HUNGER STRIKE: BLACK WOMEN HUNGER STRIKE IN SOLIDARITY WITH All IMPACTED BY WHITE HOUSE BUDGET CUTS
On 2/13/2018 we begin our #213for213 Hunger-Strike! Because we say#NoMoreDeadWomen.
We strike for 213 Hours for the 213 personnel eliminated from anti-violence related services. This is a RECURRENT HUNGER-STRIKE or ROLLING STRIKE, making a way for us to participate on a regular or rolling schedule — one day or a few hours, every moment, Black women are Hunger-Striking, until Congress and Appropriations Committee vote NO on the White House budget.
This week, the White House released its budget proposal to Congresshttps://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/. The current Administration’s federal budget proposes a cut of 213 staff from the Office of Violence Against Women (OVW), The Office of Victims of Crime (OVC) and Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). Supporters of #MeTooand #TimesUp, we call your attention also, to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) which at this very moment is pending re-authorization.
The White House budget calls for massive cuts to services that provide a safety net for survivors of rape and other sexual violence, domestic violence victims. There are cuts to education and public housing. Cuts that will gravely impact SNAP recipients, immigrants, all people living in poverty, and those most already relegated to margins. We are now pushed to strike.
The recently proposed budget cuts are nothing short of an extortion of assets from the most vulnerable. Assets like food, education, jobs, healthcare, security, housing, family, community, integrity and more. All of the above are basic human rights. We believe there is a connection between the growth of violently imposed, oppressive policies and the brutality and reckless responses to crimes against women and girls in particular. We are deeply aware of the racist/sexist traditions, culture and political systems that impact our lives. The budget, even at a glance is an assault on programs that protect the lives of women and girls, including trans identified women, and it simulataneously breaches their human rights.
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE:
Unexpected strategies are desperately needed to disrupt this proposed disastrous budget before it becomes our new reality – and Black Women’s Blueprint believes that we must respond by turning our loss of appetite and the sour stomachs triggered by President’s Trump’s budget into protest.
We know the real cost of Trump’s budget. It may mean life or death for many domestic violence and sexual assault survivors. It means the difference between a safe-house and sleeping on the streets, and beatings and the starvation of our children. When basic services are eliminated, gender-violence increases.
We need to innovate and deploy ongoing processes to mobilize power at the margins that counter budget threats by the current federal Administration. We are gravely concerned about the victims and survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence among us.
In everything we do, we need to use Trauma-informed and Justice-informed dialogue so that survivors and those most of at risk, stay at the center of our campaign vision, goals, and tactics.
Political education needs to become central to all our work at the grassroots. For those who have lost hope and have become disconnected from the urgency of now, we Hunger-Strike to remember, to reignite and to recommit to our spirit of justice and inner sense of righteous indignation.
For many in the movement to end rape and address the intersecting, cross-cutting and causal factors that perpetuate sexual violence and other gender violence, "This administration is demonstrating ― early on ― their disregard for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault,” says Ruth Glenn, executive director of the NCADV.
THE DEMAND FROM SURVIVORS
WE DON’T STRIKE TO DIE, WE STRIKE TO LIVE.
We are the cost. Preserve full funding for services that protect survivors, the poor, our children, immigrants and other vulnerable communities-- we deserve to live and love free from violence.
In the coming days we will release a toolkit, agenda, platform, and health/nutrition for those of us engaged in the hunger strike.
WHAT WE ALL CAN DO:
--Members of the Federal Budget Appropriations Committee are key decision-makers in this process.
--Focused and strategic engagement with members of the Appropriations Committee is necessary.
--Contacting the Senators and Representatives in your own communities is also crucial.
--You can find out who your representatives are here: http://whoismyrepresentative.com/
What to expect when you call:
--A staff person will likely answer your call
--Congress members have their staff keep track of the calls received and the reasons.
--They take special notice when they receive several calls about an issue.
-- So make sure to let them know that you intend on holding them accountable.