On July 12th, “Lights For Liberty” became the latest movement to demand a more humane and just US immigration policy, and to end the politics of fear and cruelty promoted by the Trump Administration. In the US and around the world, thousands gathered in protest in front of detention camps, in public vigils, or showed support on social media via a virtual vigil by lighting candles in recognition of the inhumane conditions under which immigrants are being held in detention within the US, and to demand that the US government #CloseTheCamps.
The pointless policy of cruelty of family separations — the youngest child only 4 months old — which began two years ago has not ended. This shameful President continues to lie about it. This is a manufactured humanitarian crisis, one that has not made America safer, has done nothing to fix our broken immigration system, and which treats as criminals some of the most vulnerable people in the world: refugees.
The vigils and protests of last Friday are over. The nightmare that these detained immigrants are living each and every day has not ended. We were visible on July 12th and we need to stay visible. We cannot look away.
Here is a concrete action that we all can take:
- Call your Members of Congress:
Use this script to contact your Senators and your Representative. We are asking that they close the camps; stop funding for detention and deportation; and to right the wrongs that have been committed against these immigrants and refugees.
In 2020, we all need to vote to take back the White House, to take back the Senate, to keep the House… and to win as many state and local elections as possible. Only then can we end this nightmare. Please join Democrats Abroad, and encourage your American friends who live abroad to join DA as well. Stay tuned as we continue to fight the good fight.
Continue reading to see photos of our DAFrance vigils and our own giant collage of images gathered from social media.Read more
In solidarity with Lights for Liberty, Democrats Abroad France will hold live and virtual vigils on July 12th, 2019 when mass gatherings will take place at detention centers and in local communities across the US.
We abhor, repudiate and protest the policies of the current administration that have lead to the inhumane conditions under which immigrants and refugees (including children separated from their caregivers) are being held in the United States of America.
WHAT IS LIGHTS FOR LIBERTY?
"We are a coalition of people, many of whom are mothers, dedicated to human rights, and the fundamental principle behind democracy that all human beings have a right to life, liberty and dignity.
We are partnering with international, national, regional and local communities and organizations who believe that these fundamental rights are not negotiable and are willing to protect them."
PARTICIPATE IN ONE OF THE LIVE VIGILS BEING HELD ACROSS FRANCE:
Use this script to contact your Senators and your Congressperson --> You will also find links to know who are your members of Congress and how to contact them.
Read more for information on joining our global virtual vigil!Read more
On June 26 & 27, twenty Democratic Presidential Candidates participated in the FIRST Democratic Primary Debate over two consecutive evenings in Miami, Florida.
Here in France, Democrats Abroad members and friends came to join us for 11 different Debate Watch events on June 27, 28 and 29 in Bordeaux, Grenoble, Lyon, Paris and Strasbourg.
The stakes are high for the 2020 presidential election. Democrats around the world are closely listening to what the candidates and saying...and are watching how they are saying it. These debate watch events - which were shown via replay - allowed Democrats living in France to view the debate in its unedited version and to discuss with other Americans in real time.
Overall, the turnout was terrific. The events were fun and relaxed - a chance to meet fellow Americans, to play Debate Night BINGO, to have a cool drink or to grab a bite to eat afterwards.
Fifty Years of Pride
June 28th marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, a flashpoint in Gay Rights activism that took place in Greenwich Village, New York City. What happened in the early hours of June 28th at the Stonewall Inn and the days that followed were by no means a stand-alone event - but rather the culmination of years of efforts by an LGBTQ community seeking equality in the 1950’s and 60’s and inspiration for generations to come.
“The events at Stonewall inspired a new generation of LGBTQ people to become involved in politics personally and passionately, transforming the United States and the world. In many of the popular narratives of Stonewall this is what gets left out. We are given Stonewall as the start of LGBTQ politics and then Marriage Equality as its end, leaving out the decades of grassroots political activism that made these transformations possible, as well as the many struggles that continue today — and the work that may be further inspired by the memories of Stonewall, as preserved in LGBTQ archives and the birth of the Gay Pride movement around the world.” 50 Years After Stonewall... (Time Magazine, April 30, 2019)Read more
The SECOND DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY DEBATES will be broadcast live from Detroit on CNN July 30 & 31 from 8P Eastern (July 31 & Aug 1 from 2A France). This will be the 2nd of twelve planned Democratic Primary Debates.
"If I could save the Union without freeing any slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that."
Abraham Lincoln, August 1862
Although Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, it did not impact slaves in Texas for more than 2 years. In a way it was just a piece of paper with no real substance, no promises or assistance.Read more
Democratic Primary Debates
In just under three weeks, the Democratic Party will officially start down the long road of selecting our candidate for the 2020 presidential election.
There has been much attention given to the number of candidates (twenty-four) who have announced that they are running to be the Democratic nominee. While campaigning is well-underway, the 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary Debates - organised by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) - have yet to begin.
From the candidates’ point of view, being on or off the debate stage will determine if they can break out of the large pack of candidates. From the voters’ point of view, the debates are our opportunity to hear the candidates explain their policy positions and to see them discuss head to head the issues that we care about.Read more
On June 6th, 2019, Democrats Abroad France members joined Queen Elizabeth; leaders from France, Canada, UK, Germany, the Netherlands, the US and 10 other countries; along with veterans, families of the fallen and those who wished to honour those who fought and those who gave their lives to protect freedom and democracy to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
This was a momentous occasion to celebrate peace, liberty and reconciliation. Democrats Abroad France was present with a large delegation of members and DA France leaders.
Here are a few moments from this moving and memorable day shared in photos and words.
