BLOOMINGTON, IL – With the spike in COVID-19 cases, coupled with increased rhetoric inviting right-wing, extremist violence, leading civil rights and faith organizations have issued a statement calling for the community to stay safe and healthy at home and for every vote to be counted. Statement following quotes below.
“American democracy has been easy for many of us because of privilege and power. But we would be naïve not to recognize that full participation in democracy is a challenge to many others. None of us will be truly empowered citizens until all of us are. We must respect democracy and make sure all votes are counted, no matter how long it takes.”
- Don Carlson, Executive Director Illinois People’s Action
“Black people in America have the most at stake in this election, and after a Summer of uprising, we are reminded of the sacrifice that our people and our movements have made to continue to move America forward. Throughout the country, it is our votes that are being suppressed, it is our community hit worst by COVID-19, and it is our lives being threatened by calls for racist, right-wing violence. We demand that every vote be counted, and call on our supporters to show their solidarity by offering care, and to reject reactive instigations that bring further harm to us in favor of strategic tactics that honor the health & well being of Black lives.”
- Olivia Butts, Organizer with Black Lives Matter Bloomington-Normal
“This is a call for solidarity, not passivity. It is an attempt to keep our community safe and healthy, to be connected to reliable information and community support, and to prepare for effective and organized action and involvement over reactive and dangerous instigation.”
– Louis Goseland, Public Relations Officer Bloomington-Normal Democratic Socialists of America
Joint Post Election Statement on Democracy Defense
Every eligible voter should have their voice heard and their vote counted. It is going to take longer to count the votes and verify a winner in this year’s election — and that’s okay. Due to Covid-19 and health concerns, more people will be voting absentee than ever before.
We understand the frustration. We also know some will want to take to the streets to protest. Our organizations are asking our members, friends and allies to stay home, for the time being, given our community’s spike in Covid-19 and the very real threat of violent extremism.
There will be voices that share misinformation and will attempt to be divisive – don’t listen to them. Now is the time to be strong and have faith in democracy. Take direction and information from organizations that you know and trust, and be ready for the call to provide meaningful, organized support and action informed by local needs, accurate information, and intentional strategy .
Protect yourself, your family and the community we all share. Stay connected with your local justice community, and stay current with reliable, up-to-date information by participating in the following virtual spaces:
- BloNo Post Election Dailies: Every evening at 8pm starting on Wednesday, 11/4
CoHosts: Bloomington Ward 6 Alderwoman Jenn Carrillo, Black Lives Matter Bloomington-Normal, Bloomington-Normal DSA, Just BloNo, ONE People’s Campaign
Event Page: tinyurl.com/blonodailies
- Interfaith Prayer Vigil: Wednesday, Nov. 4, 6:00-7:00 PM:
- Post Election Day Community Restoration Listening Circle: Monday 11/9/20
4:30pm-6:30pm, facilitated by Rev. Dr. Brigitte Black of Wayman AME Church
Zoom Link: https://ltcillinois.zoom.us/j/3617795439
This statement is endorsed by:
● African American Ministerial Alliance
● Black Lives Matter Bloomington-Normal
● Bloomington-Normal Democratic Socialists of America
● Bloomington Normal NAACP
● Illinois People’s Action
● Immigration Project
● ONE People’s Campaign