Dear MoveOn member,
"Anna, we need to be in the streets."
That's what Rep. Pramila Jayapal—a powerhouse member of Congress who inspires me daily—said when she called me early on a Saturday morning 13 days ago, just as news was surging about thousands of kids being separated from their families due to a cruel and inhumane choice by the Trump administration.
We were both clear that this was a historic moment—that we'd look back and ask ourselves if we'd done everything we could. And that one thing that we urgently needed was a big, visible presence in D.C. and around the country.
I was glued to my phone all weekend with Pramila, Ai-jen Poo of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and other close partners. Then I made a big decision: MoveOn needed to commit, with our partners, to helping make this happen—and fast. I called and texted the MoveOn team, pulled them from their Sunday plans, and peeled my own kids off my pant legs. We worked around the clock, and on Monday, we announced the Families Belong Together actions on June 30.
And the response so far? It's been breathtaking.
Literally overnight, hundreds of events sprung up across the country. And the sign-up numbers have continued to climb: More than 750 events. Hundreds of thousands of people committed to participating. Not only in the biggest cities, where tens of thousands may turn out—but there are hundreds expected too in communities like Lubbock, TX, and Wichita, KS. And a flagship event in D.C. that will be moving and inspiring.
This may well turn out to be the single largest day of action that MoveOn has ever produced. And—when we count up the organizers, Jumbotrons, security, staging, signage, online ads, livestreaming, airplane tickets, porta potties, and staff costs—we expect this Saturday's events to cost $1.1 million.
Needless to say, we didn't budget for a million-dollar national protest against children being torn away from their parents on our border, in our name. And, as Elizabeth Warren said in an email to MoveOn members this week, it feels like "the world is on fire." We still have to do all of this AND throw down with partners on an emergency campaign to help save the Supreme Court from a full-on right-wing takeover in light of Justice Kennedy's departure—AND make sure that we don't have to make cuts to our other critical work.
There is so much we have to do right now. And the stakes are so high. Which is why I'm asking:
I'm so glad for that Saturday morning call from a fellow organizer who's now leading from a seat in Congress. We took a huge leap of faith going big in this historic moment. Seeing the incredible results of our organizing so far, I'm so glad we did.
And the situation remains urgent. Forty-eight hours after Trump's executive order, a chilling CNN headline read: "children still screaming in border centers." Trump has not fixed the humanitarian crisis he created. Despite a heartening preliminary ruling from one court, there are still thousands of children separated from their families, some in cages, and with no credible plans for reunification.
Now, this weekend, it's time to take our energy and activism to the streets with more than 750 events across the country. Will you help make that possible?
Over the years, MoveOn members have stepped up in big moments like this one.
We've stepped up in huge ways here: Together, we've funded more than $350,000 in direct relief to help with legal aid for children separated from their families. More than 500,000 of us have signed petitions, including one from Natalie Portman, calling on the Trump administration to end family separation. And we won't stop.
We won't stop until families are reunited. The Trump administration must permanently end family separation and immediately reunify those that have been separated.
We won't stop until family detention is ended. Children and families deserve due process, not indefinite imprisonment. Children do not belong in baby cages and internment-like camps. Family incarceration is not the solution to family separation.
And we won't stop until "Zero Tolerance"—which we should really be calling "Zero Humanity"—is in the dustbin of history. That's the policy that created this crisis and chaos to begin with. Parents should not be criminally prosecuted for doing what all parents do, which is bring their children to safety. This horrible nightmare for families will only end only when Trump permanently stops his 100% prosecution policy.
Eddie: Our events across the country and in Washington, D.C. will cost more than $1 million, and I need your help to make sure they're a huge success without pulling resources from our other critical work. Can you help out?
Thanks for all you do.
P.S. I hope you'll come out this weekend. You can find an event near you and RSVP here.
Want to support our work? The MoveOn community will work every moment, day by day and year by year, to resist Trump's agenda, contain the damage, defeat hate with love, and begin the process of swinging the nation's pendulum back toward sanity, decency, and the kind of future that we must never give up on. And to do it we need your support, now more than ever. Will you stand with us?
Contributions to MoveOn.org Civic Action are not tax deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. This email was sent to Eddie Alfaro on June 29th, 2018. To change your email address or update your contact info, click here. To remove yourself from this list, click here.