September 2019 Event Highlights

Saturday, September 7: Equality for Flatbush Gala  

Equality for Flatbush (E4F) is a visionary, member-led grassroots organization that does anti-police repression, affordable housing, and anti-gentrification organizing Brooklyn-wide. Since 2013, E4F has effectively organized hundreds of tenants, small businesses, homeowners, and those impacted by police violence to stop evictions, win repairs, save small businesses, and build people power through trainings and community-led campaigns. SURJ members joined E4F on the dancefloor to raise $50K for Equality for Flatbush and celebrate with Imani Henry - founder and lead organizer - as he turns 50 this year! If you cannot attend, you can support E4F’s work by   making a donation here, or making a monthly sustaining donation here

Sunday, September 8: Deep Canvassing for Police Accountability 

When does a “hero cop” become a villain? We canvassed to ask folks about the Eric Garner case, more broadly and deeply exploring what accountability means to us, and how that connects to the politics of policing. Deep canvassing means sharing vulnerably about our own stake in the issue, and listening curiously to the people we meet. Conversations tend to be long, in-depth, and responsive to what arises--not just angling toward an “ask.” Because of that, they have the potential to transform both our targets and ourselves. And when we encounter folks who are aligned with us, we support them in taking action. As always no prior knowledge was needed, we learned and practiced together! 

Saturday, September 14: #NoBusinessWithICE: CLOSE THE CAMPS! 

SURJ members joined Close The Camps NYC in a march and a direct action targeting a company that profits from ICE’s abuse of immigrant lives. As part of a broader campaign to say NO to the concentration camps on the US border, #ClosetheCampsNYC has the following  demands of private companies: “Stop being complicit in the horrific violence against immigrant communities. Cancel all contracts with ICE and withdraw all support that allows the violent institution to continue to carry out its bloody mission.” 

Wednesday, September 18: Ending Life Imprisonment Panel   

The panel discussion featured Marc Mauer and Ashley Nellis, authors of “The Meaning of Life: The Case for Abolishing Life Sentences;” Jose Saldana of RAPP, and Saleem Holbrook of Pennsylvania’s Campaign Against Death by Incarceration (CADBI) and the Abolitionist Law Center. Both Jose Saldana and Saleem Holbrook are formerly incarcerated long-termers working to end life imprisonment.

Saturday, September 21: RAPP Fundraiser 

Release Aging People in Prison (RAPP) works to end mass incarceration and promote racial justice by getting elderly and infirm people out of prison. RAPP challenges a fundamental pillar of mass incarceration: reliance on a system of permanent punishment, a culture of retribution and revenge rather than rehabilitation and healing. SURJ planned a fundraiser for RAPP so they can pay directly impacted organizers throughout New York state. If you weren’t able to attend, please consider supporting RAPP’s work here.

Monday, September 23: United in Outrage: The Resistance March

Donald Trump wasin NYC to address the UN General Assembly on September 24. The evening before, SURJ members joined our friends at Rise and Resist to come together and march peacefully to protest the many injustices of the administration, its accomplices, its supporters, and the harm done in its name. Folks brought signs and banners proclaiming their fight, their issues, and the change they are working toward. Read more here 

Wednesday, September 25: SURJ National Webinar: 10 Years of Racial Justice

SURJ National held a webinar with Patrisse Cullors, Makani Themba, Carla Wallace, and Pam McMichael to discuss the past, present, and future of SURJ as it relates to the broader movement for racial, economic, social, and environmental justice. Pam McMichael and Carla Wallace are long time movement organizers and co-founders of SURJ. Patrisse Cullors and Makani Themba are revered movement leaders who shared their perspectives of how SURJ's work fits in a broader context and what is needed moving forward. This was a public call, open to all.