Columbus Ohio – All of the arrestees who blocked an Ice Office were released from jail late Tuesday July 10th. Charges were all misdemeanors, everyone plead guilty and fines and jail time were dismissed by the judge. We do have around a $1,000 we have paid in court fees, so a huge thank you to everyone who kicked in funds.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 9, 2018
Contact: Benjamin Rose, Earth First! Media
High-resolution photos available upon request
ACTIVISTS SHUT DOWN COLUMBUS ICE OFFICES
Demand End to Agency’s Abuse
COLUMBUS, OH— A coalition of racial and ecological justice groups including Mijente, The American Indian Movement of Ohio, Earth First!, and the Columbus Sanctuary Collective came together with local migration justice activists to take over an ICE office and blockade a busy street for several hours this morning in downtown Columbus, Ohio. The protest was in response to the wave of escalating actions across the country inspired by the national migrant justice group Mijente and their resistance to ICE and Border Patrol. 12 people were arrested over the course of the protest.
This coalition action effectively exposed the existence of a little know ICE office and detention facility located in the LeVeque Tower, a luxury hotel in downtown Columbus, OH. Locking their bodies together with bicycle locks, they refused to leave and were eventually cut out by local firefighters then dragged from the building and arrested by police. At the Same time, activists erected a 35-foot tripod in front of the facility effectively blockading the back door through which ICE officers escorte detainees undetected by the local population. Blockaders were supported by a rally of almost 200 local and regional supporters.
Drought, storms and newly erratic seasons have caused food insecurity in Central America, exacerbating violence and instability in countries that migrants are currently fleeing. The same polluters that eco-defenders work to shut down are implicated in the migration crisis.
The American Indian Movement of Ohio, The Columbus Sanctuary Collective, and Earth First! demand:
1- The immediate abolition of ICE
2 – The immediate reuniting of families
3- No PoliMigra (End collaboration between ICE and other local, state, and federal law enforcement.)
4 – That Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther defy Trump, defend Columbus, and expand Sanctuary
ICE has been highly repressive in Ohio, as in the rest of the country, conducting large raids in recent weeks in Sandusky, Salem, and Massillon. The ICE raid victims were detained and have begun deportation hearings, during which they are generally denied their right to representation and are forbidden to have in-person contact with their families. Children who are left parentless are tossed into foster care or remain imprisoned without a plan for reunification.
Activists from many places on the political spectrum are calling for ICE to not just be reformed, but to be abolished altogether. They point out that the agency has only existed for 15 years, and its record is abysmal.
“We are here to say that we will not stand silently by, and we’ll resist in ways unheard of right here in Columbus, Ohio,” stated Ruben Castilla Herrera, a long-time immigrant justice activist. “The Columbus ICE office is representative of the ICE field office in Detroit, Michigan, and its director, Rebecca Adducci, who is implementing the same cruelness as the Trump administration’s racist mass deportations.”
“Tackling immigration is a complex issue, as there are many different levels: mistreatment of transgender detainees in ICE custody by both ICE officers and other detainees, the impact of the Muslim ban and hate crimes toward the Muslim community, and concern with workers’ rights and migrant workers,” said Delfin Bautista, the director of the Ohio University LGBTQ Center. “There are multiple challenges and complexities, but there are many opportunities for coalition and solidarity across movements in support of immigration reform.”
Additional Spokesperson Contacts
Ruben Herrera, Mijente/Columbus Sanctuary Collective – Immigrant/Migrant/Refugee Organizer
(614) 556-0979 ~ LatinoLeaderShift@gmail.com
Corine Fairbanks, American Indian Movement of Ohio – Action spokesperson
Delfin Bautista, Director of the Ohio University LGBTQ Center
Earth First! Media team – general information, pictures and resources
firstname.lastname@example.org ~ (740) 590-1501
How To Help
People who wish to show support for this action can contribute to several funds established to give legal and financial support to raid victims and their families, as well as other immigrants affected by ICE, or to our jail support fund.
- Jail Support for our courageous blockaders Appalachia Resist
- Columbus Sanctuary Collective: fund for legal costs and family support for those in sanctuary locally
- HOLA Ohio: funds for the jail accounts of detainees, enabling them to call their families and have access to provisions during detention.
- Spanish Church of God of Prophecy (Willard): funds for the families recently affected by the immigration raid
- ABLE: provides legal assistance and protection to people detained in Ohio workplace raids
- Catholic Charities: provides free legal representation for the victims of the Sandusky raids
22 May, 2017, Monroe County, Ohio.
After a three-day long action training conference near the Wayne National Forest, organizers from multiple groups have launched a long-term resistance encampment to defend the Wayne National Forest from fracking and fracked gas pipelines.
The action training conference was hosted by Southeast Ohio’s Appalachia Resist!, a direct action environmental justice group known for blockading the oil and gas infrastructure that threatens the rural communities where they live, as well as the recent action where a group member shut down an intersection in front of Chase Bank in Columbus to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The conference was attended by more than a hundred water protectors, land defenders, organizers and community members from around the state and region, who agreed on the goal to stop Energy Transfer Partner’s accident-ridden Rover Pipeline project, as well as Eclipse Resource’s plan to frack the Wayne National Forest. A wide variety of groups and organizers were represented, such as Keep Wayne Wild, the American Indian Movement of Ohio, Torch Can Do, Earth First!, Camp White Pine, Resist Enbridge Line 5, Radical Action for Mountains and People’s Survival, Tar Sands Blockade, the Buckeye Environmental Network, and the Athens County Fracking Action Network. “People from a lot of different backgrounds, walks of life, and organizing ideas are coming together,” said Crissa Cummings, 45, of New Marshfield. “We are sharing skills and building strategies. Companies like Energy Transfer Partners and Eclipse Resources can expect a wall of resistance.” Trainings included Strategic Direct Action, Environmental Justice and Environmental Racism, and Pipeline Resistance Strategy. Childcare and meals were provided.
Peggy Gish, 73, of Athens County says, “I’ve lived in Southeast Ohio for more than 40 years. I’ve farmed this land. 70% of the Rover Pipeline will go under farmland. We’ve seen the damage they can do. Energy Transfer Partners is the one building this pipeline, and they’re the same greedy corporation that brutalized the Standing Rock Sioux and built the Dakota Access Pipeline. We saw what they did there. We saw how they treated communities and families, children and grandmothers and people who were praying, all so that a few greedy rich people could get richer. I’m a mother, grandmother, and person of faith. I will not stand idly by while Energy Transfer Partners bullies and decimates Native American communities and Appalachian Communities. We’ve all got to stick together to protect our families, protect our farms, and protect the water. If our government and representatives won’t do it, we’ll do it ourselves, by whatever means we have to.”
Michael Rinaldi, 34, another Appalachia Resist! member, remarked that the Rover Pipeline has already been cited 18 times for serious violations. In April, they spilled more than 2 million gallons of bentonite drilling slurry into a pristine wetland in Stark County, Ohio, and last week, were ordered to stop construction entirely because of their disastrous record. He said, “Energy Transfer Partners has demonstrated their complete incompetence time and time again based on the sheer volume of violations within the short time they’ve been constructing the Rover. Wherever these pipelines are planned, people are carrying the lessons of Standing Rock to show this predatory industry that we will resist them every step of the way. The health of our communities is not for sale. Water is Life.”
Noting that since November, the Bureau of Land Management has leased nearly 2000 acres of the Wayne National forest for fracking, mostly to the out of state company Eclipse Resources, Jolana Watson, 25, a member of Appalachia Resist! said, “We are here to tell the Bureau of Land Management that our public lands are not for sale and also to remind them that public lands are stolen lands. The same companies that want to frack the Wayne and build pipelines through it are running roughshod over treaty rights and ignoring native sovereignty around the continent.”
Calvin Fulton, 21, said, “These companies always promise money, but we’ve heard it all before. We were going to get rich from coal, but we’re still poor. We were going to get rich from fracking, we’re still poor, now these pipelines are going to make us rich? Yeah right. I’ve got a message for Energy Transfer Partners and Eclipse Resources: We reject your carrot. all the supposed income and opportunity these projects claim will not go to our communities, but to those who have always exploited us and shoved us aside when we were no longer needed for their plans.”
Divest from DAPL!
January 26 2017 from 12 PM – 4 PM Appalachia Resist Protesters are forming a picket line at Chase Bank, located at 100 Broad St. in Columbus (3rd and Broad).
We will be in the heart of the financial district in solidarity with Standing Rock Water Protectors asking bank patrons to close their accounts IMMEDIATELY.
Free doughnuts for all who close their account!
We seek the immediate halt of the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) by Energy Transfer Crude Oil Company, LLC (ETCO). Chase Bank has invested in DAPL through loans to ETCO.
