July 13th, 2018
These past few weeks have been filled with bad news, and in times like these we must reach out, be with each other, and showup for our neighbors and the future of our communities. The 25+ actions across rural Oregon last week demonstrated that human dignity leaders are doing just that! Almost 20 people gathered in John Day (pictured here), 100 people in Port Orford and 1,500 people came together in Corvallis.
From Coos Bay to Enterprise we are showing up on street corners, in Fourth of July Parades and at Courthouses to protest the inhumane treatment of immigrants and to demand an end to the systems of detention and deportation. Beyond these numbers though, many actions were bolstered by passers-by honking horns and standing ovations along their parade routes. It’s not just the most recent separations of families at the border motivating people to speak out. Immigration agents separate families with every detention and we have had enough! So last week Oregonians came out united on common moral ground to demand an end to systems of detention and deportation.
The actions last week were certainly not the end though. We need courage for the times ahead. Organizers across the state have seen community members jumping into action for the first time ever. Organizations not focused on immigration and people who haven’t worked on immigrant fairness before took issue with the most recent iteration of inhumane immigration enforcement. We are seeing pushback as many folks awaken to the reality that ICE separates families every day. Human dignity groups are leading the way across Oregon, making sure the message rings loud and clear: dismantling systems for detention and deportation is the only way to stop the separation of immigrant families.
Here in Oregon, Sheridan federal prison and NORCOR, the four county jail in The Dalles, are being used as detention centers. Groups in Yamhill County and Hood River, Wasco, Gilliam and Sherman Counties are leading the way, supporting those held by ICE inside by organizing outside to end detention in Oregon. While we don’t all live next to a detention center, people in our communities are fed into the system of detention and deportation through local institutions like police departments. We can work to end all forms of cooperation between our local community and immigration enforcement. This November the anti-immigrant ballot measure IP 22 is likely to be on every Oregon voter’s ballot. This means that all of our groups must knock on doors and make phone calls to insure that all our neighbors vote No on IP 22. IP 22 is currently in the signature verification stage and if enough signatures are validated, IP 22 will be on the ballot. If passed, it will take way Oregon’s 1980 “sanctuary” law that helps protect Oregon police from acting as federal immigration agents. If IP 22 passes it will put our immigrant neighbors at additional risk.
Human dignity groups have always been a place to gather, to connect, to make sense of our times, to build political and social justice community and beloved community, to strategize and to fight. Let’s gather our friends, let’s connect with newly engaged people, let’s continue to build beloved community and to fight back. Stay tuned to ROPnet over the next few weeks for ways to join the fight to get ICE out of our communities and to organize to protect Oregon’s “sanctuary” law.
Emma, Hannah, Cara, Cathy and the ROP team
Oregon’s Rural Week of Action: Resisting Detention and Deportation
Astoria #FamiliesBelongTogether action was hosted by Astoria OR Women’s March!
Port Orford #FamiliesBelongTogether Vigil had 100 people in attendance!
Redmond organizers brought many people out to Centennial Park for a #FamiliesBelongTogether Rally!
Hood River County
Hood River July 4th Parade included floats from Hood River Latino Network and Somos Uno!
Madras held a #FamiliesBelongTogether Action!
Albany #FamiliesBelongTogether Rally brought a few hundred people out!
Salem #FamiliesBelongTogether Action had 1,200 people!
Manzanita 4th of July parade was lead by a float, Veterans for Peace and a children’s bell-ringing choir (after the bagpipers, of course). And there was another pro-immigration float later on in the parade. They handed out butterfly flags that said “America is a land of immigrants” on one side and “Migration is beautiful” on the other.
At Rockaway Beach before the fireworks display folks held a silent vigil to honor those who have made the arduous journey to our shores.
McMinnville #FamiliesBelongTogether action had over 200 people!
A vigil has been held outside Sheridan Federal Prison for the past few Sundays. These are being organized by local clergy of Yamhill County, along with the Sikh communities of Oregon and SW Washington, in partnership with IMIrJ (Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice).
Pictured Above: The Sikh community shared a Langar (community meal) with vigil attendees; People detained in Sheridan waving flags out their windows at the vigil.
Enterprise Immigration Reform Rally brought 75 people out to the courthouse!
The Dalles #FamiliesBelongTogether Action brought 250 people out!
Sherwood organized a #FamiliesBelongTogether March!