Fundraising Materials

Fundraising Letter
Let’s Do This! Raise the Funds Needed to #RiseUpOctober!

Use this letter to reach out very broadly right now to raise the funds needed to make Rise Up October do what it needs to do.  Available for download as Word file.

I am writing to ask for your financial support for a historic event: #RiseUpOctober, October 22-24 to STOP Police Terror—Which Side Are You On?

... At this point, we face a crossroads: either the resistance will be repressed or derailed, with the horrors intensifying... or people will come forth in much greater numbers and determination and change the terms of how all of society looks at this and acts on it.

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An Open Letter to Voices of Conscience:
When it comes to police terror, WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?

Dear Celebrities who still remain silent; Progressive people who care but have not acted; People of means who may not face police terror personally but who could provide the means for those who bear the brunt of this everyday a platform where their courageous voices could move the hearts and minds of the broader public....

You who would condemn Jim Crow yesterday...
Where are you now and what would YOU do today?

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Art 4 Rise Up October

“Art 4 Rise Up October,” held October 11 in Chicago, was only possible because many Chicago artists generously donated beautiful art to raise funds for the 100 Families campaign  including lithographs, oil paintings, monoprints, photographs, and signed posters. The silent auction was held at La Catrina, a cafe and center in the Pilsen community, an historically Mexican-American neighborhood in Chicago that is also home to many of the artists who contributed. The evening was dedicated to Jose Guerrero, a lithographer and renowned muralist who was an early supporter of Art 4 Rise Up October but died just a few days before the event. He was a maestro (teacher) to many, a friend to more, and a revolutionary fighter for justice with largeness of mind who will remain an inspiration to all of us. The organizers of Art 4 Rise Up October placed a framed square of black on the wall, with a sign “Jose Guerrero, presente” below it in his memory.
Art 4 Rise Up October, Chicago

Jill McLaughlin’s piece, No More Generations of Our Youth  was on display as well; it’s available as a perk on the indiegogo campaign. Robinlee Garber and Rick Vines played guitar and percussion and sang an amazing range of songs throughout the evening, including one written by Rick, “I Can’t Breathe.” He wrote it after reading about the vicious murder of Eric Garner. At the event, Rick announced that all proceeds from the sale of the song online will go to this movement to STOP Police Terror. Initial proceeds of $460 have already been posted, with more to come as bidders are notified of their prizes. We hope to find ways to make art work that was not sold at this event available to others who also want to support this movement to STOP Police Terror.

Note sent to Revolution:

A Mental Health Professional and Artist Responds to Matthew Ajibade Piece by Shaun King

Until yesterday morning I was not aware of the story of Matthew Ajibade. The story has struck me on many levels. Having worked as an art therapist in a psychiatric facility for 14 years of the 17 years I was in the field it makes me sick at heart learning that he was treated in so callous and vicious way. I had a visceral response reading the story and viewing the video. In addition to providing art therapy services at the facility I worked for years in that setting teaching my co-workers that even the most volatile patients deserved to have their dignity and humanity respected. It did not matter if we were scared when a patient was striking out at us…we still had to remember that the person in front of us was suffering and that any physical intervention we did with a patient who was striking out at us had to be conducted in a safe and humanely way as possible. Upon learning that Matthew was an artist I just felt incredibly sad…another young person’s life stolen—whose expressions of creativity the world will never experience again. The painting "No More Generations” is now dedicated to Matthew Ajibade.

-Jill McLaughlin

[Note:  This painting was a perk at the Indiegogo campaign for Rise Up October and was claimed with a $1000 donation on 10/14/2015.]

From Revolution Books, Honolulu:

Friends of Joshua Baker contributed $200.00 in his memory. Joshua was 33 years old and was a University of Hawai`i Student, He hated injustice and was enthusiastically organizing for #RiseUpOctober. He was also involved in student organizing to Free Palestine, and had deep support for the Mauna Kea struggle and for the sovereignty of the Hawaiian people. He was also an Iraq war vet and had PTSD. He passed away last week, another victim of the U.S.’s unjust war in Iraq.

"A Prelude to Rise Up October"

With Rise Up October barely a month away, a member of World Can’t Wait wanted to host an evening to raise awareness and funds so family members who have lost loved ones to police bullets can go to New York. The situation at home wasn’t one that allowed for a social gathering so a small community room was reserved at a local library. It turned out to be a great alternative and the evening was a success in many ways. About 15 people came to hear a woman whose son was murdered by police who has become active in building for Rise Up October, fighting for justice for her son and all victims, and about $550 was raised. People went away with materials to help build for Rise Up October, some people invited the guest speaker to their religious congregation, and other connections were made to help build October 24.

