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Artists Constructed A Massive Cage At Burning Man To Protest ICE And Some Folks Got Upset On Social Media

therealjackiefielder / johncurley / Instagram

If you’re into nudity, huge art installations, “Mad Max,” EDM and camping, Burning Man is the festival for you. The annual event brings thousands to the dry lands of Nevada for a week of intense and very open partying. The festival is known for it’s intricate and beautiful wooden structures that get burned down in spectacular fashion. The festival just concluded and while it was beautiful as always, things also got political in the shape of a giant cage structure.

Artists created a giant cage on wheels at Burning Man to protest Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and a recent contract with a tech company.

CREDIT: Vimeo: Mijente

The installation was spearheaded by Mijente — a social justice Latinx organization. Mijente created the installation to protest ICE and Palo Alto-based tech company Palantir’s contract. The tech company, using Amazon networks, provides federal immigration authorities with a vast database of information. The program, called Investigative Case Management (ICM), helps immigration officials to find and form cases against immigration targets.

Mijente is asking people to sign a petition asking Amazon to drop Palantir from their servers.

CREDIT: Vimeo: Mijente

According to Mijente, Amazon is paid millions of dollars to provide services to Palantir, which helps ICE track down immigrants across the country. Palantir signed a $51 million contract with ICE to provide the information tracking immigrants in the U.S.

“We’re demanding that Amazon stop enabling Palantir and ICE,” Mijente said on its website. “Amazon depends on our business more than they depend on Palantir, and if enough of us demand change, they’ll be forced to act.”

The cage weighed roughly 800 pounds and was 14 x 10 feet. Here’s a time-lapse video of its construction.

Organizers are hoping the art installation will bring awareness to the real enablers behind ICE and their tactics.

“Along with much of the world we watched in horror recently as U.S. authorities tore children away from their parents,” a spokesperson for the group said to The Hill. “In the face of this immoral U.S. policy, and the U.S.’s increasingly inhumane treatment of refugees and immigrants beyond this specific policy, we are deeply concerned that Amazon is implicated, providing infrastructure and services that enable ICE and DHS.”

Reactions to the structure have been mixed with many making fun of the protest at the festival. However, right wing Twitter users are letting their opinions be heard.

“It’s not dangerous,” Mijente tweeted in response to FOX News. “It’s exercising our 1st Amendment rights to engage in a peaceful action educating people about the “mission critical” ICM software @palantirtech sells to ICE. It’s dangerous, actually, to use Orwellian tech to round up families and put them in cages.”

Some Twitter users tried vilifying the people who participated in the protest.

The organizers of Mijente have been clear that they did not participate in the festival. They claim they built the structure and spoke to people about what ICE and Palantir are doing using Amazon’s servers to educate attendees.

Mijente said on Twitter that the whole point of Burning Man is to express yourself, so that’s what they did.

Bit.ly/DropPalantir @conmijente #NoTechForICE

A post shared by Jackie Fielder (@therealjackiefielder) on

“Burning Man’s leading principle is ‘radical self expression,'” Mijente tweeted. “It’s an expensive sanctuary for tech executives like Peter Thiel, Alex Karp, and Jeff Bezos. No such sanctuary exists for immigrants in this country today.”

For more information on how to get involved click here: http://bit.ly/droppalantir.


READ: One Of The Major Artists In The Chicano Art Movement Has Died At 75

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Migrants Children Are Getting Sick In Detention Centers But The Trump Administration Doesn’t Want To Give Them Toothbrushes

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Migrants Children Are Getting Sick In Detention Centers But The Trump Administration Doesn’t Want To Give Them Toothbrushes

Spencer Platt / Staff | Getty Images

It’s no secret that the U.S. government isn’t taking care of migrants at the border or detention camps. Undocumented people that are living under U.S. care are getting sick. They’re being exposed to the measles, chicken pox, common colds due to extreme air-conditioned facilities, abuse, and so much more. What makes this situation so much more infuriating is that the government could care less than people are getting sick.

This video of Department of Justice attorney Sarah Fabian went viral over the weekend because she was telling judges that undocumented people in detention camps don’t need soap, toothpaste or beds to sleep.

Fabian spoke with three Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal judges and said that they shouldn’t be required to give undocumented people hygiene products or beds to sleep in because those things are seen as privileges.

The case is based on a 1997 ruling known as the “Flores Agreement” that “requires, among other things, that the government hold minors in facilities that are “safe and sanitary” and that they are released from confinement without delay whenever possible.”

Here’s a portion of the transcript:

Judge Wallace Tashima: “If you don’t have a toothbrush, if you don’t have soap if you don’t have a blanket, it’s not safe and sanitary. Wouldn’t everybody agree with that? Do you agree with that?”

Sarah Fabian: “Well, I think it’ s—I think those are—there is fair reason to find that those things may be part of safe and sanitary.”

Judge Tashima: “Not ‘maybe.’ ‘Are’ a part. What do you say, ‘may be’? You mean there are circumstances when a person doesn’t need to have a toothbrush, toothpaste, and soap for days?”

Fabian: “Well, I think, in CBP custody, there’ s—it’s frequently intended to be much shorter-term, so it may be that for a shorter-term stay in CBP custody that some of those things may not be required.”

