Undocubus Riders Welcomed in Denver
For more information on the UndocuBus tour, visit http://www.nopapersnofear.org.
The UndocuBus’ first stop on its cross-country journey was Denver, Colorado. There, dozens of local immigration activists and yellow shirt-clad Unitarian Universalists joined the UndocuBus riders in a rally and press conference on the steps of the state capitol calling for an end to Colorado’s anti-immigrant law, SB 90. At the rally, local undocumented immigrants came out of the shadows and told their stories. The event even garnered media coverage in the Denver Post.
In addition to joining the rally, Denver-area Unitarian Universalists supported the UndocuBus by providing meals for the riders. According to Kierstin Homblette, the UU social justice coordinator for a cluster of Denver-area congregations, “I think the best part was the interactions that happened during the meals, between church folks who cooked and those who were there to eat, including the riders. I think it was also really positive to ask our folks to do something tangible to contribute, in addition to just signing petitions or showing up for a rally.”
Rev. Nancy Bowen, the Mountain Desert District Executive for the Unitarian Universalist Association, spoke eloquently about our commitment to immigrant justice at the state capitol press conference. This is her beautifully articulated statement:
The complexities of our nation’s immigration policies and practices are heartbreaking for all of us. Some know their hearts are breaking everyday. Some live with the dull ache of awareness that our practices do not match our historic aspirations to be a home for the free and the brave–of every race, color, nationality, creed, and affection.
My immigration education has been slower than I care to confess.
There were so many things I did not understand;
things I did not know about how our laws are written and implemented;
things I did not believe my country would do.
No doubt I continue in ignorance on important points. However, I say with the strength of my faith that people cannot be illegal; people cannot be illegitimate; people are not alien. The fact of immigration status does not define a human being. We are defined by our character, by our actions, and by what we love.
Tell your stories to all who will listen. When we know one another’s stories we know a truth deeper than the facts can ever express. We are building Beloved Community with each story you tell and we hear. Travel safely, confident in our respect, love and steadfastness to the cause of justice and equity for all. Peace be with you.
I am inspired by your courage and resilience in making this journey of witness and relationship across the United States to the Democratic Convention. Countless times in our history we have been lead by bold and courageous people demonstrating peacefully for their inherent human rights. You join that proud history with this journey. I stand with you–on the Side of Love! Unitarian Universalist across the country will stand with you–on the Side of Love, when you arrive in their cities.