Hunger Strike at Tacoma NWDC Calls for Humane Treatment and Shutdown of Facility

More than two hundred people detained in the now infamous Northwest Detention Center (NWDC, AKA Northwest ICE Processing Center) went on hunger strike this morning demanding edible food, humane treatment by guards, and the shutdown of the facility. This strike follows months of daily reports by people detained at NWDC of finding maggots, blood, hairs and even screws in their food, and dealing with the lack of response by GEO Group – the corporation that owns and runs the facility- and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The strike is planned to last for 8 days. 

Join us this weekend, Saturday 12:30pm & Sunday 12:30pm at the NWDC, to demand that ICE and GEO Group do not retaliate, meet the strikers demands, and ultimately release them all! Sunday’s gathering will take place in collaboration with the Sukkot ritual and action by Kadima Reconstructionist Community. More info below under “upcoming events”.

This is the 19th hunger strike recorded by La Resistencia at NWDC in the past 5 years, and is one of many that people detained under ICE custody throughout the US have staged in 2019. The most recent hunger strikes, and even a mass suicide attempt, in ICE facilities in El Paso, Otero and Louisiana reflect the national sentiment of resistance organized by people imprisoned under ICE custody. This month there were also two deaths in ICE detention that have been reported. One, a hunger striker from Cuba, resembles the death of Amar Mergansana in NWDC last November. Mergansana had been on hunger strike for 83 days and was held in solitary confinement

The poor quality of food has also motivated a strike elsewhere In Washington. On Oct 7th, 700+ individuals at Clallam Bay Correctional Facilities, went on a five day long food and work strike against the Department of Corrections negligence.  

We’ve received calls from people detained detailing their reasons for starting a hunger strike:

We are tired of eating garbage, finding maggots, and other things in the food. GEO and ICE don’t do anything, they take the report and then they say “everything has been fixed”, yet we continue finding maggots in the food. GEO guards mistreat us, they yelled at us, in some instances they have assaulted people here. Some people are afraid of them, but mostly we are tired of being treated that way. We also want to do something for you all, we want to support the efforts outside to shut down this place.”

Detained activists call on GEO Group to serve edible food, and on all of us in Washington to support the campaign to shut down the NWDC and end immigrant detention.

#ShutDownNWDC #CierrenNWDC #SaquenaGEO #SupportHungerStrikers #AbolishICE

Upcoming Events

Take Action Now to Shut Down the NWDC!

Last week we launched the #ShutDownNWDC campaign. Join us in the call to end detention and deportations in Washington state. 
 1) Sign & share this petition as an individual to demand that Tacoma City Council declare NWDC a chronic public nuisance and shut down the detention center once and for all. 
2) Has your organization endorsedthe Shut Down Campaign? Learn more about the campaign and endorse as an organization or group here. For a list of endorsing orgs, click here.
3) Change your profile pictures on social media to let everyone know you support the shut down of NWDC! Share with your friends! Find them via our Facebook page. Screen shot our image on Instagram and make it your profile pic. 
4) Sign up to canvas! Canvassing will be from 3:30pm until around 7pm on November 1st in Tacoma. We’ll start with a brief training in a central location, followed by the La Resistencia Día De Los Muertos vigil at the detention center. No canvassing experience necessary! Sign up here.
5) Visit our new website and learn more about the Shut Down the NWDC campaign and how you can get involved.

Read and share La Resistencia’s response to the latest attempt by #ICE to whitewash their image and that of the #Tacoma cages.

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“Though the NWDC may seem better than the tents erected on the U.S. southern border, the tour revealed an ugly truth — no detention centers are humane.”
Read the article here: https://crosscut.com/2019/09/ice-rebranded-tacoma-detention-center-its-still-inhumane

“They said that they treat detainees humanely but they yell at us like children.” Click here to read the full testimony of a person detained in the detention center speaking about conditions inside.  

La Resistencia Statement on Shooting Death of Northwest Detention Center Protestor

Early on the morning of July 13th, a person who appears to have been engaged in protest against the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) in Tacoma was shot and killed by members of the Tacoma Police Department. Today marks yet another death linked to the detention center, and another death at the hands of the police. Based on available information, including the police scanner recording, Willem Van Spronsen, the protestor killed, appears to have been targeting not the detention center itself, as has been widely reported in the media, but the parking lot across the street from the detention center which houses the NWDC’s transportation infrastructure. This infrastructure includes a fleet of buses that transports immigrants to be caged at the detention center, and that transports immigrants from the detention center to the Yakima Airport, from which they are deported. 

Continue reading our full press release here. 

It is our 5 year anniversary! Join us for a special solidarity day March 10th and our first ever fundraiser April 27th!

