Los Angeles—On Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day, 250 to 300 people, mostly youth, demonstrated against “Secure Communities” (SC), Sheriff Baca and President Obama’s attack on Mexican and Latino/a immigrants. SC forces local police to act as federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, supposedly against undocumented immigrants who have committed serious crimes here. Besides working with ICE, the sheriffs have been setting up traffic checkpoints on the pretext of looking for driving violations and then impounding immigrants’ cars.
Signs read “Stop Breaking Up Families,” “Baca, Alto a la Poli/Migra,” and “Stop the Repression, Sheriff Baca, Stop the ICE/Police Attack.” A young Asian woman’s sign read, “No borders, No nations, Freedom for all, with or without papers.”
We marched to the nearby Federal Detention Building and held a brief rally. A solidarity speech was given by a Filipina from Bayan USA (New Patriotic Alliance). We then marched and rallied outside the central jail. The sheriffs retaliated with a lockdown of all inmates announcing that visitors would not see their families and friends that day.
Speakers at the rally included:
• A woman who told of her unarmed son, Jonathan Cuevas, who was shot in the back and killed by a Lynwood sheriff on Oct. 10, 2010.
• A Black man who said “Immigrant rights are human rights, one country, one humanity, with rights for everyone. We stand with you.”
• A woman from the Center for Constitutional Rights who said they have filed a lawsuit to get documents on SC. She said Obama is carrying out the worst of the right-wing agenda by shifting the immigration issue into the criminal justice system.