From Beto for America:
From presidential candidate Beto🇺🇸 O’Rourke🇺🇸:
I see more clearly now than I did two weeks ago that the 390 million guns in a country of 320 million, especially weapons of war, are an existential threat to this country. These guns, including the AK-47 variant that the El Paso terrorist used, are meant to be on battlefields, not here in El Paso. They’re meant to kill as many people as efficiently as possible. We cannot sell assault weapons anymore, and we need to get them off our streets.
I see more clearly than ever that we must address our failure to provide the dignity that every American deserves in their lives — from preventing economic isolation to ensuring that everyone realizes their right to health care. If we don’t, we are providing fertile ground for fascism and nativism.
I see more clearly than ever that we must be constantly telling our story — of how we got here, of who we are, of who and what makes this country great — or it will be told by those who will lie and provoke fear.
I see more clearly than ever that we must not just defend immigrants — but elevate them, speak with truth and pride about their accomplishments, and make sure no one in this country — regardless of immigration status — ever has to live in fear.
I see more clearly than ever that when we stand up against Trump and for what we believe in, we are stronger.
Moving forward, I will fight with urgency and clarity. I will speak as honestly as possible about the challenges we face and run a campaign that meets this moment.
When Trump terrorizes communities, like we saw last week with his ICE raids in Mississippi, we will be there. We will show up anywhere there is suffering, anywhere people are crying out to be heard. I don’t care if it’s an early state or the last state on the calendar — we will show up.
On the campaign trail, we will be a voice for communities like El Paso which have borne the brunt of Trump’s racism, hatred and division. We will carry El Paso’s strength, kindness, warmth and pride with us at all times.
Ultimately, we will campaign on the belief in an idea of America that has never fully been realized — an idea we know can only be true when all of us come together.
From the very start, we’ve funded this effort with that idea in mind. All our money has been raised from people coming together to chip in what they can. And now we need your help to make our campaign stronger than it’s ever been.
It’s game on. Not just for this campaign, but for this country. … Our country is in grave danger. And in this democracy, there are no sidelines to stand on. We either fight to protect America or we lose what this country means to us — and the world — forever.
I’m ready to get after this. I’m ready to fight for our future. But I can’t do it without you.
Thanks for being with us.
I’ve spent the last 24-hours in Mississippi following one of the worst ICE raids in the history of this country …
By Beto O’Rourke
… Here’s what I saw:
In Canton, a small community about a half hour outside of Jackson, I met with about 25 women, a couple of men and their very young children.
The women are undocumented.
Most of the kids are U.S. citizens.
Their husbands were all apprehended in the ICE raid and they now have no idea when or if they are going to see them again. They also don’t know how they’re going to pay the rent, afford an attorney, or pay for school supplies. Of those needs, money for rent is most important. All of them mentioned it repeatedly.
An amazing local store owner seems to be the hub of the immigrant community — everyone trusts her, everyone looks to her for help. It was in her store that I met with the affected families.
One woman, wearing an ankle monitor or grillete said to me, “We have never been a burden. Some people claim that immigrants take public services. I’ve never taken assistance or help in my life. I came here to work, and every day I work. My husband works the night shift, I work the day shift. Now that he’s detained and I’m not working, I have nothing, no way to support my family. I don’t want anyone’s help, I just want to work.”
A young woman, 18 years old, told me about her parents. She told me that they luckily both left the chicken processing plant just before the raid took place. She started to cry when she told me that they are still working, because they have no other choice. She told me she was crying because she doesn’t know if one day when she’s at school she’ll come home to find that they’re gone. They’ve lived here and worked here for her whole life, they’ve raised a strong, smart, caring woman — a U.S. citizen, someone who should be able to focus on her studies, her career, her future instead of worrying about whether her parents will be deported for the crime of working in a chicken processing plant for $12 an hour.
Nearly 700 families were broken up in these raids. Hardworking, family-focused people.
I went to the home of a young woman who lived on the outskirts of town. She used to sell tamales to the workers at the chicken processing plant. She arrived in this country four years ago seeking asylum, and has been wearing an ankle monitor ever since. It’s heavy, gets hot, irritates her skin, but she’s had it on every day for four years. She’s raising four beautiful children, the oldest of which sometimes helps her to sell tamales. Now that that the immigrants have been rounded up and are no longer working in the chicken processing plants there’s no one to buy the tamales.
