The Moment is Now: Why We March


September 17th, 2018
Dear ROPnet, 
From September 30th through October 6th, rural and small-town Oregonians from across the State are putting their lives on hold and their bodies in the street for a 7-day journey to demand an end to detention and deportation. We will walk, march and caravan from FCI Sheridan to NORCOR regional jail to demand an end to these institutions’ contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Why are we going on a 7-day journey from Sheridan to NORCOR to demand fair treatment and justice for immigrants and refugees?  
Why are we fighting for our right to provide sanctuary for those who are threatened by the state? Because we believe in liberty and justice for all. Because we believe in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution and hold its amendments sacred. Because we are a part of a long, proud history of ordinary people who resist injustice and fight for equality. We want to do our part now.
We go on this journey because we together we will  demonstrate our beliefs and build our political muscle in this time of strategic attacks against democracy. Like so many others across the country, we see both civil rights gains and societal norms being dismantled, white nationalism and authoritarianism on the rise. We see the President using the tools of oppression to destroy the lives of immigrants:  scapegoating, stereotyping, dehumanizing and demonizing. These tools flourish in the absence of critical thinking and in the presence of rising systemic injustice.
For authoritarianism to take over in this country, the general population has to be moved in broad emotional sweeps against scapegoated groups. “Enemies of the people” are created. Potential harms and losses are exaggerated. Division and fear are increased. It becomes in the “common good” to eliminate rights and to impose strict social control, enforced by the State through its police, FBI, CIA, and military. Violence becomes justified. Quelling dissent and incarcerating large numbers of the population is mandated. And the people –out of fear, anger, or inertia – must agree to give up much of their freedom in order to control others.
We say no. We will not languish in depression or fear, in distraction and avoidance. We will resist this effort to divide us as a people.  We will take this journey together. We will demand the end of ICE detainment; we will insist we have the right to provide sanctuary for those whose lives are threatened; we will tell the stories of our resistance and strengthen the connections among our rural communities; we will prepare ourselves to fight for an America that is inclusive and just.
Why Sheridan to NORCOR and why now?
In May 2016, immigrants and refugees detained by ICE and held at NORCOR went on hunger strike to demand better conditions, like hot meals and access to jobs and programs, and an end to the ICE contract at NORCOR. In turn, the community in the Gorge responded. Community members and leaders formed multiple groups to organize in support of those inside. We have many victories to celebrate along the way – including improved conditions in response to 2 hunger strikes. Gorge ICE Resistance just celebrated their 500th daily rally outside NORCOR!
NORCOR will renew its agreement with ICE in October. The administrator that expanded the ICE contract has resigned and new leadership will likely take over this fall. A new NORCOR board will be seated early next year. Now is the time celebrate our victories and to increase pressure on NORCOR, to call upon its leadership to tap into their morale compasses, and to end the ICE contract. 
Immigrants and refugees who have been held at FCI Sheridan since early June have started to be released after “credible fear” interviews. Pro-bono lawyers through Innovation Law Lab have been working directly with those detained at FCI Sheridan. Leaders through APANO and ICE Out of Sheridan have set up a welcome team and a respite team to support folks as they are released. Thousands have traveled from around the State to rally and participate in Sunday service outside of FCI Sheridan. Dozens of immigrants and refugees at FCI Sheridan have been released due to the work of lawyers and community pressure. Now is the time to demand the release of all incarcerated immigrants and to call upon FCI Sheridan and the Bureau of Prisons to accept no other immigrants and refugees detained by ICE.
We call upon our friends and allies, rural Oregonians and urban leaders, immigrants and allies, to join us as we journey from Sheridan to NORCOR, to unite and demand an end to detention in Oregon.
Register here for all or part of the journey by September 23rd!
What does it mean to journey for 7 days?
Our journey will begin at FCI Sheridan on Sunday, September 30th, and end at NORCOR in The Dalles on Saturday, October 6th.  During the day we will rally, hold community events, march and/or caravan from community to community. We will stay overnight at farms, at churches, and with local hosts. Meals and snacks will be provided for those joining us for the whole day. Participants are invited join us for the whole journey, for part of the trip or for single events along the way. We will kick off every morning at 9am when new people will join us for the day. At the end of the day’s travels and actions, we will arrange travel back to our morning meet up site to return single day participants to their cars.
Overview of the 7 Days of Action

We will journey together for 7 days, and you can join us for all or part of the march. Participants are invited to either walk or to ride as part of the caravan.
Please fill out the registration form for more specific details and information by September 23rd.
We’ll be sharing more in-depth information about each day’s agenda soon!



