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News :: Organizing
Protest the Illegal Racist Detention Policy of the Bush Administraition in NYC!
22 Aug 2004
On August 31st, 2004, a demonstration protesting the detentions and other illegal policies of the Bush Administration and the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE) will be held at 26 Federal Plaza in Manhattan at 12 noon. We will be meeting up at Columbus Park – at the corner of Pearl and Bayard Streets – at 11AM and leaving for the BICE offices together at 11:45AM.
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The prison cops confiscated reading material and medicines as they kicked Abdel-Muhti to the ground, punched him, and told him to “shut the fuck up” and to “go back to Palestine.” The officers, who were not wearing name tags, pushed Abdel-Muhti against the wall on at least two occasions, kicked him to the ground, and punched him on the side of the head. They then confiscated his personal property, including papers, address books and medicine, which was prescribed by the prison clinic for high blood pressure and a thyroid condition.

-Report from the Committee for the Release of Farouk Abdel-Muhti, regarding an attack on Palestinian detainee Farouk Abdel-Muhti on November 19, 2003.

The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 have profoundly increased the racist policies of the United States government. In a feeble attempt to provide the public with an illusion of safety, the Bush administration has instituted new policies that have destroyed the lives and freedoms of millions with the pretext of “A War on Terrorism.”

This so-called "War on Terrorism" is not just being fought with foreign nations, as the news media would like us to believe. It is also being fought here at home, as thousands of individuals in the United States are being prosecuted and persecuted on the basis of their race, religion, and political beliefs by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Since the September 11th attacks, Bush and his Orwellian Department of Homeland Security have engaged in an illegal and racist program of round-ups and detentions. Thousands of men between the ages of 25 to 45 from South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa have been swept up and in many cases disappeared, spending years in jail without being charged with a crime.

In theory, the United States government guarantees that “no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law” and that the accused have the right to a speedy and fair trial. However, in practice the government blatantly contradicts and violates these human rights guarantees. The Bush Administration has detained over a thousand immigrants and two United States citizens, without charges or trial, under a veil of secrecy. The US Department of Justice has refused to release the names of many of those arrested in connection with its September 11th investigations, and has shut the public out of immigration proceedings against those individuals, insisting that such secrecy is vital to their campaign against terrorism. The indisputable irony is that the majority of INS detainees have been arrested for minor immigration violations, and have no connection to supposed terrorists or information about terrorist attacks.

To date, no one has been charged with anything more than a minor immigration offense, such as an expired visa or working while in the country on a tourist visa. Yet, post-9/11 detainees have been subjected to lengthy detentions, and while in custody, systemic physical and verbal abuse.
The following instances from jails in New Jersey demonstrate the absurd conditions the detainees are being forced to endure:

• Two dozen detainees were brought to Union County Jail in Elizabeth, New Jersey after acting out their frustrations about jail conditions in a previous jail. For three days, detainees from Albania, India, Ghana, and elsewhere were beaten, held naked, made to crawl on their hands and knees through a gauntlet of jail officers, and forced to chant “America is Number One.” One Indian detainee claimed that between beatings, correctional officers used pliers to pinch the skin on his genitals and squeeze his tongue.
• A Pakistani national had been in the Passaic County Jail for three months without a lawyer.

The Office of the Inspector General's report on detention conditions noted how conditions vary by detention facility but they confirmed several abuses that apply to most detention situations. These included the housing of immigrant detainees with the general population, a lack of adequate medical care, excessive security measures, denial of visitation privileges and communication with the outside world - including their attorneys and families, racist verbal abuse, physical abuse, lack of translators or bilingual staff and difficulty meeting religious obligations, specifically dietary needs and prayer practices.

Besides the feeble attempts at providing the public with an illusion of safety, there are other underlying reasons behind these lengthy detentions and abusive practices. The Passaic County Jail in Paterson, New Jersey demonstrates the economic benefits of housing detainees and constructing new detention facilities. The Passaic County Jail has a contract with BICE that guarantees $78 per detainee per day in comparison with New Jersey's reimbursements of $62 per day for state prisoners. “Like agriculture, restaurants, hotels and other realms of American business, the prison-industrial complex now also looks to undocumented immigrants as the most promising means of keeping them afloat.”

In total, it is estimated that approximately three million dollars came into the Passaic County Jail last year in BICE payments. The jail is estimated to currently be holding 80-100 detainees and approximately 1600 other inmates in a facility built for a little over 800 prisoners.

Due to the overcrowding, the detainees are frequently held in the general population, violating federal regulations on the housing of immigration detainees. The federal proposal with $6.3 billion budget for fiscal 2003 slated more than $50 million for the construction of detention facilities.

These figures clearly expose the capitalist economic interests that prevail in the frantic detention of immigrants and show the close relationship between the prison-industrial complex in this country in general, and these new policies instituted by the Bush Administration.

As Farouk Adbel-Muhti said “We must speak out against the actions of our government and provide a voice for those who are silenced behind prison walls in order to cease the prosecution and persecution of immigrants in the name of ‘homeland security.’ We must challenge policies based on the discredited notion that ethnic profiling is an effective way of combating terrorism, a notion that in the past has led to the incarceration of Japanese-Americans and other shameful episodes of American history. Any program that targets people based upon national origin, race, religion or political involvement is repugnant to the core values of our Constitution. It is our responsibility as residents of the United States to speak up when we see injustices committed in the name of democracy, to stand up for each other and for ourselves when we see our civil liberties under attack.”

This month, when the Republican National Convention comes to town, let’s join together in telling the Bush Administration that we will not stand for these racist policies, policies that do nothing to ensure our safety, and that do everything to curtail our freedoms and civil liberties. Join us in telling the Republicans what it can do with its policies regarding people of color, and let’s also take the time to mourn for our comrade Farouk Abdel-Muhti, who died as a result of these illegal and brutal policies of the Department of Homeland Security.

Join us!

August 31st – 12PM – 26 Federal Plaza, Manhattan
Meet at Columbus Park – corner of Pearl and Bayard Streets - at 11AM. We will leave as a group for the BICE offices at 11:45AM.

This work is in the public domain
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MORON. You dont know what youre talking about
23 Aug 2004
"This month, when the Republican National Convention comes to town, let’s join together in telling the Bush Administration that we will not stand for these racist policies, policies that do nothing to ensure our safety, and that do everything to curtail our freedoms and civil liberties."


The policies are not "racist", they are cultural/ethnic. There is a difference (Im speaking from the perspective of a non-white man). Profiling based on an ethnic likeihood that someone is from the Middle East (specifically a Muslim) is a GOOD thing. Any Muslim following the literal interpretation of the Koran is instructed, by his religion, to "kill the infidels wherever they are". Profiling them is logical and necessary to ensure our safety and also that our "freedoms and civil liberties" are still in place for our children. If you are so adamant about helping these people, I suggest you go to Iraq and tell them a thing or two about how they treat their women, and how they should give some "freedoms and civil liberties" to their people FOR ONCE. The things you take for granted are denied by Muslim leaders, or didnt you know that?