If you missed the event, you can watch it here.
MCS Student, Calvin Huber, testifies at Zoom City Hall. Watch it here
MCS student activists have decided to push for our city, state and country to shift our priorities and funding from criminalizing to helping. Immigrants and people suffering from mental health, poverty and racism are too often arrested, detained and locked up which is costly, harmful and ineffective. Now more than ever, they want to stop mass incarceration and invest in mental health support for students in schools, legal support for immigrants and social services to meet community needs. They are asking Congress to pass the PUSHOUT act, the People's Justice Guarantee and the New Way Forward Act.
Students presented and posed questions for breakout group discussions and activities, and provided ample opportunities for people to take action during the event and after with online petitions, social media, letter writing and phone calls.
Remember, you should also call your elected officials about these campaigns and your Congressperson about the bills below. Our students also want our budget and priorities to shift towards supporting the mental health needs of communities and youth in particular and for us to decriminalize immigration and provide pathways to citizenship. They want to decarcerate, defund police and prisons and invest in the wellbeing of our communities.
There are times to be pragmatic and realistic and go for achievable political goals. This, however, is a transformative moment we are in. The ground is shifting and things that were not possible even a week ago are already happening. This is the time to push AS HARD AS WE CAN for as much as we can. This is the time to imagine the world we need, to BELIEVE that it is possible, and to fight for it. We need for this moment to be a movement and channel that into laws and policies that will last after the tide has changed. We are living in what is probably the biggest civil rights movement in world history with all 50 states and 18 countries participating in big cities and small towns. Our leadership is only making crystal clear the absolute failure of our system and the violence and brutality they are prepared to use to maintain it.
During the age of monarchies, nobody could imagine democratic republics. During the time of empires, nobody imagined global independence movements. During slavery, most people did not imagine such a powerful and profitable system would end. Let us not limit our imagination and retreat into cynicism or false pragmatism, because this is not an intellectual exercise, this is our lives. The practical thing is actually to have audacious hope that we can build a world that respects life and values people over profit. We need profound transformation to end the crises that we have been living through long before COVID 19 and to prevent the worst of the climate crisis. Nobody can do it all, but we can do our part. If we align our work with movements led by black people, women, queer people, indigenous people and, of course, youth, then I believe that anything is possible.