A Virtual Protest LIVE: June 6, 7
“Now is a time when physical distancing is required, yet social solidarity is so needed.”
Duncan Ryuken Williams, Tsuru for Solidarity Steering Committee Member
For two days, we brought together 1,000 registered attendees, 15,000 viewers, nearly 250,000 tsuru, seven direct actions, 22 healing circles for change and dozens of artists, organizations, and activists. We gathered as a community toward transformative solidarity.
To our amazing guests, panelists, artists, performers, and hosts who deepened our learning, grounded us, and guided us; to everyone who tuned in to our livestream and introduced themselves, asked questions and shared answers; to those who braved using Zoom for the first time to connect with us; to folks on the ground in our direct actions around the country who danced, sang, drummed, and yelled in protest and in memory of those we’ve lost; to our ancestors who are with us always; to our healers who led us in reflection and remembrance; to our unstoppable tech team that guided us through the world of virtual convening; to our organizers who envisioned and implemented a weekend space of solidarity for all of us to collectively build our wisdom, healing, joy, and direction for how we move forward intersectionally and intergenerationally in our fight against anti-Blackness and structural racism.
Watch our Full Program Here:
Tsuru Rising! in the News:
PBS News Hour | How George Floyd’s Killing has Inspired a Diverse Range of Protests June 17, 2020
Indybay | Tsuru for Solidarity Vigil: Black Lives Matter/Free Families Detained by ICE June 8, 2020
Nishi Nippon | : 白人優位に怒る米国社会「人種超え連携」日系人団体も抗議イベント June 8, 2020
Anchorage Daily News | Crowds Gather near the White House for 10th Day of Protests in DC June 7, 2020
[radio] WBEZ | Japanese Americans Hang Paper Cranes at Cook County Jail to Protest Mass Incarceration and Police Brutality June 7, 2020
SF Gate | Thousands Gather for Protests Around the Bay on Saturday June 7, 2020
Rafu Shimpo | Hirono to be Keynote for Virtual Protest June 5, 2020
Saturday - June 6th.
10am – 12pm PDT | 1pm -3pm EDT
Tsuru Rising Rally
We kick off our weekend with a solidarity rally to welcome our Tsuru for Solidarity community and friends.
10:00 AM PDT — Welcome with Host Lori Matsukawa
— Land Acknowledgement
— Buddhist Ceremony w. Rev. Kobata, San Francisco Buddhist Church
— Keynote Speaker: Senator Mazie Hirono
10:30 AM PDT — Solidarity & State Violence
— Moderator: Satsuki Ina, Co-Chair, Tsuru for Solidarity
— Rev. Sheri Dickerson, Executive Director Black Lives Matter Oklahoma
— Neidi Dominguez, Senior Advisor, Mijente
— Nana Gyamfi, Executive Director, Black Alliance for Just Immigration
— Maru Mora Vilalpando, Co-Founder, La Resistencia
— Silky Shah, Executive Director, Detention Watch Network
— Cetan Sa Winyan, Director, American Indian Movement Indian Territory
11:15 AM — Nikkei Reflections on Solidarity
11:25 AM – Closing with Host Lori Matsukawa & Tsuru for Solidarity Co-Chairs
3pm – 4pm PDT | 6pm -7pm EDT
Regional Gatherings/Community Forums
Before we reconvene for the evening, we will have optional listening groups to offer people a chance to connect with each other. In this moment, when people are in the streets protesting racism and state violence to listen, and begin to process.
*Registrants should refer to their email inbox for the link to their meeting.
4pm – 6pm PDT | 7pm – 9pm EDT
We gather for celebration, protest, and culture.
4:00 PM PDT — Welcome with Hosts Alan Muraoka & Leslie Ishii
— Hoop Dancing Ceremony
— Reflection on Muslim Call to Immigrant Solidarity w. Brian Ozaki
— Poetry Reading with San Francisco Poet Laureates Janice Mirikitani (2000-2002) & devorah major (2002-2004)
— Buddhist Ceremony led by Rev. Duncan Ryuken Williams along with ministers from the US and Mexico
— Tsuru-min Taiko led by Courtney Ozaki & Stan Shikuma along with taiko players from around the world
— Musical Performance by Quetzal
— Thank You & Acknowledgements from Erin Shigaki & Joy Shigaki
— Remembering Hiroshi Kashiwagi by Soji Kashiwagi
— In Memorium: COVID-19 featuring Grateful 4
— Musical Performance by Kishi Bashi
— Tsuru Video
— FandangObon with Nobuko Miyamoto
5:55 PM PDT — Closing with Hosts Alan Muraoka & Leslie Ishii along with Tsuru for Solidarity Co-Chairs
Sunday - June 7th.
7am – 11am PDT | 10am – 2pm EDT
Direct Actions & Online Fold-Ins
Gather online by watching the stream here to tune in to our virtual fold-ins and letter writing campaign as we watch small groups gather in socially distant on-the-ground actions to demand that justice for Black Lives, Close the camps and free them all.
