Sunday, July 29, 2007

2/3 of New Jerseyans believe Immigrants should have Shot at Citizenship.

From NJ.Com

New poll: Give citizenship to illegals
A new poll released today says about two-thirds of New Jerseyans think illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in this country for at least two years deserve a shot at U.S. citizenship.

About 30 percent of those surveyed say illegal immigrants should be deported, according to the survey by Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey, the Associated Press reported.

Along the same lines, about a third said illegal immigrants take jobs from Americans, while about 60 percent of respondents said illegal immigrants take only jobs Americans don't want.

About 75 percent of those surveyed said illegal immigration was a serious problem for New Jersey, and nearly 90 percent said it was a serious problem for the United States, the poll found.

The findings were similar to a national poll taken in May by CBS News and the New York Times.

NJ is only two short skips away from CT..and why do I post this? Because I am sure that the anti immigrant whack cases (the type of which leave obscene, bitter comments in this blog, which are deleted, for instance), are NOT representative of the true feelings of MOST Americans, and MOST Nutmeggers, or MOST Danburians. They're a small but noisy group of embittered individuals, who just happen to use the most toxic language, and rhetoric in hopes of creating mistrust, fear, and hatred.

When immigrants cannot trust Police.

This article is exactly the type of situation that could happen in Cities where local police collaborate with ICE. And it is exactly the reason why New Haven, CT's ID program, could help to create a safer environment for immigrants. All human beings are given certain inalieble rights, one of those being their personal safety. Ones' legal, or undocumented status does not in any way, exclude them from the right to their personal safety. Yet in hundreds of cities across the US today, drastic (and as we've recently seen with the Hazleton, PA case) UNCONSTITUTIONAL local laws, are creating a climate in which Undocumented immigrants are dehumanized, and stripped of even their most basic human and civil rights.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


In February, Stop the Raids hosted a forum at WCSU, and one of the guests we were thrilled to present, was a Lawyer from the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education fund, John Garcia. Hat City Blog captured John Garcia's speech, and has posted the footage here

We at Stop the Raids would like to thank John Garcia (amongst all of our other presenters that day) for coming and talking with us. And we would like to say Congratulations on the thrilling victory in the landmark case against Hazleton, PA's proposed anti immigrant legislation. The City of Hazleton has been defeated, it's proposed laws deemed Unconstitutional, which means today, the Judge in this case ensured the rights of thousands of Immigrants!

Excellent Article Dispels Myths, Propaganda, and Lies.

COHA (Council on Hemispheric Affairs) printed an great essay today which systematically deconstructs many of the propagandized arguments used by the Anti-Immigrant movement here in the US. Many of the arguments proposed in this letter, are things which if one used basic common sense, people would see on their own. The problem is that the propaganda of the Nativist movement predicates on peoples basic fears, and fear is something difficult to dispel with rationale. However, it is my hope that with excellent articles such as this, we can arm ourselves against the propaganda, arm ourselves with the truth, and begin to engage in more postive dialogue with people, which may help them come to some new enlightenment on the issue.

All eyes on Hazleton.

Today, a federal judge will rule on whether local ordinances enacted by a rogue Mayor in Hazleton, PA are constitutional, and will stand. Laws which declare English the only Language for public speech, and which restrict Landlords ability to rent to Undocumented Immigrants. Other towns across America are trying to enact similar laws, and thus, this is a landmark case, that Activists should keep an eye on.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Wake Up America!

If the Anti-Immigrant Extremists in Danbury had their way, this is what would be happening here in Danbury.

People have likened the current ICE raids to Witchhunts from the Medeivil period. Frankly, I feel that those in support of such methods as these, clearly see Immigrants as little better than animals. And it seems to me that a whole lot of people are willing to become a nation resembling Nazi Germany, in order to hold on to their deep seated fears and predjudices.

Americans must wake up, and see that this sort of maneuver is absolutely obscene.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

American Culture?

