REI statement on the Raleigh Murders of October 13, 2022

With our state and nation, we mourn with the families who lost loved ones in Raleigh on October 14th. We mourn and we seek answers—again. There is no longer any time to grieve one massacre before there is another and innocent people loved by parents, or children, or aunts or uncles die. Five people died in Raleigh and there is no justice that can heal their loved ones grief and nothing that can bring them back to them.

We pray the latest murders will horrify us as much as the last, that they will also frighten us, seem real to us beyond this week, that we might interrupt this sickness of entitlement and violence. We, among others, call for gun safety, restricted availability of weapons of any kind, background checks for sales and no sales to anyone under 25 years of age with proven reason to own a firearm. So little to ask and so small a price to pay.

We pray, also, that the time has come to look beyond the individual perpetrators to the culture that created them, the culture that promotes individual rights over the common good. Tim Wise said, the problem with being the dominant culture is it is impossible to see your own cultural disfunction. It is time to examine the culture that manifests such destruction. It is time to examine how we define manhood, citizenship, and community. We must reward cooperation and kindness as we now do competition and dominance. We must teach the value of purpose, the imperative of knowing who we are as sacred beings. Short these things we will never be safe, no one will.

Colectivo Ilé’s Statement on Hurricane Fiona and contributions
Colectivo Ilé: [email protected]

After five years of the catastrophe caused by Hurricane María (2017), neither the US government nor the local colonial administration have been able to truly rebuild the Puerto Rican Archipelago. We have endured insults in our most vulnerable moment,  discriminatory policies by FEMA at our time of greatest need,  and sleazy contractors and speculators promising solutions that were never delivered.  Poverty in the Island has been exacerbated while people are being displaced by gentrifiers disguised as liberals and progressives . Our own colonial government could not even acknowledge the loss of more than 3,000 lives caused by the hurricane and agencies’ inaction, nor did they lead us through any process of national grieving. Our people were left defenseless and without hope that an elected government could detain the waves of corruption that followed.   

On Sunday, September 18, 2022, once again we contended with another climate disaster. Hurricane Fiona, a Category 1 cyclonic system, landed in Puerto Rico bringing unprecedented levels of rains, causing floods, landslides, destruction of property and total failure of the power grid.  In fact, we have not seen rainfall like this in123 years , and yet, most people days later still don’t have access to potable water. As with hurricane María, people, not a government with a proven record of corruption, are the ones to deliver hope through our own agility and creativity in responding to the needs of our neighbors and communities.   
Colectivo Ilé (1992), is a women’s collective in Puerto Rico dedicated to antiracist education and organizing . We did not remove our antiracist lenses during the aftermath of hurricane María, nor would we remove them during this present disaster. We are convinced that devastation, vulnerability, and defenselessness in Puerto Rico is socially constructed, and racism is, without doubt, its ideological foundation.
Five years ago, we were able to join other women in the archipelago to bring forth their visions of recovery and transformation after María. At that time, we delivered what was needed and expected from us by our constituency. We channeled all kinds of resources and supported other organizations in caring for their own constituencies and in growing stronger as collectives.  We intend to do the same this time around. Antiracist principles need to be present in assessing our situation, in supporting our constituencies, community leaders and other antiracist organizations to mitigate the effects of these climate events. We join those who represent the interests and needs of Black people, low-income people, people with disabilities, immigrants, LGBTQA+ communities, and others made to suffer disproportionally. We affirm that solidarity, not charity, help us preserve our dignity in our time of need.
12 groups to consider in channeling funds:  

1) Casa Protegida Julia de Burgos – women’s shelter, gender-based violence

2) Comuna Caribe – anti-capitalist/patriarchy/white supremacy/colonialism, immigrants
ATH Móvil  +1 (787) 484-3523
indicar en la nota: “Donativo Recuperación Fiona” (indicate in the note: Donation for Fiona recovery).

3) Espicy Nipples – transfeminist media

4) La Goyco – neighbors of Machuchal and Calle Loíza building community, cultural and health initiatives, Santurce

5) La Conde – Parceleras Afrocaribeñas para la Transformación Barrial (Patba), Saint Just, Trujillo Alto

6) El Hangar – LGBTQA+, social and cultural transformation, art as an educational tool, Santurce
ATH Móvil: 787-245-1274
PayPal: [email protected]

7) Colectivo Umoja – Research, bomba, community service, Guayama
PayPal: [email protected]

8) Colmena Cimarrona – food sovereignty, Vieques

9) Mujeres de Isla – Sustainable development, coordinating and unifying agent of efforts aimed at the the Island of Culebra

10) El Ancón – Cultural preservation and development, Loíza, [email protected]

11) PAYE – for community dinner/food security, Piñones

12) Colectivo Ilé – antiracist decolonial work in PR