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The Trump administration is considering more than $6 billion in cuts for public housing assistance and community development grants this week. This comes on the heels of slashing critical federal agencies and bolstering the defense budget to hire more police officers, federal immigration agents, and increase the country’s military presence.

In response to the onslaught of this administration’s repressive legislative orders that serve to worsen the displacement crisis, shrink indispensable social safety nets, and force the separation of families, cities around the country are finding ways to actively resist in this watershed moment.

Democratic governance against inhumane policies will only be operationalized through checks and balances at the local and regional level. To enforce real sanctuary status – beyond limiting local law enforcement’s cooperation with federal authorities – cities must translate the meaning of sanctuary into tangible policies that take a stand against the brutal policing, surveillance, and deportation of black, brown, undocumented, and Muslim communities.

Across the Bay Area, people are making visible the underlying intersections between different movements. Bay Resistance, a powerful new rapid response network made up of labor, immigrant groups, and non-profits, is leading an organized regional effort against the far-right by holding weekly actions, creating an emergency hotline to report ICE raids, and hosting direct action trainings for politically awakened newcomers and long-time activists alike.

In Richmond, a progressive city council passed the first resolution to impeach the president. The RISE Coalition in Fremont is linking up with social justice advocates in Union City and legal service providers to host a South Alameda housing and immigration rights clinic and mobilization event, with the recognition that a dignified home is the first step to creating safe havens for our neighbors and ourselves.

Historically, we know that when racist rhetoric is codified into a material reality, mosques get burned, refugees get banned, and rights are redefined to disenfranchise our communities. Let’s be rebellious, reclaim our right to the city, and tap back into long-standing traditions of radical municipalism by placing local and regional self-governance on the frontlines of resistance.
 

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