Letter: Rallying for Migrant Justice

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Editor of the Reformer:



On Tuesday, March 21, between 200 and 250 people rallied and marched in downtown Brattleboro to demand the release of three members of Justicia Migrante/Migrant Justice detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement the week before and the end to ICE targeting of human rights organizers. Community members at the demonstration added their names to petitions to free Alex Carrillo, Enrique (Kike) Balcazar, and Zully Palacios as well as to petitions to support the passing of Vermont's Racial Justice Reform Bill (H.492 and S.116). They raised nearly $700 to donate to Migrant Justice.

The short-notice demonstration was co-organized by The Root Social Justice Center, Lost River Racial Justice, Brattleboro Solidarity, Green Mountain Crossroads, and the Vermont Workers' Center, and supported by many more. Representatives from these groups spoke about the important work that Migrant Justice has done in Vermont and played clips of Migrant Justice organizers speaking about the recent detentions and ongoing resistance and campaigns at the rally the prior Saturday. Then the mic was offered to any local migrant workers and people whose families are targeted by ICE wishing to address the crowd. This statement was read on behalf of a community member unable to attend the rally: "My name is not important. Because I do not represent myself, I represent the millions of undocumented Americans living in the shadows. Under the Trump Administration, We are afraid to take our kids to school,. We are afraid to go to work. We are afraid to go outside. We are the scapegoats. It is time to stand together. Kike stood and still stands for all of us. We know that capturing Kike is a tactic to put more fear it in our community. We will not stand alone in this fight, because that's what they want. They want us divided, fighting to protect what they are destroying. I am Kike, I am Zully, I am Alex, I am you."

After the rally, the crowd marched from Pliny Park to Malfunction Junction and back, carrying signs and chanting.

Southern Vermont celebrated the release of Kike and Zully from ICE custody later that week and continues to support Migrant Justice's demand to free Alex too. Community members from this area planning to head to Burlington to join the May Day March for Dignity being organized by Vermont Workers Migrant Justice Now can contact Ellen Schwarz at eschwa1@myfairpoint.net.

Claire Halverson,

Dummerston, April 14


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