Poets in Resistance Update







Poets in Resistance Reading Mixes Art and Activism

McHenry—The Social Justice Team of the Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 5603 Bull Valley Road in McHenry. will sponsor Poets in Resistance, a public reading and rally on Friday, March 10 at 7 pm.  Over a dozen poets from high school students to senior citizens, accomplished published writers, poetry slam stars, to fresh new voices will participate with challenging original work.

Poets in Resistance is being organized and will be hosted by long time McHenry County poet and activist Patrick Murfin, the author of We Build Temples in the Heart best known locally as the longtime host of the old annual Diversity Day Festival in Woodstock.

“The event is a response to the many threats to civil liberties, social justice, women’s rights, marriage equality, voting rights, the ecology, and the basic economic security and medical care of millions of Americans are now facing,”  Poets are honoring a time honored tradition of prophetic witness by lending their powerful voices to a growing and active Resistance,”

Prolific Lake County poet and promoter of a vibrant spoken word scene Jacqueline Nichole Harris;  Andrea Hawkins-Kemper, a powerful poet of exploration of gender identity, vulnerability, and strength; Philip Chares Denofriao, the Poet in Residence at the Raue Center; and the Chicago Slam Poets with Mojdeh Stoakley are just some of the varied voices that will be heard.

Poets in Resistance is the latest in a series of programs facilitated by the Tree of Life Social Justice team that engage the arts in the service of Social Justice.  Those events included the Justice for All Ball in January and the enormously popular Rattle the Walls Concert fundraiser for the ACLU in February.

The program is free and open to the public.  A free will collection will be taken to defray expenses and support the social justice ministry of the church.  The building is accessible to the differently abled.

Light refreshments will be served and adult beverages will be available.

Some of the poets will have books, chapbooks, and recording available for sale.

For more information call Patrick Murfin at 815 814-5645, e-mail pmurfin@sbcglobal.net or office@treeoflifeuu.org or visit the Facebook Event at https://www.facebook.com/events/389512158048931/

Hate Has No Home Activists Plan Counter Event to Woodstock Spirit of America Rally

Woodstock—Main Street Patriots, an amalgam of Tea Party supporters, anti-immigrant activists, the new alt-right, and supporters of Donald Trump are planning a so-called Spirit of American Rallies all across the country.  The only Illinois rally is scheduled this Saturday, March 4, on the Square in Woodstock at Noon.  In response a Hate Has No Home in Woodstock counter rally has been organized with the participation of Indivisible Illinois Congressional District, McHenry County Progressives, LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens), the Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation Social Justice Team and others.

Crystal Squires was a principle organizer of the spontaneous response pulled hastily together over the past five days with support of concerned citizens and groups across McHenry County.  “We are coming together as concerned citizens in order to demonstrate that the Tea Party and the ideals that they stand for do not represent us and our community as a whole,” she said, “Hate has no home in Woodstock and we are gathering to make sure that message is heard loud and clear.”

Organizers plan a peaceful, non-confrontational witness event.  They will gather beginning at 11:30 am on Saturday, March 4 in front of the Old Court House at 101 N. Johnson Street on the north side of the Square and then march on the outer perimeter sidewalks around the Square in a counter clockwise direction during the rally.  Organizers believe that those who reject hate and division will far outnumber those who gather in the park.

Participants are encouraged to bring signs with positive messages of support for targeted communities and expressions of support for democratic values and American traditions of valuing diversity.  No messages attacking the President or those attending the rally are encouraged and participants will not confront or engage people attending the other event.

Hate Has No Home Here is a national response to episodes of violence, threats, and intimidation.  Its blue placards and signs with a heart emblazoned with the Stars and Stripes have become popular statements in communities around the country.

For more information visit the Facebook Events page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1237688489677970/ .