The event was built mainly by personal invitation to a “Prelude to Rise Up October,” sent through email or in person, but not on Facebook or lists. Most of the people attending were familiar faces, with a sprinkling of new ones. Chairs were arranged in a big circle to keep an informal atmosphere. The 11 minute video from the August 27 Night in Harlem was shown while people gathered, and the evening opened with a powerful statement by a woman whose son was cut down by police and then assassinated again in the press. Then the discussion took off! One older Black woman spoke about her family’s oral history going back to slavery, drawing a clear line through the history of this country down to today. “Remedies” were proposed in the form of better training, better education, mental health screenings, and more. World Can’t Wait and Stop Mass Incarceration Network supporters kept coming back to the systemic nature of the problem and the need for masses of people, of all nationalities and backgrounds, to come out in the streets NOW to say, NO MORE!  

A strong and serious energy permeated the whole gathering. Everyone felt it. No one left early. The importance of this prelude event and of Rise Up October in NYC was articulated. Here we are in the fall of 2015 more than a year after Ferguson and we must continue the momentum. The popular uprising to demand real justice and masses getting in the streets against nationwide police violence must not only continue, it must increase and we are all responsible to help build the movement. We have an advantage we have never had before with smart phones to more easily record police violence and expose the lies in their reports that have for decades been judged truthful by courts. The system has been exposed as corrupt to the general population and their attacks upon those of us demanding justice must also be overcome.  It can be done and Rise Up October is the crucial movement needed right now to keep this momentum going.

We encourage everyone reading this to find your own ways to bring people together to raise the funds and mobilize people to make this happen!

Donate Generously Yourself to #RiseUpOctober and Fundraise with Everyone You Know!

The following letters requesting funds and the statements and experiences by those raising funds to be part of #RUO from families of those murdered by police, from activists in Fergueson, Missouri,  a Mexican immigrant and youth and the employees of a hospital organizing in Chicago, can inspire you and be used in various ways to inspire other people to become part of Rise Up October by donating and carrying on fundraising activities themselves. Copy them into emails, show people, add to your letters. STOP Police Terror NOW!


Statement from Airickca Gordon-Taylor, cousin of Emmett Till

"If police officers are going to hide behind badges the same as men hid underneath white hoods during the days of Jim Crow when my cousin Emmett Till was murdered for a mere whistle and kill our sons and daughters then we must rise up together as our people did after Emmett Till's murder with the eruption of the Civil Rights Movement in 1955. Meet me in New York for #RiseUpOctober!"

90-Year-Old Irish Mom Donates $50

The following comment was sent to Rise Up October

My 90-year-old Irish mom is making a $50 donation to RUO.

I'm going to take her picture with a palm card and forward it to SMIN.

Took her out tonight. Got her 2 cartons of Marlboro Lights, 5 bottles of red wine, and a scratch
card. :)

She filled up my gas tank and pledged $50.


PS She is full of compassion and common decency. And is very progressive. When slumlords were torching houses in Lawrence with Latinos in them for the insurance money, she took a burned out family into our house.

Help Make It Possible to Send Ferguson-St. Louis Fighters to "Rise Up October"

EIGHT THOUSAND DOLLARS IS URGENTLY NEEDED NOW TO SECURE A BUS BEYOND A OCT. 13th DEADLINE in order to take defiant youth, victims of police terror, students and people of conscience from Ferguson-St. Louis to New York City for the Rise Up October national march to STOP Police Terror on Oct. 24th.

It really matters that Ferguson-St. Louis be among the tens of thousands of people flooding NYC streets before the eyes of the whole world, challenging everybody to answer "Which Side Are You On?" It also really matters if there's a powerful contingent of people from Ferguson-STL (the place where the nationwide movement to stop police terror was born, and which has faced non stop efforts to repress and derail it ever since) is marching in the streets together with the 100 families of people murdered by police, students from across the country, defiant youth from powerful uprisings from Oakland to Baltimore, and people of faith willing to put their bodies on the line.

