Thursday, November 17, 2011

Not what I thought I'd be posting today.

Last Thursday I fully expected today’s post to be in the usual “cheery/chatty” tone I usually adopt for this blog. Last Thursday, I expected to be blogging about the wonderful PICO conference I’m returning from as I type. That post will be along next week.

Last Thursday I stood next to my friend Pancho in Tree’s kitchen making pizza for the Free Farm meeting we had that night. Last Thursday we hugged each other goodbye and said, ‘See you soon.’ This Thursday, Pancho is in ICE custody and in danger of deportation.

Pancho is a wonderful leader at the Free Farm, but he is much more. Pancho is brilliant, he originally came to the US to pursue an astrophysics degree at UC Berkeley. He is loving, he greets everyone as brother or sister and with a hug from the first time he meets them. He is passionate, he has championed many causes including pacifism and food justice. Pancho was arrested at Occupy Oakland. He was sitting quietly, meditating, in support of the Occupy folks.

Pancho is one of the most gentle people I know, and I am blessed to know many. He is shackled and being treated as a particularly dangerous prisoner. He is probably calmer about it than I am. It will be our loss if ICE is allowed to take him from us.

There is a rally planned for 2p.m. this afternoon at the San Francisco ICE building. ICE is at 630 Sansome Street.

What else can you do?

1) Help get the word out! Link to this blog or any of the below, post them on Facebook, etc.

2) Sign the petitions asking for his release:

3) Contact our representatives:

Dianne Feinstein
Phone: (415) 393-0707

Barbara Boxer
(510) 286-8537

Nancy Pelosi
Phone: (415) 556-4862

Barbara Lee (to thank her for her support so far, and urge her on)
Phone: (510) 763-0370
More info:

If you would like to read more about Pancho and this situation:

San Francisco Chronicle, "Occupy Oakland arrestee faces deportation," 11/16/11: "He's serving the community in a major way," said friend Adelaja Simon, 24, of Oakland... "For him to be jailed like this is a ridiculous waste of energy and funds."

San Jose Mercury/Contra Costa Times/Oakland Tribune
:, 11/16/11, "Peaceful Occupy Oakland protester faces deportation,"

East Bay Express, 11/15,11, "Occupy Oakland activist faces deportation"

New America Media

Thanks in advance for your help helping Pancho.

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