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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Time for civil disobedience ~ Block ICE raids today! Immigration reform at street level


Broadview Illinois

The dirty two dozen


Not in my state!

Twenty four pro-immigration activists said “take me” don’t take them when they blockaded an immigration detention facility where undocumented workers were loaded in a van for deportation.



"We have to escalate to another level because they have forced us," said Fabian Morales, one of those arrested and a principal organizer of Saturday's march. "We've tried to do this peacefully and have not been given a peaceful solution. We have to look for another level." quoted the Chicago Tribune News.

This is fair warning.  If we can’t get rational immigration reform then we are going to carry a new message. Yes, it is one of enduring peace.  But there is more than one way of keeping the peace. 

It is called “Civil Disobedience”.  A refusal to obey a command by a lawful authority.  The term was coined by famous American author Henry David Thoreau in the mid 1800’s.  His theory of peacefully refusing to obey authority was used and further developed by Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King who was influential in the NAACP.

kneeling for peace

We believe the Arizona law, H.B. 1070 which Republican Jan Brewer signed into law, is considered unjust by more than Hispanics.  Any person who understands the notion of equal protection and unreasonable searches and seizures will agree, this is not the way to run a railroad.

Abolitionist symbol 

That is, unless it is the Underground Railroad.  But then, giving comfort and aid to the enemy might be more than civil disobedience.  Many people are going to do it anyway!  What I am talking about are peaceful demonstrations. 

resistence devices

Imagine, 500 people blocking an ICE vehicle as it carries it’s crew to harass undocumented workers.  Or imagine a contingent of people who blockade themselves in Colorado Senator Mark Udall’s office.  Udall has forgotten his constituents and refused to take a leadership role on immigration reform.

^ Restraint devices

So there you have it.  Get ready.  We are a peaceful people.  But we also know justice when we see it.  So many of us will sacrifice ourselves so that the issue of injustice can better be known to the American people.

Chasing down poor people in the middle of the Arizona desert instead of looking for drug dealers and terrorists just isn’t fair.  Stopping everyone who has the “illegal alien look” just isn’t fair.  In part, that is because no one can tell us what an illegal alien looks like.  But they sure can tell what a person of Hispanic origin looks like.

Julie Gonzalez of CIRC = Colorado Civil Rights Coalition turned me on to this video.

Just in case my stubborn program refuses to display the link: Daily show political humor tea party

One thing for sure.  What we propose to do is a lot more passive than what happens in an ICE raid.  We use chains to lock our wrists sometimes.  The people in Chicago wore nothing.  We hold hands.  We are not queer.  At least not all of us.  We refuse to obey.  But we don’t point Glock 9’s in the faces of terrified mothers and children at at 4:00 a.m. in the morning.

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