At a moment when the powers-that-be are working to bury this movement with repression, lies, false promises, or through galvanizing reactionary forces spewing venom against Black Lives Matter and Black people generally, there's great necessity to grow this movement by having the kind of outpouring that will inspire many more to stand up and to rock the brutal enforcers back on their heels. This is what RiseUpOctober is all about. Think about the impact that a vocal contingent from Ferguson can have on such an outpouring! And think what it will mean if Ferguson isn't in the house.

Send your contribution OR funds for a ticket for youth or others from Ferguson to the following link:

Ferguson bake sale for RiseUpOctober

A group of people in Ferguson, Missouri – where defiant protests erupted last year after Mike Brown was murdered by a Ferguson cop – are raising money to send people from there. They organized a bake sale to raise funds for a bus from Ferguson-St. Louis to NYC for #RiseUpOctober and so far have raised $300. Bake sale volunteers now are calling for the $300 proceeds to be matched 10 times in order to pay for close to half the cost of one charter bus to NYC to make this goal real and realizable.

$1,000 Raised at a Chicago-Area Hospital

We just raised $1,000 in one department in a Chicago area hospital. An activist gave the PDF “Bring the families of 100 Police Murder Victims to #RiseUpOctober” to a few co-workers who recently have expressed concern about police murders and who were starting to see the true magnitude of this epidemic. He also showed them the 11-minute video from the August 27 meeting in NYC. A Black hospital worker, who lives on the West Side and has experienced threats by the police, and three nurses decided to take the challenge to support these families to as many people in the department as possible. A physician who admits patients there had already contributed and allowed us to say what he had given. He also said we could tell the story of his encounter with the police. He was in his 20s, well dressed, having just left church on a winter morning; the police stopped his car and falsely claimed he ran a red light. He was forced to lie in the slush face down, with hands cuffed behind his back, while they ran his license.

One of the nurses wrote a beautiful fundraising letter stating our purpose and plan. A physician in our department offered to match whatever the nurses or hospital workers in the department could raise and this was in her letter. We also used the YouTube videos of LaToya Howell and Mertilla Jones, which once you enter the YouTube IDs can be quickly shown to others on the spot on a cell phone or department computer and could be texted to many people through our 10-day campaign. We also learned that the actual video of police murder, like the murder of Oscar Grant on the San Francisco BART platform in 2009, really helps people to get what is happening to people of color! We also used a really powerful and outrageous 30-second video on YouTube from Dallas from earlier this year, where a mother calls for police to help get her bipolar schizophrenic son to the hospital for treatment and instead they murder him for holding a screwdriver in his own doorway… caught on their own bodycam!!

These sorts of videos opened many eyes of middle class people around us, who just really have no idea. Following this, we also used the video of Uncle Bobby, Oscar Grant’s uncle, calling for backing these beautiful family members whose voices must and will be heard on O24!! We also used Rev. McCorry’s powerful statement and Carl Dix’s statement on what are reasonable demands from Revolution newspaper and, of course, word of mouth. Through our 10-day campaign, we created an atmosphere where many were engaged and affected and contributed. We are so happy that we have made this contribution and offer our love and solidarity to these families who have suffered so much and are so courageous!

Mexican Immigrant Donates $1,000 to Help Send Families to October 24 NYC

Following are edited excerpts of a conversation with a Mexican immigrant who donated almost $1,000 to send three family members of victims of police murder to the October 24 Rise Up October national demonstration in New York City—as part of the call for people to donate to help bring families of 100 victims of police murder to the O24 protest. He has a manual labor job and earns $1 more than minimum wage. In the discussion he talks about the inspiration he gets from community self-defense forces who have kicked out the drug cartels from the region of his home town in Mexico and are guarding the towns day and night.

“I have no country, I’m of the world. When I see that the police are beating a Black person or anyone, I feel hate. I feel repudiation of the whites, of the racists, of the police. Because of my color, I don’t want that to happen to my children, I want that to stop before it happens to my children.

“It’s the same brutality we are living in Mexico and here, the same. Here, they see our color and kill us. There, they see that we have a dollar and they kill us. It’s the same lack of security because of the government we have.

