Car rally urges release of persons detained by ICE

Car rally urges release of persons detained by ICE

From The Grass Valley Union, April 15, 2020

Submitted by Sharon Delgado

Eight people from Nevada City, Grass Valley, and Camptonville participated in a “social distancing” car rally Tuesday at Yuba County Jail. Over 40 cars circled the jail, sometimes chanting or honking their horns, demanding action to protect immigrants and other inmates who are housed there from infection by COVID-19. Over 150 immigrant detainees are housed there under a county contract with the federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Human rights groups are calling on Yuba County to cancel the federal contract with ICE due to concerns that current conditions create a breeding ground which could cause the pandemic to infect people and spread.

Three Nevada County participants in the car rally, Shirley Osgood, Janie Kesselman and Sharon Delgado, have personally visited immigrants at the jail through a sponsoring organization, Faithful Friends. These visitors have communicated with individual detainees, inquired about their health and the conditions in the jail, shared their needs with Faithful Friends, and sometimes contacted their families or requested lawyers. The trio said they were alarmed by unsanitary and crowded conditions, which could provide an environment that could easily spread COVID-19 to prisoners and guards, including to ICE detainees. Demands include releasing all people in ICE custody who are eligible for alternatives to detention; releasing all people who are older than 60, immune compromised, pregnant or with underlying conditions. Additionally, soap, CDC-recommended hand sanitizer, medical care, comprehensive sanitation and cleaning of facilities — as well as other safety measures as recommended by the CDC — should be immediately provided for those who remain incarcerated. Organizers also advocate granting humanitarian parole requests, eliminating medical copays and lifting all fees for calls to family members.

The car rally was organized by Jewish Action Norcal, whose message, “Never again means now,” serves as a reminder that countless people died in the Nazi concentration camps due to disease. For more information, visit https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/release-immigrants-detained-at-yuba-county-jail-amid-covid-19-pandemic.

Poverty Amid Pandemic: The Moral Response to Covid 19

The Rev. Dr. William Barber of the Poor People’s Campaign

 

The video of this speech by Rev. Dr. Barber’s starts about 8 minutes into the video below, but the whole video is well worth watching.

We’re in a moment where hope for our many holy traditions will return to where they began in the first place. I know of Christianity and Islam and Judaism, that these holy traditions began in the midst of oppression. They began in the midst of times when there were bad, narcissistic leaders sitting on the throne who were implementing all kinds of unholy acts against humanity/ These holy traditions were called into being, I believe, by God, to give us moments to remind us of who we are and whose we are and what responsibility we have because of that.

This is not just about personal sanctification–that’s why we do these things in community—every one of the traditions, whether it’s the season of Ramadan or Christianity or Judaism–we do these things in community, and they help save us from idolatry, save us from participating in humankind’s inhumanity towards one another, they call us to another place.

In these White House briefings, we are seeing not just misinformation but public idolatry and political self-worship in the midst of holy seasons. But perhaps these holy seasons prevent us from being bewitched, if you will, and remind us that there is a power greater than the powers that we see on TV, and that power calls us to be about love and justice rather than truth, lies, and injustice.

[This is true of all of these traditions]: whether it’s Passover, which remind us of those poor Hebrew people who were under oppression and slavery, or whether it’s Ramadan, when through fasting we put ourselves in the position of those who don’t have and don’t eat, or whether it’s the holy season of Easter that reminds us that Jesus during Holy Week was very clear, that when he went into the Temple, he overturned the politics of greed. He healed everybody, gave them universal health care.  He was challenging the hypocracy of claiming to be religious on the one hand but engaged in policy injustice on the other. And in his almost last sermon he talked about how every nation, not just every individual but every nation, is going to be judged and it’s going to be by how you treat the least of these.

And even in the crucifixion, he wasn’t just crucified for personal salvation, but he was crucified as a revolutionary. He was crucified for loving,  crucified for telling the truth, crucified for caring for the prisoner, crucified for not bowing down to narcissism, But that crucifixion also brought other people alive and pointed to a resurrection, which promises us that even if we have to suffer for right, ultimately that suffering is worth it, so that even in the midst of it, we may be sanctified by the call to revolution. 

War and economic turndown, we still chose not to see, and we chose not to hear the cries of the poor.  But maybe in this moment, when all our lives are at stake to some degree, when one touch can infect a president or a prince or a pauper, a sanitation worker or a  secretary of state–it really doesn’t matter. Maybe in this moment we can hear, maybe in this moment we can see. 

And if everybody can’t see and hear. maybe those of us who have sometimes committed the sin of taking our faith inside our temples or inside our mosques or inside our congregations alone will be in halls of Congress again.

And we will decide because we are people sanctified by the holy traditions and the Holy God, we will raise holy ruckus until the poor and the least of these are cared for. Maybe this season we will see it is time to repent of any apathy we’ve had. Maybe it’s time to realize that there are things we must fight for–we can never settle for less. 

Love Walk 3–all about healing our community

[Note: Love Walk III, originally scheduled in May 2020, has been postponed due to the shelter-in-place response to the Covid 19 virus.

Once again, we have been reminded by the recent racist episode against a high school coach that racism and prejudice exist in the hearts and minds of some members of our community.

Yet there are many more occasions when words and actions full of prejudice, fear and hate go unreported and are unseen by our community.

Several months ago, an African American woman sitting with her friends at Memorial Park while their children played was harassed, then punched in the face and called a (racist epithet) by a drunk white man, who was also accompanied by his child. And before that, a young man of color was harassed and called racist names as he walked on Mill Street. Soon afterward, a child was called racist names as he rode his bike in downtown Nevada City.