One argument often used to support anti immigrant sentiment and/or legistlation is a nativist attitude which proclaims that America is at risk of losing our cultural identity as a result of the influx of Immigrants. This is obviously feeding into Xenophobic individuals' fears. In the comments section of the recent News Times Live article regarding the breakup of the Santos Family, one such nativist exposed her true xenophobia, and almost immediately had her "Losing our Cultural Identity" idea shot down, very quickly. Thanks to Dis Noir..who certainly did his homework ;)

Posted by: DisNoir36 Thu, Jul 19 2007
Um actually, the man responsible for most of the early Disney characters was what would now be considered an anchor baby whose father was from Germany. Walt Disney was also an anchor baby, a decendant of an Irish family which emigrated to North America and first established roots in Canada.

Superman was co-created by an anchor baby son of Jewish immigrants from Lithuania named Joel Siegel and a Canadian born named Joe Shuster. Shuster was also the son of Jewish immigrants who emigrated from Holland.

Jeans were first created in Genoa Italy and went to France where they got the name blue jeans or 'bleu de Genes' which translates into Blue of Genoa. Levi Strauss was a German who brought them here in the 1850's.

Halloween or All Hallow's even, is a pagan holiday imported from England and other parts having origins among the Scots and Irish there who brought it here. It's also known as Samhain, and is the night before All Saints Day which was a Catholic holiday created to coincide with a pagan holiday for the purpose of converting pagans. BTW Christmas is another pagan holiday which was bastardized by the Catholic Church and created to coincide with the Winter Solstice. It's no coincidence that according to the Catholic Church Jesus Christ was conceived (supposedly) on March 25 as that was also the day he died. Neither the gospels of Matthew nor Luke mention when Jesus was actually born. The only thing uniquely American about either one is the complete commercialization of religious days.

Thanksgiving which is not uniquely American was started by British immigrants who thanked god for the food they had, food provided by Indians in 1621. It's also celebrated in Canana and actually predates the origins here in the US having been first celebrated in 1578.

I'll give you Memorial Day since that was a uniquely American holiday first celebrated after the Civil war by among other people liberated slaves.

Oh and not even Elvis Presley, who was descended from Scottish and German immigrants was without immigrant influence having developed his musical style from gospel and blues music which was predominant among the southern black communities. Unless of course you consider slavery as uniquely American, since many of those soutern blacks would not have been here if it wasn't for slavery.

Seriously, next time you go spouting off nativist crap, check your goddamn facts. SHO is correct in that the American culture was by and large created by immigrants and children of immigrants who brought over their culture and traditions from other parts of the world and from that adapted it to life here in America. We would not have many of what we have if it weren't for immigrants.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Ice Raids Danbury again, takes 4.

Danbury No News times reports that ICE has raided danbury again, taking 4.

Paula Grenier says it is "Difficult for Ice to provide information on the arrests without the names of those arrested".

What I think this means, is that ICE will only release information on those arrested, if someone calls with the persons name, and asks for information on them. Such as a family member. The problem with this, of course, is that there are many undocumented immigrants who do not have family here, and who live on the fringes of community. A day laborer who doesn't have a regular job wouldn't have a boss who would call to inquire, for instance. May not have a family member here. May not have a church community here. So in essence, these people truly are being "Dissappeared" for all intents and purposes.

And, since the M.0 of ICE is to go for those most vulnerable, and exposed, this may be the case with this latest raid.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Bumped: UAW / Stop the Raids event.

This Saturday, at 7pm. Please join us!

Upcoming Event- STR and UAW presents...











For more information, please call 203-448-9140

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Immigrant Advocate/Activist faces Deportation.

With ICE's increasing presence in bus stations, airports, and train stations, random interrogations pertaining to citizenship status are becoming common-place. Victor Toro, a Chilean Born immigrants rights Activists who has lived here without documents since he left Chile (where he had been imprisoned for opposing Gen. Augusto Pinot) in the 1970's, and who has lived in the US since 1986, was one of the most recent victims of this sort of sweep. In an ironic twist of fate, a man who has been a constant ally, and outspoken activist on behalf of the Undocumented Immigrants living in the US, was searched while on a train from Rochester, NY to the Bronx, and when questioned about his status, admitted he was not a US Citizen, and also admitted that he had no legal papers to be here. He is now in prison in Cayuga County Jail, in Auburn, NY, awaiting hearing. Victor Toro plans to apply for Political Asylum, however, the case will be very difficult, since he has been here for many years, without applying for such status. However, a deportation to Chile would be even more difficult, because Under his countries political regime, he would have been pronounced "Dead". Mr. Toro applied twice for a new Chilean Passport, and was each time, told he had been pronounced dead.

