Thursday, March 13, 2014

Ash Wednesday Pilgrimage 2014 : Luke Nephew Of The Peace Poets


Luke Nephew of The Peace Poets recites his poem "Falling In SolidarityNYC", speaking truth to power about making love political & hate unpopular, food for thought, marching for justice, hope for community, the struggle to end immigrant detention, the beauty of freedom, & the difficulties of unity, optimism about a future where the police state doesn't bomb innocent people & war is impossible, where army recruiting facilities are shut down & human beings are incapable of being exploited as machines.

Luke spoke at #LibertyStatePark, across the footbridge from #EllisIsland & within sight of the #StatueOfLiberty, for the 5th Annual #AshWednesday #Pilgrimage For Dismantling of the #Detention and #Deportation Machine that Feeds the #Prison Industrial Complex At Sites Across New Jersey on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.

This was the beginning of a day-long series of events in 4 cities in #NewJersey, including a 10-Mile March from Ellis Island to the Elizabeth Detention Center; which culminated in the 18th Annual #Vigil at #EDC. People from across the state representing over a dozen #faith-based, #community, #youth, and #immigrantrights groups, & families of current & former #detainees (including members from Pax Christi USA New Jersey Chapter or PCNJ, IRATE & First Friends, PICO-NJ, American Friends Service Committee #AFSC #Immigrant #Rights Program, Wind of the Spirit and New Jersey Advocates For Immigrant Detainees or NJAID), The Most Rev. Bernard Hebda, Presiding Co-Adjutor Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark; The Most Reverend Thomas A. Donato, DD, Regional Bishop for Hudson County of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark; Rev. Canon Petero Sabune; Yves Nibungco, chairperson Anakbayan USA; Ana Bonilla Martinez, organizer, Wind of the Spirit; Luke Nephew, spoken word artist and member The Peace Poets) gathered in #Camden, #Elizabeth, #JerseyCity & #Newark to call for the dismantling of the detention and deportation machine that is feeding the prison industrial complex.

Participants drew attention to the interconnectedness of our county's projection of #military and economic power abroad with the flow of #migrants and the way in which the detention and deportation machine feeds the prison industrial complex, tearing apart families in the process. #Vigils, #rallies and #protests including prayer, music and testimony to call attention to our country's foreign policies that force people to migrate, were held to call for a halt to the detentions and deportations that are tearing apart families and to call for an end to prison profiteering.

Actions were held at Liberty State Park, the Hudson County Administration Bldg., St. Peter's University's Panepinto Plaza, St. James Church, the offices of Senators Cory Booker & Robert Menendez at One Gateway Center, the Rodino Federal Bldg., the Essex County Hall of Records, the Union County Courthouse, & EDC (a for-profit facility operated by the Corrections Corporation of America or CCA, where ICE first started incarcerating immigrants in NJ almost two decades ago).

A public statement against for-profit incarceration was made at the Board of Chosen Freeholders Meeting at the Essex County Hall of Records at 7pm. And there was also a mass held in solidarity at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception in Camden & a press conference with the family of a released detainee.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Not1More Ni1Mas Vigil at the CCA Elizabeth Detention Center (12-10-13)

Take action/sign petitions to halt unjust deportations here:

Elizabeth, NJ -- December 10th, 2013 :: During the week that Congress will close for 2013 without having passed an immigration reform bill, a group of Jersey residents have locked themselves together in the street that serves as an entrance to the Elizabeth Detention Center (625 Evans St.) to protest the President's deportation arbitrary quota policy and call on him to stop removals and expand deferred action instead.

"We can't let more families to be separated. We can't wait for Congress. After what I saw my family go through I want to help other families that are in the same situation," explains Rosa Santana, who migrated to the US after Hurricane Mitch hit her home country of Honduras and who's aunt and uncle were deported.

The action is the latest in a series of civil disobediences that have exposed the harm caused by current immigration policy and urged the President to act. In the midst of a pending snowstorm and on International Human Rights Day, they say they want to bring visibility to those in the Detention Center and to the people suffering from current policies like the Secure Communities deportation program.

Without further executive action, the President will hit the record of 2,000,000 people deported in the near future. But participants say there is still time for Obama to turn his policies around.

"We're doing everything in our power to stop deportations," says Carlos Canales of Casa Freehold. "We're out here in the cold hoping I that President Obama's heart softens, and understands that immigrants are here to work and help our families."


#Not1More Deportation in New Jersey. International Human Rights Day Blockade! from R. Evolution Productions on Vimeo ::

Ilana Rossoff is a community organizer from Morristown, NJ....

