A Long Hot Summer Starts NOW

Lansing activists, caring citizens: Time to pick your passion and express yourself.  Important public policy actions are happening in Lansing, Michigan on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, June 2 – 5, 2010.  Your presence and participation are needed.  Your voice needs to be heard.  This long hot summer starts NOW.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010 at the Capitol Building, Noon – 1 p.m. “Michigan, Not-the-Next-Arizona Statewide Rally Against Anti-Immigration Legislation”

An arch-conservative Michigan politician wants to pass into state law a copycat of Arizona’s racial profiling bill, SB 1070.  This is the Arizona law that has caused a storm of protest in the Southwestern U.S., a sentiment that has been growing from coast to coast.  This past Saturday, a national rally attended by tens of thousands of people was held in Phoenix.  Numerous organizations, individuals, artists, and athletes are boycotting the state.

Now Arizona is trying to export their xenophobia.  Reportedly there are 12 other state legislatures, including Michigan’s, which will be considering the copycat SB 1070 language.  The law’s proponents are using anti-immigrant scare tactics to garner support, while endangering the civil liberties of the American citizens who will be susceptible to random, capricious police racial profiling as people will be made to “show their papers” without a warrant.  Do you look illegal?  You better hope not, if this bill passes in Michigan.

This rally is being organized by the Gamaliel Civil Rights for Immigrants-Cristo Rey Chapter.  Speakers will include Michigan State Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Arizona State Rep. Kirsten Cinema, Ryan Bates of Reform Immigration for America, Melissa Osborn of the Peace Education Center, a representative from the Michigan Peace Team, and others.

Thursday, June 3, 2010, at the Capitol Building, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., “Stand For the Land Rally”

A contingency of native and non-native Upper Peninsula residents are inviting all Michigan citizens to join them in supporting environmental justice by opposing the Eagle Mine project on the Yellow Dog Plains in Marquette County.  The contingency plans to: (1) deliver petitions to the Governor and the Natural Resources Commission opposing the mine, (2) talk about the use of state public lands for private gain, (3) expose the desecration of the sacred site the Anishinaabe, (4) talk about treaty rights, and (5) address the lack of community engagement of the permitting agencies.

The rally will include a wide variety of music, speakers, rally, and protest.  People who care about the environment are encouraged to stop by during the event and are invited to bring signs that support this environmental cause.

This rally is organized by the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.

Friday, June 4, 2010, at the Capitol Building, Noon – 1p.m., “Peace Vigil for the Gaza Freedom Flotilla”

The Peace Education Center (PEC) of Greater Lansing is joining in solidarity with local peace organizations, as well as the international community and human rights organizations around the globe, in condemning the military attack by Israeli Occupation Forces on humanitarian aid ships heading to Gaza in Palestine over the past weekend.  The PEC is asking all peace-loving Lansing citizens to join the local peace vigil in front of the Capitol Building at noon on Friday, June 4, 2010.  The vigil will be dedicated to the people killed and injured in the attack on the flotilla and will advocate for an end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

The “Gaza Freedom Flotilla,” loaded with medical supplies, food, and other much needed humanitarian aid, was heading to the Gaza Strip when they were victims of an unprovoked nighttime attack in international waters by Israeli commandos.  The Israelis killed an estimated 15 people and injured over 60 people.  In launching the effort, the flotilla organizers had publicly announced their humanitarian purpose and made clear that the ships were populated with unarmed civilians.  The Israeli military attack on the vessels has spurred worldwide condemnation and protest.

The PEC will be joined at the vigil by members and supporters of the Michigan Peace Team (MPT), the Greater Lansing Network Against War and Injustice (GLNAWI), Pax Christi Michigan, and other peace supporters.   The vigil on June 5, 2010, will be the 453rd straight Friday the local peace community has maintained a presence in front of the Capitol, which started prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Saturday, June 5, 2010, at Hunter Park, 1400 E. Kalamazoo, Lansing, Michigan, Noon – 8:30 p.m.  “World Day at Hunter Park”

This will be a day dedicated to the enjoyment of world music, dancing, food, and arts & crafts.  All members of the community are invited to this free family-friendly event.  Kids and adults alike will be able to explore the Hunter Park Garden House and participate in a Blues’ Family Health Walk and Health Fair.  There will be nonstop family and kid’s activities and fun throughout the day.  The Peace Education Center will unveil and dedicate a new Peace Pole at the park at 4:45 p.m.

This event is hosted by St. Vincent Catholic Charities, Allen Neighborhood Center, City of Lansing Parks and Recreation, Lansing School District, Peace Education Center, Capital Area District Library, and Lutheran Social Services and Refugee Development Center.  It is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Care Network, LAFCU, Peckham and Blacksoil.

So pick your passion. Express yourself.  Participate.  This long hot summer starts NOW.

Tom Rico blogs under the name "Rico Thomas Rico" and he is that rare combination of blogger, activist, hockey player, and ailurophile. He hails originally from Saginaw, Michigan USA and currently works out of Lansing. Tom is the current co-chair of the Peace Education Center of Greater Lansing and is active with Mid-Michigan Democracy for America (MMDFA).

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