Santa Cruz Area Showing Up for Racial Justice

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SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) Santa Cruz County is part of a national network of over 150 groups and affiliates nationwide who are motivating white people to work for racial and economic justice through community organizing, mobilization, and education.

SURJ’s role as part of a multi-racial, cross-class movement is to undermine white support for white supremacy while working for racial justice. We understand that this work is effective only when engaged with the leadership of people of color. Therefore, our guiding principle ensures that we maintain strong accountability relationships with Black, Indigenous and People of color-led organizations.

This Week: Abolition Fair

The Abolition Fair, organized by affinity groups in Santa Cruz with a shared vision of a liberatory future! Launched on 9/28 at abolitious.org. A virtual & in-person series of events centered on abolition with the opportunity to learn about alternatives to policing, community care, & envisioning liberatory futures from groups in Santa Cruz. SURJ Santa Cruz is honored to be a part of this fair, and to work with so many important organizers, activists, and leaders. Please join us in continuing our own education, and to keep showing up in solidarity and action. For more information about the fair, please visit abolitious.org. The following is a brief summary of the events that will be part of the fair:


Why We Don’t Call the Cops by SURJ Santa Cruz
Wednesday, September 30, 2020, 7PM – 8:30PM 

Presentation and discussion on weaponizing whiteness, how law enforcement harms BIPOC community members, and alternatives to neighborhood watch programs and calling the cops. Join us to further your education! Register here


Abolition Orientation + Bike/Car Caravan by UCSC Cops off Campus
Thursday, October 1, 2020, 4PM

This bike + car caravan will introduce you to the reasons why UCPD needs to be abolished and how we can get #CopsOffCampus at UCSC and across the University of California. Register here


Mutual Aid Towards Abolition by Santa Cruz Mutual Aid & SC Community Fridges
Thursday, October 1, 2020, 6:30PM – 8PM

@sccommunityfridge and @santacruzmutualaid are hosting a workshop and discussion about mutual aid as part of the Abolition Fair! 

About: SC Mutual Aid is an organization devoted to fostering mutual aid projects that advance the collective liberation of our communities.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a blooming of organizations practicing mutual aid. In this facilitated discussion, we will talk about what mutual aid is, how we can practice it to address the overlapping crises we are facing, and how our practice can shed light on what a world without police and prisons could look like. 
This conversation is open to those who are just becoming aware of the concepts of mutual aid and abolition, as well as those who are more familiar. We hope to create a generative space for story-telling and knowledge sharing. Register here


Abolition & The Nervous System by Madeleine Keller
Friday, October 2, 2020, 3:30PM

This presentation and discussion will cover a basic rundown of how the nervous system is involved in our crisis response to perceived danger. We’ll discuss herbs and strategies to widen our “window of tolerance” so that we can participate in better responses to crisis situations like deescalation, rather than calling the police or otherwise endangering people with institutionalization.

Participants will be invited to answer interactive questions and consider their past crisis experiences and how they responded, as well as how they would prefer to respond. This information does not need to be shared with the group, there will simply be time to reflect on these things. Registration required here


BIPOC Liberation Ride by BIPOC Liberation Collective
Friday, October 2, 2020, 5PM – 7PM 

Meet at @thebikechurch at 5pm, wear masks please. Bikes available to loan, first come first serve, limited supply.
Non-BIPOC welcome but this event is meant to center and celebrate BIPOC visibility. Please be respectful.
Organized by @bipocliberationcollective with support by @thebikechurch and @bikesantacruz


Yoga as Resistance by Blended Bridge
Saturday, October 3, 2020, 10AM

Blended Bridge is thrilled to announce that we will be taking part in the abolition fair this coming week. Join us on Saturday, October 3rd for some Yoga As Resistance. We will be hosting a 45-minute yoga session followed by a 15-minute meditation on the grass at the Lighthouse. Take care of yourself so you can continue to take care of your community! 💛 Register here


The River Composes Us in Concert Together by Ecosocialists of DSA Santa Cruz
Saturday, October 3, 2020, 11AM – 1PM

Join the Ecosocialists in sharing and recognizing the harm enacted against your well-being and connection to the environment due to the privatization of property. The goal of these “hearings” is to develop a more comprehensive understanding of what is common among us, who constitutes that “us,” and to promote values that recognize and amplify what is shared rather that what is privately owned and controlled. These performances will flow with the movement of the San Lorenzo River, testifying to the pressures, stresses, and anxieties we feel because of the way private property has separated us from each other and stolen our common ground. 


Planting Abolition by Color Study Group
Sunday, October 4, 2020, 1PM – 2:15PM

A natural dye workshop with common plants found in Santa Cruz parks, sidewalks, and other cracks in the urban landscape. Over Zoom we will be screening a pre-prepared video walking through the steps of natural dyeing, then facilitating a live discussion.
Our group is in the process of planning a natural dye garden on UCSC campus in partnership with Tim Young, a wrongfully convicted and death row imprisoned black man. Our garden – the Freedom Garden – sees plants as comrades in abolition. That is, our garden is a place for teaching and learning knowledge of natural dye processes that builds ways of being in relation with land and each other that is both a refusal of the carceral state, and insistence on a vibrant collective Freedom that we propagate and grow ourselves. We see the freedom of land, the freedom of all those imprisoned by the state, and collective liberation as intrinsically linked. We turn to plants as teachers in memorializing those lost to the violent, carceral, genocidal state, and teachers in finding alternate worlds and freedoms embedded within the cracks of the present. Our garden intends to be a space of abolitionist possibility in the homogenizing context of the University.
We will learn the basic elements of any dye process in this workshop, and learn the specific dye process for three common plants found in the kitchen, garden, or with a keen eye in the wild. Participants will also receive a pdf with a list of many other local dye plants, instructions for harvest and use. We also hope to incorporate time for discussion about foraging, whiteness, and settler colonialism in this workshop. Register here


Surveilling the Surveillants by Science for the People SC
Sunday, October 4, 2020, 7PM

Register here

Other Highlighted Events This Week

Sign a Petition
Did you know Louden Nelson Community Center was named after London Nelson, a freed slave who donated his land to the Santa Cruz School District? Sign the petition to honor his legacy and change Louden Nelson to “London Nelson Community Center”. Sign Here

Donate
Tamario Smith’s family is now less than $2,000 from raising funds for a memorial bench overlooking the ocean. Tamario Smith was in the care of the Santa Cruz Police Department when he died. Donate Here

Abolition / Defund the Police
Sign the Bad Apple Bill, authored by the NAACP UCSC chapter’s Thairie Ritchie. Support community refund, and “establish a better and trusting relationship between Law Enforcement and the community.” Sign Here

Support Black Owned Businesses in Santa Cruz
Spend your money at Black owned restaurants and shops in Santa Cruz! Check out this list here (list not maintained by SURJ).

Attend a SURJ Santa Cruz Meeting, Join a Committee
Check out our Facebook page, Instagram page, or email us at info@surjsantacruz.com to find out when the next SURJ Santa Cruz meeting is and how to join us.

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