linked to fracking. One mother, whose home bordered a fracking well and wastewater pool, reported family members having severe headaches, nosebleeds, asthma requiring round-the-clock breathing treatments, and a daughter with a dangerous pregnancy complication, pre-ecclampsia, causing her to suffer a high risk premature delivery. Another extended family, with a gas refinery behind them and a blown out frack well across the street, tragically lost their newborn granddaughter, and the grandfather has become too sick to work or leave the house. What’s more, they have lost numerous farm animals including cows, a horse, and a cat. These families are canaries in the mine shaft. They should be compensated and immediately moved to safety. Their stories represent the threat fracking poses to our water, climate and health. That’s why it must be shut down as an urgent priority as we transition to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030.
In Karnes City, I visited the family detention center run by the private prison company, GEO, accompanied by members of the local faith community. It is unacceptable that the Obama administration adopted a policy starting in 2014 of locking up children and families seeking asylum from the violence and poverty we ourselves brought to their home countries through drug wars, predatory trade deals, and illegal political interventions. I salute the activists bringing these human rights abuses to light, and join them in calling for an end to degrading, inhumane immigrant family detention.
As you can see, the rebellion for people, planet and peace is going strong. Our campaign will continue to lift up this rebellion, and give it the political voice we need to take our future back.
Thanks for all you do to keep this movement moving forward.
It’s in our hands!