The list could go on and on. But all hurtful words and deeds born of prejudice, fear and hate are symptoms of spiritual disease and mental affliction that affect all of us and have been passed on to us by generations of unresolved trauma and unquestioned beliefs.

Creating Communities Beyond Bias was born in response to racism in our community. We are committed to offering support to anyone who experiences a racist or hateful act. We find ourselves at a point of extreme polarization in this nation’s political story where violence and threat of violence, bullying and ridicule are accepted tools of dominance and power over others. We see the problems our behavior has created. We even know what is required to right the wrong, but we seem unable to collectively choose a good and healing way for ourselves and our communities.

If we would be free from the burdens of fear, hate, prejudice and injustice, we need to accept responsibility for healing ourselves and then engage with others in healing our community. We who would heal our communities and make them just and nurturing, so that unkind hate-filled words become uncommon rather than the norm, must understand the past and heal our own hearts and minds.

We have individuals and groups within our community who are dedicated to healing minds and spirits. Many are adept at sharing tools and practices as well as educating and inspiring us to be awake, aware, creative, cooperative and collaborative for the sake of our communities and for the wellbeing of future generations.

Creating Communities Beyond Bias was born in response to racism in our community. We are committed to offering support to anyone who experiences a racist or hateful act, and we also offer events, classes and workshops to help folks recognize and undo bias and discrimination of the hurtful kind.

Our next event is Love Walk 3, a celebration of community and diversity, on May 9, 2020 with workshops at the Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains and music and entertainment at the Center for the Arts.

We invite you, dear reader, to come and meet your allies in the transformation to a more just and equitable community.

We invite you to come and see what hope looks like as your own latest step in healing the trauma handed down to you by the past and the day to day damage of navigating a hurting world.

We invite you to take part in a celebration intended to open minds and hearts to a good way to be with one another and to thank participants, volunteers, donors and sponsors for their contributions in making possible a community event with that intention at its core.

Guarionex Delgado is a member of Creating Communities Beyond Bias, a project of Earth Justice Ministries, an organization which he serves as chair of the Board. He lives in Nevada City. See the original article Love Walk 3: All About Healing our Community in The Grass Valley

The Wood is Dry

Sharon Delgado

“Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children…  For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?” Luke 23:31

This morning the tears finally came. Friends, the wood is dry.  People are getting sick and dying from the pandemic, which is just getting started. In some places, like New York, the hospitals are beginning to get overrun.  Healthcare workers are overwhelmed and risking exposure every day, often without enough supplies, respirators, or protective equipment. Schools and businesses are closing, and people are being laid off faster than during the Great Depression. We are beginning to see shortages of food. Racial violence and domestic violence are increasing. Economic insecurity, anxiety, fear, and tensions are on the rise.

Yesterday, a two-trillion-dollar stimulus bill was signed into law. It will take some of the economic pressure off at least some of the people but will provide many times more money to bail out the industries that keep the current economic system going. This system is called a free-market economy, but everyone knows that the government always (so far) can find enough money to wage war or to bail out the banks or to subsidize favorite industries that “pay to play” in order to elect and lobby the very leaders who make the decisions about policies that end up siphoning even more of society’s wealth up to the top. This is an example of the Shock Doctrine at its worst—taking advantage of a crisis to install policies that transfer wealth to the already wealthy. While the bill offers money for medical necessities in for dealing with Covid 19, loans to small businesses, and grants and expanded unemployment insurance to people are suffering, it also offers much more in bailouts for big corporations. The Trump Administration’s Treasury Department will be able to leverage the $500 billion dollars many times over, to the tune of $4.5 trillion or more, far more than the amount given to the people in this hour of extreme need. It has even been called a “corporate coup.” (See article below)

I not only grieve for what our people are facing now. I am also furious that our lawmakers don’t take this opportunity to create a system that is not based on the God of money, a system with the purpose of caring for people and protecting our earth.

This grief and fury must have been what Jesus felt at times, when he challenged the religious and political leaders who supported from and benefited from the unjust Roman system of domination and occupation at the expense of the people.  They targeted him as a subversive and put him to death because the popular movement he led pointed to a new way of living, demonstrated an inclusive and egalitarian community based on compassion, and challenged the status quo. Jesus could see that if the Domination System targeted him at that time, when the Spirit of God was so active and apparent among him and his followers, it would continue to do so long after he was gone.

In Luke 23:26-31, we read that as Jesus made his way toward his crucifixion a great multitude of people “bewailed and lamented him.”  But he turned and addressed them saying: “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never gave suck!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us’; and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

The wood is dry.  But I’m encouraged because I see green shoots all around: in the people who reach out to each other in this time of pandemic, in health care workers and others who risk themselves and give their all for the common good, in those who care for the children, deliver food to elders, facilitate online connection, and try to raise people’s spirits, and in those who continue to strive for social, economic, and environmental justice and systemic change.

The seeds of resurrection are already planted.  With prayer, dedication to each other, and courage, we rise.

See the March 31, 2020 article by Jake Johnson on Common Dreams, “No More Spending’: After Securing $4.5 Trillion Corporate Bailout, Trump White House and GOP Cast Doubt on New Stimulus: ‘Trillions for big business. Bare minimum for you.’”

 Reprinted from Lent and Covid 19 at Sharon’s Progressive Christian Social Action blog.