Dignity Dialogue Notes 4/17

Updates on Hunger Strike at the detention center in Tacoma:

  • Paused as of Sunday morning
  • Several plots stopped because of retaliations
    • People are getting transferred (and threatened with transfer) between the Dalles and Tacoma
      • Moving people repeatedly makes things difficult for contacting family and difficult to get representation
    • Women have been threatened with IV feeding and other punishments
    • As of Monday night, ICE and GEO offered negotiation
      • promised options for food
      • women’s section offered better uniforms
      • people detained in the prison said these promised aren’t happening
    • Support groups are waiting to hear what next actions will be taken—new action is likely to be decided soon
    • NOTE—as of Monday, hunger strikes and other forms of resistance are back on
    • Ways to support:

Legal Observing/Court Watch

  • Legal Observers are community members who are eyes and ears for the people
    • often people in the legal community (lawyers, paralegals, etc.), but can also be any person willing to step up and do careful observing
  • When we don’t have transparency with law enforcement, we need to also keep records
  • There is more and more pressure on local governments and local law enforcement to cooperate with ICE
  • There is also pressure to use local facilities to hold people in order to expedite deportation
  • First, we have to know what is actually happening; we can’t rely on police and local gov. accounts
  • We should start in Municipal Court and District Court because that is where the road to detention usually starts—with lower-level offenses
  • For those who sign up, there is a reporting form that we can use
    • Get as many details as possible!
    • Names are key!
    • Note any discriminatory language/treatment
    • Look for immigration agents
    • Especially note if anyone asks about immigration status
      • they should only be asking about things relevant to the case
    • We would go to superior court if there were particular trials of interest
    • Keeping an eye out for immigration agents—what to look for:
      • Customs and Border Patrol:
        • Usually olive green uniforms with yellow details
        • Green/white/brown vehicles
      • ICE
        • Dark blue/black uniforms
        • Homeland security sometimes identified
        • Sometimes uniforms say “Police
      • All of them can also show up in plain clothes, too
        • trust your instincts
        • notice who is there week after week
      • If you see local police collaborating, be sure to write it down!
      • Remember—you CANNOT record in the courtroom without permission from the judge
      • You CAN take pictures and video outside the courtroom
        • if you do take pictures, a good angle is more important than being close—you can always zoom in
      • If asked, say you are taking notes for an attorney
      • Don’t fight an officer if they try to take your notes—if you touch an officer, it can be labeled as assault
      • Note how many ICE/Border Patrol are in the Courtroom and who they are talking to!
      • When you are Legal Observing
        • stay neutral
        • the important thing is to accurately record! These notes could be important for the future
        • Be sure to note the date, location, time, weather, light, pics, video, etc.
          • write down if things are fine, too
        • Get contact info for witnesses if there is an incident
          • Follow-up

**Shout out to Anna for taking these notes!




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