Category Archives: event

Immigrants Stand with Trayvon Martin

Nothing is worse than injustice being silenced and ignored. As we stand together to lift up a fair and equal Florida for all, it behooves all of us to learn from and share the story of Trayvon Martin.

For those who may not have seen the announcements on the news or radio, last week 17-year-old Trayvon was shot in the chest and killed by a man named George Zimmerman, who claims that he was acting in self-defense to the “threatening” appearance of the black young boy dressed in a sweatshirt hoodie. The boy only carried an iced tea and some skittles in his possession. To this day, Zimmerman hasn’t been arrested and no files have been charged against him.
We all share our grief with Trayvon’s family who are calling for justice. You can sign the petition started by his parents by clicking here.

Since this incident, young people and communities of color nationwide have risen in outrage to the injustice of this type of racial profiling that is so dominant in our society. Together, we are seeking justice for the life of this child and for justice in our country against this culture of violence that continues with impunity. The authorities, as of yet, have still not determined whether or not George Zimmerman will be prosecuted for the murder charges. Every day, new information revealed in the media clearly exposes it was an unprovoked homicide.

Beyond that, Trayvon’s death exposes how racism and violence are so institutionalized in our society, that laws like “Stand Your Ground” are helping George Zimmerman cover up the facts of his crime. Last week it was Trayvon, next week it can be any one of us if we don’t seek justice and real change.

We urge all FLIC members and friends to follow and support the local events for racial justice that this young man’s passing is inspiring.

SANFORD, FL
Saturday March 31st : 8am-2pm at Crooms Academy 2200 W 13 Street Sanford, FL advocates and community members will be gathering to articulate the larger systemic malady connected to this murder. The mobilization calls for government accountability in the continuous violence based on appearance that is experienced by African Americans, Muslims, Latinos, women and other minorities. To reserve a seat on the bus from Miami: RSVP to Miami-Dade NAACP for $35 roundtrip by calling: 305-685-8694.
MIAMI, FL
Thursday March 29th : Belafonte Talcocy Center: 6161 NW 9th Ave, Miami, FL 33127-1013 6PM-8PM: Join the Miami Worker’s Center for a dialogue “Circle of Consciousness” on the case of Trayvon Martin, the impact of his murder on our communities, and what is the appropriate response for those of us seeking justice. RSVP to hashim@theworkerscenter.org – 305.759.8717 ext 1019.
Sunday April 1st : Bayfront Park Amphiteather at 4:00 PM (gates open at 1:00 PM) Downtown Miami 301 N. Biscayne Blvd. Join the parents of Trayvon Martin: Tracy Martin and Sabrina Fulton.
Wednesday April 4th: Miami Dade College North Campus: 11380 NW 27th Ave Bldg 4 Bookstore, Miami, FL 33167-3495 11AM-2PM Students organize Teach-In for social and racial justice.
NATIONWIDE
Friday March 30th at 8PM LIVE from CNN studios in New York, Soledad O’Brien is holding this web hosting guide, source here –  a town hall meeting called “Beyond Trayvon: Race and Justice in America.”

These are only a few of the community dialogues and actions that have been raised in response to Trayvon’s story. We encourage you to join any of these or to begin a dialogue of your own on racial justice in your community and how we can all keep our legislators accoutable for the changes that Florida needs. If there are other related forums in your local community we may not be aware of, share them on our Facebook page.

Kansas Leaders to Release Information About How Kris Kobach is Really Spending his Time

Secretary of State’s Calendar Shows Significant Time Out of State, Avoiding the Job He Was Elected to Do

Topeka, KS – Because he has failed to do the work necessary to fairly and effectively implement his own strict Voter ID law, Kansans want to know how Secretary of State Kris Kobach really spends his time.  So last month a group of state leaders/taxpayers filed a Kansas Open Records Request (KORA) to find out.  They will release the results at a press conference in the Capitol at 11:30 on Thursday, March 15th.

Kobach’s prominent role in the national nativist movement has led Kansans to question his commitment to his duties as Secretary of State.  That is why the Kansans Count campaign filed KORA requests on February 15th for all timesheets, calendars, schedules, and phone records kept by Secretary of State Kris Kobach.  The results, which will be released publicly for the first time, are astounding: serious discrepancies between what the Secretary of State says he was doing and what he was actually doing, and significant amounts of time spent in other states defending anti-immigration laws instead of doing his real job back here in Kansas.

WHAT
Kansas Leaders to Release Information About How Kris Kobach Really Spends His Time

WHO
Bill Brittendall – Director of South Central Kansas Peace and Social Justice Center
Louis Goseland – KanVote coordinator
Angela Ferguson – Kansas City Attorney

WHEN
Thursday, March 15th, 2012 at 11:30am

WHERE 
Kansas Capitol Building, Room 142-S, 300 SW 10th Ave Topeka KS

Background

Kris Kobach has become the nation’s most notorious nativist extremist. Kobach’s involvement with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a designated hate group, put him on a top 20 nativist watch-list compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Kobach currently serves as legal counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), the “legal arm” of FAIR, acting as their national constitutional law expert.

Before taking office in January 2011, Kobach became the nation’s celebrity nativist after drafting Arizona’s harsh anti-immigrant law SB1070. Though his duties as Kansas Secretary of State do not pertain to immigration enforcement, Kobach’s status as the nation’s lead nativist has only risen since taking office as he drafted Alabama’s HB56 while in office.  Kobach maintains his position at IRLI and has defended his policies against legal challenges in Nebraska, Pennsylvania, California, and Texas while in office. Kobach continues to assert himself as spokesperson for harsh anti-immigrant policies; having conducted dozens of interviews and written op-eds for Fox News, MSNBC, NPR, and other local and national news networks since taking office. He has also made many out of state appearances to profess his nativist policies at rallies, conferences, and debates throughout the nation. Kobach recently campaigned for presidential hopeful Mitt Romney in South Carolina and boasts his involvement as Romney’s immigration advisor.

While Kobach is hard at work promoting his nativist agenda throughout the country, his role as Kansas’ Chief Elections Officer has gone neglected. A voter ID bill drafted by Kobach was signed into law in April 2011 and went into effect on January 1, 2012. Though he had over 8 months to prepare state agencies to carry out this law, the first month of implementation has brought about administrative failures in every related department. Election offices were initially unable to provide documents that had not been published by the Secretary of State’s office. DMV employees continue to defer inquiries to other agencies when voters ask whether or not they are eligible for the free voter ID. Kansas Department of Health and Environment had to urgently slap together a process for free birth certificates to cover up an unnoticed poll tax written into Kobach’s law.

Kansans Count is not the first to question how Kobach spends his time. Kobach has rebuffed such doubt by repeating the claim that he works 40-50 hours a week, during regular office hours, fulfilling the duties of Secretary of State. Kansans Count says a simple Google search disproves that. The results of our KORA request will shed light on Kobach’s split priorities and provide Kansans with useful information to hold him accountable as a public servant.