WHAT SHOULD THE FUTURE OF MINNESOTA CARAVAN SOLIDARITY BE?
At the last meeting of Minnesota Caravan Solidarity on August 24, 2019, members discussed what the future of Minnesota Caravan Solidarity should be. We noticed that participation in our meeting has decreased. Many of our members are involved in other activist groups which are taking their time and energy. There are many activist groups meeting now that are related to immigration, detention and what is happening at the southern border.
When we began our focus was on the caravans from Central America. We originally organized to:
-educate people about the refugee caravans from Central America, and
-take action in solidarity with people in the caravans.
In the discussion at this meeting, we talked about the fact that we had accomplished a lot, but it may be that focusing on the caravans does not make sense now. We need to decide whether or not we should continue to meet regularly as we have been doing.
We want to share with you a list of some of things we have accomplished. They are:
-coming together of many groups to focus on the caravans
-organizing two educational events (one at CTUL and one at South High)
-aiding the development of the medical delegation (under the leadership of Dr. Fiol) which has made two trips to the Tijuana border
-setting up a Legislative Committee that has met regularly and have monitored relevant legislation and sent out action alerts
-setting up a Direct Action Committee that coordinated our sponsorship and partnership in protests
-setting up an Education Committee that organized the two educational events
-sponsoring a bridge vigil with WAMM focusing on children in cages
-organizing a protest against Trump’s “National Emergency” at the border
-organizing an action at the Minneapolis Federal Building supporting and welcoming Honduran refugees in the caravans
-co-sponsoring a number of protests that were organized by other groups
-doing outreach at Pride with educational material focusing on LGBTQ people in the caravans
-working with other groups on a variety of actions and events (e.g. ICOM, MIRAC)
-using our email list and Facebook page as a clearinghouse about community events, protests and issues facing people in the caravans
-holding regular meetings of Minnesota Caravan Solidarity to discuss issues, share information and plan actions.
After discussing what we have done and current activism regarding refugees, we are recommending keeping the following components of Minnesota Caravan Solidarity. We think these activities will be useful in campaigns in the future related to the caravans, refugees and the border. These components are:
1. Email list: valuable resource to share information and actions that are being taken
2. Facebook page: valuable to share information and actions that are being taken
3. Legislative Committee to continue monitoring legislation and to send out action alerts related to national and state legislation
4. Connection to and assistance to the Medical Delegations
5. Ad hoc campaigns as they are needed.
We are suggesting that we not have regular meetings of Minnesota Caravan Solidarity as a whole group nor meetings of the Education and Direct Action committees. We think it is important to keep the framework of the organization with the activities listed above so that there is a place where people can initiate action regarding the root causes of why people are fleeing countries in Central America. We would become a clearinghouse of information, sharing of events, and for initiating any actions campaigns that are not being addressed.
We would like to invite you to a special meeting of Minnesota Caravan Solidarity to discuss this memo and to make any decisions about the future of the organization. The meeting will be:
· -Saturday, September 14, 2019
· - 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
· - Faith Mennonite Church
2720 E. 22nd Street, Minneapolis
- We will have coffee and donuts at the meeting to reward you for coming to such an early meeting on a Saturday!
The following members were at this meeting: April Knutson, Anne Winkler-Morey, David Winkler-Morey, Kim Kokett, Sarah Lechner, Joe Callahan, Ken Gilchrist, Marcy Shapiro.