Protests denounce ICE raids

first_imgWhen the Washington Post leaked on Dec. 23 that the Barack Obama administration would begin a series of raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security, and start deporting some 100,000 people in 2016, immigrant rights groups did not sit back. Protests to the raids, which mostly target migrants from Central America who fled violence in their home countries in the prior year, were immediately in the works. The raids began the first weekend of the new year.  On Dec. 30, a noisy demonstration was held by immigrant families and activists outside the White House. (wusa9.com) On Jan. 6, according to Mission Local, protesters gathered outside the San Francisco ICE headquarters. On Jan. 7, activists protested outside the federal building which houses ICE in Newark, N.J., reported nj.com. Other demonstrations have occurred in Boston; New Haven, Conn.; Homestead, Fla.; and Auburn, Ore. (democracynow.org, Jan. 8)Following are reports on protests and press conferences from Workers World Party activists.ICE-free NYCWith arms locked together and shielded with large black piping, heroic immigrant rights activists blocked traffic for nearly an hour outside the ICE offices and immigration court in lower Manhattan. The action was publicized as a noontime press conference in response to the Obama administration’s authorization of more raids, detentions and deportations of migrants. Following the press conference, organizers held a short march of 250 people, who were accompanied by the cops. Then, suddenly, another group of mostly immigrant youth activists and migrants, in touch with the march, moved in and shut down one of the largest and busiest thoroughfares in New York City.Toni Arenstein, from the People’s Power Assembly, told Workers World: “Police were totally unprepared. They really didn’t know what to do. Not only were the people blocking the intersections, but everyone in the area went into the street.” Protesters prevented the cops from opening up two corners by quickly stretching banners across the street stating their demands: “ICE Free NYC,” “Close Prisons — Open Borders,” “Not One More Deportation: Cut the Fence” and “Fuck ICE.”“It was empowering to see people’s response to the action and to see the community come together within a day to speak out against the raids. This is just the first step,” said Claudia Palacios, a PPA organizer who took part in the protest.Seven protesters were arrested. Organizers outside the police headquarters heard that because of the way the seven were tied together and because they allegedly refused arrest, they were still being kept after 24 hours.Predawn raids start in Atlanta Several dozen immigrant women and children, one of them only 4 years old, were seized from homes throughout metro Atlanta by ICE agents in the predawn hours of Jan. 2.By nightfall, at least 47 refugees from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador were on a plane to Texas where they were taken to a detention center in preparation for deportation.On Jan. 7, at a press conference in front of the Atlanta ICE office called by the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, Johanna Gutierrez provided the terrifying details of how her niece and nephew were removed by armed men from her Norcross, Ga., home.Gutierrez described how agents came barging through the door, claiming they did not need a warrant to enter. Going from room to room, they separated the scared, crying children from the adults. They threatened to arrest her when she sought to comfort and reassure the children.Gutierrez’s niece, Ana Lizeth Mejía, and her young son had fled Honduras in the summer of 2014 after her brother was killed by gang members. Gutierrez said that her niece wore an ankle monitor and had an upcoming court date on her application for asylum.The GLAHR office has been inundated with phone calls since the raids took place. Some are relatives trying to find out where their loved ones have been taken. Other immigrants call seeking advice, frightened to send their children to school or to open their doors — situations so similar to their fearful lives in the violence-wrought countries from which they had tried to escape.Wisconsin says #StopTheRaids Voces de la Frontera and the New Sanctuary Movement in Milwaukee held a protest Jan. 7 at the ICE office there to demand an end to the latest raids and deportations. Participants pledged their support of refugee community members and called on ICE to stop the raids. An upcoming “Know Your Rights” workshop and other resources for community self-defense were announced. The protest was supported by the Milwaukee Teachers Education Association and other labor and community organizations. See vdlf.org and #‎StopTheRaids‬.Toni Arenstein, Dianne Mathiowetz, Lyn Neeley and WW Milwaukee Bureau contributed to this article.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

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40 Under 40

first_imgShane Curry’s work with blueberries, pecans and organics in southeastern Georgia has helped garner the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources agent a 40 under 40 recognition by Great American Media Services, publishers of Fruit Grower News and Vegetable Growers News.Curry, who has worked in Extension for 12 years, including seven years in his current post in Appling County, has participated in UGA blueberry research trials that have helped Georgia ascend to the top of the national rankings in blueberry production. He will be honored at the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market on Dec. 4, 2018, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.“It feels good when you consider there’s only 40 of us being honored across the nation and the university has two of those 40 on there,” Curry said. Extension vegetable plant pathologist Bhabesh Dutta was also selected. “It’s a great honor when the work you do for the better part of your career gets recognized — that’s a great achievement.”The award recognizes outstanding young professionals in the nation’s fruit and vegetable industry who demonstrate excellent commitment to making their mark through innovation and leadership.Appling County is the third-largest blueberry-producing county in Georgia and the largest organic blueberry-producing county in the state.Through research trials with UGA specialists in Appling County, Curry found a way to combat nematodes, which are microscopic parasites that attack the plant’s roots. Using soil fumigants and adding pine bark mulch when blueberry bushes have to be replanted helps to fight pests, specifically nematodes, according to Curry.Growers typically plant new blueberry plants every 10 years or when diseases and other problems reach a certain threshold. Curry’s research emphasizes the need to combine soil fumigants with pine bark before treating the soil prior to replanting. This greatly reduces the nematode populations and slows the pest’s development.“The plants growing with added pine bark reacted better than those with soil fumigants alone. Growers have been using pine bark with highbush blueberries for years, so this isn’t new. It does reiterate that we don’t need to cut corners or try to save money by leaving pine bark out,” Curry said.He’s also part of a coordinated effort between Extension agents and specialists to research blueberry leaf rust. This foliar disease causes small spots to appear on blueberry leaves. Infected leaves usually drop prematurely, and defoliation leads a reduce number of blooms and lower yields the following year, he said.Curry’s disease research centers on a newer fungicide that works extremely well on blueberry leaf rust. Instead of multiple applications, this treatment only requires one or two sprays.He said Extension research is underway to determine a yield impact as a result of this fungicide, and the group is working toward getting a label for the chemical treatment.Curry also started and coordinates the Southeast Georgia Pecan Field Day each year in Baxley, Georgia, where more than 200 pecan growers from eighteen counties attend. He is considered an area expert in pecan trees and has been invited to multiple meetings across Georgia to give presentations on pecan production.Appling County is diverse in its agricultural production. According to Curry, every year the county produces around 30,000 acres of cotton, 10,000 acres of peanuts, 5,000 acres of corn, 1,000 acres of tobacco and 2,000 acres of pecans. There are also about 25 acres of strawberries.“Things are constantly changing so you’ve got to know a lot about a lot of different things. You could easily be focused on blueberries and then get a call on cotton,” Curry said. “You have to be very diverse and knowledgeable of all those things and be able to help a farmer when you receive a call on any one crop.“If there’s one thing about Extension, it’s not the same thing every day and that’s what I like about it.”(Julie Jernigan was an intern on the UGA Tifton campus.)last_img read more

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