One must wonder, how many of our undocumented residents fall into such status, where they are unable to return to their own country, and yet, declared "Illegal" here as well.

Read the full article from the New York Times here:

Create safe, legal way for Immigrants to come to US.

Rev. Laura Westby of the First Congregational Church of Danbury wrote this letter for "Forum on Faith" the weekly religion page of the Danbury News Times Saturday, July 14th edition:

My denomination, the United Church of Christ has sometimes been accused of being too political. The intersection of faith and daily life is clear to us, but we sometimes forget to articulate for others the deep theological roots of our civic engagement.

We understand that the biblical mandate to include radical hospitality and care for all of God's people, especially the poor, the stranger, the homeless, and the oppressed. Since the Devine One has always stood with those on the margins of life, we must do likewise. For us, the real work of ministry takes place in the real world.

Rev. Westby goes on to describe the rich, and long history of Social Action within the US, including very active and groundbreaking roles in the foundation of the American Revolution, Activities in the Abolitionist movement, and the Civil Rights movements in the United States during the Sixties. She even reminds us that we are all originally immigrants to this country.
This commitment reaches back to the settling of our nation by religious refugees, the pilgrims, and puritans, the Forebears of the Congregational Church, a predecessor of the UCC. In 1620, these earliest immigrants were exhorted to be as "a city on a hill"

She continues to explain through examples of historic acts of Civil Disobedience, public demonstration, legal discourse, and in their own decisions as a religious community to support the work of Martin Luther King Jr, electing the first African American Minister here in the US, the first Woman Pastor, and the first Openly Gay Pastor, the UCC has continued its path toward Social Equality, and Justice.
This denominational dedication to issues of Social and Civil Justice have led the UCC to designate Immigration as a primary issue in recent years. Rev. Westby goes on to describe her participation in her denominations discourse on Immigration.
At our most recent biennial meeting, delegates to our national convention continued our historic committment to peace and justice through resolutions dealing with marriage, the environment, workers rights and Immigration. Immigration has been a hot topic in the Greater Danbury area during my three year pastorate here. So I was pleased when I was assigned to the committee of delegates that would take action on three proposed resolutions dealing with Immigration.
One of the key provisions of the resolution calls for churches to engage in dialogue with immigrants, partner with them to support immigrant communities, and end the injustices they suffer in both their home countries, and in the US. This portion of the resolution grew directly out of my experiences in Danbury.

The event of such discourse with Immigrants in the Danbury Community allowed people to feel a connection with the experiences, and hopes of Immigrants. And to reaffirm their common values, beliefs, and aspirations.
As a member of the Association of Religious Community board of Directors, I participated in dialogue with some of the "Danbury 11" We heard their stories of frustrated attempts to enter our country legally. Of having to choose between feeding their families and remaining at home. Of risking their lives for a chance at the blessings we take for granted. Hard questions were asked and answered by both groups. In the process, we began to see one another not as categories like "Illegal Immigrant" or "Anglo" but as fellow human beings.
Looking me straight in the eye, one man said "We want to feed our families, send them to school, and keep them healthy. We want a chance to work, and even pay taxes. We want a better life, just like you

Pastor Westby goes on to exhort members of her specific denomination, but in a larger sense, to all interfaith communities that
Creating a safe, effective, legal way for those seeking a better life in our country which takes into account security issues in our nation, is more than a political dilemma. It is a moral and spiritual one which is best addressed through education, and dialogue, prayer, and service to all Children of the Creator.

I would add that another necessary element toward striving for the "better life" for Immigrants here, would be acts of civil disobedience, and legal actions, similar to those engaged in by the early forefathers of this nation during the era's of the War of Independence, and the era of Abolition. That just as our forefathers did, we must today, take up the cause of our brothers, and march along with them. Defend their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Through discourse, demonstration, and defiance when necessary. And to challenge our government to make brave steps foward in the legalization of all those who come to America seeking a better life.

