Twin Cities DSA sprang into action on many issues that came to the surface as the COVID-19 pandemic began and Minnesota declared a state of emergency. Comrades active in the NoCages coalition and on the #antiicemobilization channel in Slack took part in an innovative Car Sit-in demonstration on Friday, March 27, at the MN Governor’s Mansion to demand the immediate release of all ICE detainees in the state of Minnesota as part of the state of emergency executive powers. (At the time of this writing this demand has not been met.) Our chapter also co-sponsored an action by a coalition of the MN Freedom Fund, Twin Cities Never Again Action, and Jewish Community Action to raise $18,000 in bail money by the end of Passover (April 16) in order to bail ICE detainees. You can contribute to that fund at https://secure.actblue.com/donate/let-my-people-go-mn.
From a comrade that was present at the Car Sit-in:
“Like probably most of you, I’ve been struggling with a sense of powerlessness as the pandemic has progressed. Since the action at the governor’s mansion was only hours before our shelter in place order took effect, it felt especially good to join our voices and car horns together to demand justice for incarcerated detainees. It is shameful that we had to demand their freedom and safety, and even more shameful that they remain imprisoned. After all, as Never Again organizers pointed out, Anne Frank didn’t die in a gas chamber – she died of an infectious disease caught in a concentration camp. The organizers were creative and flexible, as I hope we all will be in our organizing in the coming weeks and months.”Anne B.
Now we are in the midst of a “week of action” sponsored by a huge list of organizations, including our chapter, to put pressure on ICE and state officials and get this thing done! It has recently been revealed that COVID-19 is already prevalent in ICE detention centers and has been blatantly covered up by ICE and CPB. And rather than shut down what could be rapidly turning into American death camps, the government is trying to increase funding and incarceration / deportation activities of ICE and CPB. The six days of action include a separate action for each day – but, except for the webinar on the last day, you can do any of them at any time.
- March 30 – Put pressure on ICE Field Directors to #FreeThemAll (see the above event link for details, phone numbers, and a script, AND sign on to this letter to the ICE office in Saint Paul https://bit.ly/ICECOVID)
- March 31 – Let Our People Go / Trans Day of Visibility – lift up trans people incarcerated by ICE by phone zapping elected officials
- April 1 – #DefundHate – put pressure on your representative in Congress and your Senators to defund ICE and CPB, rather than increasing their funding
- April 2 – La policia, la migra, la misma porqueria (The police, ICE, the same crap) – make connections between ICE policy and the whole cruel and dysfunctional system of mass incarceration. Sign the petition at tinyurl.com/coronamn
- April 3 – Public Health Department Accountability Day – get public health officials in on the action by phone zapping them to ask why they can’t shut down ICE detention.
- April 4 – #FreeThemAll Solidarity Day Webinar – TBA
– Deb R.