Small Victories Issue 78

Originally posted on the Small Victories website

We came across this quote in an interview with the writer Alexander Chee this week and had to share:

“The powerlessness that we feel when we read [news about family separation] is largely illusory. If you allow it to take root in your life, it becomes a gift to these horrible people… Keep remembering that protest, voting, giving of your time and energy to organizations, addressing your legislators, holding them accountable, and holding yourself accountable for responding to the situation [is important]…

“The thing that you always have to do is to keep rejecting that feeling of powerlessness.”

– Alison & Stephanie


1. The courts are impeding Trump’s immigration policies. In the past two weeks, federal judges…

👉 Ruled that separated families cannot be deported (at least temporarily).

👉 Refused to extend deadlines for family reunification, which must be a straightforward process.

👉 Upheld a legal decree stating that immigrant children can’t be held in detention for more than 20 days.

👉 Found that family separation is unconstitutional.

👉 Ordered counseling for children in one particular case, possibly setting a precedent.

But the government has only reunited a small fraction of families, so it’s important to keep the pressure on. In the meantime, journalists and activists are successfully bringing families back together.

2. Los Angeles is allocating an additional $10 million toward legal fees for families who have been separated.

3. The Democratic Socialists of America gained 1,000 new members within 24 hours of Ocasio-Cortez’s win—their highest jump in membership ever. 🌹

4. New York state divested pension funds from private prison companies, and the California Democratic Party banned contributions from them as well.

5. People protested Salesforce and Amazon’s relationships with ICE, and the firm McKinsey and Company cut ties with ICE after the New York Times revealed they were raking in $20 million from consulting work.

6. And on July 31, Cosecha is organizing a day of action against all institutions doing business with ICE—learn more about how you can take part.

7. More than 100,000 people showed up to protest Trump’s visit to London. As one London marcher said,

“I am here for human rights, women’s rights, racism, migration, anti-fascism, Palestine, civility, kindness, compassion.”

When Trump moved on to Helsinki, protesters were waiting for him there. More greeted him when he got back to the States, and it looks like the blimp might be coming here soon, too.

8. Trump’s not the only one drawing protests—most of his administration can’t seem to go out in public without being shouted down. (Sorry you can’t get sushi, Stephen Miller!) And Louisville residents harassed Mitch McConnell everywhere he went while in town.

9. Philadelphia aims to cut its prison population in half over the next five years, thanks to work from a coalition of organizers and DA Larry Krasner, who just did a fantastic interview with Chris Hayes that we highly recommend.

10. A Canadian chain pulled Ivanka’s clothing brand from its stores after being targeted by Grab Your Wallet.

11. After being harassed by a racist man, two young people of color organized a youth bike ride against racism in Nevada City, CA—and hundreds of people showed up in solidarity. (This video is worth a watch!)

12.Progressive candidates continue gaining momentum:

🙌 DSA member Marc Elrich won the Democratic primary for Montgomery County Executive in Maryland. (To put that into perspective, more people live in this county than in all of Montana.)

🙌 For the second quarter in a row, Beto O’Rourke raised more than double the amount Ted Cruz raised.

🙌 The California Democratic Party endorsed Kevin de Leόn for Senate.

13. Seven fast food chains agreed to end “no-poach” clauses in worker contracts—here’s why this is such a big deal.

14. The midterm elections might see a much higher turnout of young voters. In Pennsylvania alone, the share of voters under 30 jumped by 16%.

15. There have been more than 100 #SaveSCOTUS events hosted by Indivisible groups since Trump announced his Supreme Court pick.

16. After cutting Medicaid and facing immense public backlash, the governor of Kentucky restored benefits for hundreds of thousands of people.

17. Madison, WI became the latest city to ban conversion therapy.

18. A march against gun violence shut down a major highway in Chicago.

19. In a win for women of color, the Navy will now allow servicewomen to wear their hair in dreadlocks, braids, and twists.

20. Amazon Prime Day was disrupted by boycotts and strikes.

21. Promote the Vote turned in 400,000+ signatures to add a voting rights proposal to the Michigan ballot.

22. The GOP pulled the nomination of a racist judge to an influential federal post.

23. The World Cup, held in Russia, was the site of two inspiring protests.

24. Thanks to a campaign from organizers like VOCAL-NY, New York City passed legislation to allow those incarcerated at Rikers Island to make free local phone calls.

25. Three Virginia schools are changing their names so they no longer honor Confederate leaders.

26. Young organizers from the Urban Youth Collaborative protested Betsy DeVos outside the Department of Education.

27. California had aimed to reduce carbon emissions to the state’s 1990 levels by 2020, but they just hit their goal two years early!

28. A 12-year-old raised thousands of dollars to organize her town’s first-ever Pride parade.

29. A federal judge ruled against Trump’s latest attempt to revive the ban on transgender military members.

30. Sandra Oh became the first Asian woman to be nominated for Lead Actress in a Drama Series at the Emmys.

31. The NFL may not penalize players who kneel during the national anthem after all.

32. New York and New Hampshire took measures to protect contraception for women.

33. Youth from United We Dream took direct action to protest an ICE facility in Florida.

34. Over 200 museums are launching a paid internship program designed to open up opportunities in the arts for young people from underrepresented backgrounds.

35. Good news around the world: Ireland is now the first country to fully divest from fossil fuels, and Australia made progress in the fight against diseases like Zika and dengue fever.

Gratitude Journal

We spent the last two weeks listening to this interview, going to see this movie, cheering on this kid, hoping we can build these imagined monuments, and donating to this real one). Also, 💜 this hero pup.

Your Weekly Songspiration

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

Posted in Blog, Small Victories