Kudo's to Rev. Laura Westby for such a well written, and important letter. You can meet, and speak to Rev. Westby at the Interfaith Vigil being organized for August, 12th at 2pm at Kennedy Park in Danbury, as she joins other Area Clergy in Prayer for Tolerance, Peace, and Justice for Immigrants.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Swift Plants Raided Again.

Many of you may recall the Stop the Raids forum held on 2/25/07 at Western Connecticut State University. The Stop the Raids campaign hosted two workers from the Swift & Co Meatpacking plant in Hyrum, Utah, one of the sites which was then part of one of the largest ICE raids in history, involving simultaneous raids, at multiple plants, all owned by Swift & Co Meatpacking. These two workers told a story of absolute horror, in which parents were taken from their jobs, leaving behind children who were in school, in the hands of daycare workers, and babysitters, with no idea where there parents were, or why they hadn't come to pick them up and bring them home that day. Their story was heart rending. A month or so later, the same sort of event happened in a Leather Factory in New Bedford, MA, and captured national attention yet again, this time, with the horror stories including those of Mothers being hauled off to deportation centers, while their nursing babies were left in the hands of husbands and other families, and then were rushed to the Emergency Room for Dehydration just shortly after, due to their lack of their mothers milk.

Today, The Houston Chronicle reports that Swift & Co was raided yet again, in multiple locations. This time, 20 workers were the Victims of ICE's strong arm tactics.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

ICE arrests Danbury Family of 4 in Hartford.

Ice appears to have hit an all time low here in Danbury, according to this article in the Danbury News Times.

DANBURY — Four Danbury residents were arrested by ICE Tuesday when they visited ICE offices in Hartford to straighten out immigration paperwork.

While details of this raid are not discussed in the No-News Times, supporters of this family have set up their own blog to request support, and donations.


Saturday, July 7, 2007

Upcoming Event- Prayer Vigil for Immigrants.

For Immediate Release: (An event not sponsored by Stop the Raids, Danbury. But important, none the less, and which has our full support).

A Vigil led by members of the Interfaith Community, and Clergy will be held on 8/12 at 2 pm. Location to be confirmed.

Reverend Gail-Keeney Mulligan, of St Johns Episcopal Church has circulated this letter to members of the Clergy:


Your help is deeply needed in attendance and Participation in an upcoming vigil on the Green in Danbury for the healing needed in our nation, our state, and our community around issues of immigration.

Undocumented Immigrants are being criminalized in our state, and raids are taking
place in homes and at work. Men and women are being jailed and separated from their children, and shipped to places where they are held, and cannot be found by family and friends.

Many of the undocumented immigrants have come to this country out of desperation,
and have experienced extreme exploitation. Thousands have been trafficked with promises of good jobs, hope for their families left behind, and hope for a better life. Instead they have been forced into slave labor. Into being workers with no rights, forced into prostitution. And they are also living in constant fear of arrest, and deportation.

Racism has grown with the focus of undocumented workers with words like 'criminal' and 'alien', especially towards those who are Latino. It is time that the faith community stood up and spoke up for God's Children and the human rights of every individual.

We are calling for a Prayer Vigil for a just way foward for everyone, a way that
respects the dignity of every human being. We are calling for a vigil that aknowledges the victimization of many undocumented workers in order for many of us to consume more for less, while they struggle to survive.

We are calling on you to join us and to gather hundreds, and hundreds of our sisters and brothers as people of many faiths, yet one in the human race, and as Children of God.



Reverend Gail Keeney-Mulligan has addressed this issue correctly. Activists, and Faith leaders must join together. We must overcome politics, and personal issues, and realize what is at stake in this battle. Our souls. America, as a whole, is a country founded by those who faced oppression. It was built, by people fleeing poverty, starvation, political strife, and personal tragedies. Just like the Immigrants from today. Danbury, as a microchosm of this great nation, has likewise been built from the sweat of Immigrant labor. And the salt of immigrant tears. It is our sincere belief that the change that needs to happen in America right now, needs to begin in the hearts of its people. And who better to lead the people, then the various shepherds of their many faiths? In the words of Martin Luther King "An injury to one, is an injury to all". Our Immigrant Brothers and Sisters, are only separated by us in matters of language, and culture. NOT in matters of humanity. We must realize that if we turn a blind eye to their mistreatment, we open a door in which any culture, religion, or person can be the victim of similar victimization. It is time to unite, in our common values, and support our brothers and sisters. Activists marching alone cannot turn back the tide. Though the power of people demonstrating is a power to be reckoned with, so too is the power of unity with purpose in any manner. Please attend this vigil, and stand united against racism, oppression, and victimization.

