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Calling for Jean’s Release, New Yorkers Join National “Fast for Our Families”

January 2, 2010

Rev. Bob Coleman, Chief Program Minister at The Riverside Church, pledges to fast for Jean and all families torn apart by U.S. immigration policy. Over 20 community members joined him. One by one they came forward to express their urgent cries for justice, each placing a hand-full of beans into the vessel, so that when Jean is released and the Florida fasters have seen victory, we may come together in community over a simple meal. (photo credit: Mizue Aizeki)


In solidarity with the courageous Florida families and their demands -and because our beloved leader Jean Montrevil was just detained to be deported- we New Yorkers are signing up to begin a solidarity fast, which starts today, January 1st. For more information or to sign up (for any length of time), contact the Coalition at (646) 395-2925 or info@newsanctuarynyc.org Please tell us your name, reason(s) for fasting, and intended fast period.

26 of us are fasting so far. Here are some of the reasons:

  • “I fast in protest of the detention and deportation of yet another husband and father of U.S. citizens. My husband of 23 years was deported 3 1/2 years ago after 39 years in the U.S. as a Legal Permanent Resident. The U.S. government commits a crime against children and families every time they deport a father or mother.
  • “For Jean and his family and for other immigrant families and communities. For all of us, and because I’m mad.”
  • “For all the empty chairs at tables across the country.”
  • “To bring attention to the suffering that immigration policy is causing.”
  • “For Jean, for a moratorium on ALL institutional actions until reform.”

Background:

Today, New Year’s Day, a half dozen community members -including people facing deportation- entered a church in the South of Miami Dade County and began the Fast for Our Families. They took their last meal on New Year’s Eve and will consume only liquids indefinitely. The fasters are making two simple requests to the Obama administration on behalf of our families:

1) That the Administration acts in its Executive Authority to SUSPEND raids, detentions, and deportations against families with US citizen family members until there is a legislative resolution to our broken immigration system

2) That the Administration sends the Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, down to South Dade to meet with the fasters to discuss what is happening in our community — the daily, violent separation of families.

The fasters will continue the Fast For Our Families indefinitely and ask all who have watched families and communities be torn apart by raids, detentions, and deportations to join with them in solidarity actions and fasts.

Democracy Now segment on Jean’s case, here:

NY1 television coverage of rally at Judson, here :

In Spanish in El Diario/La Prensa, here:

New York City Independent Media Center, here:

For more information on the fast, see: http://www.fastforourfamilies.org/

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