In 2020, Action Corps Idaho team members three times spoke with their U.S. senator, Jim Risch (R-ID), Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, to discuss the humanitarian crises in Yemen and Burma, and the global COVID crisis, calling on him for moral leadership. Action Corps champions justice in solidarity with people most affected by climate disasters and violent conflict.
Statement for Action Corps' Vigil for Racial Justice, from Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
"I want to thank the organizers of Action Corps for organizing this vigil and for all of your important work in solidarity with Black lives to achieve racial justice. I join you, and millions of people around the world, in expressing sadness and anger at the vicious murder of Mr. Floyd. This police murder is an outrage that strikes at the very heart of our society. This one murder is just the latest manifestation of a system that so callously devalues the lives of Black people. So many people are coming together, from all backgrounds, to fight for justice. People ask me, are you optimistic for the future of the country? And I am. Because I see the beauty and the decency in all of you, and so many young people who want to create a better society. People are going to be looking back at this moment as just an unprecedented extraordinary moment in the history of this country, and I thank you for your efforts to bring about lasting change.
"In my time as a United States Senator, I have had moments that made me embarrassed about the state of our country. I have met too many individuals who have suffered from police violence and social and economic neglect. In most cases, these victims and their families have been denied justice by a system that ignores these ongoing assaults against the bodies and dignity of Black people. If ever there was a time for us to address this egregious assault on everything our country is supposed to stand for, now is that time.
"Police violence is not the only manifestation of the systemic racism that is taking place. In recent months, we have seen Black and Brown communities disproportionately ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have seen Black and Brown workers who earn starvation wages forced to go to work, day in and day out, risking infection and death so our hospitals, meatpacking plants, public transportation and supermarkets can remain open. When we talk about systemic racism, we are not just talking about Black lives killed by police officers with no accountability. We are not just talking about Black lives killed by COVID-19. We are not just talking about the third of Black children in our country living in poverty, and millions of Black kids going to totally inadequate schools. We are not just talking about Black women having a maternal death rate three times the rate of white women, and Black families owning just one-tenth of the wealth of white families.
"Instead, we are talking about a system of pervasive racism that impacts every aspect of Black lives. This has got to end. We need equity for Black and Brown people and for all who are marginalized and made disposable in a system and an economy that treats millions as unworthy of the basic decency of human respect. Our struggle is and has always been about justice – not justice on paper, but real justice in the real lives of real people.
"We have got to end the racism, oppression and massive inequality that currently exist if we are to have a future that is worthy of all of our people and where Black lives matter. I look forward to working with you to achieve this. Thank you once again for the opportunity to offer you my remarks."
Action Corps Statement on White Supremacy
On Friday, June 4, 2020, at 7:00am ET, the steering committee of Action Corps released the following statement:
“Action Corps champions justice in solidarity with people most affected by violent conflict. From Africa to the United States and beyond, White people have inflicted violence upon Black people for centuries -- the violence of shackles, prison bars, and guns, and the insidious violence of social exclusion, deprivation, and theft of human and natural resources. The issue of police brutality has yet again come to light through the murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and most recently George Floyd. People protesting this violence have been met with further violence, as in the recent tear gassing and shooting at peaceful protestors in Washington, DC, which the Trump administration now falsely denies.
“Action Corps envisions a world where every human being is able to meet their basic rights, including the right to have enough food, the right to protest, and the right to live in safety. In order for this world to exist, we need to unite to end White supremacy and all other systems of oppression and inequity. As we unite with communities struggling for liberation, we remind one another of the common thread of humanity that connects us. The death of a Black person is just as much of a loss to our world as the death of a person of any other race, including those who are White. Although our current campaigns are focused on solidarity with people in Burma, Yemen and other countries coping with COVID-19 and legacies of colonization and imperialism, we remember our broader common struggle against systemic injustice.”
Ellie, Isaac, Nonnel, Tecle & Sapana
Action Corps Steering Committee