June 30, 2017
Urban Survivors Union
Dear President Donald J. Trump,
Urban Survivors Union is a national drug user union developed by directly impacted people for directly impacted people. We are community organizers working with current and former drug users to end the failed war on drugs. We believe that community mobilization is key to improving conditions for people who use drugs, their families and the community at large. When directly impacted people come together we are able to use our collective voices to raise awareness about the struggle, which many people are completely oblivious to until it happens to someone in their family, someone they love or is spread on the news about a ‘famous’ person or is the focus of the History Channels latest series on the War on Drugs.
One of the most important functions of Urban Survivors Union is encouraging our members to use their knowledge, wisdom, and experience regarding substance use, criminalization and marginalization to help our brothers and sisters who are in this struggle as well. We believe that punishment will not change chaotic substance use, as history has proven, rather, passion is what gets us out of bed in the morning and gives us a reason to go on. Passion and commitment gives us a reason to continue fighting for effective and humane policies. After all, the definition of addiction is using drugs in spite of negative consequences. Urban Survivors Union gives voice to those who have none, per say, ‘nothing about us without us’.
The US must stop the ongoing Genocide and state sponsored killing of people in the Philippines. Over 12,000 people have been murdered. 12,000 lives lost – at least those that have been counted. The U.S. must support all efforts to end the mass murders.
One year on in the Philippines, over 12,000 murders, 12,000,000 surrenders and 64,000 arrests of people who use or are suspected of using drugs have
been reported. Over 60% of these killings have reportedly been carried out by vigilante gunmen. Prisons are beyond full, and those in prisons
facing a national judiciary system that is moving at an extremely slow pace.
Our perspective is one of harm reduction, putting the drug user at the center of the process of ‘recovery’. There are as many paths to improving the lives of drug users as they are drug users. One size fits all will never solve chaotic and destructive drug use. This is why we have watched with alarm as your administration has squandered the opportunity to truly ‘drain the swamp’ and change the culture of Washington. We had hoped your campaign promises to shut down ineffectual agencies, such as the DEA, whose failed missions have wreaked havoc on lives, both users, families and communities would be reflected in the decisions you make.
We have watched as your administration began to strip this great country of individual human rights. Everyday as we watch members of your administration condemn marijuana, take steps that move us back toward private prisons and mandatory minimums. Attorney General Jeff Sessions states his desire to return to the Drug War of the 80’s. Doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results is recognized by most impartial observers as the very definition of irrational behavior and in the recovery community as the definition of insanity.
The height of irrationality by your administration has to be the invitation to Filipino President Duterte to the White House. His blood-soaked shoes cannot be ignored even as the red carpet of the White House is rolled out irregardless of policy and in the name of diplomacy. Our voices are joined by so many around the world in in questioning and yes condemning the invitation of this visit. The European Union is moving toward imposing sanctions on the Filipino dictator Duterte for the mass murder of thousands of drug users, meanwhile, you have invited him to the White House after having a “pleasant” conversation with him.
President Trump you are sending yet another disturbing message to the 20 million Americans who use drugs, and 246 million people world wide. Duterte is a man who has committed egregious human rights violations against his own people. Duterte claims this is all part of his drug control strategy, but let’s be clear, it is murder, it is genocide. This strategy has not been condemned by you, rather it has been SUPPORTED and CONGRATULATED.
Urban Survivor’s Union is puzzled why the leader of the free world would undermine human rights and democracy. No civilized country should support state sponsored killing and genocide and yet you have said nothing. As our President are you so removed from the real world that you do not understand the horrific nature of what President Duterte is doing? Are you so insensitive that you somehow believe that murder is the answer to society’s problems? You say the sanctity of life is important but that is inconsistent with inviting a leader who believes in extrajudicial killings as part of official drug policy.
President Trump, we live in a world where we teach Americans to take a pill for everything that ails them. Americans drink alcohol legally regularly, yet it is one of the most dangerous drugs available. A pill for this, a pill for that, are we not all drug users in one way or another?
This is a call to conscience. We demand that you condemn the genocide in the Philippines and rescind your invitation to have this murderous dictator in our White House. Please Mr. Trump we ask that you also apologize to all of the people you have offended through this extremely thoughtless action.
Please President Trump we ask that you take a responsible position on the murder of thousands of people. The killing must end.
Sincerely, Urban Survivors Union
We stand with International People Who Use Drugs and their campaign to end the killing.
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