Demand an end to immigrant detention and deportation

washington_1210TACOMA, WASH.

On Nov. 21, a demonstration of 200 people marched on the Tacoma immigration prison. It was organized by “NW Detention Center Resistance.” The march was in solidarity with the struggle against the prison-industrial complex and the anti-immigrant detention and anti-deportation movement across the country.

As the demonstration marched through downtown Tacoma, it stopped at a huge half-block-long mural. The mural was dedicated to the struggle against immigrant detention.

At the rally in front of the detention center, an organizer, Maru Mora Villalpando, declared the march’s solidarity with the 1,500 prisoners inside, and with hunger strikers and prisoners’ struggles going on in Florida, Texas and California. An Ethiopian immigrant and refugee, Sarah, spoke out against the U.S.-organized war in Syria and beyond. She said the U.S. was the cause of the refugee exodus from Africa and Asia into Europe.

SEATTLE rally greets refugees

A rally of 300 people calling for welcoming refugees from Syria and elsewhere was held in Seattle on Nov. 28. Many carried signs against U.S. racism and war. The organizers called for unity and not to give in to fear mongering and Islamophobia.

Varisha Khan, a University of Washington student, strongly supported allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S. The other speakers, many from immigrant communities, were unanimous for the right of refugees to come to the U.S. Several religious and political representatives, including Congressperson Jim McDermott, spoke for welcoming refugees.

The last speaker was Miriam Padilla of Seattle. Her cousin, Noemi Gonzalez, a student in Paris, was killed in the ISIS attack there on Nov. 13. Gonzalez, “who was like a sister to me, was the child of immigrants and wanted a more just and humane world,” Padilla said. Padilla spoke of herself being a refugee. She criticized U.S. wars and policies in the Middle East as causing so much dying.

The demonstrators applauded mention of the Black Lives Matter march, which happened the previous day.