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Reportback and Photogs of Rally to Support Immigrant Rights

Today, June 24, 2007, somewhere between 400-500 people gathered in front of the Immigration building on SW Broadway in downtown Portland to protest recent raids at the Del Monte canning facility in Washington State.
the translater for the event who did a magnificent job
the translater for the event who did a magnificent job
ankle bracelet worn by one of the mothers arrested at Del Monte
ankle bracelet worn by one of the mothers arrested at Del Monte
It all began with a song
It all began with a song
Mother arrested who is now wearing the ankle bracelet
Mother arrested who is now wearing the ankle bracelet
ICE Jewelry
ICE Jewelry
News for the newstands:
News for the newstands: "No one is Illegal"

The Demonstration, organized by Portland Immigration Rights Coalition, gathered at the Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) office for a series of speeches, and then marched on the sidewalk down Broadway to Pioneer Square, for more speeches. All those who spoke did so in both English and Spanish or were interpreted from either language to the other.

Shazuko Hashimoto of the Portland Central America Solidarity Committee introduced the speakers and acted as moderator for the event. Among the speakers was Caroline Gonzales, a Middle School teacher at George Middle School who testified to the panic and alarm among her students as a result of the arrests at the Del Monte canning facility.

Also speaking was Carmen Rubio, Community Affairs Director for Mayor Tom Potters Office. Another speaker, the president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, and another was speaking for the Filipino immigrants, two of which were also arrested during the ICE raid.

Many more speakers followed, both before and after the march to Pioneer Square. One speaker is a mother affected by the raid. "On June 12th our lives ended. The majority of us are single mothers. I am a representative for the mothers who have been affected. There are mothers amongst us who can't even leave their homes because of the psychological effect and because of the lack of money. They can';t even buy themselves a soda; they can't even buy themselves a bus pass. They have to come to this building three times a week to sign a little sheet, and they don't have money to do that."

She continues, "Our kids are completely terrorized. They've given us some machines that we have to put in our house, and I have to tell them in a very cruel way that they can't take the machines out of the house, or the police will come."

"... ... ... Unfortunately, during these times it's when kids ask us for the most support and we have nothing to give them because we need the money to go to appointments to come here and check our bracelets," referring to a bracelet strapped to her ankle.

After the march later speakers included Camilo Mejia, the first Conscientious Objector to refuse redeployment to Iraq. On May 21, 2004, a U.S. military court sentenced Staff Sergeant Mejia Castillo of the Florida National Guard to the maximum penalty of one year's imprisonment for desertion. He had refused to return to his unit in Iraq, citing moral reasons, the legality of the war and the conduct of US troops towards Iraqi civilians and prisoners.

Camilo addressed the connection between the two issues, the war in Iraq and the persecution of immigrants, most recently, the ICE raids on the Del Monte plant.

For audio of a recent 38 minute presentation here in Portland at the First Unitarian Church:

Font COlor+"#6633cc">Camilo Mejia, RealPlayer

Camilo Mejia, MP3

Those interested in assisting the Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition can call--503-233-6787

The event was summed up for me with many signs, but by one in particular which read," Where are YOUR ancestors from? One Planet, One People."

Included in this brief report are some photogs and freeze frames from video taken during the Rally and the subsequent march. Audio of the event and a more complete list of speakers will follow soon.

homepage: homepage: http://www.PhilosopherSeed.org


Great Action! 25.Jun.2007 13:49

troublemaker

I thought this was a great action. If this rally had only included the woman speaking out against her arrest, it still would have been a success, in my opinion. But it also had other great speakers, over 500 people braving the rain, some halfway decent media coverage, and an important statement of solidarity. Great job, everyone! It was good to see some pf Portland standing up against this horrible injustice.

Thanks 25.Jun.2007 15:02

Chris Leck

Thanks, Jim, for all of your efforts. You do great work and get it out quickly. I made some stills also.


So Proud 25.Jun.2007 19:48

Schoolteacher

I was so pleased to see that the Rev. William Sinkford, President of the National Unitarian Universalist Association attended this rally. Thanks to all who made their voices heard.