March Know Your Rights Training - 3/19 & 3/20

Despite Trump’s fear mongering and immigration threats, Damayan continues to stand up and fight back on behalf of our own community and the larger immigrant community. Damayan, in partnership with the Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center, and the Immigrant Defense Project, Damayan holds monthly Know Your Rights and Community Defense trainings that seek to educate, organize and further mobilize the resistance against Trump’s racist policies. The trainings are part of Damayan’s campaign, Magtanggol: Defend Our Communities! Defend Ourselves!, and the most recent trainings were on March 19th and 20th. The trainings provided participants with a thorough understanding of their rights as documented or undocumented migrant workers in the U.S., individual and community safety planning and other strategies to fight back against Trump’s promises.

The trainings also worked to build and strengthen the community defense teams that have been established at Damayan’s previous Know Your Rights trainings. The teams are rapid response groups comprised of members based on community location, who are trained in Know Your Rights. The teams seek to quickly respond and record issues of expulsion and criminalization of members of our immigrant community.

The Know Your Rights training also sought to clarify and clear up rumors and the spread of false information that has helped to instill fear in the community. Damayan’s lead organizer Riya Ortiz reminded everyone to verify with Damayan any rumors they had heard before sharing with everyone. Attendees were also reminded of the most crucial tool of resistance: solidarity. The community is only secure when organized, and those most isolated are the ones most vulnerable. Being apart of an organization provides support, formulation of collective ideas and the ability to mobilize. It is only together that we can further seek tactics and strategies to best protect ourselves, community and organization.