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Center Column Archives
This Halloween, Friday, Oct. 31
, hundreds of Bay Area youth gathered with community members and families to denounce the atrocities committed against immigrant communities by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The action was a response to ICE attacks against immigrant communities in so-called “sanctuary cities” like San Francisco and to a presidential election season that has seen neither major candidate substantively address the issues facing immigrant families. BART police shut down at least three stations - Richmond, Fruitvale, and Coliseum - from which groups of protesters were gathering to commute to the protest in downtown San Francisco. At least three protesters were arrested in Richmond.
On Wednesday, Oct. 22, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Homeland Security raided more than a dozen homes in San Francisco, South San Francisco, and Richmond. Victims of the attack included a San Francisco immigrant family, reportedly all US citizens. On Thursday, Oct. 23, community members gathered in front of the ICE office in San Francisco to protest the violent raids.
The indynewswire show airs weekly on Free Radio Santa Cruz 101.1 FM, Friday mornings 10-12 noon
, broadcasting news and opinion from independent media worldwide, focused on indymedia sites but also drawing from other websites. The October 3rd episode features discussion of sexual violence, patriarchy, and militarism across Mexico. This show is dedicated to Sali (Marcella Grace Eiler), found dead September 24th in San Jose del Pacifico, Oaxaca, Mexico.
On September 27th, four windows, a glass door and an ATM were smashed out at the Wells Fargo on the corner of Soquel Drive and Thurber Lane in the unincorporated area of Santa Cruz. Wells Fargo is one of the largest single stockholders in the GEO Group, a private prison outfit with prisons and detention centers spread across the world. Among many others, the GEO Group runs the ICE (Immigrations & Customs Enforcement) Northwest Detention Center
in Tacoma, WA. The Geo Group also operates a Migrant Operations Center in Guantanamo Bay, on the grounds of the Naval Base, adjacent to the more infamous "Gitmo".
On Tuesday, September 2nd, Palestinian professor and activist Sami Al-Arian was released from prison after more than five-and-a-half years behind bars. Immigration authorities released him on bail after they failed to explain his continued detention pending a trial for refusing to testify before a grand jury about a cluster of Muslim organizations in northern Virginia. But while he is out of prison, Sami Al-Arian is not free. He must remain under house detention at his daughter Laila's residence in Virginia, pending trial.
On the heels of May Day marches for immigrant rights around the country, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers conducted raids targeting El Balazo Taqueria chain in the Bay Area on May 2. ICE officers stormed 11 different chain locations in at least six cities. A forum took place on August 7th at the Beach Flats Community Center in Santa Cruz to hear El Balazo workers and movement activists talk about the impact of the raids and the progress of the defense campaign, and to discuss the way forward in the struggle for immigrant rights.
Over three hundred pro-immigrant demonstrators called for the reaffirmation of San Francisco's sanctuary program on the steps of City Hall on July 30th. They countered about a dozen anti-immigrant members of the Minutemen Project. During the rally Renee Saucedo, an attorney with La Raza Centro, spoke for many saying the city should affirm the sanctuary law and "call out these hatemongers," referring to the Minutemen Project.