The following press release was issued by Refuse Fascism, NYC, on March 8, 2019 and presented at the ICE office in NYC (video above):
For immediate release
8 March 2019
646 851 6785
3 pm Protest of ICE Surveillance of “anti-Trump” groups in NYC
ICE Surveillance of Peaceful Protest IS Fascist; Trump/Pence Must GO
What: Rally-Press conference
When: 3:00 pm Friday March 8
Where: 26 Federal Plaza outside ICE offices at U.S. Federal Building
On March 6, The Nation magazine revealed documents that prove ICE Has Kept Tabs on ‘Anti-Trump’ Protesters in New York City including our organization, RefuseFascism.org. This blatantly unconstitutional activity also targeted a wide range of groups opposed to Trump and Pence or their policies including Gays Against Guns, the New Sanctuary Coalition, the Deportee Suitcase Solidarity March, Young Progressives of America, NYC Says Enough, Rise and Resist and even a protest organized by a sitting member of Congress. As part of their activities, ICE tracked the names of people who signed up at Facebook to participate in protests.
Nothing in the revealed ICE documents suggest any concern that any of the planned protests were illegal. Instead, the documents reveal that ICE targeted groups and protests simply because they were opposed to Trump and Pence. For example, an ICE spreadsheet titled “Anti-Trump Protest Spreadsheet” includes a protest we and others initiated “Join 100 Handmaids VS Pence in NYC – Trump/Pence Must Go!”
(a photo of which is featured at The Nation).
Also this week, an NBC affiliate in San Diego revealed that U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the FBI targeted these journalists and activists for scrutiny at the border and created a secret database containing dossiers that included their personal details, social media information, and descriptions of their migrant-related work. This follows news reports in February documenting how CBP repeatedly subjected journalists to lengthy interrogation and confiscations of their cameras and notes at border facilities. The U.S. government also apparently worked with Mexican authorities to prevent photojournalists from entering Mexico to report on migrant issues.
The ACLU concludes this activity “looks like a coordinated attack on constitutional rights, the U.S. government has reportedly been targeting journalists, activists, and lawyers working to raise awareness of issues facing migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.”
In Los Angeles and Chicago, as a result of protests called by Refuse Fascism against the Trump/Pence fascist regime since it came to power, twelve people face criminal charges and up to seven years in prison for non-violent political protest. Their cases reveal a continuing pattern of coordinated governmental political surveillance, targeting, and persecution against RefuseFascism.org.
RefuseFascism.org stands in solidarity with all those targeted by repression by the Trump/Pence fascist regime, and demands this surveillance and repression stop now! We salute the activists, legal professionals and journalists targeted by the government for telling the truth about what this regime is doing or protesting. The exposed activities by ICE, CBP, and the FBI should cross a red line for anyone who refuses to accept a fascist America.
At the same time, we call on people to recognize that we are confronting a fascist regime that has repeatedly expressed contempt for free speech, freedom of the press, the right to protest; that demonizes and incites violence against Muslims and immigrants, that encourages police brutality, and that systematically defies court rulings even as it packs the courts with pro-fascists.
These exposures of repression call for more struggle by everyone opposed to the moves of this regime. And this struggle needs to be aiming at and preparing for nothing less than driving out the whole regime.
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