When rural Oregon is in crisis, we gather to work together. In light of the insurrectionist events on January 6th and the looming threat of further violence this upcoming weekend through Inauguration Day, ROP is convening Build, Grow, Fight: A Rural Movement Strategy Session Friday, January 15th at 6:30 pm. Join us to think together about how we can build an inclusive people’s democracy, grow the rural movement for human dignity, and fight together for what our communities need to not just survive, but thrive!
Since the attempted coup in Washington DC on the 6th and militia members getting let into the Oregon State Capitol by Rep. Mike Nearman on December 21st, ROP staff have gotten flurries of messages and phone calls from rural community leaders, organizers, and activists across the country who are taking action to build the rural movement for justice. On the 6th, the consensus was a sick sense of dread. Among the crowd, we recognized the faces of rural Oregonians who were gleefully rampaging in the halls of the US Capitol including local city councilors, former candidates for US Senate, and beyond. By talking with their neighbors, rural Oregonians are connecting the dots and grappling with the fact that many of those same people have attempted (and sometimes succeeded) in seizing power locally by advancing the politics of fear, polarization, and division. What conversations has your community been having?
In the days following, we’ve watched Oregon’s delegation of federal representatives react, some calling for impeachment and some notably not. Representative Kurt Schrader called the move to impeach Trump a “lynching”, and Repsentative-elect Cliff Bentz, who will be taking over Greg Walden’s seat still voted against certifying the election even after the insurrection was stopped. Human dignity groups and community leaders across their districts called them out and they began walking their statements back in! How much more should we be asking of them?
The reaction to these events is heartening! I know I’m not alone in having neighbors who are stunned, disgusted, and rethinking the last four years of support they have given to the Trump administration’s policies of intentional cruelty and tearing apart already struggling institutions. This moment presents us with the opportunity to talk with folks who weren’t open to a conversation before, to keep temperatures low as the calls for civil war crescendo, and, best yet, name the things we have in common that we need to fight together for: safe and affordable housing, quality healthcare and broadband internet, good schools and true community safety. Insurrectionist movements cannot recruit if people’s needs are being met! What does your community need most right now?
As we know, the only way we can move forward is together. In the middle of such turmoil and fear, it’s time to gather, to strategize, and to get to building the movement for human dignity and an inclusive people’s democracy! We have work to do as rural Oregon. We have the least access to vaccines and COVID-19 resources while our communities are hardest hit by the pandemic. Together we have built the Roadmap to a Thriving Rural Oregon, and here’s a moment to hit the gas! Let’s work together to change the conditions we are living under.
Please join us by phone or computer on Friday, Jan 15th at 6:30pm for Build, Grow, Fight: A Rural Movement Strategy Session. We will be sharing space and asking each other: What conversations are you having right now? What are folks in your community talking about? Where are there opportunities to build?
Join the conversation by email, give us a call or register here for Friday’s strategy session. We want to hear from you!
Warmly, Jess and the ROP Team
PS To get your juices flowing, check out this video recording of the Southern Movement Assembly’s Mass Meeting from last week!