“Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures!” (Dan Rather)
This is only the first week of the new Administration, but every day executive actions are issued that counteract positions that FAN has taken based on our mission of promoting human rights, care for creation and peacemaking. On Saturday, January 21, some FAN staff members and probably many FAN members across the country participated in the massive Women’s March. FAN staff walked with an interfaith group calling for immigrant and refugee rights. On Tuesday, the President took action to move the Keystone and Dakota access pipelines forward. On Wednesday, the Administration issued orders about building the wall and taking action against sanctuary cities. Refugee resettlement is likely to be halted. FAN issued public statements on these executive orders (Find the refugee statement and press release on the pipelines on our website).
Each of us is challenged to speak up and stand up with immigrant and refugee sisters and brothers, defenders of Mother Earth and Native American peoples. The momentum of the Women’s March must be carried into action. Justice for Immigrants (JFI) issued an action alert about supporting the Bridge Act. Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) issued an alert on behalf of refugees. The Interfaith Immigration Coalition (IIC) plans webinars for January 30 and February 6, and sent a series of actions to take to oppose harmful Executive Orders, including building the wall, and support immigrants and refugees.
All of these actions are posted by FAN, most often via our weekly newsletter. FAN staff participates in legislative visits and local press conferences and rallies here in the capital, BUT the most important actions must be taken by FAN members and supporters all across the country. Each person is encouraged to assess what you have already done, what action you have already taken, and consider what would be the NEXT STEP for you.
If you have never made a phone call to the office of your Senators and Representative, now is the time to do it, not just once but every week. (To support refugees, call 1-866-940-2439 to be connected with your Senators and Rep.) You can also tell them you oppose building the wall, or that you want them to support the Bridge Act. If you have made calls, but never visited a legislator’s office, now is the time to arrange a visit with a few others. If there is a public rally near you, consider participating in it. If you have never written a Letter to the Editor, consider writing one. (Toolkits are on JFI and IIC websites.)
Today, January 27, FAN staff members participated in the March for Life in DC, joining a Franciscan parish and the Pax Christi local chapter. Our banners proclaimed a Consistent Life Ethic, opposing abortion, death penalty, nuclear arms, destruction of Earth, social inequality, torture. May we carry our concerns for human life, human rights, and for all Creation into the days, weeks, and months ahead by engaging in action. We believe that this is the work of proclaiming the Gospel now, in this extraordinary time.
Peace and All Good,
Sr. Marie Lucey