March With Us In the Palm Springs Pride Parade!

Our sister group Courageous Resistance Palm Springs and Other Desert Cities has invited Indivisible Morongo Basin to join their contingent in the Pride Parade on Sunday November 5.  Let’s carry our IMB banner and show we’re proud to join our brothers and sisters in resistance!

Meet in front of Joshua Tree Health Foods at 9 a.m. to carpool to Palm Springs.  Bring hats and water and wear tee shirts and/or bandanas.  Individual signs are welcome.  More info:  323-493-2257.

If you’re already in Palm Springs:  The parade begins at Tachevah and ends at Amado traveling on N. Palm Canyon Dr. The parade staging area goes from Vista Chino to Tachevah.  Courageous Resistance is the 180th out of 200 units. Therefore, it is likely that this unit will not start marching till about 11:30 am. Therefore, we will assemble in the staging area 11:15 am; look for group number 180.   If you want to watch some of the parade stand south of Tachevah and walk north when it’s time to assemble.

The worldwide theme for 2017 is VIVA LA VIDA. Live Life…and celebrate that you live life as you please. Parade details here.

REMEMBER:  Daylight Savings Time ends Sunday 2 a.m. on November 5th!

ACA Sign-Up Starts Wednesday!

Healthcare sign-ups start this Wednesday, Nov. 1. It’s important to check your plan and make sure there are no unpleasant surprises!  Plus, help others in your community take advantage of open enrollment.  Links:

Don’t let Trump’s shenanigans interfere with your healthcare!  Stay informed and share the news.

Hard-Won Victories! Refugee Caravan & Adelanto Hunger Strike

Yesterday, our Immigration Issues Team delivered newly released Adelanto hunger-striker Luis to the airport in Los Angeles, a free man.  But first, Yolanda drove him for an interview with Undocumedia, than to the Santa Monica Pier and a long walk on the beach.  So much to celebrate!  Here’s the inspiring updates from coalition member Alex Mensing (en Español):

Good Evening! Buenas Noches!

 

Thank you, to each and every one of you. Here’s the news:

  • Mateo’s bond reduced!
  • Luis is free!
  • Aaron is free!
  • Jonathan won!
We have several victories to celebrate, but I’ll start with Mateo, since I just got off the phone with him. Keep reading, though, and you’ll see there’s lots to celebrate today.

 

Mateo, one of the #Adelanto9 hunger strikers, just called me from Adelanto Detention Center. Today his immigration bond was lowered from $30,000 to $5,000, and he was literally on the brink of tears, bursting with joy and gratitude for everything that has been achieved in this struggle.

 

“I have no words to thank you all,” he said. “I never imagined we would get this far.”

 

Mateo joined the Refugee Caravan in Chiapas, Mexico in April. He joined 250 other Central Americans on an organized, self-defended journey north to the US border, where he crossed, was detained by US immigration officials, and sent to Adelanto in Southern California’s high desert. Despite repeatedly stating that he feared for his life in El Salvador – both verbally and in writing – on May 30th, ICE attempted to deport him, denying him the right to seek asylum. After a flurry of early morning phone calls & emails, Mateo was literally pulled out of line for a deportation plane and returned to Adelanto. A volunteer prepared him for his credible fear interview, which he passed, but ICE told him only $30,000 would get him out of jail.

 

On June 12th, Mateo and 8 other Central Americans launched a nonviolent hunger strike to protest abysmal conditions and impossibly high bonds. They immediately suffered brutal repression by GEO’s private prison guards, who beat and pepper sprayed them before sending them to solitary confinement. Mateo was drenched with pepper spray, especially in his crotch area, leaving him with skin problems that he still suffers from. Never to be deterred, in the following weeks they joined forces with Haitian detainees to launch even larger hunger strikes.

 

Despite all the hardship Mateo has faced, he and his companions have supported each other, encouraged each other, helped each other call their families when they don’t have any phone credit, and stayed focused on their goal. Today, with the help of a great many of you, Mateo took a huge step towards that goal. Bond reduced from $30k to $5k. With a few more bond fund donations (wink wink) he’ll be free in no time!

 

Today, we won a victory. That’s real teamwork. Special thanks to Al Otro Lado, Innovation Law Lab and UC Irvine law students.

 

And what else?

 

Last night, Luis, another of the Adelanto hunger strikers, walked free!!! Here he is:

 

 

Thanks to generous donations, Luis’ entire $10,000 bond was paid. That means he did not have to resort to evil bond companies like Libre By Nexus who put a GPS ankle monitor on you and charge you 20% + $880 fee + $420/month – an amount that doesn’t even go towards paying your bond. Luis is free, and he’s really free. No ankle monitor. No monthly payments. Just court. In other words, just due process for an asylum seeker, as it should be. Well done, everyone! Luis’ first meal as a free man was two carne asada tacos and a coke! Special thanks to Mark Kleiman, Undocumedia, Human Rights Alliance and Indivisible Morongo Basin.

 

Also last night, Aaron, a well-loved member of the Refugee Caravan, also walked free!! Here he is with Maria Elena. Hi!

