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San Francisco youth are holding a fast for 5 days to call our attention to the crisis of the children trapped at the U.S. Mexico border. Youth from ages 16 to 20 held a press conference at City Hall on August 12 and announced their plan to set up a tent across from City Hall Tuesday and Wednesday for donations. They will then return to ICE headquarters Friday at noon to end their five-day fast. Youth are taking this action to get the word out about the inhumane treatment of children languishing at the border. They asked us, “Put yourself in the kids shoes; they are just children!” One youth spoke of being inspired after learning that Cesar Chavez often fasted for causes for the farm workers. Another youth’s inspiration came from students in LA holding similar actions.
Latino activists in solidarity with Palestinians marched down Market Street in San Francisco on August 2 in a unity call for saving the children of Central America who are languishing at the US-Mexican border, as well as the children dying in Gaza. Movimiento por la Reunifacacion Familiar organizers reached out to everyone to join together in a march chanting, “No mas ninos deportados nuestros ninos son sagrados!” “No more children deported; our children are sacred.”
After speakers were heard at 16th and Mission, the protesters took the street and marched to 24th and Mission for another rally. People were then given chalk and invited to join in an art project, drawing stick figures on the sidewalk to represent the immigrant children detained at the border, as well as the names of the 300 children killed in Gaza.
Patricia Jackson writes:
"SF is receiving hundreds of children seeking refuge from US-created violence in Central America and Mexico. San Francisco is a sanctuary city and we need to take action to protect the children and call for an end to deportation of children who come here to escape violence...Many children trapped at the border are fleeing threats of death from the Drug Wars in their countries. Drug dealers force young children at gunpoint to join their gang. They are refugees and should be protected as that status. Other children flee for the U.S. to be with their families. All these children are refugees and should be protected."
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On June 10, activists rallied in front of Martin Luther King Jr. Library in San José to protest the unjust prosecution of 66-year-old Palestinian-American activist Rasmea Odeh. Last October, Homeland Security agents arrested Odeh after the Department of Justice charged her with “unlawful procurement of naturalization.” The Obama administration’s filing of these charges could result in her being stripped of her U.S. citizenship and deported.
The DOJ alleges that she improperly omitted mention in the application of having been in prison in Israel, but supporters claim the facts tell a different story. Odeh was arrested by Israeli soldiers as a 21-year-old university student in her home in Ramallah, but she was tortured, along with her father, for 45 days, and sentenced to prison for a crime she did not commit.
Odeh is well known in Chicago, where she has worked as associate director of the Arab American Action Network to defend civil liberties and promote immigrant rights. Last year, the Chicago Cultural Alliance bestowed on her its Outstanding Community Leader Award in recognition of her devoting “over 40 year of her life to the empowerment of Arab women.”
Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio visited Mountain View, CA on May 6 to speak to an ultra-conservative group. At one point Arpaio approached protesters, some of whom said to him, "we don't want your hate here."
The event was advertised as a chance to hear Arpaio's "successful strategies" for immigration control. However, a federal judge ruled in 2013 that Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his deputies had violated the constitutional rights of Latinos by targeting them during raids and traffic stops throughout Maricopa County, Arizona, and the U.S. District court recently found that Arpaio's department was guilty of racially profiling Latinos in his department's controversial immigration patrols.
Raging Grannies and friends impersonated the sheriff, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents, and immigrants, portraying Arpaio's abusive tactics. María Marroquín, Executive Director of the Mountain View Day Workers who is also a Raging Granny, said that Arpaio denied that he uses racial profiling when speaking with demonstrators, despite the federal rulings.
On May Day 2014, actions across the Bay Area were as diverse as the people who live here. Multiple events were held leading up to the holiday as part of the Earth Day to May Day Days of Direct Action. Across the board, rallies supported undocumented workers and residents. UC Santa Cruz students continued to protest the appointment of Janet Napolitano. Additionally, many of the marches were joined by contingents supporting justice for people affected by police violence, including Andy Lopez in Santa Rosa and Antonio Lopez in San José.
Laurie Valdez writes:
My name is Laurie Valdez. On February 21, 2014, my partner Antonio Guzman Lopez was murdered at the hands of San Jose State University Police Department Sgt. Mike Santos, who claims he did it in defense of fellow UPD officer Frits Van der Hoek. The incident happened right by a childcare center and in front of a sorority house. Clearly Santos had no concern for the safety of others or the fellow officer who, according to Santos, was standing right in front of Antonio, thus placing him in the line of fire.
On March 4, one hundred and forty-nine public speaker's cards were turned in prior to the Oakland City Council meeting. Public comment was unanimous against a city-wide Domain Awareness Center. Nevertheless, council members passed a resolution at about 1am on March 5 to proceed with a scaled-down Port-only version of the DAC. From the public galleries in council chambers, calls of "shame, shame, shame" rang out after the vote to continue development of the DAC.
On February 26 in East Palo Alto, about 250 people marched through the intersection in front of IKEA. Seven activists risked arrest, locking arms and standing (sometimes sitting) in the middle of a major intersection. Union and immigrant rights activists called out Juvenal Chavez, owner of nearby Mi Pueblo, for betraying his own undocumented immigrant roots by participating in the Department of Homeland Security program E-Verify that screens the immigration status of new hires.
Latinos Unidos Por Una Nueva America (Latinos United for a New America) joined other immigrant rights groups and unions including SEIU and UFCW to bring about the action. Labor organizers have been trying to unionize Latino and Asian ethnic markets across the state and the Mi Pueblo grocery chain has been at the center of their attention due to particularly poor working conditions.
At the UC Regents meeting on July 18 at the UCSF Mission Bay Campus, students and workers protested the appointment of U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napaolitano as the president of the UC education system because of her role in targeting immigrant youth and immigrant workers.
Protesters demanded that the UC Board of Regents reject their appointment of Napalitano to be the chancellor of UC because of her record as secretary of the Homeland Security Department in terrorizing and arresting over 1 million immigrant workers including UC students. Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom who was at the meeting, defended the appointment.
In a separate press release, the UC Student-Workers Union, UAW 2865, stated, "Although Napolitano has political and managerial experience, she does not have the academic qualifications, scholarly expertise, or other experience in education that would be appropriate for heading an institution of higher learning. Napolitano’s experience at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) qualifies her to manage a security, law enforcement, or disaster management agency, but not the world’s premier public university system."
Read More with Photos | On the Recent Nomination of Janet Napolitano for UC President | Napolitano to Head University of California