I’ve never been prouder to be in JVP.
Two weeks ago, students at UMass Amherst were preparing an incredible public discussion on Palestinian rights and free speech with a powerhouse group: Marc Lamont Hill, Dave Zirin, Linda Sarsour, and Roger Waters. They called it “Not Backing Down.”
Then a right-wing anti-Palestinian law firm sued in Massachusetts Superior Court to cancel the event.
No one “backed down.”
And JVP members played an essential role in turning this into a big win. JVP-Western Mass chapter leader Rachel Weber was one JVP member who stepped in – she helped organize the legal strategy, and as an attorney helped make the case for freedom of speech, with no exceptions.
Working with incredible activists like Rachel is one of the uplifting benefits of becoming a JVP member.
And when we march into a courtroom representing 18,000 JVP members, it becomes really clear: becoming a member is one of the best things you can do to show solidarity.
That’s why I’m writing today. Even with 18,000 dues-paying members, it’s just a fraction of who is actually a part of JVP.
And if more people like you, Andrew G, joined us as a JVP member, we’d be that much more powerful.
We get this feedback all the time, from allies and foes: our numbers make a difference, and now’s the time for more to stand with us for freedom.
We can’t back down: join us as a JVP member with a monthly gift today?
Today is the first day of our May Member Drive – and it’s going to be a big challenge to reach our goal of 3,500 JVP supporters who join or renew their memberships.
But it’s nothing compared to the furious organizing drive all across Massachusetts earlier this month. On top of the legal work, JVP members in Boston and Western Mass helped connect UMass students and community members to media in the state capitol, and pushed the story onto the front pages of The Boston Globe and Boston Herald, the Hampshire Daily Gazette, Mass Live.com, Democracy Now! and on national and local tv and radio.
Together, they figured out all the angles and they pursued all the angles.
And it worked. The event went forward. And here’s what’s so thrilling:
2,000 people showed up to listen and learn. And for all their high-powered advocacy and attacks? Only 10 protesters showed up.
2,000 to 10. Let that sink in.
Led by Palestinians, a coalition of women, young people, people of color – and progressive Jews – is elevating the movement for equality in Israel/Palestine to a totally new level.
It’s a lot of work, what our members do – but there are roles for everyone.
Some JVP members put their whole lives on hold to make sure this event could go forward.
Some showed up and brought their friends.
Some spread the word digitally and kept the conversation going.
And all of our members help fund everything we do.
Your membership dues keep JVP not just financially strong but politically brave – so we can take on law-based attacks designed to drown us in court dates and paperwork.
We need every single one of us to stand up and be counted!
There are SO many stories like this one to share – and new ones are being written every day in JVP. Join us!
P.S. Be one of the first 1,000 people to sign up or renew your dues and get the “Palestinians Should be Free” Bag pictured below for FREE (we can only ship within the US – thanks for your understanding!). You know how much we believe in visibility around here – this is just one more gift that’s really a tool to communicate your values no matter where you go.