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Mon Aug 6 2012 (Updated 08/07/12)SF Bay Area Community Demands "Free Ankah!"
Mon Aug 6 2012 (Updated 08/07/12)Local Activist Anna Karewicz on ICE Hold and Fighting Deportation
UPDATE 8/7: Ankah was bonded out of jail just before 6pm. Her friends report that she will still need continued support.
Anna Karewicz, who is known to her friends as Ankah, is a puppeteer, artist, and avid community gardener who lives in Oakland. On Thursday, August 2nd, the group with which she was bicycle touring in Northern California mistakenly rode on the wrong side of the street on a city block in Arcata. The group was stopped by police. The other riders received traffic infraction citations and were allowed to go on their way. Ankah, however, was subjected to questioning as if the officer was an agent of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), as the only identification that she presented was a student id card. The officer asked questions such as, "When did your visa expire? Are you illegal? When did you become illegal? When did your student visa expire?" Ankah was taken into custody with an ICE hold, and she could be deported at any time.
Ankah's friends are calling for her release, as they believe that the local police were out of their jurisdiction in asking questions about her immigration status. They are requesting that people sign an online petition requesting her release, and contact the Humboldt County Sheriff's department and other officials to demand that Anna Karewicz be set free. Additionally, donations are needed to cover Ankah's legal expenses.