Listen to Black Voices.
This past weekend, police violence roiled Austin and many other cities. The police slayings of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Michael Ramos in Austin, and countless other unarmed Black people in the United States sparked unprecedented protest—mostly peaceful, sometimes not.
Austin Justice Coalition planned a march on the Capitol on Sunday—with speakers including Michael Ramos’s mother—which was canceled after the Austin Police Department fired rubber bullets and pepper spray at protestors on Saturday. Despite Sunday’s cancelation, hundreds still showed up to protest the treatment of Black bodies by police in the United States of America.
There is a lot of confusion about what, exactly, happened this weekend. But before anyone criticizes the tactics, consider that there has never been a “right way” to protest.
Dr King had a dream and you shot him in the head.
Kaepernick peacefully took a knee and you blacklisted him.
Obama politely mentioned racism and you freaked out and put a demagogue in the White House.
But if blacks just protest the "right way" we'll get justice.
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) May 31, 2020
Going back further in history, Austin Justice Coalition executive director Chas Moore reminds us that our nation was founded on the “looting” of land from Native Americans and the “looting” of Black bodies from Africa.
This post from AJC ally “Grits for Breakfast” also sums up the moment:
“I’m told by state and local officials repeatedly that I’m asking for too much and must understand that change takes time. But I’ve been involved in efforts to effect change at the Austin Police Department for fully a quarter century and objectively, we’ve achieved very little. From my perspective, I’ve been incredibly patient. Almost certainly too patient. Yesterday, Austin officials got a taste of what it looks like when a community runs out of patience.”
What’s next? Read these “Steps You Can Take Today” by Austin Justice Coalition
Become a Texas poll worker
Last week the Texas Supreme Court ruled that fear of getting COVID-19 is not reason enough to justify voting by mail. (The ruling leaves it to the individual to determine other reasons for claiming disability and voting by mail—which is confusing as hell.)
One thing is clear: Texas will need more poll workers. And especially poll workers who are not in coronavirus high risk groups. Below are resources about becoming a poll worker to share with friends and family.
Travis County Temporary Election Positions
Williamson County Poll Worker Resources
Hays County: Become an Election Worker
Guadalupe County: If you are interested in becoming an election worker, please contact the Elections Office at 210-945-4199.
Help new Texans register to vote
Beto O’Rourke’s Powered by People organization is holding virtual phone banks to call new Texans to ensure they register to vote.
Register for the June 1 phone bank
Register for the June 8 phone bank
Find another phone bank or host your own
Tuesday, June 2
Austin Justice Coalition General Body Meeting
6:30 p.m. on Zoom.
Sunday, June 7
Austin Justice Coalition Policy Team Meeting
3 p.m. on Zoom. Feel free to come and learn about local and statewide policy/ legislation and way you can get engaged with us or just as a concerned citizen.
Join Austin Justice Coalition’s Policy Team as we continue our efforts in making sure Texas is equipped with best practice policies in criminal justice and other areas of concern for our organization.
Wednesday, June 10
A Reckoning: An Appeal to White America
6:30 p.m. on Zoom
This is not the time for outrage, anger and social media hysteria that is not followed by action. We want to continue to see our brothers and sisters of color join us in the work we do, but this plea is to White America that continues to perpetuate a system of fear, violence and disgust. Join us as we hear from the Austin Justice Coalition’s Executive Director Chas Moore deliver pointed words about how we must be forward
RSVP for A Reckoning: An Appeal to White America
Thursday, June 11
We're pleased to have our friend, author, political analyst, & host of The Muckrake podcast @JYSexton join us to discuss an equitable recovery from Covid-19, the role of the press & restoring our democracy.
Join us LIVE Thurs. 6/11 at 7:00 PM CT for virtual discussion & Q&A. pic.twitter.com/z2ovKV8ZhQ
— Indivisible Houston (@indivisibleHOU) May 28, 2020
Monday, June 15
Last day to register to vote in the July 14 runoff elections. (Early voting starts June 29.)
Central Texas Coronavirus News & Resources
COVID-19 Racial Disparities Could Be Worsened By Location Of Test Sites : Shots – Health News (NPR)
Only 7 states limit vote-by-mail access based on age. Texas is one of them. (Progress Texas)
Some Texas hospitals continued to sue patients for unpaid medical bills during the coronavirus pandemic (Texas Tribune)
Your moment of Zen
Good girl loves her broccoli.
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) May 25, 2020