To quote a recent email I received from the Women’s March Movement: “Let’s remind ourselves that gathering around a table over food is an act of community.” On Sunday, January 25th, thousands of people across America will be opening up their homes to their neighbors and friends for a “Day of Dinners.” The idea is for folks to come to a neighbor’s home, share a meal and discuss the future of the country we want.
Consider yourself invited to Indivisible Ferndale’s “Day of Dinner” Potluck and Meeting
- Date: Sunday, June 25
- Time: 5:00 to 8:00 pm
- Location: 1105 Cream Court (Kathleen & Tom’s home)
- Please bring a dish and/or a beverage to share
- Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Monster Noise Comes to Ferndale
Wendy published a post on June 7 entitled “Monster Trucks, Noise and the Law” and then followed it up with another post on June 10 entitled “Loud. And Clear.” Both of these posts were in reference to the Monster Truck Rally held on June 9 and 10 at the Humboldt County Fairgrounds. Wendy asked for a call to action: If you hear the noise, call the police and call City Hall. Many of you did just that.
Thanks to councilpersons O’Rourke and Sweeney, the topic of noise is slated for discussion at this week’s city Council meeting. Read an abbreviated agenda and the city noise ordinance here. Plan to attend.
- Date: Wednesday, June 21
- Time: 7:00 to 9:00 pm
- Location: Ferndale City Hall
Read this week’s message from Ezra Levin, Co-Executive Director of the Indivisible Project. This message focuses on the continuing fight to defeat TrumpCare. Indivisible is also sponsoring June 25 “Resistance Community Cookouts.” I believe we have this item covered!
In Our America
We just received a new shipment of “In Our America” signs available for $15. Payment can be either cash or a check made payable to Stephen Avis. We will be bringing signs to our June 25 Potluck Meeting.
Weekly Call Sheets for June 19
- Pick an issue (or two) that speaks to you.
- Grab your phone and make some calls to our representatives or
- Grab a postcard or two and write to our representatives.
Lastly, a great read below from the Times-Standard on how the Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Bayside has declared itself a sanctuary congregation.
Bayside congregation becomes sanctuary for undocumented immigrants
Thirty years after it offered sanctuary to a El Salvadorian family fleeing from a brutal civil war, a Bayside faith-based congregation decided this week to once again become a sanctuary space for undocumented immigrants, and other local churches could follow.
A few days after the Humboldt Unitarian Universalists Fellowship’s decision, several local churches, faith-based groups and community organizations gathered in the Eureka First United Methodist Church to discuss how they can work in solidarity to protect local undocumented immigrants.
The church’s Pastor Kathryn Dunning said the conversation was held in response to the “climate of fear among immigrants in our community” caused by the federal government’s increased enforcement of immigration laws since President Donald Trump took office.
“I feel compelled by the gospel of Jesus that told us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the stranger, care for those in need and we see this as a population in need,” Dunning said Thursday. “From my perspective, there are no illegal persons. All persons are created in the image of God and we have an obligation to care for one another. Our faith compels us to care for one another.”
Representatives from the Arcata First Unified Methodist Church, United Methodist Church of the Joyful Healer and Grace Good Shepherd Church in McKinleyville, the Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and community organizations True North and Centro Del Pueblo attended the meeting, Dunning said.
Along with campaign promises to build a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, the Trump administration has placed a greater focus on deportations of undocumented immigrants and issued an executive order threatening to cut funding to sanctuary cities that provide asylum to illegal immigrants, which has since been deemed unconstitutional by a U.S. District Court in California.
Centro Del Pueblo Steering Committee’s Renee Saucedo said the federal government’s rhetoric has led to local Latino immigrants and their families fearing to take their children to the doctor or go grocery shopping. She said that families fear that law enforcement will obtain their information, such as fingerprints, if they are pulled over and share it with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
“That’s why it’s important that churches are declaring themselves sanctuaries, but it’s just as important for the county to pass a sanctuary law which will prohibit collaboration between local law enforcement and ICE agents except when required by state or federal law,” Saucedo said.
The county Board of Supervisors is currently drafting a resolution outlining its stance that the sheriff’s office will continue to not provide assistance to federal immigration enforcers in most cases. The resolution would not designate the county a sanctuary county, with several board members having expressed concern in April that any cuts of federal funding could drastically impact county services.
A sanctuary again
Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship minister Rev. Bryan Jessup said his Bayside congregation’s decision on Sunday to become a sanctuary for the second time since 1987 was a nine-month process and was a direct response the federal rhetoric and “racist policies” that he said are beginning to gain traction.
“We have in our congregation, we have people who survived the Holocaust in Germany and France,” Jessup said. “They were housed by people and they were protected by people, the survivors were. Somebody has to say we’re going to create a safe place. Part of our commitment is to create safe places like that also.”
The so-called sanctuary movement began in the 1980s when hundreds of churches began housing Central American refugees who had fled to the U.S. to escape from wars and power conflicts in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala.
The sanctuary movement of today differs from that of the 1980s, recently retired Humboldt State University political science lecturer Kathleen Lee said, in that the issue was more politically-based in the 1980s during the midst of the Cold War rather than one based on ethnicity.
“The Reagan administration was willing to give asylum to people who were fleeing socialist-type governments, such as the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, but unwilling to grant asylum to right-wing governments backed by the U.S.,” Lee said. “It was less this idea of hordes of brown people coming over the border and taking your jobs and committing crimes, which is the way the narrative is today. The narrative wasn’t ‘These are bad people coming here.’ ”
Lee said that churches do not have legal protections for providing sanctuary to undocumented immigrants, but said there are cultural protections.
“Churches have for centuries been seen as an area of sanctuary,” Lee said. “Even before the advent of democracy and the rule of law, people were reluctant to remove people from churches. So you have this concept within the culture that if someone takes sanctuary in the church, it looks really bad for someone to come in and drag someone out of the church.”
Will Houston can be reached at 707-441-0504.