“I just went to Mexico, and I was really impressed by what I saw and what they told me. When the people rose up and chased out the narcos and the corrupt authorities, the army came in and tried to take away their weapons. The women took to the streets waving their pots and shouting at the soldiers, ‘Motherfuckers, what do you think, that when they (the narcos) come, all we’re going to do is kiss them? That’s why we need arms, to fight against them.’ What really struck me, I don’t know how they got organized, but all the people exploded all of a sudden and were able to take back their territories. They were living in terror but they awoke from that nightmare and said, ‘If we die, we’ll be free, but if we live, we’ll be free,’ and they made up their minds and they did it. It’s not a done deal because they are still guarding their territory like dogs. But it is an example: If we want to, we can. There are no barriers that can stop us.”

From a donor who put up $5,000 as a matching fund for the campaign for Rise Up October to Stop Police Terror/Which Side Are You On? and the effort to bring families from the around the country to New York for October 24.

I decided to give this $5,000 to encourage others to donate to the Rise Up October effort.

Is this a sacrifice? Yes. This money would be very useful for other things. But when I think of the sacrifices of others, like the parents of children killed by the police, then I think this sacrifice is not so much. These families are not given a choice in the matter. And we are not given a choice whether to live in a place where some people are treated like runaway slaves. Our choice only comes when we refuse to accept this injustice and take action.

If the actions in New York this October 22 to 24 can encourage more people to take an active stand against murder by police, which I think it can, then it is well worth this sacrifice, and a great deal more.

For those who think that things are tolerable the way they are, I can only say, your standards are way, way too low. Listen to the families. Shake yourself awake. Help make Rise Up October a significant event. Go to New York October 24 and contribute to the effort for a more just world.

Raising Funds on the Sidewalk in Chicago's South Shore Neighborhood

Fundraising in South Shore ChicagoPeople raising funds on the sidewalk in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood for themselves and others to get on the bus to go to NYC for Rise Up October said, “We had muffins, chips & cookies for donations. We raised $103.”

In the words of one of the young women: “Why I want to go to New York. To honestly get what’s really going on in the world known. I am 15-years-old. I was arrested for protesting police brutality on April 14th in Chicago. Help raise funds to get me and my friends and family on the bus.” This young woman got involved with protesting police brutality after Martese Johnson was viciously beaten and arrested at the University of Virginia. Martese had graduated from her high school and was a huge success story, so it was a big shock to the students when they saw the picture of his bloody face on the sidewalk.

Help these family members get to #RiseUpOctober

These family members of victims of police murder are donating, paying their own way, and/or raising money to get themselves to #RiseUpOctober. Stand with them and donate to bring them, and others, to NYC.

Melissa Kennedy, mother of Danielle Willard and recent donor to Rise Up October: “This has to stop.”

My name is Melissa Kennedy. My daughter Danielle Willard was shot and killed by Shaun Cowley and Kevin Salmon, both ex-detectives in Utah... The man that shot her was charged with manslaughter. At the preliminary hearing the Judge (that was retiring in 3 weeks) dropped the charges.​

This is happening much too often and it needs to stop.

The people that have given cops "implied immunity" need to take it away from them.

I'm tired of seeing people being killed. I am tired of everyone looking the other way and letting these guys find a job at another office. The worst that has happened is these guys get fired or they are asked to retire. Most of these cops are still carrying a badge and a gun!

This has to stop. I don't want Danielle Willard to be just another kid shot by a cop. I want her name to live on. I want to make it so that she will be one of the reasons why changes are made. Danielle Willard's name will never just go away, no matter how hard other people try to make that happen. Her name will live on forever.

Statement from L’Sana DJahspora, father of Cinque ‘Q’ DJahspora, murdered by police November 7, 2014,  in Jackson Tennessee.

I tell people that "Justice for Q is Justice for You" because, I place his death and our cause in the larger context of the struggle for justice and the peace that I think can only come from justice. Like all of the martyrs in the ongoing police terror, my son 'Q' took a bullet for us, all of us. I truly believe Q took a bullet for me, as I would have defended my son to the death had I been there at the moment. Shot in the back while he lay face down on the ground, 20 year old Cinque 'Q' DJahspora is the victim of a determined execution by police, who returned after going to their car, with Q posing no threat on the ground, and returned, murdering him on the spot. Video reveals the execution. To this day police, city authorities and local media continue their close-knit cover up of the truth about the execution. The family has faced continued obstruction by all agencies involved, as the window for legal recourse is closing. We are on a campaign to expose the truth of Q's story and the pattern of police terror to which he fell victim. RiseUpOctober speaks directly to that purpose. I was honored to have brother Dr. Cornel West hold up Q's photo at the Million Peoples' March and am determined to be in New York with such champions for justice, kindred families of other martyrs and my son in spirit. No one in America deserves such an execution as inflicted on Q, a good son, by accounts of all who knew him. Q deserved much better; Q deserves JUSTICE. I appreciate your support in helping me stand with you in my son's name and spirit.

