Happy Purim / Community Meeting Thursday 3/1 on Creative Direct Action!

The Purim Story: Esther Saves the Jews Through Creative Direct Action!

In the Jewish calendar, this coming Wednesday begins the holiday of Purim.  In the Purim story, a young Jewish woman named Esther becomes queen to King Ahashverosh, a self-important King with an evil sidekick named Haman.  Esther learns that Haman has convinced King Ahashverosh to decree that the people of the kingdom massacre the Jews on the 14th of the month of Adar.  Secretly Jewish herself, Esther at first is paralyzed by fear.  But then, her uncle Mordechai challenges her to action, “Do not think that you will survive, just because you are queen.  Perhaps God put you in this royal position for such a time as this!”


Esther gathers her courage, organizes her people to stand behind her, and orchestrates a series of dinner parties that culminate in her dramatic announcement that Haman is trying to kill her and her people.  Her actions save the Jewish people.


ECCO Monthly Meeting: Creative Direct Action

Thursday, March 1st, 7pm, Sacred Heart, 571 Boston St. in Lynn

RSVP at https://tinyurl.com/eccomarch18


As the Safe Communities Act (protecting immigrants) is on life support and the strength of the final criminal justice reform bill is in question, we in ECCO have an opportunity to turn up the heat.  In addition to our many legislative meetings on these bills (see events below), we are also exploring how we might use creative direct action to raise the stakes on the issues that affect our communities most.


Jan Victors, the Banquet of Esther and Ahasuerus, c1640      Smithsonian, Sanitation Workers Strike, Menphis, 1968


The Purim story reminds us that, when our government is acting irresponsibly and threatening minorities, it is our responsibility to intervene with courage and creativity.  Esther had limited power as a woman and a Jew, but she used everything at her disposal to save her people.  


Join us next Thursday to learn ideas and strategies for escalation and creative action, learning from from Queen Esther, Ghandi, Civil Rights Movement, Black Lives Matter, the students in Parkland FL and others.  Then, we will brainstorm together how we can use escalation and creative action on our campaigns.


Upcoming Events

We have a very full two months ahead!  Please take a moment to review our upcoming events below, and choose which ones seem meaningful to you.  If you can only come to one or two, ECCO staff recommend the monthly meetings, where our whole community comes together.  Also, much of our legislative work is happening region-by-region, so make sure to check below for region-specific meetings in your area, which I have color coded for your viewing convenience!  


Thanks and happy Purim (and see below)!

Rabbi Margie


Upcoming Events: ECCO Wide Events

See farther below for regional team events


ECCO Community Meeting: Creative Direct Action and Escalation

Thursday, March 1st, 7pm, Sacred Heart, 571 Boston St., Lynn

Note: Salem ECCO members invited to come at 6pm to prepare for our meeting with Paul Tucker the following Tuesday.

Join members from across ECCO to learn about non-violent direct action as a tactic to change public opinion and increase pressure on elected offices.  Together, we will explore how we might use these tactics in our work for criminal justice reform and immigrant rights.

RSVP at https://tinyurl.com/eccomarch18.


Vigil at ICE Detention Center

Sunday, March 18th, 2-3pm, South Bay Detention Center, 20 Bradson St., Boston, MA

Join people from ECCO and our partner groups across the state for a prayerful protest our government’s treatment of immigrants and the destruction of immigrant families.


ECCO Community Meeting: Training on Social Movements and Planning for May Day Action

Thursday, April 5th, 7pm, First Church Swampscott, 40 Monument Ave, Swampscott

Join people from across ECCO’s diverse community to for a training on social movements, how we build and shape them, what makes them successful or not.  Then, we will work together to plan our May Day action, which will highlight immigrant and workers’ rights, and continue planning other upcoming advocacy and direct action on our criminal justice and immigration work.

RSVP at https://tinyurl.com/eccoapril18.


Legislative Accountability Forum with Raise Up MA

Wednesday, April 11th, 5:30-7:30pm, location TBD

Join ECCO folks and activists for economic dignity from across the North Shore to urge our elected officials to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour and pass Paid Family Leave.


Active Bystander Training

Monday, April 23rd, 6:30-8:30pm, North Shore UU, 323 Locust St., Danvers

Join ECCO folks and others to learn how you can respond to and safely interrupt acts of hate and discrimination.


MCAN Leadership Summit

Sunday, April 29th, 3-6pm, Location TBD

Join leaders from across ECCO and our affiliates across the state to set our statewide agenda for the next two years, and explore how we can be more powerful through our collaboration and solidarity with one another.


Regional Meetings

Note: If you would like to be on a regional team list and aren’t yet, please reply to this email!


Color Code:

Lynn/Swampscott – Red

Salem/Marblehead – Green

Beverly/Peabody – Blue

ECCO North – Purple

Salem Only: Legislative Meeting with Rep. Paul Tucker*

Tuesday, March 6th, Prep and rehearsal at 5pm, Meeting at 6pm

RSVP for location.

Planning and prep meeting – March 1st at Sacred Heart, 6pm directly before the ECCO monthly meeting.

RSVP required to Rabbi Margie at mklein@eccoaction.org, or call 646-408-6160.


Essex/Rockport/Gloucester: Legislative Meeting with Rep. Ann-Margaret Farrante*

Tuesday, March 13, on Cape Ann, place TBD

Prep meeting at 9am, Meeting with Rep. Farrante at 10am

For more information and to RSVP, contact Barbara Kaplan, bjkaplan4@comcast.net


ECCO North Regional Team Meeting

Monday, 3/19 at 7pm, location TBD

If interested, contact Barbara Kaplan, bjkaplan4@comcast.net


For Lynn Residents: Meeting with Police Captain Vail on Implicit Bias and Police Diversity

Thursday, March 22nd, Sacred Heart Church, 571 Boston St.

Prep Meeting at 6pm, Meeting with Captain Vail at 7pm

RSVP required, to Rabbi Margie at mklein@eccoaction.org.  We will ask all those joining to participate in a prep meeting/call beforehand, time/place TBD.


All ECCO North: Legislative Meeting with Senator Bruce Tarr*

Friday, April 6, 11am on Cape Ann, place TBD

Prep Meeting at 10am, Meeting with Senator Tarr at 11am

For more information and to RSVP, contact Barbara Kaplan, bjkaplan4@comcast.net


Other meetings being set up for March: Email the contact person to join if you are not already in touch


Senator Joan Lovely, Beverly, Salem, Peabody*

Rep. Jerry Parisella, Beverly*

If interested in participating in one or both meetings, contact Denny Dart, kellydart@gmail.com


Rep. Daniel Cahill, Lynn*

If interested in participating, contact Pat Shearer, panne8311@yahoo.com


Rep. Donald Wong, Saugus and Lynn Ward 1*

If interested in participating, contact Rev. Sarah Van Gulden, svangulden@gmail.com


Soon-to-be Senator Brendan Creighton, Lynn, Swampscott, Saugus, Nehant Marblehead*

If interested, contact Barbara Wojciechowski, SJWBHW@gmail.com


*Explanation of starred meetings: ECCO will be holding a series of legislative meetings with our reps and senators to urge them to support the strongest possible criminal justice reform bill to emerge from conference committee, after the State House and State Senate passed versions last Spring.  We will also talk about the Safe Communities Act (Immigration) and our hope that the State Legislature will pass Paid Family Leave and a $15 Minimum Wage before it needs to go on the ballot in November. No political experience necessary to join — we will provide training and 1:1 support!

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