Queer political prisoner in ICE detention needs support!

From the Rainbow Defense Fund:

This holiday season, give the gift of helping an inspiring young political prisoner be freed from the confines of the immigration detention center in Florence, AZ where she is currently held.  Her name is Estrellita and she is seeking help paying her bond, which she expects to be around $3500.  Here is what she writes:

“Hola, mi nombre es Estrellita y estoy detenida en Florence, AZ.  Yo necesito de su ayuda.  Mi familia me odia por ser homosexual, y no tengo el apoyo de nadie, solamente de Casa Mariposa y Raul.  Mi situacion es la siguiente:  Ya pedi asilo politico y ya fui a la entrevista y pase.  Lo unico que me falta es de la fianza y las cartas de apoyo.  Les boy a agradecer toda mi vida si me ayudar con la fianza.  Yo se que afuera hay angeles y se los boy a agradecer mucho.  Mi corte la tengo para el 31 de energo para lo de la fianza.  Ayudenme please please!”

“Hello, my name is Estrellita and I am detained in Florence, AZ.  I need your help.  My family hates me for being homosexual, and I do not have the help of anyone, only Casa Mariposa and Raul.  My situation is the following:  I asked for political asylum and went to my [credible fear] interview and passed.  The one things left are the bond and letters of support.  I will be grateful for all of my life if you help me with the bond.  I know that outside there are angels and I will appreciate them very much.  My court for bond is January 31.  Help me please please!”

The Rainbow Defense Fund will be collecting funds for Estrellita, with the goal of raising $3500 by January 31st so she can be released as soon as a bond is set.  Please donate online through Paypal or send a check made out to “Restoration Project, Florence” to:  Attn:  Rainbow Defense Fund; Casa Mariposa; 127 N. Palomas Ave; Tucson, AZ 85745.

Thank you so much!

Business is Booming for the Prison Profiteers

by JAMES KILGORE, Counter Punch

Private corrections company The GEO Group celebrated the holiday season by opening a new 1,500 bed prison in Milledgeville, Georgia on December 12th. The $80 million facility is expected to generate approximately $28.0 million in annual revenues.

Though GEO (formerly Wackenhut) is hardly a household name, they are a major player in the private corrections sector, combining a self righteous amorality in profiting from human misery with a ruthless sense of just how to make a buck in this business. The GEO Group is so notorious that they were the target of an Occupy Washington D.C. action in early December. In addition,  the United Methodist Church sold off more than $200,000 in stock in GEO Group over the holiday season, judging that holding these shares was “incompatible with Bible teaching.”

While such actions may irritate a few within the company’s rank, the GEO Group is thick-skinned.  Over the years journalists have exposed a long history of violence, abuse and corruption in the company’s facilities.  Such scandals would have driven most firms out of business, but GEO has always managed to find the way back to prosperity. While the U.S. economy has plummeted in the past eighteen months, GEO has been positioning itself for the future.  In addition to opening the Georgia facility, during this period the company has: Continue reading

Solidarity Vigil: Legacies of slavery and resistance

MONDAY, JULY 4th @ 6:30pm

GEO Detention Center (30th and Peoria)

Join us outside the immigration detention center in Aurora in solidarity with all who are imprisoned, exploited or enslaved!

There will be a participatory performance exploring slavery as the common historic root of farmworker exploitation, mass incarceration of people of color and attacks on immigrants rights today.

We will also celebrate our legacies of resistance and ongoing struggle for freedom.




Hosted by Denver Fair Food

Really? A Raid on Father’s Day? ICE proves they can sink even lower

The strawberry festival was all but empty after a raid on dads at a family festival on Father's Day took place.

As if colluding with private prison companies to profit off of destroying families wasn’t enough, ICE upped their cold-heartedness (pardon the pun) with a sting on Dads during Father’s Day.  Not only did ICE rip apart families in Glenwood Springs, Colorado on Father’s Day, they did it at a family festival!

