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This isn’t a new virus. It’s age-old inequality, horrific police violence, and an explosion of outrage from communities who feel cut off from the justice white America takes for granted. Once again, a black man has been murdered in the street by a white police officer. Once again, the cities of America have erupted in protest, and the country is being divided along old familiar lines of race and class.
As progressives we believe, as a matter of fundamental principle, in nonviolent movements to bring about solutions to the problems that beset our society. In Colorado, we’re grateful to community leaders like Rep. Leslie Herod and DPS Board member Tay Anderson, who organized massive peaceful demonstrations over the past few days demanding an end to the extrajudicial murder of black people by police. On Saturday, an amazing display of peaceful commitment to change was caught on camera by the Colorado Times Recorder  as thousands of demonstrators lay face down and for nine minutes repeated the words, “I can’t breathe.”
Such powerful moments of unity and strength are what America needs to remember from these days of nationwide protest. There’s only one way to bring the unrest in America to an end, and it’s the same solution as 50 years ago: black lives have got to matter. Those words must be made real with policies that end the disproportionate killing of black men in America, and that make equal opportunity more than a slogan for every American.
These are our values, and we hope you share them.
Action item #1: The Colorado General Assembly is in session right now, and needs to respond with effective legislation to ensure departments foster a culture among officers that rejects brutality. Click here to call your state lawmakers and tell them to immediately pass legislation to keep the public safe from police violence.
Once that’s done, here are more ways to take action for the week of June 1:
Colorado Rapid Response Network: Virtual CORRN Confirmer Training
The Colorado Rapid Response Network is a network of concerned and committed groups and volunteers who respond to ICE activity in our communities. Tuesday June 2nd at 5:00 pm till 6:30 pm we will train Confirmers. Join our training to become a confirmer and learn how to defend our community. You will receive Zoom meeting information upon registration.
When: Tuesday, June 2 at 5:00pm
Conservation Colorado: Colorado Water Plan Listening Sessions
The Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) wants to hear about your hopes for the Water Plan update! Please join for any or all of the Colorado Water Plan Listening Sessions, a series of conversations on the future of water in Colorado. The Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) will host a series of online public listening sessions to share updates about the Colorado Water Plan (Water Plan), hear from water leaders across the state, and gather feedback about how the Water Plan should approach the critical issues around Agricultural, Municipal & Industrial, Environmental & Recreational, and Forest Health & Watershed Health.
When: Wednesday, June 3 at 10:00am
ACLU of Colorado: Lunch & Learn: Know Your Rights – Police Encounters
Recent police encounters in Colorado and nationwide have raised concerns about the level of force used on people and the impact it has on police-community relationships. It’s important that every person feels safe in their daily activities without endangering their fundamental constitutional rights. Join the ACLU of Colorado for a Lunch & Learn Thursday, June 4th at 12 pm to learn more about your rights during a law enforcement encounter and actionable steps to take if you experience or witness police misconduct.
When: Thursday, June 4 at 12:00pm
Women’s Lobby of Colorado: Fifth Virtual Happy Hour with Colorado Black Women for Political Action
Join us for one or more of our virtual social hours series! We will have an expert from our organizational members join us to talk about the issues in the community, including the impacts of COVID-19. On June 4, we will be joined by the President of Colorado Black Women for Political Action, Tamra DeBrady (also a WLCO board member!). Grab a tea, a coffee, glass of wine, whatever you’d like, and join us! Note, registration required!
When: Thursday, June 4 at 5:30pm
9to5 Colorado: Know Your Eviction Defense Rights
After countless protests, letters, and stories shared, the governor and other elected officials have taken steps forward to keep people housed. 9to5 attorney, Jason Legg, will share how the eviction process currently works, how new ordinances and policies impact the eviction timeline and what to do if your rights are violated.
When: Thursday, June 4 at 6:00pm
Colorado Sierra Club: Lunch & Learn on Colorado Climate Action
Come learn about the Climate Action Plan (HB1261), passed by the Colorado legislature and signed by Governor Jared Polis in 2019, and get involved to shape how Colorado meets its ambitious and urgent goals to reduce carbon pollution. This conversation is a great opportunity to hear from elected officials, Sierra Club members, and community activists about the progress we’ve already made, where we’re heading, and how YOU can make an impact on the future of Colorado.
When: Friday, June 5 at 1:15pm
Peaceful Protest against Police Brutality
We need to come together and uplift the movement and protect our black brothers and sisters from the continued police brutality in our city, state, country and across the globe.
When: Saturday, June 6 at 12:00pm
When: Colorado State Capitol, Denver
9to5 Colorado: Housing is a Human Right! Denver Car Protest
Now more than ever, in the midst of the deadly coronavirus pandemic, safe and secure housing is a necessity for survival. While the government funnels billions to banks and big corporations, working people have been left to fend for themselves. In Colorado an estimated 450,000 people may be facing eviction once the coronavirus lets up. Thousands more are facing the pandemic without a safe place to live, either experiencing homelessness or trapped in unsanitary and overcrowded conditions of incarceration.
When: Saturday, June 6 at 3:00pm
Where: Mercury Cafe, 2199 California St., Denver
Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado: Rosé Resistance
Pour yourself a glass of rosé and join fellow fierce reproductive rights advocates *online* for our annual event to benefit Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado! Get the latest updates on reproductive health care access—which continues to be targeted even in a time of global crisis. Guests include: Alexis McGill Johnson, Acting President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund; Colorado Attorney General, Phil Weiser; and PPRM CEO and President, Vicki Cowart.
When: Sunday, June 7 at 11:00am
Thanks again. We’ll be back net week with more ways to make a difference.