Protesters chain themselves at profiteering Arizona migrant prison


TODAY in ELOY: #Not1More #Shutdown Ice Protest
Latino Rebels Latino Rebels
Published on Oct 14, 2013
Today at the Eloy Detention Center, protesters called for an end to deportations and a push to shutdown ICE.

October 14, 2013–Just now, protestors chained themselves in front of the Eloy Detention Center. Their action calls on the President to stop deportations and the criminalization of immigrants. Through civil disobedience they say they’re exposing the inhumane imprisonment at the center of current immigration policy and the needless warehousing of the undocumented who could benefit from reform.

Many of those inside Eloy have committed no major offense and instead are victims of Congress’ 34,000 minimum detention bed mandate and the profiling of Sheriffs like Arpaio and Border Patrol required to fulfill the arbitrary quota.

One of the protestors, 16 year old Sandy Estrada of Phoenix, AZ, whose brother has been detained in Eloy for nearly a year after being arrested on work-related charges, says, “I’m doing this to show my brother and all the other people inside that we support them and we will do what it takes to get them out.  I want the President to know that everyone deserves to be with their families and that he can stop our pain.” Continue reading

Private/Corporate Prison Systems now expanding into Public Schools’ “Security” operations

Corrections Corporation of America Used in Drug Sweeps of Public School Students

by Beau Hodai | PR Watch | November 27, 2012
An unsettling trend appears to be underway in Arizona: the use of private prison employees in law enforcement operations.The state has graced national headlines in recent years as the result of its cozy relationship with the for-profit prison industry. Such controversies have included the role of private prison corporations in SB 1070 and similar anti-immigrant legislation disseminated in other states; a 2010 private prison escape that resulted in two murders and a nationwide manhunt; and a failed bid to privatize nearly the entire Arizona prison system.And now, recent events in the central Arizona town of Casa Grande show the hand of private corrections corporations reaching into the classroom, assisting local law enforcement agencies in drug raids at public schools.

Trick or Treat

Vista Grande High SchoolAt 9 a.m. on the morning of October 31, 2012, students at Vista Grande High School in Casa Grande were settling in to their daily routine when something unusual occurred.

Vista Grande High School Principal Tim Hamilton ordered the school — with a student population of 1,776 — on “lock down,” kicking off the first “drug sweep” in the school’s four-year history. According to Hamilton, “lock down” is a state in which, “everybody is locked in the room they are in, and nobody leaves — nobody leaves the school, nobody comes into the school.”

corporate prison school security 1“Everybody is locked in, and then they bring the dogs in, and they are teamed with an administrator and go in and out of classrooms. They go to a classroom and they have the kids come out and line up against a wall. The dog goes in and they close the door behind, and then the dog does its thing, and if it gets a hit, it sits on a bag and won’t move.”

While such “drug sweeps” have become a routine matter in many of the nation’s schools, along with the use of metal detectors and zero-tolerance policies, one feature of this raid was unusual. According to Casa Grande Police Department (CGPD) Public Information Officer Thomas Anderson, four “law enforcement agencies” took part in the operation: CGPD (which served as the lead agency and operation coordinator), the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Gila River Indian Community Police Department, and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA).

It is the involvement of CCA — the nation’s largest private, for-profit prison corporation — that causes this high school “drug sweep” to stand out as unusual; CCA is not, despite CGPD’s evident opinion to the contrary, a law enforcement agency.

“To invite for-profit prison guards to conduct law enforcement actions in a high school is perhaps the most direct expression of the ‘schools-to-prison pipeline’ I’ve ever seen,” said Caroline Isaacs, program director of the Tucson office of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker social justice organization that advocates for criminal justice reform. Continue reading

Judge Tashima (WW2 ethnic Japanese internment camp victim) upholds Arizona ban on Chicana/o studies

The long history of US racial oppression is challenged by ethnic studies in schools. Such critical studies are now illegal in Arizona

The history of US racial oppression is exposed and challenged by ethnic studies in schools. Such critical studies are now illegal in Arizona

Arizona on our mindsRacism Legalized

by Rodolfo F. Acuña,  March 18, 2013

U.S. Circuit Judge A. Wallace Tashima has made his decision to uphold disparate treatment of Mexican Americans, and the constitutionality of HB 2281. The purpose of this law was to destroy Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican American Studies Program. In doing so, Tashima returned us to the times of Joseph McCarty.

The Arizona law broadly banned courses that promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, foster racial resentment, were designed for students of a particular ethnic group or that advocated ethnic solidarity.

The penalty if Tucson did not comply was that the district would lose 10 percent of its annual funding — some $14 million over a fiscal year.

Tashima ruled that the plaintiffs “failed to show the law was too vague, broad or discriminatory, or that it violated students’ first amendment rights.” On the positive side, he held that courses made-to-serve students of a particular ethnic group were not unconstitutional, which seems to imply that it is alright to ban ethnic studies programs.

building chicanaThe ruling raised more questions than it answered. The judge’s legal reasoning and wording was not consistent with his previous decisions, and it left me with the feeling that it had been written by law clerks and that the decision was not properly vetted by Tashima who has been more precise in previous rulings. A survivor of the Japanese internment camps, he had been expected to be sensitive to the rampant racism in Arizona.