Georgia Ferrell, mother of Jonathan Ferrell, killed by police on September 14, 2013 in Charlotte, NC:

“We have to keep this struggle alive. I’m working hard here fighting for justice. We have to put those officers behind bars. This is an attack on our children! We have to keep praying and we have to keep fighting to stop them. If we stop... if we rest for a moment... it starts all over again. We have to be in the forefront. My parents marched for equal rights, to be treated right. Why in 2015 is this happening?! Rise Up October. I want to let the nation know what’s going on. We need a new future. People in authority don’t stand up and speak for the people. No one in authority has stood up and said innocent people are being killed. Jonathan was seeking help! The President says nothing. When Freddie Gray is killed by police and young people stand up the President says the kids are thugs. I’m a Christian and a parent. If Jonathan was doing anything wrong I’d say so. He needs help and the police fire their guns. This must be stopped. I’m flying to NYC for Rise Up October. I’ve put the word out for funds. And I am using my own money. I am very excited about Rise Up October. We need to do this!”

Alicia KirkmanAlicia Kirkman, mother of Angelo Miller, killed by Cleveland policeman John Lundy, March 23, 2007

Rise Up October! It means a lot to me. It’s never happened in our lifetimes. All together: WE ARE NOT TAKING THIS KILLING AND MASS INCARCERATION! We are not tolerating it anymore. We do it in our cities, but never altogether like this. I knew we had to do this, all the relatives of people murdered by police nationwide... but I never knew how to do it, so I never tried. And I can’t rest until this happens. Last night, everything hit me. I don’t talk about this much... so it was real emotional for me. Rise Up October shows what everybody is doing, everything that is being done. And I am included. Before, I held back, thinking my son, Angelo Miller, had done something wrong, take a radio out of car, and that’s why not a lot of support. But the police shot his car up with 8 bullets and murdered him. His hands were up! They were supposedly going to charge those cops for murdering my son. That never happened. How is this justified?!

Now, I am reaching out to families for Rise Up October to STOP police from murdering young people like my son. I got my goal of 25 people to NYC from the families in this area from my outreach. I got fundraising plans with big events October 10 and also neighborhood sales with hot dogs, chips and soda. Some families are confused, like they become activists and get taken up under the wing of the city and police to fight violence in the community. Sometimes they don’t know where to turn and end up there. But what happened to their sons is not right and they got to be with Rise Up October and in NYC too. Rise Up October is really challenging me. I am still hurting. But I am no quitter and now I can’t stop, I am working to reach out to all the families everyday and I am working to be a better fundraiser. I’m not stopping and I can’t even sleep! How about you? Which Side Are You On?

Carey Downs Carey Downs, father of James Rivera Jr., murdered by Stockton CA police July 22, 2010

“We are working tremendously hard in the community ever since my son James Rivera Jr. was murdered by police in Stockton, CA and we are stepping it up now for Rise Up October. We are working on fundraising to get 100 Families to NYC. We have made it to this point… we’ve stayed strong… but now people on the sidelines who have been ‘waiting’ for change to happen – we encourage you to step off the sidelines and get into the game. Too many people, too many families too … too long on the sidelines. Get off the sidelines and get more involved and get focused on Rise Up October! Let’s raise the level of Rise Up October because this has never been done before and we are setting out to make history. 100+ families whose loved ones have been killed by police October 22-24 in NYC: THIS will open the eyes of America!”

Hawaiian Gardens, California

On Saturday, October 3, a team building for #RiseUpOctober went to the very busy Carson Street in the town of Hawaiian Gardens, 30 miles from downtown L.A., near where Johnny Ray Anderson was murdered by Lakewood sheriffs on July 5, 2015. The group included family and friends of Johnny. They held a huge Stolen Lives banner announcing the call to go to New York City for #RiseUpOctober—the national protests October 22-24—along with enlarged pictures of Johnny. A squad stood on the median strip and called on people to contribute so that family members of victims, like Johnny's older brother Benny, could go to NYC. The team raised $165 in a couple of hours, and introduced #RiseUpOctober to the thousands and thousands who drove by.