She’s worried that she’ll be deported back to Guatemala or, with no income and no ability to pay the rent, that she will have no other choice but to return. She showed us her scars from stab wounds she suffered when she lived there, and said she had received a call recently from a gang leader in Guatemala who told her that her husband had been murdered for outstanding debts and that the gang wanted her children as additional payment. She is certain that if she returns she will lose them.
We went to a Catholic church in Forest that was providing help for families torn apart by these recent raids. In addition to the priest and nuns who were tending to the children, there were a number of attorneys from Arizona who had flown in to provide free legal help to the families. They were also helping to take care of the kids. People willing to do this work are my heroes. It doesn’t pay, it’s tough mentally, it’s tough emotionally, but it is so necessary.
One of the families they were helping was really struggling. I met a dad of a four-month old and a very sweet, polite 11-year old. The father told me that his wife was picked up in the raid and that she is having a hard time in detention. She is depressed, and her breasts are painful and swollen, as she was still breast-feeding when she was picked up. She can’t bond out — I don’t think they’ve even set bond for these families.
I met another woman at the church. She was in detention for the last week and was only released yesterday when ICE realized that they had also detained her husband at another facility, leaving her children on their own without either parent. She told me about the conditions in the facility, the depression that she felt while she was there, missing her family, not knowing how they were doing. She talked about the day of the raid, one of her co-workers punched in the face by an agent (“he was scared and he started to run, so they ran him down and punched him”). She talked about workers being cuffed and their cuffs tied to ankle restraints, like you’d tie a hog. I asked her how she felt now. She told me “I’m just happy to be with my son. That’s the only thing that matters to me.”
This cruelty, this terror felt by this community of hardworking immigrants, is the policy of Donald Trump. His hope is that he can inflict enough suffering for these immigrants to get them to leave, or perhaps go back to the countries they fled in the first place. He’s trying to show he’s tough by preying upon the vulnerable and the defenseless.
I came to see it for myself. I am disgusted that we could treat people like this in a country of immigrants. But I’m inspired by the way that people have come together to help these families.
My hope is that the more America learns about this the more we as Americans will do to change this. As hard as this is to see, I’m glad I came here — glad to be able to bear witness to what is being done in our name to immigrants in this country. And I’m more determined than ever to help lift up the stories of those who are suffering, and the stories of those who are rising up to meet this moment.
If you’re wondering what you can do, please make a donation to the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance.
- CLICK HERE to donate💵!
MONDAY: Congressman McGovern To Visit Highland Valley Elder Services, Highlight Importance of Meals on Wheels Program
NORTHAMPTON – This Monday, August 19 at 10:45am, Congressman Jim McGovern will visit Highland Valley Elder Services in Northampton, a local not-for-profit corporation that serves 24 communities in Hampshire and Hampden Counties, for a tour of their Meals on Wheels Program.
The visit will start at the Walter Salvo House cafeteria in Northampton, which serves as a staging ground for the Meals on Wheels program. Next, McGovern will accompany a volunteer to help deliver meals to nearby seniors. Both the program tour and the meal deliveries will be open to the press.
Earlier this year, the Trump administration released a budget which proposed drastic cuts in federal funding to the Meals on Wheels Program. Over 5 million seniors deal with food insecurity and hunger in America, and seniors make up nearly 20% of people who receive benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
🍎WHAT: McGovern Participates in Tour of Meals on Wheels Program with Highland Valley Elder Services
🥒WHERE: Walter Salvo House, 81 Conz Street, Northampton, MA
🌞 WHEN: Monday, August 19th – Walter Salvo House Cafeteria Tour Begins at 10:45AM
🍓WHO: Congressman Jim McGovern; Highland Valley Executive Director Allan Ouimet; Nutrition Program Director Nancy Mathers; Volunteers
After church services, Quinsig Village:
🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸 pic: Rose T.
Woodstock, Golden Anniversary. America! What happened to peace, love, environmentalism , a woman’s right to choose, equality, America on the Move, Rebellious American youth, Literary America, the Kennedy’s?
Most of all: I miss the BRILLIANT MUSIC EVERY WHERE ALL THE TIME!
No dough? IT WAS FOR FREE! On FM and AM! Transistor radios were cheap and good back then! I had a passel!
Just pull up the antenna and press the little white, gray or black box to your ear – they were no bigger than a package of cream cheese – and walk down your neighborhood street IN THE KNOW, ya know? – Rose T.