The agency’s disdain for immigrants and basic human rights is to the point where they aren’t even following their own protocol which states that  they must “refrain from conducting enforcement actions or investigative activities at or near sensitive community locations, such as schools, places of worship… and venues generally where children and their families may be present.”

According to Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, ICE agents detained two brothers who were watching their kids play in a bouncy castle.

“Brothers Cesar and Julio Alvarez were then taken to an ICE van in the back of the fair, while their 4 children waited with their aunt and mother.”

The ICE agents went on to be jerks to the rest of the Alvarez family, putting Julio’s 7-month pregnant wife through so much stress she had to be sent to Emergency Care.

STOP The Deportation of Jeanette!

NOW is when we need your immediate support! As many of you know, one of RAP’s amazing leaders Jeanette Vizguerra, a mother of 4, wife, small business owner, and community activist, is facing her final immigration court date this coming Monday, May 16th.

That’s why we need you to JOIN us on JEANETTE’S COURT DATE for a rally outside of the courthouse. We’ll be gathering bright and early this Monday, May 16 at 7:30 a.m. in downtown Denver at the corner of 17th and Welton to rally for Jeanette and the thousands of others facing deportation. Program starts at 7:30am, actions will continue as Jeanette goes into the hearing.

Let’s stand in solidarity with Jeanette! Let’s speak out against the big business of deportations! NO one should profit from family’s pain!

WE need to make some noise and be the conscience of those who ignore or want to hide the truth!!

Take action NOW to send faxes to key targets before Friday at noon!

More info call 303-893-3500 or liz@rap-dpt.org

Watch Jeanette’s story here:

AHORA es cuando necesitamos su apoyo inmediato! Como saben, un líder increíble de RAP Jeanette Vizguerra, madre de 4 hijos, esposa, dueña de un negocio local, y activista de la comunidad, enfrenta su fecha final de corte de inmigración el próximo lunes 16 de Mayo.
Continue reading

Denver: Community Leaders Outraged by “Secure Communities Program”

From Colorado Indymedia, posted by Russell Bannan

DENVER, CO- Concerned community members, human rights advocates, journalists, clergy, business owners, authors, political activists, labor union leaders, and educators are outraged at Governor Bill Ritter’s Executive Order to introduce Colorado into the federal Secure Communities Program. This program authorizes law enforcement agencies to execute federal immigration laws, creating an environment conducive to racial profiling, harassment and discrimination targeting immigrants and Latinos residing or visiting the State of Colorado.

“This Executive Order is bad social and economic policy at a time when the Latino and immigrant community are besieged by anti-immigrant sentiment and additional funds necessary to implement this order will further strain limited state resources. The Executive Order is a wrongheaded approach to solve the immigration issue in Colorado. The implementation of these policies can hinder rather than attain public safety when it increases community mistrust of the police; the same people we should trust to protect us rather than racially profile us and separate us from our families.” stated Solomon Juarez, President of the Denver Metro Chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA). “The impact of this policy will be felt not just by immigrants but also the broader Latino community.”

“Any legislation that will jeopardize the wellbeing of children and families in Colorado should not be implemented. Governor Ritter’s Executive Order will tear families apart and hurt the social fabric of communities in Colorado. Our communities deserve commonsense legislation that promotes public safety while ensuring the well-being of our children. We reap what we sow and we can do better than policies that leave households without breadwinners and children without their loved ones,” declared Bernadette Jiron, Denver Federation of Paraprofessionals and Nutrition Service Employees President.

Over 30 community leaders signed the Open Letter to Governor Ritter to address their concern of the Secure Communities Program. “We will not tolerate such an undemocratic order which incentivizes racial profiling, condones authoritarianism, and potentially divides our communities,” the letter continues by stating “Allowing the implementation of the Secure Communities Program would send a very troubling message and be viewed, by many, as a sign that state democracy and human rights are not valued or tolerated within Colorado. In our view, this would have negative consequences for the families directly affected, the state of Colorado itself, and the United States as a whole.”

