PICO California Day of Action August, 23, 2017

by Rev. Rowan Fairgrove, Elder Priestess (Owl Moon Coven, NCLC, COG)

[Note: The California Values Act, SB54, ensures that no state or local
resources are diverted to fuel any attempt by the federal government
to carry out mass deportations and that our schools, our hospitals,
and our courthouses are safe spaces for everyone in our community.]

On August 23, 2017, about four hundred activists from PICO California
<http://www.picocalifornia.org> arrived in Sacramento at 8am. This
action was lead by the team PICO team, LA RED — Liberation, Action,
Respect, Equity and Dignity are the hallmarks of the work for
immigrant communities .

After grabbing coffee, many of us headed to the Assembly
Appropriations Committee hearing to testify for SB54, The California
Values Act . I was in the very long line for that, but we had a small
delegation who were going in to see Governor Brown at 9:45 and they
wanted clergy to come and bless our delegates.

PeoplesHearing-McBride
Paster Ben McBride at the Hearing before the Governor’s office

About 50 people came down to the governor’s office where we sang, “No
nos moveron” and other songs. Then about six clergy offered prayers
for our delegation and for the governor. My prayer reminded them we
are standing on ancestral land and the work of all who have come
before us. I blessed them with the foundation of the land and the
strength of the Sacramento River which comes down from the mountains
sweeping all the way to the sea. And I asked for their mouths to be
filled with honey and to allow grace to live in Governor Brown’s heart
so that he would hear their words as truth and be moved.

Clergyblessingdelegates
A Polynesian Elder blesses the delegates Polynesian Elder blessing the delegates

From 10:30 to noon, we had The People’s Hearing / La Audiencia
Comunitaria in support of stopping mass deportations and creating a
more humane pretrial justice system in the Eureka Room in the basement
of the State Capitol Bldg. We overflowed into an adjacent room, there
were so many of us! Scores of speakers gave testimonies and speeches
on SB 54 (CA Values Act) and S10 (Bail Reform).  Pastor Ben McBride,
of PICO Oakland, exhorted us that we have the strength to create a
better California and that we must bear witness to the truth, saying
“Now is not the time for us to lay back, now is not the time for us to
be passive, now is not the time for us to be calm — but now is the
time for us to fight for our freedom and now is the time to fight for
one another…. Let’s push back against this government until we all
have freedom under the law in the United States of America.” He led
everyone in chanting the slogan, “One People, One Fight!” and “Un
Pueblo, Una Lucha!”

PeoplesHearing1
Speakers at the People’s Hearing

After the Hearing, we had lunch and everyone fanned out to visit their
Assembly representatives to see where they stand on the two bills for
which we lobbied. Members of my PICO affiliate, PACT SJ
<https://www.pactsj.org>, visited Representatives Kansen Chu, Evan
Low, and Ash Kahlra.  After these excellent conversations, we headed
back to the Bay Area. We remain strong in our belief that “None of us
are free until all of us are free.”

PACT-SJ-delegates
Members of PACT San Jose at the end of the Day of Action
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