However, we know that the Trump administration is seeking to change that rule to allow for indefinite detention of children and migrants.

The judges were clearly frustrated with her and she could barely answer their questions properly.

Credit: @soledadobrien / Twitter

Vice President Mike Pence tried to get out of answering why undocumented migrants wouldn’t need hygiene products while being detained during a CNN interview and basically didn’t even know what the hearing was all about.

“Aren’t toothbrushes and blankets and medicine basic conditions for kids?” CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Pence, “Aren’t they a part of how the United States of America—the Trump administration—treats children?”

Pence replied by saying, “Well, of course, they are Jake,” and claimed he couldn’t “speak to what that lawyer was saying.”

Now a team of doctors and attorneys who have seen the migrants up close are releasing their findings and claim that virtually everyone they saw was sick.

Credit: @TexasTribune / Twitter

“The kids had colds and were sick and said they didn’t have access to soap to wash their hands. It was an alcohol-based cleanser,” Clara Long, a senior researcher for Human Rights Watch said to CNN. “Some kids who were detained for 2-3 weeks had only one or two opportunities to shower. One said they hadn’t showered in three weeks. Hygiene and living conditions like this creates a risk of spreading infectious disease. It makes me very concerned about the public health emergency.”

Holly Cooper, co-director of the University of California, Davis’ Immigration Law Clinic and represents detained youth, put it this way, according to the Associated Press, “In my 22 years of doing visits with children in detention, I have never heard of this level of inhumanity.”

READ: Historians And AOC Agree That Detention Centers Look Like Concentration Camps But Conservatives Don’t Want To Hear It

While Trump Postponed ICE Raids, He Keeps Using The Community As A Political Pawn Because He Can’t Legislate

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While Trump Postponed ICE Raids, He Keeps Using The Community As A Political Pawn Because He Can’t Legislate

realdonaldtrump / Instagram

News broke over the weekend that President Trump would be delaying planned immigration raids throughout the country. He tweeted that the deportation operations would be postponed by two weeks to see if Congress can make changes to asylum laws and work out legislative groundwork with Democrats.

As news of the roundups became public knowledge on Friday, faith and immigration groups prepared and informed communities of their rights and procedures in case of an interaction with ICE officials. But the sudden abrupt reversal did little to relieve or reassure immigrants and their supporters.

Migrant communities across the country are becoming familiar with this feeling.

President Trump’s reversal came as immigrant advocates prepared undocumented immigrants for a highly publicized operation. ICE officials were expected to target more than 2,000 families with pending deportations orders. But even with a delay, fears are mounting for many who don’t know what to expect next for themselves and their families.

Marjorie Murillo, a community liaison specialist for Miami Dade Public Schools, says that President Trump’s delayed immigration raids do nothing but toy with immigrant communities livelihoods.

“We don’t trust him in any way,” Murillo told NBC News. “I’ve been calling and sending messages everywhere that they are postponed, but where I live, parents and everyone, they are never safe.”

This isn’t the first time President Trump has used immigration fear tactics to push for legislation.

Back in 2017, President Trump attempted to terminate the Obama-era program that protected so-called Dreamers, young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. It was a failed attempt to pressure Congress in passing an immigration bill that included new restrictions on legal immigration. Earlier this year, a 35-day government shutdown ended without Democrats agreeing to the president’s terms, funding for a border wall.

There has been pushback from politicians and immigration advocates that are calling the raids unjust.

According to CNN, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called President Trump Friday night and asked him to call off the raids. It was the next day that the President would announce the delay. Pelosi approved of President Trump’s announced delay and said it would give Congress enough time to work on immigration reform.

“Mr. President, delay is welcome. Time is needed for comprehensive immigration reform. Families belong together,” Pelosi tweeted.

Some are calling the move a tactic to help benefit Trump’s effort to secure funding for immigration enforcement. Republicans and Democrats in Congress are currently in the midst of negotiating legislation to allocate funds to different agencies, that includes ICE. The agency is dealing with record large-scale migration of Central American families and unaccompanied children to the U.S.-Mexico border, currently at a 13-year high.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been one of the strongest advocates against ICE deportations. The organization says President Trump’s immigration policies have installed fears in communities across the country.

“Our communities shouldn’t have to live in fear that parents won’t come home from work, or kids won’t return from school, or a knock at the door could rip a family apart,” the ACLU said in a tweet. “This isn’t Donald Trump’s America, it’s ours. We can resist his deportation agenda — together.”

Many on social media are using their platform to share tips and advice in case an individual finds themselves interacting with ICE.

CREDIT:@diana-bbcita/Twitter

Within hours that news broke that immigration raids would be happening, people took to social media to share helpful tips. From informing people to stay in their homes and to not answer their doors, by the time President Trump announced the delay on Saturday, people were ready.

Images across social media showed ICE checkpoints and areas of interest where deportation officials might show up. But even as more time is given to prepare for the worst-case scenarios, many aren’t taking any risks.

“He’s making an announcement as if these deportations are not already happening,” Murillo said. “He’s saying if Democrats don’t do what I want them to do, deportations will start in two weeks. Deportations have been happening since he went into office. It’s coming, maybe it will turn a little bit, stay on guard. We can’t ever let our guard down.”

READ: ICE Raids Ordered To Begin On Sunday In Major Cities

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