So much is happening, so much is in the works! In case you’re new: we are Solidaridad con los niños, a group of women and women’s accomplices who organize caravans out to visit places where kids are being interned to sing and hold peaceful vigil outside these places, with the aim of bringing comfort to the kids inside, while putting pressure on the powers that be to bring the internment to an end.
Report back: Last Week’s Caravan
On July 15th we held a caravan to Pleasant Hill, to a facility where two girls separated from their parents are still being held. Here is a summery written by Margaret wrote about the experience:
The July 15th Caravan to the Pleasant Hill center went very well. Approximately 20 people came, and made signs and brought toys to the center. Two of the Solidaridad members knocked on the door, and they opened it, and informed us that they could not take our toys, but that we could stand on the property and sing. We placed the toys onto the lawn, so people driving by could see them, and sang lullabies and other songs in Spanish. We stayed for several hours, and some of the participants went down to the busy road nearby and showed their signs, attracting a lot of attention. People passing by in cars sometimes stopped their cars, curious about what we were doing, and we handed out flyers with information on ways to help the families. We had several people come by that want to volunteer in the future. In the evening, a reporter from Telemundo arrived and interviewed several people in Spanish and English, and had us on live at 6pm. Also, we posted a letter written to the children onto the door of the center. Cynthia read it out loud.
Also, Jane mentioned that she could see children peering out from the second story window. The kids definitely heard everyone’s songs!
As for the news report from that day, we can’t seem to find any links to it online, but here is some footage someone took of their TV while it was on the air: Click here to watch it.
Additionally, we gathered a bunch of phone numbers of people who wanted to be kept informed but–WHOOPS–we forget to get their email addresses. Is there anyone who would have time to call around 19 people to get their emails so we can add them to this list? It would be hugely helpful!
Protests this Thursday, July 26th: Keep the pressure on to reunite all families
Rather than having another caravan this week, we’re encouraging folks to go to the protests that are happening this Thursday the 26th. That is the day that, according to a court order, all kids who were separated from their parents at the border must be reunited with them–already we know that isn’t going to happen by the deadline. Time to stand up and keep the pressure on until all the families are reunited!
Following what happened on July 1st, when we had a caravan head up to a facility in Fairfield and Liz and Jesse were arrested for trying to deliver toys to migrant kids, a new group in Fairfield has formed. This new group in Fairfield is holding a rally on the evening of the 26th, and it would be great to support them. Here are the details about this event:
Solano County Day of Action: Protect Immigrant Communities
601 Texas Street, Fairfield, CA July 26th, 6-8pm
As recently discovered, BCFS has held unaccompanied migrant minors for the last 9 years in a Fairfield location, without transparency. These locations will continue to operate like this unless we show that California is and will remain a sanctuary state and that we will stand by our immigrant communities! Come rally with us and speak up against these practices and show Solano County stands by our immigrant communities! We will be demanding that Solano County be declared a Sanctuary County!
Fairfield is about an hour’s drive from the Bay Area, and we really hope you’ll go up to Fairfield and support our new friends up there. If you are far away from Fairfield and need to carpool to get there, here is a Facebook page you can use to plan a carpool to Thursday’s action.
July 30th: Pack the Courtroom for Jesse and Liz
On July 1st, 2018, Liz DeCou, a Oakland nurse who is a grandmother of six, and Jesse Ingber, age 27, of Berkeley, were arrested for attempting to deliver toys to migrant kids separated from their parents at the border reportedly being held at a facility in Fairfield, CA. This happened during one of our Solidaridad con los niños caravans. The video of Liz’s arrest has had over 1 million views on Twitter, and Liz and Jesse have outspokenly directed the media’s attention back to what is happening to the kids. Now they are facing up to 6 months in prison.
Let’s pack the courtroom on Monday, July 30th, 8:30 to show support for Liz and Jesse! Let’s show the judge that bringing care to migrant kids is not a crime! DROP ALL CHARGES! Bring a stuffed animal with you to court to show your solidarity! Location: The Solano County Courthouse in Fairfield.
CAR POOL: if you need a ride, or if you have extra seats to offer in your car, PLEASE POST about it on the facebook event page.
We Want Better Lives for Migrant kids!
Fundraiser Alert: Keep Families Together by Helping Bail Out the Richmond ICE detainees
The Contra Costa County Sheriff has cancelled its contract with ICE, in large part thanks to the pressure created by constant protests. We did it!! But now we have to step up to help the 169 people who are being held in Richmond ICE! The sheriff has announced that in less than four months, these detainees will all be moved to other ICE facilities in other parts of the country. Many of the detainees have families and loved ones in the Bay Area, and to be moved like that that would tear them apart. But we can help!!
Freedom for Immigrants is raising funds to pay the bail for every applicable person being held in Richmond ICE. Here is a link to their fundraising page. Please share the heck out of this link! Let’s help keep these families together bay bailing out all Richmond ICE detainees who qualify for bail!
Another Huge Way to Help: Visit an ICE detainee
Freedom for Immigrants, the organization that is collecting the bail funds for Richmond ICE, also runs a program that lets community volunteers visit ICE detainees at Richmond ICE.
When a community volunteer starts having regular visits with an ICE detainee, it helps the detainee get out faster, because you can help the detainee fill out paperwork that might be holding back their release, and also, when a community member is in the courtroom during the detainee’s hearings, it has been found that the judge tends to set the bail to a lower number.
Even if you can’t speak Spanish, that’s fine! Lots of the detainees can speak English from years of living here, and right now they need all the volunteers they can get!
To become a volunteer, come to the next training workshop on August 14th from 6-8pm at the Finnish Center (1970 Chestnut St) in North Berkeley.The trainings are hosted by Rebecca Merton of Freedom for Immigrants, and happen on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the same time/location.
Additionally, if you live outside the Bay Area, check the Freedom for Immigrants website to see if there is an ICE detainee visitation volunteer program near you. They are working with 40 facilities around the country, and this is a huge way to help detainees get out faster! More details at freedomforimmigrants.org.
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Alright everyone! Let’s keep doing what we can to show solidarity with the kids who have been interned, and help mend that families that have been torn apart by ICE. It’s going to be a long road ahead, but if we keep the pressure on, we’re going to make it.
Love and solidarity with the detainees,
Solidaridad con los niños is not an official organization, just women and womens’ accomplices organizing to bring comfort to the kids and get them out of internment camps, stop the internments, and also get the kids who have been separated back with their families as soon as possible. Please join in solidarity with the kids! As we visit sites where separated kids are being held, we are learning more and more about other migrant kids who have been quietly held in prison-like orphanages around the country run by private groups. We are very concerned for the safety and well-being of these kids too and hope to start a national conversation about their care. This is an omni-partisan situation. Anyone can stand in solidarity with the kids.