Upcoming Event- STR and UAW presents...











For more information, please call 203-448-9140

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Recent Video Footage from Protest in New Haven.

When ICE raided New Haven, CT, in response to the municipal ID program initiated by Activists and Mayor Destefano, Stop the Raids members were there, marching along with Activists from all over CT. View segments of the march here.

Street Protest Is the Source of Our Power

It is so exciting to see students taking a stand against the Government's latest form of attack on our community's civil and human rights. Fair play to our own Charlie Fuentes and all the Trinity students involved in this movement! He speaks the truth about how we should move forward!

Our own Charlie Fuentes has hit the nail on the head with this article in the Monthly Review E-zine.

Stop the Raids!
Street Protest Is the Source of Our Power
by Charlie Fuentes

On Wednesday, June 6, federal agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducted a sweep of homes in New Haven, Connecticut. They arrested 33 immigrant workers and set off a series of mass protests calling for the release of detainees and an immediate halt to federal raids. On Saturday, June 16, a mass mobilization of one thousand immigrants and supporters marched through the victimized neighborhood of Fair Haven. We reproduce below the speech that Charlie Fuentes, a student leader with Stop The Raids! -- Students of Trinity College (Hartford, Conn.), delivered at the rally. Some revisions were made for publication.

ICE raids are the federal government's way of telling us that immigrant workers' voices are not welcome in the immigration debate. This mobilization today marks our re-entry into that debate. We are confronted with a contest of strength: Will ICE disperse the immigrant rights movement and force unfair legislation upon us? Or will we cripple ICE's ability to terrorize us and remove it from our path to amnesty?

There is an expectation that the reform debated in the Senate would grant a type of amnesty that would stop the raids. But how can we expect Congress to grant us rights that we cannot defend ourselves? What they are prepared to offer us is a bill that expands immigrant prisons, normalizes collaboration between ICE and local police, gives police financial incentives to racially profile suspected immigrants, and shackles immigrant workers in a cycle of bureaucracy and debt, while holding out legalization for a select few. This bill will leave millions of workers ineligible for legalization and vulnerable to the vastly improved repressive apparatus.

Their guest-worker program promises to strip undocumented workers of precious means of self-defense like anonymity and job mobility. It is designed to incarcerate the base of our movement, legislate the enslavement of an entire generation of workers, and drive down wages and conditions for all.

We have already shown that street protest is the source of our power to alter the Congressional debate. Prior to May Day 2006, the word "legalization" was not in Congress's vocabulary. Now we need to teach them the meaning of the word "amnesty." Congress will only ratify the gains that we present as an unavoidable reality.

The fights to defend each other against the raids and win a general amnesty are one and the same. A raid protested is a movement strengthened. Let this thrilling experience today give rise to new initiatives for self-defense in the immigrant community. We already have informal networks in place in our neighborhoods to warn each other about raids. A more effective plan for self-defense is thus within our reach.

Our movement is not ready to accept the terms of surrender in the Senate reform. A real victory for all immigrants is a reform that makes them invulnerable to ICE attacks. Such a victory is possible. Each step that we take as a movement united in the streets is a step towards amnesty. And amnesty is the true victory. Stop the Raids! Amnesty now! Si se puede!
Charlie Fuentes is a student activist with Stop The Raids! - Students of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.


In Hartford, CT last week three people were taken in another illegal ICE Raid. In a show of solidarity, the families of those taken along with the supportive community took to the streets, holding a rally on the steps of City Hall. Here is the press release for the event with a little more information on it as well as some press coverage of the event.
(Scroll down the list of video clips to 'Immigration Raids' on 6/29.)


