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Month of Momentum: 30 Days of Action to Close the Camps

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Guest post by Judy Graboyes

On the evening of July 15th, a group of 10 East Bay women got together to discuss what we could do to help close the detention camps at the border, where families are being separated. Children, young and old, are being placed alone in cages without adequate adult supervision. The idea that emerged from that meeting was the Month of Momentum: 30 Days of Action to Close the Camps. By the next week, a core group of five women had formed to organize the Month of Momentum.

Every day in August, a different group would protest at the ICE headquarters at 630 Sansome Street in San Francisco from 12 Noon to 1PM.  The Month of Momentum kicked off on August 1st with the drummers and a press conference. Some of the groups that have protested so far this month are Queers Melt ICE, Lawyers, Public Health Workers, and Librarians (and no, they were not quiet).

The idea behind the Month of Momentum was to try and build a more widespread, grassroots movement to close the camps. Each group that signed up for a day of action is doing their own outreach, therefore spreading the organizing out into 30 different communities.

August 17th was the Poet’s Day, and after an opening with two Native American drummers and an acknowledgment that we are standing on Ohlone land, over 30 poets read their work, one more wrenching than the next.  You can watch a video compilation of the poets right here.

Some upcoming groups are:

Thursday, August 22nd: San Mateo County Activists
Friday, August 23rd: Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) and Jewish Voice for Peace
Saturday, August 24th: Ocupella and Idle no More
Sunday, August 25th: Health Workers and Public Health Workers.

See Month of Momentum’s Facebook page for the rest of the month’s actions.

On Saturday, August 31st, there will be a culminating action at Noon at the ICE headquarters. It is expected that most of the groups that participated during the month will come, along with unaffiliated individuals who are also welcome to come to any of the daily actions. There will be music by Emma’s Revolution, Betsy Rose, Diana Gameros, and more.

The Month of Momentum’s Facebook page is also a great source of information with links to articles about actions both in San Francisco and other cities, as well as videos from some of the actions that have taken place earlier in the month.

It is crucial that we build a mass, grassroots movement to close the camps, and the Month of Momentum: 30 Days of Action to Close the Camps is a good example of what people can do in other cities to cast a wide net to bring as many different groups as possible into the growing movement.

As Anne Frank wrote in 1943, “Terrible things are happening outside…poor helpless people are being dragged out of their homes. Families are torn apart; men, women, and children are separated. Children come home from school to find that their parents have disappeared.”

Sound familiar? Young gay people are being deported to countries where they have never lived and are being executed. Spouses of people who have served in the US military are being deported. A four-month old baby that was breastfeeding was taken from its mother.

Never again is now. Close the camps. Take action where you can.  Every day for the rest of August there will be an action from Noon to 1 PM at 630 Sansome Street in San Francisco.

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