Border to border with love to defund hate

On September 10, volunteers gathered to assemble a giant pro-immigrant, anti-hate collage as part of Indivisible East Bay’s participation in Defund Hate Week. Coordinated by the Defund Hate Campaign, a group of immigration advocacy and immigrant-led organizations, the overarching goal was to put our Members of Congress on notice and remind them we will hold them accountable to fight the administration’s anti-immigrant agenda.

For our IEB event — one of over 150 organized! — we chose to create artwork comprised of messages about defunding hate and welcoming immigrants. Our plan – to collect the messages into a collage that we’d send to the border to be added to a Defund Hate petition addressed to Congressional Democrats. 

Our collage came together quickly as participants arrived and got to work.

Defund Hate collage party, organizers Amelia and Fionap, hoto by Ted Lam
Organizers Amelia & Fiona, at Defund Hate collage party, photo by Ted Lam

Submissions ranged from personal written messages to three-dimensional construction paper creations.

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Highlights included paper cranes originally collected to be placed on the gates of a migrant detention camp in Dilley, Texas, as part of a peaceful protest by survivors of Japanese internment camps and their relatives.

Defund Hate collage, photo by Fiona Woods
Defund Hate collage, photo by Fiona Woods

There were also great submissions from the staff of 1951 Coffee, the local non-profit cafe that provides barista training to the refugee community. There was so much art we had to add an extra panel to the original banner to fit everything!

In between creating submissions for the banner, we also wrote postcards to our Members of Congress in support of Defund Hate Week’s goals. We urged our MoCs to cut funding for ICE and CBP, to vote to reject bills that include funds transfers to ICE, and to support deportation alternatives while opposing dangerous “third-country agreements”. 

We mailed our banner on Weds., September 11, and it reached San Diego in time for the Defund Hate rally there on Friday — the culmination of Defund Hate Week.

A very special thank you to the International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers for graciously allowing us to use their space to create our collage, and to all of the volunteers (including some highly creative kids!) who contributed beautiful submissions.

Join us for Defund Hate Week!

Immigrant families are under an all-out assault: from caging children and families at the border and refusing them access to basic necessities like showers and toothbrushes, to launching raids that rip people away from homes where they’ve lived for years or even decades. Fueled by racism, hatred, and fear, the Trump administration has continued to pursue these unpopular and harmful policies – and Congress has continued to fund each and every one. As an official member of the Defund Hate Coalition, Indivisible East Bay stands with immigrant families to focus our collective power on defunding hate. 

Now, IEB is collecting creative messages from Bay Area members and allies to put together into a collage which we’ll add to a Border to Border with Love Petition, addressed to Congressional Democrats, as it makes its way down the West Coast to San Diego. There, we’ll get together with Native, Indivisible and local leaders for a rally to #DefundHate. Join us in this project! And keep reading to find out about more activities going on during Defund Hate Week, September 9-13.

What you can do:

Create a message!

Create your own messages to add to our collage! This action is both about defunding hate (specifically Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection) and celebrating and welcoming immigration – feel free to focus your piece on either or both. 

The only requirements are that the piece must be:

  1. six inches or smaller and flat
  2. made of paper or an equally light substance
  3. On-message: pro-immigrant and anti-hate!

Possible messages might include how immigration enforcement affects you personally, or our demands for Congressional action. For example:

  • Cut funding for ICE and CBP
  • Vote NO on any Department of Homeland Security funding bill that doesn’t prohibit funding transfers to ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (see our article)
  • Vote NO on any DHS funding bill that doesn’t cut ICE and CBP funding to fiscal year 16 levels
  • Require the DHS Inspector General to monitor detention and enforcement spending and report to Congress 
  • Support alternatives to detention: close the camps and end immigration detention 
  • End the “remain in Mexico” policy and dangerous “safe third country” agreements

For more complete guidelines and talking points, look here and here

Spread the word:

Better yet, do this with your friends and families! Create cards with like-minded coworkers during lunch, or bring some paper and markers to your book club or your kid’s soccer game. Be sure to collect contributors’ email addresses on a separate sheet so we can send everyone a photo of the final product!

Drop off pieces for the collage:

  • Any time (during open hours) before noon on Tuesday 9/10, leave your pieces in our drop box at the Rockridge branch of 1951 Coffee at 6021 College Ave, Oakland.
  • Any time (during open hours) before noon on Tuesday 9/10, leave your pieces in our drop box at Sports Basement Berkeley, 2727 Milvia St, Berkeley
  • Bring them to our special event on September 10 in Oakland (see below)!

Defund Hate Week Events:

  • Come to our main event: Tuesday, September 10, 5:30-7:30 PM at IFPTE Local 21, 1440 Broadway, Suite 610, Oakland, CA – we’ll be assembling the collage, writing postcards, and learning about other actions we can take. RSVP appreciated, but not required; we’d love to have you help out at the event, too!
  • Find us at Oakland Pride on Sunday, Sept. 8 (details and RSVP). 
  • Call your Member of Congress on the Defund Hate Call-In Day, September 9. Call script and details here.
  • Participate in Indivisible SF’s Defund Hate National Week of Action event, Friday September 13 in the plaza near the Ferry Building in SF.

Defund Hate

And also… 

  • Want to help us get this project to its destination? Please consider chipping in a few dollars toward priority shipping costs. You can donate cash at any of our events, or use our secure ActBlue online donation site.
  • A huge thank you to our partners and the organizations helping us make this project happen:
    • 1951 Coffee, founded in 2015, is a non-profit specialty coffee organization that promotes the well-being of the refugee community in the United States by providing job training and employment to refugees, asylees, and special immigrant visa holders while educating the surrounding community about refugee life and issues. You can support them by buying a cup of coffee in their cafes, buying or gifting their merchandise and whole bean coffees online, donating to support their services like the Barista Training Program, or volunteering at one of their open houses.
    • Sports Basement, Berkeley is hosting one of our drop boxes, and has hosted so many of our other meetings. If you shop there, please mention IEB and thank them!
    • And thank you to the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) Local 21 for letting us use their space to assemble our collage.

Fiona Woods, Ann Daniels and Amelia Cass contributed to this article