Small Victories Issue 76

Originally posted on the Small Victories website

We’re sorry that this issue is coming to you day late, but it’s been a hell of a week, hasn’t it? I was at LaGuardia Airport rallying to support undocumented children on Wednesday night, which threw off our newsletter schedule.

But in the midst of the horrors unfolding around us, I found solace and inspiration in the hundreds of people who answered the call to help. And if you’re able to join the Families Belong Together events on June 30th, I hope you find the same sustenance in the faces of people around you. (If you can’t attend, here are other ways you can help.)

-Stephanie (& Alison too)


1. Thanks to the immense public pressure, Trump signed an executive order purportedly to end family separation. But the order says every undocumented immigrant crossing the border will be prosecuted criminally—in other words, it doesn’t end indefinite detention or reunify families, so the crisis continues.

2. Individual people took a stand:

✊ When Border Patrol agents asked bus passengers to show documentation, a woman confronted them until they left.

✊ Another woman noticed migrant children on a commercial flight and contacted an advocacy group, which led hundreds of people to rally at a New York airport to witness and document the arrivals.

✊ A flight attendant pledged not to work on flights transporting migrant children.

✊ An ICE spokesperson resigned and told the media he refused to share false information.

3. DSA members have been busy! They protested for days outside an ICE building in Portland and forced it to temporarily close—and they’re still there.

And the Metro DC chapter of DSA confronted Kirstjen Nielsen—in a Mexican restaurant, of all places—causing her to leave in the middle of her dinner. (The video is pretty great!)

4. Groups blasted audio of immigrant children crying outside a Trump fundraiser and Kirstjen Nielsen’s home, and a reporter played it at a White House press briefing.

Meanwhile, another journalist challenged Sarah Huckabee Sanders on why she has no empathy for migrant children.

5. Religious leaders, even conservatives, spoke out, and hundreds of members of the United Methodist Church filed a complaint against Jeff Sessions for violating church rules.

6. People donated to a variety of groups doing urgent work at the border, including more than $15 million to the organization RAICES alone.

7. Politicians took action:

👉 New Jersey’s governor refused to let state resources be used in family separations.

👉 Congressional Hispanic Caucus members protested and shouted at Trump on Capitol Hill.

👉 Atlanta’s mayor prevented city jails from holding ICE detainees.

👉 New York and New Jersey Democrats toured conditions at a detention center and planned legislation to stop family separation.

👉 At least eight governors won’t allow their state National Guard members to serve at the border.

👉 More and more political candidates are calling for the abolition of ICE in their platforms.

8. People in more than 60 cities held protests on June 14th, with dozens of others over the past several weeks, and Beto O’Rourke and other Texas politicians led a march to a “tent city” where immigrant children are being held.

Mothers also protested and held sit-ins at their senators’ offices, and occupied an ICE office with their children. Plus, multiple people disrupted a Mike Pence speech.

9. The ACLU and others filed lawsuits against the administration to protect immigrant families.

10. The company 23andMe will donate DNA kits to help reunify families.

11. Sleeping Giants and Grab Your Wallet helped people express their outrage to contractors profiting from cruel immigration policy.

12. Artists and activists found unusual and creative ways to publicly express anti-ICE sentiments.

13. Onto the non-immigration-related victories… More and more cities are throwing their first-ever pride celebrations this year, even in conservative states.

14. Aziyah Roberts, a seventh-grader in Chicago, organized the #WeWalkForHer march to call attention to missing women of color.

15. Thanks to the One Fair Wage campaign, Washington, DC residents voted to increase the minimum wage for tipped workers. But the fight isn’t over yet—the measure still needs to be implemented.

16. After police shot and killed an unarmed black teenager in Pittsburgh, hundreds of community members shut down a major highway to demand justice.

17. We can’t believe it took this long, but the World Health Organization finally stopped classifying being transgender as a mental health disorder.

18. In Wisconsin, voters flipped a state Senate seat from deeply red to blue, and over in Virginia, women swept the Democratic primaries.

19. Tech workers are taking action:

🔥Microsoft employees demanded that the company stop working with ICE. (Others have canceled their own contracts with Microsoft.)

🔥 Amazon workers are pressuring Jeff Bezos not to sell face recognition software to police.

🔥 Google employees resigned over a disturbing military contract, leading to its cancellation.

20. Samsung is making the move to 100% renewable energy,  thanks to an ongoing campaign from Greenpeace.

21. A judge ruled against Kansas’s voter ID requirements, and even better, ordered Secretary of State Kris Kobach (who ran Trump’s voter fraud commission) to attend legal classes.

22. Hundreds of people joined young organizers and Parkland survivors at the Chicago Peace March.

23. More than 11,000 AT&T workers went on strike, led by rank-and-file members as opposed to union leadership.

24. New York City will begin providing free subway rides to low-income families.

25. People in cities around the country celebrated Juneteenth.

26. A Maryland gubernatorial candidate kissed his husband in a campaign ad and aired the video during Fox & Friends.

27. Delaware has a new law banning bump stocks.

28. The DNC banned future contributions from fossil fuel industry PACs.

29. An Alabama sheriff who made nearly $1 million by keeping money allocated for incarcerated people’s meals just lost his election

30. The city of Trenton, NJ elected their first openly gay mayor.

31. The National Bail Out movement freed dads across the country from incarceration in time for Father’s Day. As a volunteer with Black Lives Matter 5280 said,

“It’s the human thing to do.”

32. Solar power is on the rise in the US, and surpassed natural gas to become the largest source of new power.

33. Maine became the latest state to include a nonbinary gender option on driver’s licenses. 🌈

34. North Carolina raised the minimum wage for most state employees to $15 per hour. The #FightFor15 continues!  

35. Thanks to pressure from housing rights groups, the government will no longer triple the minimum rent in federally-subsidized housing.

36. It will now be legal to buy and smoke recreational marijuana in Canada.

We made a few errors last issue—here are the corrections: Deb Haaland may be the first Native American woman elected to Congress, and there were more than 6,000 protests in March 2018 alone!

Gratitude Journal

This week, we’re grateful for this Tennessee town; this standup special that raised more than $25,000 for RAINN; this new series; and this genius idea. Plus, we can’t wait to see these women around town, and we’re devastated to say goodbye to Koko but grateful to remember her extraordinary life.

Your Weekly Songspiration

Small Victories Issue 76

Small Victories Issue 44Small Victories is brought to you with support from Peace is Loud.

Posted in Blog, Small Victories