Diana Mejia came to the United States in 1991 as an undocumented immigrant. She is an organizer and immigrant rights organizer with Wind of the Spirit....

Marguerita 'Rita' Jane Dentino is the director of Casa Freehold. At almost 70 years old, she has been an immigrant rights activist her whole life....

Daniel Goldstein is a professor of anthropology at Rutgers University and is a volunteer on the board of Casa Freehold, a day laborer rights organization in Freehold, New Jersey....

Ligia S. Trujillo is an immigrant from Bogota, Colombia....

Carlos Canales is an immigrant rights organizer with Casa Freehold in Freehold, New Jersey. He is an immigrant himself from El Salvador, who traveled here undocumented in 1986....

Jorge Torres was born in Ecuador, where he had his first experience seeing inequality, particularly in the way indigenous people in his town were treated. He is an film maker, and an immigrant rights organizer....

Roberto Lopez lives in Kearny, New Jersey, working as an independent writer for Spanish language newspapers and is an organizer with Unidad Latina en Acción New Jersey.

About #Not1More is a project of NDLON meant to foster collaboration between individuals, organizations, artists, and allies to expose, confront, and overcome unjust immigration laws.....

Contribute your own art to the project here:

The organizers of the day's event were comprised of Vientos del Espiritu, Action 21, Casa Freehold, NJCU, Pax Christi, & Unidad Latina en Accion NJ.


The press release may be read here:

The facebook event is archived here:


For more from Casa Esperanza, you should look here:

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Dirty Business Of Turning This Latino Farmworker Town Into A Toxic W...

Cory Booker’s immigration shift doesn’t stick with voters in New Jersey

Cory Booker’s immigration shift doesn’t stick with voters in New Jersey

Cory Booker’s immigration shift doesn’t stick with voters in New Jersey

Democrat still leads in tightened polls

Back in the summer, few in New Jersey raised an eyebrow when the police commissioner in Newark reporting to Mayor Cory A. Booker suddenly imposed a policy refusing to assist federal officials trying to deport illegal immigrants.
In other states, the move could have been political kryptonite for Mr. Booker, but not in New Jersey, where he went on to win the Democratic nomination for the state’s U.S. Senate seat, and appears headed for a victory over Republican Steve Lonegan in next week’s special election.

Mr. Lonegan, a small-business owner and former mayor of the Bergen County borough of Bogota, has struggled to make charges stick against his better-known and better-funded opponent. He has lodged attacks against Mr. Booker for spending time at out-of-state fundraisers, his ties to President Obama, and even a brief foray to criticize the Newark mayor for the immigration policy.
Polls show the race tightening but seemingly well beyond the Republican’s reach. A Quinnipiac University Poll released Wednesday gave Mr. Booker a 12 percentage-point lead and showed that the hottest issue of the race — Mr. Booker’s Twitter relationship with an attractive stripper — hasn’t hurt him.
“From the public standpoint, it is not all that clear what the issues are other than Lonegan is anti-government and supportive of the government shutdown and that Booker is saying that the government can do good things,” said David P. Redlawsk, director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
The seat opened this year with the death of Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, a Democrat and the last remaining World War II veteran to serve in the upper chamber.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, tapped Jeffrey S. Chiesa, the state’s Republican attorney general, to the seat, and set up an Oct. 16 special election to fill out the rest of Mr. Lautenberg’s term, which ends next year. Whoever wins the contest will have to decide whether to defend the seat in the 2014 election.
With polls narrowing, Democrats and other Booker allies are sending in financial reinforcements. New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced this week his Independence USA political action committee was bankrolling a campaign ad for Mr. Booker.
But political observers say it will be nearly impossible for Mr. Lonegan to overcome Mr. Booker’s lead, particularly because there are 700,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans in the state.
“The assumption remains that Cory Booker is likely to win this, though he may not win by the kind of margin that was earlier anticipated and that most people believe that is because he has not run much of a campaign,” Mr. Redlawsk said.
Jennifer Duffy, of the Cook Political Report, said the seat is “solid Democratic.”
“While a couple of reliable polls have shown some closure, Booker is still above 50 percent, and has a considerably greater presence on television, which is critical in New Jersey,” Ms. Duffy said.
Rick Shaftan, a Lonegan spokesman, said the polls are misleading because turnout is unpredictable in special elections.
“We are in a neck-and-neck race,” said Rick Shaftan, a Lonegan spokesman. “This is a turnout race.”
Mr. Booker cruised to victory in the Democratic primary and has spent a lot of time outside the state at fundraisers hosted by the likes of Matt Damon and Oprah Winfrey — opening him up to criticism that he is more interested in his national celebrity than in governance.
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