Reflections on Kavanaugh
by the Justice for Muslims Collective
Last week JMC was honored to join a delegation of grassroots organizations across to country to take direct action during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings. As the only Muslim-led group that was part of this delegation, we were able to build with organizers from across the country who traveled to Washington, DC to challenge Kavanaugh’s confirmation and connect the issue of sexual violence to structural violence.
We took part in a powerful direct action led by survivors at Sen. Mitch McConnell’s office as the cloture vote was taking place. Check out the live stream of our occupation with survivors of color across the country where we chanted “No More Rapists In Power” and “We Do Not Consent” in the Senate Hart building. We, then joined other survivors during the day to take part in actions at the Hart building, including sitting in the gallery in the Capitol to observe statements from Senators.
Even though Kavanaugh was confirmed, we want to channel our rage and mourning into action. Despite another set-back, for us personally, it was a transformative experience to take part in speaking truth to power as part of a survivor-led action. We can still hear the echoes from the Hart Building of survivors from all walks of life chanting “Believe Survivors”, the powerful voices disrupting Sen. Collins betrayal vote, and Mike Pence’s response to restore order as scores of survivors yelled “We Do Not Consent” during the final vote. Check out this interview with the Real News that we were featured in with reflections from powerful women of color, and thoughts from a delegation of South Asian organizers to the Kavanaugh hearings. You can also read our joint piece with Thenmozhi Soundararajan on Canceling Kavanaugh Isn’t the Only Justice Survivors Need which was a call to view sexual violence through the lens of institutional oppression for Rewire.
If the confirmation has affirmed anything for us, its been that we must continue to build our power. Therefore, JMC has been busy building locally. We have been speaking with Muslim business owners in the Northern Virginia area about civic engagement and will be tabling at local businesses about voter registration. We will also be canvassing local communities and getting the vote out. As the midterm elections are coming up, its important for our communities to vote and we need your support.
Call To Action: Join Justice for Muslims Collective as we canvass in Northern Virginia every Saturday and Sunday through the elections on November 6th. Our target community is the AAPI Muslim community. We also have limited funds to provide stipends for volunteers, so please get in touch if this is of interest to you. We would love your help! Email Co-Director Dr. Maha Hilal at Maha@Justiceformuslims.org for more information and/or to sign-up!
Upcoming Event: As an organization committed to the healing and wellness of our communities, JMC is hosting our October workshop Mapping the Crossroads: A Writing Workshop For Our Lives At The Intersections on October 25th from 6-8:30pm at Qi Kratom Tea (1517 U Street NW #1). Please RSVP on Eventbrite and share. In this 2.5 hour workshop, we’ll read and discuss short poems, spend quiet time writing and reflecting, and share our maps and stories with each other. We will map the crossroads we’ve traveled as then share our stories so we can draw on our power and even heal our hearts. We are honored that Rasha A. who is a cultural organizer, fiber artist, community technologist, once and future farmer and beekeeper, and a geek for science both fiction and fact, and part of our collective will be facilitating the workshop! Community-Based Research: Finally, Please continue sharing our survey on the gendered experiences of Muslims with the TSA. Our deadline is the end of October.
From the initial survey responses, at least 30% have reported that they have been groped by TSA officers (Please take the survey here).
Justice For Muslims Collective