Maya faces 7 years in prison for a SILENT PROTEST in support of immigrants – Meanwhile the attacks on immigrants escalated, first DACA now immigrants and children continue to be Caged, Tortured, and Sexually Abused.
This is an OUTRAGE — all charges must be dropped now!
On March 1 2018, University of Chicago police who brutally attacked and arrested Maya (Diya Cruz), a Latinx member of the Revolution Club Chicago, for participating in a SILENT protest in support of undocumented immigrants, charged HER with felony battery on a police officer. She has also been banned from the University of Chicago campus!
Maya took part in 11 minutes of silence for the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are being terrorized in an escalating ethnic cleansing by the Trump/Pence regime. As part of a countrywide protest called for by Refuse Fascism, Maya, together with three other members of the Revolution Club, walked into the University of Chicago student center and simply held up sheets of paper announcing 11 minutes of silence for 11 million undocumented immigrants and stood silently for 11 minutes. Many in the dining hall joined in. It was a symbolic summoning to students to THINK about what it means that this government is terrorizing immigrants. After 11 minutes, the Revolution Club thanked all who participated and headed towards the exit, where they were stopped by police who at first prevented them from leaving, demanding identification, and then said they could go. Out of nowhere, the police attacked Maya, grabbing her roughly and then arresting her, literally dragging her down the stairs and out of the building. She has been charged with 2 felony counts of assault which carry 7 years in prison for this SILENT protest, for silently sounding the alarm on the unfolding horror of the Trump/Pence regime. Video – https://youtu.be/e6eidNFACgk
In bringing draconian charges against a dozen activists in Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club in Los Angeles and Chicago, the powers-that-be want to send a message that if you stand up you will be isolated, silenced, and crushed. We must send the opposite message: If you stand up against this fascist nightmare, we will have your back and bring even more people forward to join the righteous cause for which you are fighting.
Ironically, the University of Chicago has made a public point of its policy to encourage free expression, stating: “…the University has a solemn responsibility not only to promote a lively and fearless freedom of debate and deliberation, but also to protect that freedom when others attempt to restrict it.” Yet they have, in fact, acted against that very principle when their police attacked Maya. At the same time the U of C administration defended an invitation for the fascist Steve Bannon, whose white supremacist views falsely defame immigrants, Muslims, and people of color.
While the prosecution is likely to claim the persecution of Maya is “not political,” the court hearings show otherwise. At the initial hearing that should have been a routine bail hearing, the prosecutor arrived with a lengthy, distorted, and utterly irrelevant political dossier on Maya, portraying her as dangerous and undeserving of bail – on the basis of her alleged political views and associations and the fact that police have previously attempted to suppress her while she was engaged in lawful speech. At subsequent hearings, Maya’s case has not all been “routine.” At one hearing, the judge recalled that Maya had raised her fist to her supporters at the previous hearing and made it a condition of her bond that she couldn’t raise her fist in his courtroom, which he called “a sacred space.” When, as they were leaving, Maya’s supporters raised their fists the judge told them if they raised their fists again he would jail them for “contempt of court.” At another hearing the prosecution almost successfully got Maya’s bail revoked for another mass harassment arrest of the Revolution Club, this one at the People’s Puerto Rican Day parade, in which Maya was also bogusly arrested.
Maya’s arrest at the University of Chicago also foreshadowed an ongoing series of attacks by the authorities on Revolution Clubs in Chicago and around the country. In Chicago alone, throughout the spring and summer people associated with the Revolution Club have been repeatedly arrested, threatened with arrest, ticketed for using legal sound while reaching out to people throughout the city. Including Maya’s case, people associated with the Revolution Club currently face a full dozen cases in court.
Since the arrest at the University of Chicago, the Trump/Pence regime has accelerated persecution of immigrants, ripping children from their parents’ arms at the border and caging them like dogs. Hundreds of these children remain caged and it is unknown when or if they will be reunited, since many parents have been deported back to their home country. It’s now come out that over 13,000 children and counting, labeled as “unaccompanied minors,” are held in concentration camps in unimaginable, gut-wrenching conditions. More recently, a caravan with an estimated 7,000, men and women, youth, families, and mothers carrying infant children, mainly from Honduras, trekked through Guatemala to U.S.-Mexico border to apply for asylum. Trump has sent military troops to the border with order to shot. Read more – https://revcom.us/a/566/as-migrants-march-to-the-US-en.html
NO! As Bob Avakian says in the Q&A of his crucial talk, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America – A Better World IS Possible in speaking about what it is going to take to protect those who are vulnerable to attack by this system, “Other people have to get involved, other people… who are not directly affected in this or that thing, including deportations, have to take the stand that this is intolerable and we won’t allow it.” And he also goes on to say, “We cannot protect people from what the people in power are intending to do to them, other than by driving out the people in power.”
Maya has been part of the movement to drive out Trump and Pence and sounding the alarm that the attacks on immigrants are intolerable! She is also a revolutionary and what motivates her to defy and repudiate the injustices and atrocities of this putrid system is to fight to put an end to all forms of oppression here and around the world.
What is being done now to immigrants is nothing short of ethnic cleansing and there is a clear message here that those trying to fight this will be silenced. YOU ARE NEEDED! If you abhor the way that immigrants are being demonized, terrorized and put in concentration camps, then regardless of your political stance, you need to support and defend Maya, and like she did on March 1, take the stand that what is happening to immigrants is intolerable and we won’t allow it!
WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW:
- DONATE! DONATE! DONATE! https://www.fundedjustice.com/Free_Maya
- Sign Petition – https://tinyurl.com/PetitionFreeMaya
- Share this on social media!
- If you are in Chicago invite Maya and members of the Revolution Club to speak to your class, church, school group etc.
- Help reach out to media – newspapers, college newsletters, radio/tv
- Pack the courtroom.
- Stay updated, email me [email protected]