Tashima noted that Attorney General Tom Horne’s anti-Mexican American Studies ardor bordered on discriminatory conduct, saying that Horne’s “single-minded focus on terminating the MAS (Mexican-American Studies) program” raised concerns.

Then Tashima engaged in mental gymnastics: “Although some aspects of the record may be viewed to spark suspicion that the Latino population has been improperly targeted, on the whole, the evidence indicates that Defendants targeted the MAS program, not Latino students, teachers or community members who participated in the program.” This conclusion is mind boggling.

This wrongheaded logic would condone the bombing of a village as long as the villagers were not targeted. Continue reading

Tucson Youth Group Hosts Their Own Chicano Studies Classes on Weekends

Source: teacheractivistgroups.org and colorlines.com

Chris Summitt

by Jorge Rivas, Thursday, February 2 2012

Organizers from Unidos, a youth group that opposes the Mexican-American studies ban that went in to affect January 1st in Tucson, have started organizing their own weekly ethnic studies classes.

“We’re teaching the traditional curriculum, if a student was in the Mexican American history perspective classes they defaulted to a traditional history class,” Sean Arce told Feet in Two Worlds. Arce is the co-founder and director of the Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican American studies program.

“We want to plant a seed, to keep learning about our history and culture,” Jesus Romero a member of Unidos told Feet in Two Worlds.

Sixty percent of the over 55,000 students in the Tucson school district are Latino.

Below are images courtesy of Chris Summitt.

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L.A. Resident Jose Gutierrez, in Coma After Being Tased by Arizona Border Agents, Threatened With Deportation While Still Unconscious

LA Weekly

By Simone Wilson, Fri., Apr. 15 2011

josegutierrezhead.jpg

Gutierrez' skull had to be removed after a tussle with CBP agents, who won't provide surveillance or specifics

Forty-one-year-old Jose Gutierrez has lived in the U.S. since he was a kid. Until three weeks ago, he shared a house in the affluent Valley neighborhood of Woodland Hills with U.S. citizen Shena Wilson and their two children, held a solid job as a film engineer and served as frontman for the popular Spanish-rock band FZ10.

However, Gutierrez is undocumented.

After the L.A. Immigration Court deported him on March 21, Wilson says she lost touch with her husband, but guessed he would try to come back, seeing as their youngest — a five-month-old baby girl — was in the hospital. (Not to mention he has no roots in Mexico.)

The next she heard of him, Gutierrez was in a coma at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix.

Wilson got a call from the Mexican consulate in Yuma, Arizona, saying, “We have to let you know that there has been an accident.” Continue reading

Technology of Xenophobia: Entire US-Mexico border to be guarded by Predator drones

[US drones are more widely used every day, from Afghanistan to Arizona, for aerial surveillance and for attack. The technology does not create accurate intelligence or targets.  But it does generate profits for military contractors, it generates votes for demagogic politicians, and it generates victims.  This article from the Christian Science Monitor spreads  the government’s misleading justifications that criminalize migrants, and claims that “drones create safety.”–ed.]

The launch of a fourth Predator drone Wednesday will mean the entire US-Mexico border is now patrolled by the unmanned aircraft.

The border wall between Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Mexico

August 31, 2010

The entire 2,000-mile US-Mexico border will be monitored by drones starting Wednesday when a new Predator drone begins flying from Corpus Christi, Texas, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said.

There are already three drones operating along portions of the border. Aside from the new drone launched today, money for two more was included in $600 million legislation President Barack Obama signed earlier this month, which ramps up border security ahead of midterm elections on Nov. 2 and as Mexico’s heated drug war gains more attention. Meanwhile, Napolitano calls the border safer than ever.

With the deployment of the Predator in Texas, we will now be able to cover the southwest border from the El Centro sector in California all the way to the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, providing critical aerial surveillance assistance to personnel on the ground,” Napolitano said during a conference call, according to Reuters. Continue reading

O’odham to National Guard: ‘We do not want you on our land’

[The O’odham people’s lands are on both sides of the US-Mexico border.  Truly, they do not cross the border–the border crosses them.  They have resisted every violation of their people, from the horrific border wall to the ongoing degradation at the hands of the Border Patrol. Their struggle should be supported by all.-ed.]

August 29, 2010

Ofelia Rivas, traditional O’odham living on the border, released a statement to the National Guard, who are to arrive on the US/Mexico border in Arizona on Monday.

file photo

To the United States National Guard arriving in O’odham Lands,

We are not compliant people, we are people with great dignity and confidence. We are a people of endurance and have a long survival history. We are people that have lived here for thousands of years. We have our own language, we have our own culture and traditions.

You are coming to my land, you may find me walking on my land, sitting on my land and just going about my daily life. I might be sitting on the mountain top, do not disturb me, I am praying the way my ancestors did for thousands of years. I might be out collecting what may be strange to you but it might be food to me or medicine for me.

Sometimes I am going to the city to get a burger or watch a movie or just to resupply my kitchen and refrigerator. Some of us live very much like you do and some of us live very simple lives. Some of may not have computers or scanners or televisions or a vehicle but some of us do. Continue reading