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.