Friday, August 28, 2015

Reduce Farm Cruelty in Massachusetts

Recently, I had a letter to the editor published in the Lawrence Eagle Tribune. It is below as an image, or go to this link (and scroll down to find it). In November 2016, citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will be able to vote "yes" and bring some basic decency to factory farming. It's the very least we can do. The Letter:

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Solidarity...

Today, there will be an Interfaith Memorial Service in memory of the "Mother Emanuel Nine" lost in Charleston, South Carolina. It will be at 4 p.m. at Bethel AME in Lowell. Here's the flyer:

I will be there to mourn with many others from the wider community. Please join us if you can.

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On August 9, there was a community vigil on the anniversary of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson; the vigil was held at North Parish in North Andover with many folks from various congregations in the area in attendance. Below is a picture of some of us from the UUCiA (I am to the right). It was good to be with so many others from the wider community to witness that Black Lives Matter. More photos can be seen at this link. This vigil was "held in solidarity with Standing on the Side of Love/ The Movement for Black Lives/ Ferguson National Response Network/ and ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬, which ... asked for vigils to be held all over the country on this anniversary, to protest police brutality and remember victims of the past year."

Silent Vigil at North Parish marking the one year anniversary of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson.
In addition to solidarity with the movement for black lives, August has been a chance to be in solidarity with the immigrant community. On August 11, there was a hearing at Lawrence City Hall to vote on a Lawrence Trust Ordinance as well as a Lawrence Safe Driving ordinance, both of which help increase safety for immigrants (as well as non immigrants!) in the community. Many came together to advocate for these measures. Happily, both passed! Below is a picture of Pastor Victor Jarvis testifying passionately at Lawrence City Hall.

Pastor Victor Jarvis (of Dios Iglesia Ebenezer Lawrence and MVP) testifies at Lawrence City Hall.

Much gratitude for the organizations that helped to make this happen, including the Merrimack Valley Project (MVP); Centro Presente; ACT Lawrence; UU Mass Action... Here are two articles on the hearing and outcome: the article from the Boston Globe here; the article from the Lawrence Eagle Tribune here.


Friday, August 7, 2015

Upcoming Events: The Movement for Black Lives

There are two upcoming events that are an opportunity to show solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives. The first one is this Sunday, and the second is the following Sunday:

There will be a silent vigil this Sunday (August 9) at 5:00 pm at North Parish of North Andover (190 Academy Rd, North Andover) "in response to a call by the Ferguson National Response Network and the Movement for Black Lives for concerned Americans to hold local vigils on the anniversary of Michael Brown’s death in Feguson, MO." If you would like to participate, you can bring along your own sign -- or you can borrow one when you get there. After the vigil, there is a Concert on the Common (a Dixieland jazz band) if you want to bring along a picnic dinner and socialize, etc.

The second event is an Interfaith Memorial Service that will be held at the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Lowell, MA (75 Grand Street, Lowell) on Sunday, August 16, at 4:00 pm. The service will be in honor and loving memory of the "Mother Emanuel Nine," the AME parishioners who were murdered in Charleston, SC.