 

 

And the good news for Aaron doesn’t stop there. He walked free because HE WON HIS ASYLUM CASE!!! With pro-bono legal representation while detained in Theo Lacy (a notoriously horrendous detention center in Los Angeles) and then James Musick detention facility, Aaron fought his asylum case and won. He will have permission to live and work in peace, he will not be deported, and in a year he can apply for legal permanent residency. Special thanks to Friends of Orange County Detainees, LA Public Counsel, Mayer Brown LLP,

 

And last but not least, Jonathan, another Refugee Caravan member, won protection under the Convention Against Torture! That means that while Jonathan doesn’t have a path to citizenship (at least not yet! we’ll keep fighting…), he will not be deported to Honduras, where he faces grave danger, and he will be able to get out of immigration detention and hopefully be reunited with his beautiful little boy, “el colocho,” who was everyone’s favorite trouble-maker on the Caravan. Here are his little boy and him on the Caravan:

 

In conclusion…

 

You are part of something extraordinary and unusual that is growing, a hopeful effort to develop new ways to stand in solidarity with migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, brothers & sisters from all over the world for justice & freedom and against border imperialism. Black & Brown solidarity has flourished in this movement, grassroots support has been key, and migrant leadership has been constant. I really hope that you share this good news with your friends, family and colleagues, because we’re not hearing enough of it these days! I wish I could individually thank everyone who was involved in this effort, but there are too many – truly an army.

 

And if you’d like to get more involved or donate, please take that step! To find out how you can help, shoot me an email at mensing.alex@gmail.com. To donate to pay for Adelanto hunger strikers’ bonds, go to this website. Also, there’s another caravan taking place right now! The Viacrucis Guadalupano. Check it out here.
 
CONGRATULATIONS AND THANK YOU!!!

Immigration Team Update!

It’s been a busy period for the IMB Immigration Issues Team. Team Co-Leads Yolanda and Deborah were able to meet some of the released Adelanto Hunger Strikers (thank you so much, Indivisibles, for your invaluable assistance to the Bond Fund with contributions and sharing! together, we have made a difference!).

The team quickly organized a rally held October 6, calling on Representative Paul Cook to support a clean DREAM Act. We tried to invite Representative Cook to attend, but his email inbox was full!

Beautiful afternoon in Joshua Tree

Even without the congressman, we had a solid group of about 35 people in Joshua Tree on a Friday afternoon, standing up with our DACA recipient brothers and sisters, and there was lots of support from passing cars. Thank you to those who showed up, and to those who shared their support! A local DACA recipient came by and thanked us for the action and the moral support. It’s gratifying to know that you’re making a difference, and we’re so happy to show our solidarity with these young people.

Trump chicken flies in for DACA rally. Thanks, Indivisible San Bernardino!

Team Co-Leads were also able to see Senator Kamala Harris speaking at a jam-packed DREAM Act rally organized by CHIRLA and the student chapter of KRC at UC Irvine October 11. Senator Harris is an inspiring speaker, and the rally was fun and very loud! We were proud and happy to stand with the DREAMers, “chin up, shoulders back,” as Senator Harris put it.

Senator Kamala Harris at DACA rally at UC Irvine.

The only sour note was that some pro-Trump, anti-immigration counter-demonstrators were there, too…these particular people are familiar to Indivisible members, since they have exercised their First Amendment rights as loudly as possible at several demonstrations we’ve attended, including at Adelanto Detention Center and San Bernardino. This time, it appeared that they were encouraged to leave by police, although we weren’t close enough to hear exactly what transpired. We note that every time they have been present at a rally, they have been hugely outnumbered! And so it goes.

Supporting the DREAMers at UC Irvine

See more pictures and video of the rallies in Joshua Tree and at UC Irvine on the IMB Facebook page.

Bellicose Rhetoric: North Korea and Congressman Cook

Last weekend, President Trump took to Twitter to threaten North Korea, this time tweeting that Rex Tillerson is “wasting his time” with diplomacy and that he’ll instead “do what needs to be done.” It’s a clear threat of war and Congress can’t let it slide.  But here’s what our congressman, Paul Cook, had to say about North Korea in his 10/3/17 newsletter:

North Korea continues to insist on destabilizing the world with its reckless testing of military missiles, development of nuclear weapons, and bellicose rhetoric threatening its neighbors and the United States. It has shown a constant willingness to violate United Nations resolutions at the expense of the starving North Korean population. Congressman Cook is maintaining a close watch on North Korea through his positions both on the Foreign Affairs committee as well as the House Armed Services committee. We will continue to support any possible diplomatic efforts while also ensuring our military is equipped and ready to meet any threat that North Korea may pose.

Indivisible National urges you to ask our congressman the following:

Congress, and not the President, has the constitutional responsibility to decide when and where we go to war. From Syria to North Korea, it’s clear this administration doesn’t think it needs to come to Congress if it wants to use new military force. As a Member of Congress, it is your responsibility to make sure Congress asserts its constitutional role. Will you co-sponsor the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017, making explicit that Trump cannot launch a nuclear strike absent a declaration of war from Congress? Will you also co-sponsor CONYERS BILL, defunding any preemptive military force against North Korea absent congressional authorization?

Rally in Joshua Tree October 6 to Support DREAMers!

Hey Paul Cook! Support our DREAMers!

Indivisible Morongo Basin will be rallying in Joshua Tree on Friday October 6 to ask Paul Cook to support the DREAM Act and keep DACA youth in the USA, their home!

The rally will meet from 5 to 6:30 pm at Highway 62 and Park Boulevard in Joshua Tree.

The bipartisan DREAM Act is legislation that will provide a path to citizenship for young people who were brought to the US as children. These young people have already passed background checks, and are currently in the military, in school and/or working. When President Trump rescinded DACA, he set in motion a process that will deport these upstanding people who only want to stay as productive members of society in the only home they’ve known.

More info at the Action Meeting on Tuesday, October 3 (did you register yet?) but get started now making a sign so we can stand up together for all members of our community!

Rumor has it the Trump Chicken might fly in for the occasion!

Tell Paul Cook that supporting the bipartisan DREAM Act is the right thing to do!