Overview of the 7 Days of Action

Many of us will journey together for 7 days. All are welcome to join us for events along the way. See below for times and locations and follow the links to the Facebook events.

Day 1: Sunday, September 30th * Sheridan

Sheridan to NORCOR: The Kick Off Rally

1pm: Journeyers convene in Sheridan for set up and orientation.

4-6:30pm: The Kick Off Rally! Meet at South Side Park. Main parking at Sheridan High School. Rural caravans from around the state gather at FCI Sheridan to declare our resistance to detention and deportation and call for the end of ICE contracts at Oregon’s two detention centers: FCI Sheridan and NORCOR regional jail in The Dalles. We will rally together in front of FCI Sheridan and then share a langar, or communal meal, prepared by members of the Sikh community. Those continuing on with us the next day will return to camp at a farm nearby for a campfire and preparations for our first day of marching and caravanning.

Day 2: Monday, October 1st * McMinnville

Sheridan to NORCOR: Sanctuary in the Streets

9am: Journeyers walk or caravan approximately 5.5 miles to McMinnville

5:30pm: Rally outside the public library in downtown McMinnville

Day 3: Tuesday, October 2nd * Newberg

Sheridan to NORCOR: Community Canvass – No on Measure 105

9am: Journeyers walk or caravan approximately 5 miles from Dundee to Newberg.

1:30pm: Taking Action for Sanctuary in Oregon – No on Ballot Measure 105! An afternoon of electoral action–going door to door to talk with community members about why we need to vote no on Ballot Measure 105.

Day 4: Wednesday, October 3rd * Washington County

Sheridan to NORCOR: Sanctuary Everywhere

9am: We will convene together in Forest Grove, Washington County, home to incredible immigrant rights organizing, to march (and/or caravan) together. We will stop for lunch in Cornelius and continue onto an action Hillsboro.

4pm: Rally at Washington County Courthouse in Hillsboro where faith leaders and local organizers have been a constant for presence for one year. We will end our evening with a march to Shute Park and community picnic at 6:30pm.

Day 5: Thursday, October 4th * Portland

Sheridan to NORCOR: Unshackle Oregon

9:30am: Meet up with us at Elizabeth Caruthers Park and march a few blocks to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, where we’ll make our message clear: end the contracts in NORCOR and Sheridan.

1pm: Meet up at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 1126 SW Park. Join rural and urban Oregonians as we come together and march to several locations along the water, throughout downtown, and across the bridge.

3:30pm: Rally and street event outside Congressional offices at Holladay Park in NE Portland.

Day 6: Friday, October 5th * Hood River

Sheridan to NORCOR: Somos Uno

12pm: Lunch & afternoon action prep for journeyers – getting ready for NORCOR!

4:45pm: Rally and March in Hood River. Meet at Jackson Park located at May St & 13th St in Hood River. We will march and rally in downtown Hood River, calling attention to the impact of ICE in one local community. At 6pm we will convene at a local sanctuary church for a community dinner and celebration of our journey! Music, food and stories will fill our evening to celebrate the journey from Sheridan to the Gorge.

Day 7: Saturday, October 6th * The Dalles

Sheridan to NORCOR: The Send Off Rally

10am: Journeyers caravan from Hood River to The Dalles

10:30am: March through The Dalles! Meet up at the Sunshine Mill parking lot (901 E 2nd) on the east side of the parking lot–next to the grain silos. Journeyers, leaders and community members in the Gorge and friends from around the state will convene for a march through downtown.  As we march, we will stop along the way to learn about the history of organizing and resistance to detention and deportation in the Gorge. We will end our march in front of NORCOR regional jail where journeyers and local organizers will lead us through some resistance in action!  1:30pm: Send off Rally at NORCOR: 211 Webber Street, The Dalles in solidarity with those detained inside. Political theater, music, speeches and more!