A protest against “Operation Return To Sender” took place in the Watsonville Plaza on September 24th. Cars honked in support as people lined Main Street holding signs calling for a world without borders, dignity for workers, black and brown unity and solidarity with immigrants. A circle was formed and people from Watsonville discussed how the community has been affected by immigration raids. Watsonville city council candidate Mireya Gomez and councilman Manuel Bersamin, Santa Cruz city council candidate Simba Kenyatta and councilman Tony Madrigal spoke at the rally as well as teachers, organizers and other concerned people.
With only 24 hours of notice, people from all walks of life were invited to an emergency Reclaim The Streets protest in response to the recent mass-arrest of 107 immigrants in Santa Cruz, Watsonville and Hollister. On September 15th, a Reclaim The Streets protest marched from the post office down Pacific Ave and all around the Beach Flats. Not knowing how the Beach Flats community would respond to the protest, demonstrators raised their fists and chanted against deportations and la migra. Community members were happy and a bit surprised by the demonstration. Some people asked why nobody came through the neighborhood with flyers announcing the protest…
On September 15th, an emergency protest was held at the County Government Building in Santa Cruz. Community members, including teachers, students and workers, spoke out against the recent immigration raids in Santa Cruz, Watsonville and Hollister. A bilingual elementary school teacher explained that her students are very scared to go out in public. Other speakers talked about racism in our society and ongoing attacks against workers through imperialism and capitalism.
In response to raids in Santa Cruz, Watsonville and Hollister by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE aka INS, la migra) agency of the federal government, religious leaders with Communities Organized for Relational Power (COPA) held a press conference on September 13th at Temple Beth El in Aptos to speak from their religious traditions about immigration. ICE sweeps, detentions and deportations, called “Operation Return to Sender,” took place on September 7th and 8th according to the corporate media. However, there is also discussion in the community about federal abductions which have taken place on other days.
SlideShow of photos taken on September 1st, 2006, during Oaxaca’s 5th MegaMarcha which started in the community of San Felipe and ended at the zócalo in the center of Oaxaca City. Hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets and marched to demand the immediate departure of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (URO), liberation for political prisoners, the cancellation of 70 government arrest warrants for people involved in the leaderless Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO, by its Spanish initials) movement and the desire for popular governance.