12pm – 2pm PDT | 3pm – 5pm EDT
*Pre-Registration Required. Registrants should refer to their email inbox for the link to their Circle.
What are Healing Circles for Change?
Healing Circles for Change is an opportunity for people who have experienced, in all of its complexities, the collective, historic trauma of racism and oppression. It is a sacred space and time where participants sit together in a circle, face to face with one another, holding the positive intention to bring presence and empathy, creating a safe place for each person to share some part of their story.
Why is such an experience even necessary?
Racism, religious persecution, gender bias, homophobia, and every other form of oppression causes fractures in whole systems. Those systems, starting from the intrapsychic to interpersonal, familial to community, societal to international, operate optimally when whole, interconnected, balanced and well-integrated. But when intentionally split and divided by systems of power dominating those who are vulnerable and powerless in order to maintain control, not only does the individual’s sense of self become divided, but fractures and barriers in families and communities result. Walls, both concrete and illusory are built, dividing us so that we can no longer see or be seen by each other. These consequences are difficult to repair and heal. With social consciousness and the intentional decision to “be with”, we are enabled to not only physically see one another, but to emotionally hold one another in mutual empathy.
What is the purpose for Healing Circle for Change?
When we shut down our true and authentic selves, including the pain of our intergenerational trauma, the humiliation, the fear, passed on to us, internalized and made unconscious, like any other type of trauma, we suppress and compartmentalize not just the stories and emotions, but parts of ourselves. This results in a splitting of our consciousness. We may appear “fine”, “normal”, outwardly, but internally, we are often deeply isolated, often filled with unexpressed anger, hopelessness and depression. Gathered in the shape of a circle, representing wholeness, we come with the intention to engage authentically and express what is true for us through our customs, culture, language, traditions and stories. We participate in creating safety for one another through our empathic listening and complete presence.
What Happens in a Healing Circle for Change?
It’s not as difficult or complicated as one might think. We gather 10-15 people together, ideally, just after their participation in a program, event, or action for social justice. They may be at different levels of commitment and degrees of activism, but are concerned enough to have engaged in a collective event in order to learn and contribute in some way. From attending a lecture, volunteering for a cause, marching in a protest, or committing civil disobedience, the person is interested in making a difference. Ideally, diversity among participants further enriches the experience.
Healing Circles for Change facilitators will then guide the process, within set time constraints, inviting each person to introduce themselves and share responses to selected questions.
Group members are asked to listen with empathy and presence. “Empathy” is the ability to listen to someone’s story through their eyes and their feelings, without judging or making assumptions. “Presence” is the ability to listen with full attention to the speaker. In this way, the listener is a mirror for the speaker. After each person shares their response to the questions, participants are encouraged to describe their own experience to the stories from a place of honesty, empathy and presence.
What are the anticipated outcomes from participating?
Sharing across different walks of life, across different forms of oppression, is a rare experience for most of us. There are, of course, no universal outcomes that can be guaranteed, but when we are in a safe place, protected from judgment and blame, the recipients of empathy and presence, our personal healing begins. What is reflected back to our fractured selves, is a community of wholeness, a caring presence that understands our pain, our family’s suffering; with this, our life energy can begin to shift from self-preservation to social activism. When we stand up for each other, speak out for each other, we gather up the splinters to build a community. This extraordinary sense of community gives us hope so we can move from collective trauma to collective empowerment.
What is the story behind Healing Circles for Change?
“Healing Circles for Change” emerged organically following each one of our Tsuru for Solidarity protest actions in Texas and Oklahoma. Rather than “shout and part”, we found that bringing disparate protest groups together to share our stories of grief and hope brought an extraordinary sense of shared empowerment, a deeper understanding of one another, and a strengthened commitment for future joint actions. We found that sharing our personal stories with each other, across historical, racial, religious, cultural boundaries and barriers resulting from the trauma of oppression, ignited a sense of solidarity many of us had never experienced. We learned that by the simple act of listening with presence, a human connection can be made, commonalities shared, and differences appreciated. We have witnessed a healing from the fractures and splintering that has divided our communities and found that speaking up for one another and standing with one another in the face of injustice can be one of the most powerful tools for social change.
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Tsuru for Solidarity is a nonviolent, direct action project of Japanese American social justice advocates working to end detention sites and support front-line immigrant and refugee communities that are being targeted by racist, inhumane immigration policies. We stand on the moral authority of Japanese Americans who suffered the atrocities and legacy of U.S. concentration camps during WWII and we say, “Stop Repeating History!”
Never again is NOW. Our mission is to:
educate, advocate, and protest to close all U.S. concentration camps;
build solidarity with other communities of color that have experienced forced removal, detention, deportation and separation of families, and other forms of racial and state violence;
coordinate intergenerational, cross-community healing circles addressing the trauma of our shared histories.