The BayResistance email list now has 15,000 names. 1500 people came to the event on March 4, which was extremely well organized. It filled Mission High School in SF.
There was simultaneous translation into Spanish, Chinese and sign language; childcare; a scent-free section, etc.
The program opened with percussion from Boom Shake.
Then we heard wonderful speakers: Lara Kiswani from the Arab Resource and
Organizing Center, Guillermina Castellanos from La Colectiva de Mujeres, Emily Lee from San Francisco Rising, and Lita Blanc from United Educators of San Francisco and Alicia Garza.
There were many references to the massive turnout at the airports to prevent detaining of travelers, building on deep relationships of solidarity, centering people of color and led by women.
Alicia made many wonderful points, including:
• Elections matter.
• We need to do organizing as well as resistance, building what we want for the next generation. Referring to the “we are ungovernable” slogan she said we need to fight for governance. This means:
• Organize beyond those who already agree with us
• Don’t just throw rocks at the castle — take it over; get involved in local government for starters.
• Fight every ism like our lives depend on it, and protect yourself, too. Fight for the right of all of us to live in a healthy functioning democracy.
• Get to know your neighbors, bring them to trainings.
• Win hearts and minds — it’s all of us or none of us.
We met in small groups to answer two questions:
– What should we do to build power in the next three months? And
– How build for the general strike on May 1?
There was some report back and collection of notes from the small groups.
Then we went to workshops (which were large). Options were Organizing 101, Direct Action, and Rapid Response to Raids. There was also a Spanish speaking group of janitors and fast food workers, and (I found out later) a group discussing surveillance technology — maybe others I didn’t know about.
I went to the workshop on responding to ICE raids. It was conducted by the San Francisco Immigrant Legal and Education Network (SFILEN). ICE raids in San Francisco should be reported to them at (415) 200-1548. The Alameda County Immigration Legal and Education Partnership hotline is (510) 241-4011. It just went “live” on Friday.
Similar hotlines are being set up around the state. In the meanwhile, ICE raids in other counties (like Contra Costa) can be reported to 844-878- 7801, a statewide number.
I assume the Alameda County rapid response will be similar to what is set up in San Francisco. We should get this phone number (510-241- 4011) distributed widely. If ICE tries to detain a community member, they should call this number and will be advised about their legal rights on the spot (remain silent, don’t open the door, ask for an attorney, don’t open up for ICE warrants – needs to be signed by a judge before it’s legal, etc.).
Anyone who observes an ICE raid should call this number immediately. The hot line folks will send out an alert to volunteers located close to the site of the raid to get observers on the spot. The first step is verification — to make sure there is a raid, it’s not just a rumor. Then watch for violations of constitutional rights (99% of ICE detainments did not involve warrants, (they may have false ICE warrants), so they are unconstitutional!). If someone is detained, the hotline will activate attorneys to provide representation.
We received training on how to do legal observing and I am sure such trainings will be taking place in Alameda County soon. Once you are trained you will be on the hot line list to be contacted if there is a raid near you. I emailed Centro Legal de la Raza, one of the groups involved in the Alameda County hotline, to find out about when there will be Alameda County trainings. Anyone who hears about this should let folks know. There may be webinar trainings in the future too.
Here’s what Centro Legal sent out about the creation of ACILEP.
http://centrolegal.org/legal-service-organizations-community-groups-joined- forces-create-alameda- county-immigration- legal-education- partnership-acilep/