Friday, March 16, 2018

"A Plan for Action": Paterson on Varick Street, Bikes Against Deportation.

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Nadette Stasa wrote: "Soooo great to be out with my radical bike activist friends: Barbara Ross Judy Ross Chana WidawskiBenjamin Heim Shepard Austin Horse Monica Hunken Danny Valdes. I love you guys!!"

On Thursday, a few old friends got together for critical mass style bike ride on Varick Street, outside the detention center used by Immigration Customs and Enforcement.

Organizers for the ride described the event: 

In solidarity with allied-groups demanding ICE out of our courts, and in the tradition of New Sanctuary Coalition's weekly vigil at ICE's deportation machine at 201 Varick St., ride with us to show support to our immigrant communities!
Join us this month - or every month for an ongoing ride-action!
Ride safe:
-Follow the leader
-Bring bell and lights
-Ride safe
-Ride with traffic, walk against traffic, circle the building.."

Arriving at Varick Street, where so many of friends - including Jean Montrevil and Ravi Ragbir - have been detained, separated from their families, left to languish, people from all over New York, cyclists, anti consumer activists, rev billy and savitri and lena, lots of my city of friends were there. Over and over we're tried to make enough noise to push back. We've tried to cry out about this injustice. Its the fall of our empire.  We're losing our souls, watching the government detaining and dislocating families, going to people's doors, separating families at medical appointments, taking away their rights to retain council, holding kids indefinitely. So, we were there to make a stink. 

"Sanctuary city," we screamed.
"No more deportations, not one more!"
"Immigrant rights are human rights!!!!"

For many of us who've been through these battles for years now, it felt like a bit of reunion, with Monica there.  Roger skating.  Billy preaching.  Brennan taking pictures. Nadette there without Olive. Juan Carlos of the New Sanctuary Coalition cheering us on.
We rode for several laps about the detention center.
And Billy preached.
This movement pulls together everything we've done since 9/11 noted the anti consumer preacher turned environmentalist and now immigrant rights advocate.
Its about our city Billy wrote earlier in the week,
"Will the city notice itself?  Will the victims get some volume?  Will Duke Ellington sit at his piano again over Central Park?  Will Lady Liberty walk across the water and stop the arrests?  Will the satyrs leap across the air-shaft and land on Trump’s balcony?  Will the city come back to life?"

Lets do this again soon declared Savitri, third Thursday of every month. 
See you April 19th.
See you then.
I said goodbye and ran off to our union meeting.