Coalition to Protect Our Community
As a coalition of organizations who have been working on the ground with various impacted communities in Whatcom and Skagit counties, we recognize the need to strategize and prepare for potential risks of white supremacist backlash during and following the November 3, 2020 presidential election. Our organizations have been working for justice for farmworkers, immigrants, indigenous peoples, houseless people, disabled people, the poor and working class, and for mother earth for more than fifteen years. This combined effort began in 1995 with the formation of Jobs with Justice and continues to gain strength as newer organizations who are rooted in community power form. We see our struggles as one and are committed to the hard consistent work towards building a better future for our beloved community. We are rooted in the belief that the current justice and law enforcement systems were built on and continue to be tools of legalized oppression against our communities. We recognize this moment as unique and especially challenging for all communities due to the isolation and economic difficulties imposed by the pandemic and climate change. We will not stop fighting until we realize our vision, that another world is possible. We are committed to non-violent, community led solutions that center the experiences of impacted community members.
No matter the outcome of the coming election, we see this political moment as a culmination of tension that has been building in this country for generations. The risks that impacted community members face are greatly amplified regardless of who wins this election. In recent months we have seen the organizing and increasing public displays of white supremacy on the streets of cities across the country, including cities in Whatcom County. These threats of violence, and in many cases, actual violence, frequently go unchecked by police and city officials. For that reason, we have come together with the intent to strategically prepare for community action in the days and months following election day. We unequivocally reject the actions of white supremacist groups who are armed and militarized and who intend to intimidate and terrorize our communities. These groups are a newer manifestation of the Minutemen and other racist militias that many of us have been fighting against in this area since 2005. Our local government and law enforcement are complicit in the actions of these groups when they do not speak out against them or do anything to stop them from running rampant in our neighborhoods. Police and local officials continue to collaborate with Customs and Border Protection/ICE and disproportionately brutalize and incarcerate the working class, particularly those of us who are Indigenous, Black, and Latinx. This has created a lack of trust in our communities. In the absence of meaningful protection for our communities by law enforcement and local city officials, we are committed to building solutions in the spirit of true participatory democracy. We call on our supporters to join us in creating community led solutions, including working to protect the safety and dignity of all of our neighbors.