Sunday, March 29, 2015

Operation Streamline Protesters Go on Trial in April

[Twelve activists are to go on trial on April 13 in Arizona for an October 2013 protest in which they blocked a bus transporting immigrants to the "assembly line justice" of the government's Operation Streamline. The activists now face two misdemeanor charges; other charges were dropped in a hearing on March 16 (although the protesters were not "acquitted" of the charges, as the Tucson Weekly reported).--TPOI]

Activists put on trial for defending immigrants
By Gabriel M. Schivone, Arizona Daily Star
March 15, 2015

In a few seconds, it was all over. On that October 2013 morning, a group of us — students and young professionals, seasoned retirees and a mother, ranging in age from 20 to 68 — had scurried up to two halted prison buses filled with shackled migrants off the I-10 frontage road near downtown Tucson.

We locked our arms around the buses’ front tires. After several hours of delay, the transport vehicles would not make it to their fateful destination that day a few blocks away at the U.S. District Court of Arizona.

Today, the Pima County attorney will open its criminal prosecution against us, providing a new opportunity to impugn the ugly aspects of U.S. immigration and border enforcement policies.[...]

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Operation Streamline Immigration Activists Acquitted of All But Two Charges
María Inés Taracena, Tucson Weekly
March 17, 2015

The immigration rights activists who blocked two buses carrying roughly 70 undocumented men and women to Operation Streamline proceedings two years ago have been acquitted of all but two charges.

It was relieving to hear the good news, but the 12 defendants in court— Gabriel Schivone, Maryada Vallet, Alexandra Nicole Sabo, Angelica Moreno Loreto, Charles Kaufman, Michelle Jahnke, Steve Johnston, Julia Mihich Harden, Sarah Launius, Ethan Beasley, Paula McPheeters and Devora Gonzalez—still wanted to gear the focus back onto the Streamline proceedings and the reasons they feel it's necessary to have actions like the one that occurred Oct. 11, 2013.

"The feeling that I can't escape from is outrage, because Streamline is still going on, it went on today and it's gonna go on tomorrow and the next day and the next month," Schivone said after leaving court. "By putting our bodies, our minds together to figure out how we can stop Streamline and...resist, until the United States obeys international law, until the United States can stop treating people this way."[...]

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