Friday, December 21, 2018

"Before a Country Loses Its Freedom, It Loses Its Soul:" #SeekingAsylumIsANotCrime

Ken Schles took this photo of AlanTimothy Lunceford-Stevens and Benjamin Heim Shepard at Grand Central Terminal.
"It was really moving to see people pass and give us Thumbs Up!" noted Tim. "As they passed us and the signs and banner. Kudos to all who were present." 


Rise and Resist's silent vigil at Grand Central Terminal tonight.
We call on the trump administration to immediately process all asylum seekers and stop arresting & detaining refugees. #ReturnTheChildren

Photo George De Castro Day, Caption Jackie Rudin
On Thursday night, I rode through the rain from Brooklyn to meet my friends from Rise and Resist                                                                      at Grand Central.

“Look for us near the information kiosk
We will carry banners, photographs, and placards to remind everyone that this season there are thousands of refugees being prevented by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from legally seeking asylum. 
We call on the Trump administration to immediately process all asylum seekers on the border, and to stop arresting and detaining refugees.

Walking into  Grand  Central, an activist passed me  a flyer:

“Crossing a border to seek asylum is a right guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is also established in U.S. law. Yet our government treats asylum seekers not only as criminals but as enemies of the state. 

Democracy doesn’t disappear over night. 
Fascism doesn’t march in with trumpets blaring. 
Its happens little by little, horror by horror.
First, we’re appalled.
Then we’re numb.
Then we shrug our shoulders.

It can’t happen here.
Its happening here.

Rise and Resist.”

Activists stand with photos of the horror.
“Stop tear-gassing children!”
“Return the children!”
Kids in  jail  cells.
Locked up.
The soul-crushing cruelty expanding as we forget who we are.

I snap pictures.
Talk  with Jackie about the Panic Diaries
Always expanding.
Moral  panics over  youth, drug users,
Immigrants,  ourselves.

Signs here.
Tim, Diane,  and Diane snap shots.

Pass flyers
Reminding  the passers by,
Speaking to New Yorkers  and history.
Responding and replying.

Still grieving Roxsana who died  in  a freezer,

We remind Donald Trump and the United States Government that
they hold all the cards, and all the keys.

Whatever crisis exists at the border can be solved instantly by them. OPEN THE BORDERS

demilitarize the border. JUDGES NOT SOLDIERS
honor the legal right to seek asylum. JUSTICE FOR ALL IMMIGRANTS
stop the deportations. NOT ONE MORE. ABOLISH ICE
end to all family separation. KEEP FAMILIES TOGETHER
reunify families. RETURN THE CHILDREN
end border deaths and death at the border. ACCOUNTABILITY at CUSTOMS & BORDER PATROL

white supremacy is NOT an immigration policy.
This is a peaceful march & rally. We have no permit.
Initial sponsors: Reverend Billy, Savitri D, The Church of Stop Shopping, The New Sanctuary Coalition

Caravan Demands

Demand Congress pass the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act to end all military and police aid to the dictator in Honduras. H.R.1299

Facilitate access to the asylum process in the US and immediately increase the number of asylum seekers processed in San Ysidro ports of entry to 300 people per day.

Remove the troops from the border. Not one more dollar of funding for the Department of Homeland Security: no money for border enforcement, no money for the wall, no money for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and no more boots on ground

Zulu Sharod — All Power! Don't allow our oppressors to divide us! We are one people! One Comrade! Our oppressors are the same and it's called capitalism imperialism, racism and State violence! Stand with the people traveling as a caravan! Our support will help push back against the tyranny of the government! Panther Love!

Grandpa Al used to always say fascism doesn’t happen overnight.
It happens gradually.
It happening. 

Ken Schles writes: "Grand Central Terminal, New York City, December 20, 2018 during a rainy rush hour Rise and Resist holds a silent vigil to affirm that, “seeking asylum is not a crime.” Meanwhile, in Washington, the administration signaled its willingness to shut down the government unless Congress funds its fantastical border wall. Paul Ryan, in a last groveling act of obsequiousness, passed a bill with $5B funding for a southern border wall. With little to no chance of passage in the Senate, this bill is a nonstarter, a desperate last stand for a fading presidency before divided government takes the reigns January 1st. Closing down the government will put many people out of work just before Xmas and would kill $8B in disaster relief funding to help those Americans stranded in the wake of the recent environmental catastrophes that have struck the nation. The stock market reacted by dropping to the lowest point since October 2017 and the NASDAQ is close to bear territory, down 20% from its recent highs in August. The President is abandoning international commitments, stranding allied fighters in Syria and Afghanistan to the praises of Putin. North Korea signaled their commitment to continued nuclear development. Jim Mattis, the Secretary of Defense resigned over policy disagreements. Meanwhile multiple criminal investigations are circling ever closer to Trump and his family. A watershed day for a failing government. #nowall #foolforpresident @ Grand Central Terminal #seekingasylumisnotacrime"

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