Real Change leads rally against hate in exceptional year of uncertainty

Seattle street paper Real Change has kicked off 2017 with a rallying call against voices of hate across America.

Inviting their community to join them in a month of action — set against the backdrop of Donald Trump’s first days and weeks as U.S. president ­— the Real Change team has called for people and organisations to “show what they are made of”.

Real Change said it is “doubling down” on its commitment to expand racial equality, movement building, independent journalism and vendor engagement in this exceptional year of uncertainty.

Real Change' vendors Mellie Kaufman pictured. The Seattle-based street has made a passionate call-to-arms to its readers and supporters to join them in protesting against hate, against the backdrop of Donald Trump’s first days as U.S. president.

Since Election Day, the street paper has reported on a number of serious hate crimes across Oregon state against Muslim and immigrant communities. It is encouraging readers to reject politics of xenophobia, racism and authoritarianism in the wake of the number of incidents recorded in a short space of time.

In a call-to-arms published on the Real Change website, staff collectively wrote about plans to join with the community in protest against Trump’s inauguration and the annual homeless count by the US Department of Housing in the coming days.

In addition, coinciding with the annual Housing and Homeless Advocacy Day on 2 February, Real Change vendors and supporters will join together at Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, bringing voices of support for the Alliance’ strategic campaign of legislative goals.

“While no one can predict with certainty what a Trump administration may bring, it would be dangerously naïve to not take his words and actions at face value,” reads the statement.

With its mission of reporting news with integrity, Real Change is doubly determined to spotlight issues that particularly face marginalised communities at risk this year, with a warning that, “There will be attacks on health care, federal housing programmes and what’s left of the ever-shrinking social safety net.

It continues: “There will be an anti-feminist agenda that focuses on diminishing women’s health and reproductive freedom. There will be renewed racially disproportionate criminalisation and mass incarceration of people of colour under the guise of ‘law and order’.”

Stating that its upcoming actions are “just the beginning,” over the coming months Real Change is already planning further opportunities for its community – and wider population – to take action together.

“Our more than 300 active vendors each month will be armed with leaflets and information about how you can get involved and make our collective voices heard,” they promised.

Real Change invite people to join its vendors and supporters at the following upcoming events. Find out more info here.

Friday and Saturday, Jan. 20–21: Inauguration Day Protests
While there will be inaugural protests over these days, Real Change is focused on turn-out for the movement-building Resist Trump — Occupy Inauguration organized by Socialist Alternative at 5 p.m. at Westlake Park Jan. 20 and the Womxn’s March Seattle at 10 a.m. Jan. 21, downtown.

Thursday, Jan. 26: City Hall Gong Ringing
Each year, Real Change has marked the annual One Night Count of unsheltered homeless people by ringing a gong at Seattle City Hall once for every person counted. This year, the City of Seattle and King County will not release count numbers until May. We believe that this tactic undermines the urgency for more immediate action and invite our community to make a noise with us at City Hall from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. the day before the count.

Thursday, Feb. 2: Housing and Homeless Advocacy Day
Please join Real Change vendors and our allies at Washington Low Income Housing Alliance in bringing our voices to Olympia to support a strategic set of legislative goals for the 2017 state budget. Visit their website for more information.

Each week, Real Change will bring you opportunities for action, and invite our community to focus on those events that build community, call for racial equity and protect vulnerable communities. We hope that you will stand with us.