‘Operation Panty’ makes delivery to immigrant women
Published May 17, 2009 9:37 PM
On May 9, three members of the Georgia Detention Watch made a second solidarity
trip to the Etowah Detention Center in Gadsden, Ala., to deliver hundreds of
pairs of cotton underwear to women immigrant detainees.
Originally planned as a Mothers’ Day delegation with access to the unit
of the jail where around 150 women are held for unspecified periods of time
pending deportation, the musical program, extended visiting time and communal
dinner were all canceled because of H1N1 (swine flu) precautions advised by the
Center for Disease Control.
Nevertheless, immigrant rights activists were not deterred from bringing
personal hygiene items as a gesture of support and expression of opposition to
the indignities and injustice of the detainees’ incarceration.
“Operation Panty” initiator, America Gruner, said, “We were
shocked to learn that the women held at Etowah were wearing orange-mesh
men’s boxers that are not only uncomfortable, but totally unsuitable to
preserving their sanitary needs during their monthly periods. Through donations
of many people, we were able to bring hundreds of pairs of cotton underwear
The briefs had handwritten notes attached, expressing Mother's Day
greetings for the reunification of immigrant families. Georgia Detention Watch
made its first solidarity visit for International Women’s Day this past
Gruner continued, “Although we are very disappointed not to be able to
personally honor the mothers held at Etowah, so cruelly separated from their
children, we will hopefully be able to reschedule another visit soon.”
For more information, go to www.gadetentionwatch.org
The writer was a member of the three-person delegation.
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