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ANNIVERSARY RALLY OUTSIDE NWDC
MARCH 10, 2019 1:30-4pm
1623 E J St, Tacoma, Washington

Meet us THIS SUNDAY where it all started, the Northwest Detention Center. We will be holding a rally in the afternoon to commemorate the work we’ve done and amplify our call of #ChingaLaMigra! Rideshares/Carpool sign ups can be found here: https://goo.gl/forms/3i8xBVAfk0JLc7cz2 
For more event info and RSVP click here: https://www.facebook.com/events/321588345156369/

ANNIVERSARY FUNDRAISER & PARTY
APRIL 27, 2019

Seattle
Help us sustain the fight and join us in our first ever fundraiser. Save the date! More info coming soon. 

#ChingaLaMigra Kicks Off Tour in Seattle! June 5th // Activists Lock Down Outside Downtown Seattle ICE Offices

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For more related press, visit our Press page.
Watch the #ChingaLaMigra kick off episode of Seattle here! 

Activists with Northwest Detention Center Resistance and Mijente locked down outside of 1000 2nd Avenue in downtown Seattle, Washington, calling attention to the building’s role as Washington State’s deportation epicenter. The building, owned by billionaire developer Martin Selig, houses regional offices for ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations and Office of Chief Counsel, regional offices for Customs and Border Protection, and the Department of Justice-controlled Seattle Immigration Court. Sign the petition to demand Martin Selig Real Estate stop renting office space to Trump’s deportation forces! 

The lockdown is part of the launch of the “Chinga La Migra” organizing tour to tell the story of what the deportation crisis under President Trump looks like in real time, and amplify the efforts and stories of resistance. 

“Chinga la Migra is a battle cry. We think it’s time to stop waiting for Trump to tweet and start exposing the real trends inside of his Enforcement-first Administration.”Marisa Franco, Executive Director of Mijente

Immigrant activists Maru Mora Villalpando of Northwest Detention Center Resistance herself faces deportation in the Immigration Court housed at 1000 2nd Avenue due to her anti-ICE activism. ICE received Mora Villalpando’s information directly from the Washington Department of Licensing. She stated, “This building serves as the epicenter for the deportation pipeline in Washington State. Seattle presents itself as a sanctuary city, while several floors of this downtown building house the offices of the very people tearing our communities apart. Trump’s cops have no place in our city, and we want them gone. From 1000 2nd Avenue in Seattle to the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, we say, ICE out of Washington State.” Protesters are demanding that Martin Selig Real Estate stop renting office space to Trump’s deportation forces.

The June 5th shutdown action follows the previous night’s sundown noise and light demonstration  at the now infamous Northwest Detention Center that drew attention to the unrelenting struggle against detention in Washington state under the leadership of those detained. With over a dozen hunger strikes in the past three years and increasing retaliation by ICE and GEO Group (who jointly run the facility) against people detained, the resistance has nevertheless continued. Washington State is only the first stop in the national Chinga la Migra tour, which heads from here to Chicago, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Mora-Villalpando concluded,  “More than ever, it’s important for us to stand against an agency that has become Trump’s police force. Until this detention center shuts down, until deportations end, and until ICE is abolished, our work will continue.”

#ChingaLaMigra

Meet Some of the Folks Who Locked Down & Why

EvaRose

“I’m choosing to risk arrest today because my savta came to this country to escape the holocaust in Poland, leaving everything behind to do what she needed to do for her family. I’m out here today because her lineage lives in me, and I know that migration is beautiful. I honor my family’s story of genocide and resilience and struggle here – by standing against ICE, and on the side of freedom, dignity, and home for all people. I will not forget how I got here, and that means putting my body on the line. Enough deportation, enough ripping families apart, enough of our silence.” – EvaRose

Noel

“I’m here to protest a police force with the most funding and no oversight known as ICE. ICE is Trump’s personal police force carrying to a racism-first agenda. I’m saying no more.”  – Noel

Max

“I’m standing with NWDC Resistance and other immigrants rights groups in WA and nationally to respond to the call to ‘Chinga la Migra’. The city of Seattle and the state of Washington have facilitated ICE in terrorizing and persecuting my community members with impunity. We must stand together in compassion to support and love all members of our community, especially undocumented immigrants and refugees targeted by the state. As a nation we must reckon with our years-long complicity in allowing lawless, white supremacist federal agencies to harass and terrorize the immigrant and refugee community.” – Max

Kelsen

“Today, I am locking down because as a Seattle resident who is opposed to Trump’s agenda, I know that our city and state can’t claim to be a place of sanctuary until we kick out ICE altogether. I want our leaders and politicians to take a bold stand in support of human dignity — and against the terrorism that ICE enacts on migrant communities.” – Kelsen

Ross

“I am risking arrest as a Jew. My family is alive today because of immigration and therefore I cannot in good conscious be docile while a secretive police force targets and rounds up our neighbors. This is an immoral system and industry that is fueled by fear and profits from the destruction of families and lives. Let’s be courageous and abolish ICE.” – Ross

Helena

“I’m participating today because it’s past time to abolish ICE, an out-of-control deportation force that upholds racist laws, terrorizes families and keeps nobody safe. I believe in a world where every person has the right to migrate as well as the freedom to stay and build a dignified life in their community. ICE lawyers and investigators, immigration courts, and Border Patrol have no place in this world and no place in our community.” – Helena

Donate to the Northwest Detention Center Resistance by clicking here!

