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Commentary :: Globalization : Human Rights : International : Labor : Media : Organizing : Politics : Race : Social Welfare
A Plea For New Bedford & Against Bostoncentrism
12 Mar 2007

*Please mobilize people for this Saturday's rally in New Bedford.*

New Bedford a City of Immigrants Rally
Saturday, March 17th, 2pm
Come out to support New Bedford workers and families.
Gather at the Federal Building, Downtown New Bedford

Push Boston people to transcend Bostoncentrism! If this raid happened in Boston there would have already been national solidarity actions. Challenge the classism that ignores oppression when it does not happen in widely known places. Please come down, organize carpools and pressure Boston based organizations to provide buses for Saturday. We have to break out of the idea that the largest rallies should always be in Boston. I have driven low-income tenants, immigrants and youth of color up to Bostoncountless times for events and lobbying at the statehouse. Let's give back some of that solidarity that Southeastern Mass. communities have shared with Boston for years. We from Southeastern Mass. are mostly people of
meager incomes yet we have made the commute to Boston and filled your ranks at protest after protest. Let's make it cool to come down here for once!

When they attack us in smaller working class cities like New Bedford we need to challenge the idea that resistance should be stronger or is strongest only in the big cities. The myth that activists only live in cities with a lot of affluent college students or cities where there is a concentration of capital. Let's make this rally truly a regional event.

Let's do it, COME ON DOWN.

Thanks for your solidarity - Camilo Viveiros

To counter raids like this from happening in other communities we need to stand up for New Bedford workers and their families and show that we will not tolerate this!

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More Information
12 Mar 2007


Please come out to support the New Bedford Immigrant Community on Saturday March 17th. The rally will be happening at the Federal Building in Downtown New Bedford at 2:30pm.

Providence will have carpools leaving from Faunce Arch (Brown University) and DARE (340 Lockwood St, Providence, RI) at 1:30pm.

Federal immigration agents raided a New Bedford leather manufacturer Tuesday March 7th in full military style (including helicopters). At least 340 workers were detained from the Michael Bianco Inc. factory. The factory employs mostly women and mostly immigrants from Guatemala and El Salvador. Early reports show the raid destroyed hundreds of families and left dozens upon dozens of babies and young children without a home. Over 100 children were directly affected. Some of the detainees were already flown out to Texas to a larger detention area. Somewhat coincidentally, the raid led to the arrest of a handful of unscrupulous employers - none of whom were charged for any of their violations of labor law. Federal officials are calling Tuesday's attack the largest INS raid in recent history.

1) Monetary Donations Are Needed:

MIRA is collecting money in a separate account to be distributed to community organizations responding in the affected areas. All donations through this account will be distributed to the affected New Bedford families.

To Donate On-Line: [] Choose "MIRA" as the recipient, then specify that the funds are for "New Bedford Immigrant Families / Ninos Fund." Or send a check to the MIRA Coalition, 105 Chauncy St , Boston , MA 02111 . Please specify in the memo line that the funds are for "New Bedford Immigrant Families / Ninos Fund." Donations are tax-deductible and all donations marked "New Bedford Immigrant Families / Ninos Fund" will be distributed to the affected families through the appropriate local community and service organizations.

2) Attend Tuesday's Press Conference

PRESS CONFERENCE, MARCH 13th at 5pm, at the immigration Office (200 Dyer Stre. Providence)

Enough! No More Raids - solidarity with our companeras in New Bedford. Providence shows our solidarity as we declare our city A Raid-Free Zone.

Together, we reject the terror.

Sponsored by: Nuevo Amanecer of St. Teresa, English for Action, Olneyville Neighborhood Association, Comite de Inmigrantes en Accion, International Social Organization, Uniendo Fronteras, Catholic Diocese of Providence, New Life Ministry and other organizations.

BROWN: meet at 4:30pm at Faunce on Tuesday.

3) Call Your Congressmen: Ask them to speak directly with Secretary Chertoff to request that he "Release the Moms." Demand a moratorium on deportations until reform has passed.

Senator Jack Reed (202) 224-4642
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (202) 224-2921
Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy (202) 225-4911
Congressman Jim Langevin (202) 225-2735

4) Volunteer
If you are or know a lawyer who is willing to take pro-bono cases, or are a mental health professional, preferably a bilingual Spanish speaker, please call MIRA with your name and contact information at 617-350-5480 x212.


Photos of the Raid: