Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Poor Prince William County just can’t afford to be racist

As seen on Charlottesville Weekly...

BY DAN CATALANO

Here’s a dilemma for you: Let’s say you’re a mean-spirited municipality that doesn’t cotton much to outsiders, and prefers to scapegoat a powerless group of caramel-colored folks for all of its (largely self-inflicted) problems. Now, let’s say you pass an ill-conceived law transparently designed to harass and demonize anyone with a healthy tan and a spicy, south-of-the-border accent. So far, so good, right? Now let’s say that, during the all-important implementation phase of said law, it turns out that these new programs are going to cost a boatload of taxpayer dinero. Unfortunately, this metaphorical cash-filled boat has suddenly sprung a massive leak, because—surprise!—it’s a houseboat, and plummeting property values have compromised both its seaworthiness and fabled ability to support untold amounts of cash.

Oh, what’s a poor, illegal immigrant-bashing Board of County Supervisors to do?

Well, this is the exact dilemma currently facing the hardworking, office-holding xenophobes of Prince William County, who have long fed off the voting public’s fear of an impending Mexican invasion of Northern Virginia. Led by Board Chairman Corey A. Stewart, and backed by the hyperbolically named anti-illegals group Help Save Manassas (run by ex-infantryman and current computer consultant Greg Letiecq), the Prince William politicos voted for an illegal-immigration crackdown program last October that, among other things, instructed police officers to check the residency status of any “criminal suspect” who looked like they might have recently waded across the Rio Grande.

The problem with this brilliant piece of legislation, as any frequent viewer of “Law & Order” can tell you, is that accosting random dark-skinned people and demanding to see their green cards is commonly known as “racial profiling,” and can get a police department in all sorts of legal trouble. And so, to prepare for the flood of court cases that will almost certainly result from this “walking while beige” suspect-accosting policy, the county police department requested dashboard-mounted video cameras for all of its vehicles, in order to show that its officers were only asking about residency after observing possible criminal behavior, and not merely because someone was observed eating their arroz con pollo with a little too much gusto.

But, gosh darn the luck, cameras cost money! As does housing and feeding the hundreds of new prisoners being held on immigration-related charges in the Prince William County jail (the Board originally insisted that only 40 people a month would be detained under the program, but the jail’s superintendent, Major Peter Meletis, now estimates that 73 immigration-related in-mates a month have arrived since the law took effect last September). And don’t forget the extra money you’ll need to fight the numerous legal challenges to your impressively discriminatory policies. And hey, did we mention that housing prices (and the attendant tax revenue) are in the toilet?

But not to worry, everything’s sure to work out just fine in the end. As Chairman Stewart recently told The Washington Post, “we need to give this program a chance to work. We are blazing a new trail. It’s not easy. We need to define ourselves and not let the naysayers define us.”

Well, you know what, Mr. Stewart? As longstanding naysayers, we have a little piece of unsolicited advice for you. Instead of arresting people just because they want to live and work in your once-thriving county, perhaps you should allow them to go about the business of pursuing the American dream peacefully and without undue harassment, and thus encourage them to find decent jobs, buy cars and houses, and pay taxes. And guess what? Those taxes might just help plug the leaks in that fiscal houseboat you’re currently steering over a raging waterfall. In short, Chairman Stewart, if you really want to find a way out of Prince William’s current financial morass, you just need to ask yourself one simple question:

What can brown do for you?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Friday, May 2, 2008

Harassment continues...

In Prince William County the police will be checking for even more undocumented immigrants when they are arrested, and police can still check when undocumented immigrants are not.

The racist extremist policies of Prince William continue, even when thousands of immigrants demonstrated in Washington on May Day to show that the majority of people do not favor separating families with deportations and treating immigrants like second class citizens just as the Zionists in occupied Palestine Israel do to any arabs within the occupied lands.

The struggle against racism continues...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Rescind The Resolution!

Prince William County may rescind part of the Rule of Law Resolution! Frank Principi is taking the brave stand to defend immigrants in Virginia and is going to make a move to have part of the immigration resolution thrown out. If we are successful here we may be able to soon overturn the entire racist monstrosity!

Go to anti-bvbl for information about how to participate in this important effort!

Si se puede!

Dr. Al-Arian Placed in Punitive Detention

From the Immigrant Solidarity Network:

At 1 a.m. on Saturday, Dr. Sami Al-Arian was moved by
hostile prison guards from a regular holding cell at the Howard County
Detention Center in Jessup, Maryland, to the "Special Housing Unit."
The SHU is an extremely punitive and restrictive section of the prison
where inmates are placed in solitary confinement 23 hours a day,
usually in freezing temperatures. Prisoners are normally moved there
for violating prison rules. However, in the case of Dr. Al-Arian, he
has always been placed there without reason or any explanation. In the
SHU, prisoners are subjected to continuous, deafening alarm sounds and
have little contact with the outside world. With no medical
supervision, this is an extremely dangerous place for Dr. Al-Arian to
be during his hunger strike, which is on its 41st day. Dr. Al-Arian
was also held in solitary confinement for 37 months before and during
his trial. This was a deliberate attempt by the government to break
him down physically and psychologically and to prevent him from
preparing for his trial.

Amnesty International has written several letters decrying the prison
conditions of Dr. Al-Arian, calling his treatment "gratuitously
punitive" and "inconsistent with international standards for humane
treatment."

The Tampa Bay Coalition for Justice and Peace urges all conscientious
individuals and organizations to contact the Howard County Detention
Center and call for humane treatment of Dr. Al-Arian. We also call on
media outlets to cover these abuses, which so far have received no
attention.

TAKE ACTION

Call the Howard County Detention Center and ask that Dr. Al-Arian be
removed from the Special Housing Unit, where he does not belong, and
that the prison ensures he is given proper medical treatment during
his hunger strike. The number is (410) 313-5200.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Myths about our Undocumented Citizens

The undocumented are not our enemy:

Crime Rates Have Declined as Immigration Has Increased:

Even as the undocumented population has doubled to 12 million since 1994, the violent crime rate in the United States has declined 34.2 percent and the property crime rate has fallen 26.4 percent.

Cities with large immigrant populations such as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Miami also have experienced declining crime rates during this period.

Immigrants Have Lower Incarceration Rates than Natives:

Among men age 18-39 (who comprise the vast majority of the prison population), the 3.5 percent incarceration rate of the native-born in 2000 was 5 times higher than the 0.7 percent incarceration rate of the foreign-born.

The foreign-born incarceration rate in 2000 was nearly two-and-a-half times less than the 1.7 percent rate for nativeborn non-Hispanic white men and almost 17 times less than the 11.6 percent rate for native-born black men.

Native-born Hispanic men were nearly 7 times more likely to be in prison than foreign-born Hispanic men in 2000, while the incarceration rate of native-born non-Hispanic white men was almost 3 times higher than that of foreign-born white men.

Foreign-born Mexicans had an incarceration rate of only 0.7 percent in 2000—more than 8 times lower than the 5.9 percent rate of native-born males of Mexican descent.

Foreign-born Salvadoran and Guatemalan men had an incarceration rate of 0.5 percent, compared to 3.0 percent of native-born males of Salvadoran and Guatemalan descent

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

And what did voting get you, exactly?

Seen what voting has done for us in Prince William County? Nothing but racist garbage.

These people have a better idea:

Members of the Northeast Anarchist Network have initiated a two-tiered campaign to discredit representative democracy and promote direct democracy and anarchy. Armed with centuries of failure of representative government, we will be creating and distributing propaganda that undermines the credibility and attacks the legitimacy of the U.S. political system, while at the same time introducing alternatives such as local autonomy and neighborhood assemblies, highlighting their successes in other parts of the world.

We welcome others to distribute this material as it is made available. Furthermore, we call upon anti-authoritarians to creatively and effectively target all upcoming speeches, caucuses, debates, votes, and everything else related to this electoral sock puppet show. We also encourage the planning of public events, forums, and community discussions to achieve the aims described above. Let's make our presence known!

For flyers and other materials for this campaign, see Anti-Elections Materials under Resources/Documents