Now more than ever, community leaders urge reversing the Executive Oorder that dishonors the rights and dignity of all people. The well-being and security of our nation depends on it.

Sunday: Dia de la Virgin (Im)Migrants’ Rights Protest

Sunday, December 12th
Aurora Geo ICE Detention Center (30th ave and Peoria)

Constitutional and human rights have been constantly violated when ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement) has conducted their raids. On December 12th, 2003 ICE rounded up 300 workers in Greeley, Colorado and took them to the Aurora Detention Center. Many are still fighting their cases today.
They dehumanize individuals simply because they don’t have proper documentation to be in the country.

Millions of people flee their countries every year on a worldwide basis. It just so happens that these people seek to come to the United States because of proximity, and because of the hope America has promised.

1.We want citizenship for those families who have children in the United States. We want Freedom and Equality.

2.We want to stop the seperation of families.

3.Free the Families from these detention centers.

Come support Humanitarianism. Hope to see you there. December 12th is significant, because it is a religious holiday for many Mexicans and Central Americans. Those that are detained at the Detention Center in Aurora.

Colorado: ICE raids at local apartment buildings

From an email from local allies:

Hey all,

Just a note to say I received a call about home raids in Aurora and someone detained in one and then just got off the phone with a\ friend in the Glenwood Springs valley who says the police and ICE have been cooperating in apartment complex raids up there…Tell the community: be careful. Look out the door before opening it, esp early in the morning. If they don’t have a warrant the person doesn’t have to open the door.

Community Members Remember Those Recently Killed on the Border and Fight for Migrant Justice

Each month DABC members join with others from the community in a vigil outside the Aurora ICE Detention Center.  This month’s vigil took place after several murders committed by the Border Patrol in recent months, including that of 15-year-old Sergio Adrian Hernandez Huereca.  Authorities originally claimed that the agent shot and killed Sergio only after being “assaulted” by rocks, but video evidence later surfaced that Sergio was not throwing rocks and actually ran away. (Sidenote: there are some kids throwing rocks in the video and the people looking on are heard to say “How stupid! They’re throwing rocks.” Even if they were throwing rocks, shooting someone in the head is a disproportionate response). Earlier in the month several Border Patrol agents beat and tasered a handcuffed Anastacio Hernandez Rojas to death in what the San Diego coroner ruled a homicide. Mr. Rojas was picked up by Border Patrol agents as he was trying to re-enter the US and rejoin his wife and 5 children.

Sergio’s death is just one of the 17 people who have died at the hands of the Border Patrol in the past few 6 months, twice as many people as in the last 2 years combined.  This is a direct result of the increased repression waged upon migrants since Obama has taken office.  In his first year as president, 387,790 immigrants were deported, an increase of more than 60% from Bush’s last year in office. Continue reading

Support needed for 6 people arrested at Tucson border patrol lock down

Financial support is needed for the six people who locked themselves together in the lobby of the Tucson sector border patrol office for over three hours last Friday.

In the statement released the day of the lockdown, the group demanded the end of the militarization of the border, in addition to the end of the racist SB1070 law, and the 287(g) program that allows police to act as immigration agents. As if on cue, the federal government answered today as President Obama has decided to militarize Arizona’s southern border with 1200 National Guard soldiers, and over $500 million dollars in funds. It’s clear the government, from the local, county, state, and federal levels, is declaring war on indigenous communities, immigrants, and the communities of the border states. Likewise, it’s clear that many more will stand up to the repression and terror of the authorities, and to fight for autonomy, dignity, and freedom that is under increasing attack every day.

We can’t fight alone, and we hope we won’t have to, so please consider showing solidarity to our O’odham, Dine’, Latin@, and anti-authoritarian comrades who locked down and are now facing misdemeanor trespassing and misdemeanor disorderly conduct charges. Click here to make a donation that will aid our comrades with their court fees and related expenses over the next few months.

No borders, no state, no papers!