Come and show support at the press conference in front of City Hall
Friday, June 29, 11 a.m.
550 Main Street, Hartford

Deacon Arthur Miller, Office of Black Catholic Ministries
Margaret Steinegger-Keisser, Director, Greater Hartford Interfaith Coalition for
Equity and Justice
Ibrahim Jibrell, Stop the Raids! Students of Trinity College
Eldr Diaz, relative of the detainees
Representative, Hartford Areas Rally Together
Fatima Rojas, Unidad Latina en Accion of New Haven

On Wednesday, June 20, at 6 a.m., more than a dozen federal agents from
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raided the apartment of Enendi Diaz,
Antonio Diaz, and Norma Velazquez at 55 Standish Street in Hartford.

ICE came looking for Norma on a deportation order. They snatched her boyfriend,
Enendi, and his cousin, Antonio, as "collateral damage." They jailed them in
Hartford for two days, then transferred them to Rhode Island. None of the family
recalled Norma ever receiving a deportation order.

A press event has been scheduled for Friday at 11 a.m. in front of City Hall to protest
this raid.

Enendi, Antonio, and Norma are not criminals. And ICE's paramilitary-style
assault on their home was not law enforcement, but enforcement of a second-class
status for immigrants. With one hand, ICE withholds them legal status, with the
other it seizes them on suspicion of being here illegally. How long can we allow
ICE to punish the victims and perpetuate the crime?

This event is sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee and Stop the
Raids! Students of Trinity College. Speakers list in formation.

Monday, July 2, 2007

A Tribute To Abba.

Anyone who has been involved in causes of Peace and Social Justice in the Danbury Area for many years, knows the name Gulamhusein Abba. And so to many of us, this letter came as a great surprise, and brings great sorrow. We at Stop the Raids owe a great debt of thanks to Abba Gulamhusein, who has certainly helped to inspire, and encourage activists of all branches of Social Action, and we would like to extend our best wishes for his continuing good health, and a prosperous and fruitful life.

Best Wishes, Abba. Thank you for everything.

"From: Gulamhusein Abba
Subject: Farewell, Al-Wida
Sent: Monday, July 2, 2007 9:24 PM
Dear friends,

After devoting more than 50 of my 79 years to various struggles and intense activism, and, in the process, completely neglecting my health, my finances, my career and my family, I have, in my 80th. year, decided most reluctantly and with a very heart to retire from the field, tie up loose ends before the Grim Reaper comes knocking on the door and, time permitting, try and write my memoirs.

In taking this decision I have been reassured and comforted by the fact that there are now vibrant anti-war, peace and justice, immigrants' rights, and environmental groups very active in the greater Danbury area.

After I came to this country in 1982, I was quite dismayed to see a lack of any visible labor movement or peace and justice activism in Danbury. My efforts to unionize the workers at my place of work met with little interest from the workers but quite a lot of interest from the employers, who promptly fired me.

I had the good fortune to be introduced to Walter Hrozenchik, a stalwart activist. He opened the door to activism in Danbury for me and provided me with an opportunity to get my views across to a large audience through his weekly hour-long TV program "Earth Matters".

I remember that during those early days, specially during the Desert Strom action against Iraq, often it was only Walter and me, and sometimes only Walter or only me, protesting the war, standing with signs in front of the Danbury Library. We lamented the lack of any appreciable involvement by young people, specially from the campus.

The picture is quite different now. Dedicated young people have come into the field. Chris Towne, Chris Garaffa, Alissa DeRosa, Elizabeth Dyer, Melissa Lane, Marisa Katz, Villavicencio Leonell, Kathy Devlin and her two youngsters, Andrew Ziegler, Dave Bonan, Tony Barrett, Elke Probst, Jeff Green, Colin Colon, Jason McGahan, Fatima Rojas, John Lugo, Marela Zacarias, Naveen, and several others have done excellent work and achieved commendable results.On the campus, Kileen, Sohair and Saman have revived old groups and formed new ones.