Connie Borde, DNC member, co-chair of the DA France Women's Caucus and former Chair, writes:
" Rainy weather did not stop 35 of our DAF members to hop on our rented bus in Paris and take off for Normandy in the dark at 5:30 AM on D-Day. We were duly rewarded with beautiful weather and an unforgettable day spent at the moving Omaha Beach ceremony, a tribute to that moment when compatriotism marked one of the bravest moments in history.
Presidents Trump and Macron put differences aside and joined in the praise of the remaining veterans of this Normandy battle, and those who lost their lives in it. The day was spent pondering over the tragedy of war. The ceremony was rich in symbolism and being together in our group was a bonding experience.
One of our best moments was meeting our Congressional Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and telling her how proud we were of her Democratic leadership. We returned to Paris with everlasting images of the white crosses and stars of David, the green grass, the blue water of the English Channel and the seemingly unsurmountable beach and cliffs beneath us.
Indeed, we shall never forget."
Many thanks go to Anna Marie Mattson for putting us in touch with the right military authorities that made this day possible for us.
From Anna Marie, DA France DPCA Voting Representative, we have these recollections as the day drew to an end:
"Who was this ceremony for? Our Vets who had come back to say goodbye to their fallen camarades and to remember those who did not come back. The Vets got a standing ovation over and over again. The 21 gun salute was awesome as were the many flyovers.
Coming back to Paris was long since we were one of the last buses to arrive so one of the last buses to leave. We waited for over 4 hours but it was nice weather and we chatted in the sunshine, not venturing far away since we never knew what moment our bus would arrive.
Did we miss our meetings or whatever we had planned Thursday evening? Perhaps, but I was there to humbly honor the memory so it didn't matter. Life was sort of put on hold as we stepped back in time, 75 years ago. I cannot even imagine the horrors they faced. I saw the beach today. I saw the ship out there today. I saw the parachute planes. There is no glory in war, but we wll remember.
We will never ever forget."
LEST WE FORGET
Photo by Toni Reed
June 28th marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, a flashpoint in Gay Rights activism in that took place in Greenwich Village, New York City. What happened in the early hours of June 28th at the Stonewall Inn and the days that followed were by no means a stand-alone event, but the culmination of years of efforts by an LGBTQIA+ community seeking equality in the 1950’s and 60’s and inspiration for generations to come.
At a time when LGBTQIA+ rights are under attack in the United States and around the world, the Pride Parades are a way to celebrate these communities and to take a stand for equality, visibility and inclusion.Read more
Lest We Forget
Democrats Abroad France participated in wreath-laying ceremonies across France on Sunday, May 26th to remember and honour the soldiers who gave their lives to protect our freedom.
Fred Hoffman, a Democrats Abroad France member, shared some of his thoughts after attending the ceremony in Suresnes:
"I’ve lived in Paris for 30 years, and this was the first time that I visited the Suresnes Cemetery, and the first time that I attended a wreath-laying ceremony at an American military cemetery in France. I must admit that it was long overdue, and that I was extremely glad that I was able to attend and have this experience. I believe that it is extremely important to continue this tradition of honouring our soldiers who perished defending our country, and also to continue these joint commemorations (USA and France) to demonstrate that the alliance between these 2 countries continues to be strong after all of these years.
This cemetery is located in a very quiet and peaceful area of Suresnes with a magnificent view. It is extremely well-kept and protected. The ceremony was quite well-organised and included many different dignitaries and leaders from local, at-large, military and ex-pat communities. I thought that that there was a very balanced representation of officials.
What also struck me was the diversity of the people attending the ceremony…young and old, military and non-military, a diverse audience of all colors and ethnicities, gay, straight, and a large presence of the Scouts!!
There were many wreaths laid representing many different groups honouring the fallen and unknown soldiers. After the ceremony, the attendees were allowed to roam through the cemetery and lay flowers. It was very peaceful and everyone was respectful of this sacred place. The weather was beautiful, some sun and not too hot, which also made the experience an enjoyable one.
I will end by saying that I was extremely glad that I attended, and am grateful that opportunities like these are proposed by Democrats Abroad. As an ex-pat, it allowed me to participate in a ceremony honouring our military during Memorial Day weekend, even though I was thousands of miles away from the USA. And it also was very touching to see the wonderful collaboration between the American and French military and dignitaries, and the recognition of the Americans contributions to the 2 wars by the French."
* * * * *
Here are photos shared from ceremonies at military cemeteries in Suresnes (Ile de France), Epinal and St. Avoid (Lorraine), Argonne and St Mihiel (Meuse) and St. James in Brittany, as well as the commemoration ceremony held at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
In Paris at the Arc de Triomphe, DA France Chair Ada Shen was accompanied by members and veterans.
At the Suresnes Military Cemetery in Ile de France, DA France Vice Chair Jonathon Holler, accompanied member Beth Herwood. Special thanks to Fred Hoffman for sharing his photos of the day.
Strasbourg Chapter Chair Barbara Wells with former Chair Susan Vaillant at Epinal and Chapter Vice Chair Patrick Ganne at the St. Avoid Cemetery.
Voting Representative Anna Marie Mattson with service men and women and veterans at the Meuse Argonne and St Mihiel Cemeteries.
A wreath from Democrats Abroad France Brittany Chapter was among the many wreaths at St. James in Brittany.
REMEMBER AND HONOR
Thank you to Anna Marie Mattson, DAFrance Voting Representative, who organised our participation in the many events that took place today. Our participation in these wreath-laying ceremonies is an important and moving tradition for Democrats Abroad France each year. 🇺🇸