vigil & hospitality @ ICE Detention Center
In response to the recent ICE raid on Hispanic-majority trailer parks in Ellensburg last week (which included a helicopter, battering rams, telephones in the park being shut off, and the roundup of people who "could not produce proper identification"), a group of South Seattle residents will be heading down to the ICE Dentention Center in Tacoma on Saturday, Feb 12th.
We plan to be there from noon-3pm, but those who want to build community/carpool may gather at 5028 45th Ave S (John & Freddie Helmiere's home) at 11:15am. We will join in with others to see the prison first-hand, to offer refreshments and a listening ear to the family/friends that are on their way to visit detainees, and to denounce the imprisonments done in our name by profit-making corporations.
In October, numerous South Seattle groups, including Valley & Mountain Fellowship and the Columbia City Church of Hope, hosted a film screening (abusedthepostvilleraid.com) about the largest and most brutal ICE raid in history. The event also included: a Q&A with the director (himself a Guatemalan immigrant), a discussion about what else we could do, and a collection (we raised over $500) to support the director's immigration justice work. During the discussion, one local immigration rights activist (himself an immigrant from southeast Asia) said that we should visit the ICE Detention Center in Tacoma to learn more and see for ourselves some of the victims of our broken immigration system.
All are welcome on this trip, which is being organized by Columbia City's own Valley & Mountain Fellowship (valleyandmountain.org). The convener of V&MF, John Helmiere, has a friend and colleague who lives in Ellensberg who reported that an Hispanic pastor with whom she had been conducting multi-lingual services is now imprisoned, among many other parents and workers. Some of us may be able to go in and visit with this individual. Email moc.liamg|ereimlehj#moc.liamg|ereimlehj if you're interested in the trip or want to learn more.
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