All these have received valuable support from people like Maria Cinta Lowe, Wilson Hernandez, P.J. Leopold, Lynn Taborsak, Philip Berns, Carl Trichler, Emanuela Palmares Lima, Eliette Matos, Pena, Rev. Linda Hansen, Rev.Laura Westby, Stanley Heller, Mazin Qumsiyeh, Justine McAbe, Christine Gauvreau, Leo McIlrath, Gale Courey Toensing and others.

And, of course, the irrepressible and indomnitable Walter Hrozenchic carries on.

Yes, activism is well and strong in not only Danbury but all over USA, indeed all over the world and I feel I can now withdraw from the field with an easy conscience and with the full confidence that it will grow stronger by the day.

To all those with whom I have had the honor and privilege to be associated with I say thank you for having extended to me your support, camaraderie and friendship. It was a pleasure working with you for the common cause.

So, my comrades, goodbye, farewell, sayonara, au revoir, al-wida.

Keep the struggle going.

With best wishes and in peace,

Gulamhusein Abba

STR member, and Danbury Citizen confront George Marciano (of CTIC)

Two weeks ago, CTIC (a locally based anti-immigrant group) hosted an event at Kennedy Park in Danbury. They billed the event as a "Prayer Vigil for Victims of Illegal Immigrants". And, as is usually the case, drew very little media attention, and very poor attendence.

George Marciano wrote of the event a few days afterward, in a letter to the Editor of the Danbury News Times dated 6/26, 2007:

"In the greater Danbury area, only 40 Americans gathered to
remember and pray for our fellow American victims. Is Danbury
a town without pity for American victims?
No other clergy from our numerous churches had an hour to spare

for this worthy cause. No one who marched last year for illegal aliens'
rights showed up. No one from Stop the Raids was there. Father Pitya
(article, June 21) is looking for a chance "to talk," but he never showed
up to hear our side."

The letter was printed and put in a nicely outlined box, with a political cartoon attached to it.

These two responses, one from a Stop the Raids member, and another from another concerned local resident, demonstrate the exact reason why members of the interfaith community, Stop the Raids, and Local Community were not present at the sham "vigil" that was held that day.

Anti-immigrant group not really spiritual

Jul 01 2007 Gregory Marciano (letter, June 26) is angry with members of the interfaith community for not attending the "prayer" vigil held by his anti-immigrant group on June 23.
He's angry with members of Stop the Raids for not being there. He's angry with the community of Danbury for not coming out.
I believe he is angry at the simple fact that the people he's mentioned and the residents of Danbury have seen through the thin veneer of "spiritual" concern painted over very "unspiritual" hatred of immigrants.
Residents of Danbury, members of the interfaith community and activists are well aware of the xenophobia and racism which sits at the root of the diatribes, which he and other anti-immigrant zealots espouse.
We clearly see through the fear mongering they engage in. Linking the atrocities of Sept. 11 to illegal immigration being just one of those tactics.
I'd like to remind Mr. Marciano that the pilots who flew the planes into the World Trade Center that horrible day all had been issued visas. And while all cultures and groups have their bad apples, clearly, the idea of trying to tar and feather all immigrants with the same brush is clear and evident stereotyping.
This is something that most faith traditions and common sense warn us against. I, like many of my fellow Danburians, believe in a higher power who loves all people. Apparently, Mr. Marciano does not feel the same. But we'll continue to pray for him regardless.

Jean Hislop DANBURY


'Arrest and deport' is not real solution

Jul 01 2007 I appreciated your June 26 editorial on illegal immigrants for finally saying in print what the letter writers who shout for "arrest and deport" and "don't hire them" never stop to consider: It is physically impossible to remove 12 million people and they are not going to go back home no matter what.
We must control any new inflow but the only way to deal with those here is to get them into the legal system.
I was disturbed by your choice to outline the June 26 letter from Gregory Marciano and grace it with a political cartoon. Anyone who bemoans the fact that few came out to rally around the recognition of the murder of 14,000 to 46,000 Americans "who were killed by illegal aliens since Sept. 11" is moving close to the racial rhetoric of the Ku Klux Klan. (I was born and raised in the deep South before civil rights).
He has every right to bemoan his rally, but to feature it as you did really offsets your fine editorial.

Henderson Cole DANBURY