by A-B-E of The Peace Poets
The children led us as we sang and marched from Chicano Park towards Downtown, San Diego, CA., demanding the US government abolish the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) established by President George H. Bush in 2003, to stop Operation Streamline from being established and launched in San Diego, and build towards a world without borders where no human being can ever be considered illegal.
U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, has enforced a zero-tolerance policy for migrants and asylum seekers. The policy has resulted in the detention of thousands of migrants. Since the children of these migrants cannot be federally processed, the Trump Administration has separated these children from their parents and detained them thousands of miles away in centers spread about the country. A child 1 (one) year of age has already been asked to make a court appearance.
As we marched into the Downtown San Diego area to protest the separation of families and violence propagated by the border, hundreds of people in the streets were in awe as they turned their heads towards the top of the Westin Hotel. Two brave protectors scaled down the top of the hotel where they courageously dropped a banner that was 3-stories high and delivered the message, Free Our Families Now! #StopStreamline.
People gathered from all over the country and abroad to resist U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman’s recommendation and insistence on replicating Operation Streamline in the San Diego federal court system Monday, July 9th. Operation Streamline has been used in Austin, Texas and Tucson, Arizona throughout the past decade and has proved to be expensive, inefficient, and lucrative for the prison industrial complex, drug cartels, and sex rings who profit off deportees by means of exploitation, extortion, and violence.
Beside the violent abuses endured throughout processing and inside jails and detention centers, people who are legitimately in danger for their lives and seeking asylum for their children and themselves are not allowed the opportunity of due process nor just legal representation. People who are detained are lined up, up to 70 people at a time, and simultaneously processed and typically coerced into accepting guilty pleas for reduced sentences.
Many participated in non-violent civil-disobedience and blocked a Federal building with signs reading Shut Down Sessions! 10 people were arrested and have been criminally charged with felony burglaries, trespassing, and obstruction of justice.
Throughout our time in San Diego, Mi Jente reminded us all that we were all called to “fill in the gap” because everyone’s presence, capacity, and unique contribution is necessary. Mi Jente’s principles are founded on being pro-black, pro-woman, pro-queer, and pro-organizer. They coordinated us all in helping sweep, fold chairs, create art, carry puppets, lead ceremony, translate speeches, teach chants to sing in the streets, and risk arrest. This inner practice during our gatherings was an empowering affirmation of creating the world we know we deserve and want to live in. Thank you to Black Lives Matter San Diego, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, Veterans for Peace, and everyone else who joined and supported us with so much courage, love, leadership and action!
It’s been such a blessing to have our children guide our actions today as we prayed, marched, and resisted with so many beautiful communities to abolish ICE and advocate for our families separated, detained, and caged, while Jeff Sessions pushes for federal programs like Operation Streamline which processes 10-30 undocumented people simultaneously, forcing them to accept guilt, while violating their right to a fair trial & waiting trial can take anywhere from a few months to a few years. . . Much love and gratitude to all the folks from all over the country and abroad who have come and put their lives on the line supporting and participating in these beautiful actions! . . We are still raising bail funds so please check out @conmijente and donate to get our Warriors of Love back home safely and quickly 🙂 ✊🏽✌🎉 . . #abolishice #abolishpolice #freeourfuture #nobannowall #shutdownsessions #keepfamiliestogether #shutdownstreamline