As you reunite and celebrate with your loved ones this holiday season, I want to thank you for all that you have done to help build the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
With your support, 2013 has been a great year for the Museum. The future museum site is a frenzy of activity as we continue to raise the walls and support columns. To date, we’ve collected over 23,000 artifacts including two large pieces — a Southern Railway railroad car (segregated) and a guard tower from Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola — that will be a part of our inaugural exhibition on segregation. All of this progress is thanks to friends like you.
I wish you and your loved ones peace and joy this holiday season and into the New Year.
My name is Luz Maria Hernandez. I am 75 years old. I am a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. It was my granddaughter who urged me to get involved in the immigration reform movement — and together, on September 12, we were arrested in Washington to demand Congress pass reform with a path to citizenship.
I was not afraid of facing arrest, because I face a much more real and desperate fear: missing out on the lives of my children. Although I’ve obtained my residency, my children have been waiting in Mexico for years to have their visas approved so that we might be reunited. Immigration reform is not about border security or jobs or “getting in a line” — it is about families who have been separated by deportations, or live each day dreading that, like me, they will be separated from their loved ones for years.
You have been a committed activist to the fight for immigration reform, and now I want to ask you to join us in shaping the next phase of the campaign by participating in a non-violent direct action training happening in your community. Together, our communities will make history for the rights and dignity of all immigrant families. Click here to join the below action. Send an RSVP email with your name, location, and the best number to reach you to my friend Grecia, a national field organizer.
I will do whatever it takes to help those that suffer as my family has suffered, but I am only one person. That is why I am asking you to take action with me, to make a difference.
Luz Maria Hernandez Wisconsinite
As I write this, two activists have been arrested after attempting to occupy a Gazprom oil platform in the Russian Arctic to stop it becoming the first company to produce oil from the icy waters of the region. Gazprom is Shell’s new partner in crime, with plans to wring every drop of oil from this fragile environment.
We’re determined to stop them, but our peaceful protest was met with aggression from the Russian Coast Guard, who fired at least 11 warning shots at our ship and threatened our activists with knives and guns. The situation is still developing, but we need to show these brave activists that our 3.8 million-strong movement is behind them.
Click here to send a message of support to the activists in the Russian Arctic.
Yesterday morning, five inflatable boats set off from the Arctic Sunrise towards Gazprom’s platform. The Russian Coast Guard, which seemed to be under orders to protect the oil giant’s dangerous rig, responded quickly with disproportionate use of force. Two activists were stopped before they reached the platform, and although two more did successfully climb onto the rig, shots fired by the Coast Guard meant they could not stay long.
These are the kinds of lengths that the Russian authorities will go to protect the interests of oil companies. But we will not be intimidated into silence. We’re doing this because someone has to stop the insane race of companies like Shell and Gazprom to extract oil from the melting Arctic. Together we’re going to draw a line in the ice to say: “You go no further.”
You’ve already taken the first step to save the Arctic by joining our movement. Last Sunday thousands of us in 75 cities and 30 countries took to the streets in the biggest event in defense of the Arctic in history. Now I hope you will send a message to the activists in the Russian Arctic, letting them know that you’re thinking of them and supporting them. I can tell you from experience, it makes all the difference.
Tell the activists in the Russian Arctic you believe in what they’re doing.
Thanks so much!