President Trump’s executive orders to advance the pipeline DO NOT GUARANTEE ITS COMPLETION!
WITHOUT FUNDING THIS CATASTROPHIC PROJECT WILL GRIND TO A HALT.
YOUR BANK _ YOUR MONEY_ YOUR POWER!
“Today we call upon our fellow citizens to take action and divest from Chase bank!
We, the people, have the power to halt the perpetuation of systemic and physical violence against the Water Protectors at Standing Rock. Your choice of bank directly affects the health and safety of Indigenous people, their water systems and land. Let your voice be heard through your wallet- the only language that corporations and the new administration understand”. Says: Lauren Goldberg of Appalachia Resist
Demand that financial institutions such as Chase divest from DAPL: The list of financial institutions invested in DAPL includes Wells Fargo, Citibank/Citigroup, TD Securities, ING Bank, BBVA Securities, Citizens Bank, U.S. Bank/PNC Bank/Barclays, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, SunTrust, UBS, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley and many others.
“Banks such as Chase are aware of the horrific atrocities being inflicted right now in increasing severity at Standing Rock in the name of cheap fossil fuels. Indigenous Water Protectors and their allies are being brutalized and terrorized as the world watches in horror. Chase Bank and others have had plenty of chances to withdraw their support, but instead have chosen to remain complicit in the violence and destruction in North Dakota. But we can change that by hitting them where it hurts- their wallet” says Madeline ffitch of Appalachia Resist.
2) Ask that individual people immediately divest from the banks funding DAPL: Individuals have pulled
over $50 million from the various banks that back the project to help “encourage” them to divest from
“Do not underestimate the urgency of the need for immediate action! Water Protectors are currently being attacked at Standing Rock. Do not underestimate the deceptive and destructive practices that stem from corporate greed! Our land and water are in jeopardy– resources we can never replace. Do not take for granted the power we EACH as individuals have to affect change! TAKE ACTION TODAY.” Says Michael Renaldi-Eichenberg
3) Divestment WORKS! : Because of public pressure through the effective divestment movement in Norway, the largest bank in Norway, DMB has sold it’s investments in DAPL and is considering withdrawing it’s loan to ETCO — amounting to 10% of the total funding!
“Communicating with oil hungry corporations demands that we speak their language. They have watched and orchestrated people being shot and bodies blown open, blasted with freezing water, attacked with dogs, locked in kennels, prayer ceremonies disrupted, and children put in grave danger. But they still don’t understand. Their only language is money, and it’s OUR MONEY, AND WE WON’T SUPPORT THIS DOMESTIC TERRORISM” says Jolana Ozara
4) It’s EASY. We are hear to tell you how!
Find out who exactly your bank is funding
Write a letter to your bank explaining why you’re closing your account
Go to your bank and close your account (we can help you do that today!)
Take a picture of yourself outside the bank and share it on social media
Put your money in a better place
Help the movement measure its success through DeFundDAPL.org
Contact the other banks funding the Dakota Access pipeline and ask your friends to do the same
Want simple links to help you complete all of these action items?: http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/7-ways-to-make-an-even-bigger-impact-when-you-divest-from-dapl-20161201
For up to the minute information regarding Appalachia Resist, follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/appalachiaresist/
DAPL Divestment: http://www.defunddapl.org/
Banking Alternatives: http://www.gabv.org/the-community/find-members
News from Indian Country: https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/
Updates From Sacred Stone Camp (Standing Rock) : http://sacredstonecamp.org/
After Peter Gibbons-Ballew’s pretrial at 9 am, Appalachia Resist! will be in front of Chase bank at 100 E Broad St. in Columbus at noon on January 26th, 2017 asking Chase’s patrons to divest their money from the institutions that are funding the pipeline. Athens, Ohio carpool meet at 550 park and ride between 10:15 and 10:30.
If you bank with Chase, DIVEST NOW!
Since the decision by the US Army to suspend the DAPL river crossing easement to conduct a limited Environmental Impact Statement, the resistance camps at Standing Rock are asking people not to travel to the camps but to “instead take bold action in your local communities to force investors to divest from the project”.
The financial backers of the Dakota Access Pipeline include: JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank, ING Bank, Citizens Bank, U.S. Bank, PNC Bank, Barclays, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley. The Standing Rock Sioux & their supporters are asking people to close their accounts with these financial institutions, tell them why, and post the action on social media.