PROTEST AT KARNES DETENTION CENTER

NEWS FOR February 6, 2015

Dear Friends,

 

I had my first opportunity to participate in a protest at a detention center.  I joined a group of about 25, including MaryJoan Picone who was volunteering at the STHRC, on a very cold and windy night in Karnes City outside of the Karnes Detention Center.  

 

Residential Center?  Whitewashed Tomb!

 

This was the request that I received:  "Tens of thousands of UltraViolet members have spoken out to demand that the guards at Karnes Detention Center be held accountable for sexually assaulting detainees--so on Thursday, January 22, UltraViolet members together with GetEQUAL TX will deliver these signatures (40,000) and hold a vigil outside the detention center with candles, light brigades, and more.  Can you make it?  We need a big crowd to deliver these signatures to make sure the Department of Homeland Security takes notice..."

 

I made it a priority.  I went to the protest.

 

The protest of the inhumane conditions of migrant women who are subjected to rape and sexual abuse was peaceful, organized and led by young people.  First, the entire group accompanied those carrying the boxes of signatures to the door of the facility, where two guards were stationed to block our entrance.  There we chanted for a while and then asked to speak with the leader of the facility.  This was denied.  Soon we were instructed to move to the road or to face arrest for disturbing the peace.  We complied, chanting, while we walked back to the road.  The only "show of force" that we experienced was the presence of an exceptional number of police.

 

Signatures delivered to the door of Karnes

 

The wind made it impossible to hold candles, but we did use the light boards and continued chanting.  We were there for perhaps 45 minutes.

Light boards held along the public road

What are the obligations of the U.S. Government for the social protection of migrant women who are in private detention centers for the civil act of entering the country without inspection in order to join families and/or, escape civil unrest, violence, persecution and/or seek work to provide for the basic human needs of their families?  The STHRC was present because migrant rights are human rights!

 

Additional Information:


Click on the blue words to view a short fact sheet on family detention put out by Detention Watch Network

 

And then there is Dilley, Texas!  After reading this wouldn't you want to sign up?

 

Thank you for your support and prayers.

Sr. Pam

 

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Click here to go to STHRC Website

View of enforcement in one direction at Karnes