Join us 6/26 to support Maru’s Court Hearing and to put ICE on Trial!

Maru VS ICE

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At the end of December, immigrant activist Maru Mora Villalpando received a letter from ICE calling for her deportation as retaliation for her work against detentions and deportations. Her last court was postponed for Tuesday June 26th. Maru will go before an immigration judge for the second hearing in her deportation case. Typically, people have three hearings before they are issued an order of removal or are detained.

Maru is a fierce and tireless truth-speaker who has put her life on the line in the fight to end detention and deportation. She is clearly being targeted for her powerful activism, and she intends to continue fighting. 

We are asking you to be there with Maru outside the immigration court building before and during the hearing. Please bring your signs (“Defend the Defender”, “ICE Hands Off Maru” “Chinga la Migra” “Abolish ICE”) and your friends. 

Come early at 12:30 to hear from Maru before she goes inside. Starting at 1:00, a tribunal against ICE will take place outside the building while we wait for Maru to emerge and update us on what happens in court. “As ICE takes me to court, I’m taking them to the People’s tribunal in our community”

Please share and RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/242338639681878/

A fines de diciembre, la activista e inmigrante Maru Mora Villalpando recibió una carta de ICE empezando un proceso de deportación en su contra como represalia por su trabajo contra las detenciones y deportaciones. Su última corte fue pospuesta para el martes 26 de junio. Maru se presentará ante un juez de inmigración para la segunda audiencia en su caso de deportación. Por lo general, las personas tienen tres audiencias antes de que se les expida una orden de deportación. 

Maru es una guerrera e incansable oradora de la verdad que ha arriesgado su vida en la lucha para terminar con la detención y la deportación. Claramente está siendo atacada por su poderoso activismo, y tiene la intención de seguir luchando. 

Le pedimos que esté allí con Maru afuera del edificio de la corte de inmigración antes y durante la audiencia. Por favor traiga sus letreros (“Defendemos a la Defensora”, “ICE No te metas con Maru” “Chinga la Migra” “Abolir a ICE”) y a sus amigxs.  

Venga temprano a las 12:30pm para escuchar a Maru antes de que ella entre a corte. A partir de la 1:00pm, un tribunal contra el ICE se llevará a cabo afuera del edificio mientras esperamos que Maru salga y nos actualice sobre lo que sucede en la corte. “Cuando ICE me lleva a corte, también los llevaré a ellos al tribunal del pueblo de nuestra comunidad”

-NWDC Resistance 

P.S.
Did you follow our recent actions with the Mijente #ChingaLaMigra tour? We blocked the roads outside the ICE building downtown Seattle bringing attention to theepicenter of deportations in Washington State.

If you haven’t already, sign the petition to demand Martin Selig Real Estate stop renting office space to Trump’s deportation forces!

Activists Across Walls! Join Us for a Week of Hunger Strikes

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Join us for a week of hunger strike solidarity by observing a one day hunger strike anytime today, Monday February 12 to Sunday February 18.

For one week we will do a rolling hunger strike in solidarity with the hunger strike and work stoppage currently happening in the Northwest Detention Center as well as the harsh retaliation they are receiving from Geo. We invite you, whether individually or with an organization, to join us by choosing one day of the week (or more) and going on hunger strike. We are doing this to honor the current hunger strikers’ demands inside, and to demand an end to detention and an end to deportation.

Activists who speak out against ICE and the deportation machine are targeted by the state, whether inside the detention center or outside. When people detained at NWDC go on hunger strike to demand better conditions inside and an end to deportations, GEO Group retaliates with isolation, threats of force feeding, physical and emotional abuse, and more. When people on the outside demand freedom of movement for all and take actions in line with those demands, the state spies on us, our families, deports us, arrests us, intimidates us. But we are not alone. Inside or out, we will continue to work towards a world with no detention and no deportations. We will continue to work towards a world where freedom of movement is granted for all people.

Join us and pick a day between February 12 and February 18 to strike in solidarity with the activists detained at NWDC.

1 – Email us at resistenciasolidarity (at) gmail.com and tell us what day.
2 – Take a picture of yourself, or your organization, with the signs attached (or make your own) and post them to your social media! Tag us!
3 – Write a message or letter of support to the strikers inside. We will send them the messages and photos.
4 – Download our most recent People’s Tribunal findings and use them as talking points to chat with people around why you’re on hunger strike.

Messaging for signs:

Activists Across Walls
Week of Hunger Strikes
#WeAreNotAloneOther hashtags for social media posts:
#TacomaStrike #YouCantDeportAMovement #HungerStrikersVsICE #MaruVsICE #DetentionStrike #EndDetentionEndDeportation