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Love Resists: Celebrating Two Years of Combating the Criminalization of Our Communities

Reflections on the two-year anniversary of Love Resists, UUSC and UUA's partnership for resistance and social justice during troubled political times.

By Hannah Hafter on August 15, 2019

Summer 2019 marks the two-year anniversary of the Love Resists campaign, an unprecedented collaboration between UUSC and the Unitarian Universalist Association in response to the threats facing our communities in this political moment in the United States.

Love Resists fights criminalization and expands sanctuary (safe communities for all) through supporting UUs and other people of faith and conscience to work in local grassroots community partnerships. In the last two years, UUs who have joined Love Resists have engaged in local actions and campaigns, participated in workshops and volunteer opportunities, and have exercised their roles as advocates in the face of draconian policies seeking to strip people of their humanity based on race, religion, country of origin, LGBTQ+ identity, disability, or poverty.

Our collaboration has focused on three areas – Accompaniment, End Money Bail, and Criminalization of Resistance. Here are some of our most exciting accomplishments and highlights:

Immigration Justice Accompaniment

More than 1,000 individuals including over 50 teams based in congregations participated in our four-month e-course done jointly with the American Friends Service Committee on anti-racism in immigrant justice solidarity work, called “Changing Systems Changing Ourselves.” The curriculum is now packaged and available for anyone to use.

Since the fall 2018 migrant caravan from Central America, Love Resists has supported dozens of individuals and congregations to offer sponsorship to arriving asylum-seekers, allowing them to pursue asylum from freedom instead of in detention. Others have supported neighbors facing deportation by showing up at their immigration court hearings and paying immigration bonds. To learn more about accompaniment and get involved, check out Love Resists’ accompaniment resources page and the Spring 2019 webinar, We Love In Concrete Ways: A Webinar on Accompaniment and Expanded Sanctuary.

Delegations from several congregations have deepened their understanding of the realities at the US/Mexico border through immersion learning programs with the UU College of Social Justice — your congregation can join us this year! CSJ has also recruited, supported and deployed over 100 Spanish-speaking volunteers to work directly with migrants at the border, and this need continues; find out how to register here.

There’s more you can do to get active. Learn what you can do on the latest Love Resists Blog: Six Ways to be Pro-Active About Immigration Raids in Your Community.

End Money Bail 

Love Resists is partnering with Black Lives of UU (BLUU) to mobilize congregations to support local End Money Bail campaigns and bailout actions such as #FreeBlackMamas on Mothers’ Day.

Watch Jailed for Being Poor, a Love Resists and BLUU webinar featuring people who have been impacted by these injustices as well as volunteers and staff at several community bond funds. Download the BLUU/Love Resists End Money Bail Community Workbook and sign up to facilitate a group for fall 2019. If your congregation has posted a “Black Lives Matter” banner or done anti-racism training and is looking for a concrete next step to deepen that work as a group, this is it!

Criminalization of Resistance

In August 2018, for the “Faith Floods the Desert” action, Love Resists brought more than 50 faith leaders to the Arizona desert to risk arrest or fines for leaving water on a wildlife refuge where people are dying, in order to side with No More Deaths’ volunteers who faced charges for providing humanitarian aid.

In June 2019, UU faith leaders from across the country travelled to Tucson, Arizona to participate in Faith Floods the Courtroom, a public action to show support for Dr. Scott Warren, a No More Deaths volunteer who was arrested in January 2018 and faces multiple felony charges for providing assistance to migrants crossing the southwestern border into the United States. Dr. Warren’s first trial ended in a hung jury, and the government has chosen to re-prosecute. Stay tuned for updates on his second trial scheduled to start in November 2019.

Join us! If you aren’t yet on the Love Resists e-mail list, you can subscribe here!

Photo Credit: UUA/UUSC

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About UUSC: Guided by the belief that all people have inherent worth and dignity, UUSC advances human rights globally by partnering with affected communities who are confronting injustice, mobilizing to challenge oppressive systems, and inspiring and sustaining spiritually grounded activism for justice. We invite you to join us in this journey toward realizing a better future!

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