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(en) US, Santa Cruz, Media: Anarchist march held at County Jail in solidarity with prisoners

Date Sat, 07 Aug 2010 18:08:45 +0300

A group of about 40 people stood behind the County Jail for more than an hour Friday night banging on large drums, empty water jugs and other noise makers in a demonstration to show support for prisoners in jail "with or without papers." ---- Around 6:30 p.m., the group of self-proclaimed anarchists and their supporters marched from San Lorenzo Park to the County Jail in protest of ICE's presence in Santa Cruz and the controversial federal program that checks the immigration status of anyone booked on criminal charges set to launch at the County Jail on Tuesday. ---- As many as eight sheriff's deputies stood on the jail roof to monitor and film the protesters, but did not interfere with the protest. ---- The event had a personal connection for Watsonville resident Nayeli Gil, who said she watched a cooperative effort between police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrest and deport her undocumented brother seven days ago.

Gil, who was born in Tijuana, said living in the U.S. has delivered an opportunity for a higher education for her. She said her brother was trying better himself as well.

"What they are doing is disrespecting people's rights; it's rude and unfair," Gil said. "It's frustrating. He was trying to work for his family. They're making our lives miserable."

The noise drew neighbors outside to the street to investigate. Many stood on the sidewalk and watched.

"I'm over it, I think immigration should be here; this is getting outrageous," said Blaine Street resident Frankie Daly. "There is too much gang violence in Santa Cruz. This is a beach town, not a gang town."

Visiting Santa Cruz from Florida, Paula Lalinde said the demonstration was impressive.

"It's a creative way to deliver their message," Lalinde said. "There is something very basic about it and natural, using [noise] to stand up for basic human rights. It breaks through the walls."

Neighbors who had questions about the noise were handed a pamphlet put together by "some local anarchists."

"Despite our racial, cultural and class divides, all who are persecuted and marginalized by the law have some common cause," the flier read. "Those of us who aren't directly affected by ICE should do whatever is in our power to resist and show solidarity with affected individuals and communities. But what we need isn't immigration reform, it's the destruction of all borders and detention centers.

"The first step is kicking ICE out of Santa Cruz, but this isn't the end."

The flier also points the finger at the media and neighborhood organizations for an increased awareness of crime in the city and efforts aimed at increased police presence.

Around 8 p.m., protestors marched down the street and dispersed quietly.

Jail Commander Lt. Bob Pursley said there is always a concern when the focus of a protest is the jail and internal security measures were put in place, although he would not say what those were.

"We're happy it ended the way it did," Pursley said. "They were able to get their point out and did it in a peaceful manner, which is always a good thing.

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