Last night, after I got home from work, a friend posted without any links about how she was hearing that people were getting grabbed by ICE and deported right now. “What are we doing?” She asked, “Are we protesting? Where do we go?”
I read it through blurry eyes, phone in hand as I wandered between my bathroom and my bedroom, moving towards bed. Last night I walked through the door with 50 hours on the clock this week under my belt, and the fatigue had caught up to me. I looked at my friend’s post, looked forward to my 10am call time, felt the fatigue in my bones, and thought, “There is nothing I can do for those people right now.”
But today, I woke up and started reading the official and unofficial reports: Austin, Portland, Los Angeles, New Orleans, North Carolina, Arizona… I’ve reposted. I’ve commented. My heart rate has risen and fallen. How many more will be taken tonight?
I’ve also been having these tender and explicit conversations with people recently about the potential need to flee from persecution, and what (if anything) are we already doing to prepare for such an eventuality? Many of my friends are Jews, and this question of when to flee and when to fight is embedded very deeply in their culture. It’s a question that resonates for me as a third-generation immigrant, as a queer, and as the child of many moves driven by economic survival.
But these questions “What are we doing? Are we protesting? Where do we go?” feel so urgent. Agents of the state are coming in the middle of the night and ripping apart families and deporting the parents of US citizens. They did it last night, they’ve been doing it for years, and they will do it again tonight. TONIGHT. Right now, it’s not that we have to flee — it’s that our neighbors are being taken from us.
What can I do right now to help? I’m truly asking. I’ve been reposting the numbers of various local organizations in affected communities to report seeing ICE agents. Who are the best orgs to connect with in New York and in Durham, North Carolina (where my greatest numbers of connections are)? Where are the protests to show support for my neighbors? Where are the ICE processing centers in New York? Where would they take people — would they go to JFK to deport them? Are those people put on flights with other civilians? What are the asks being made from the people most affected in these targeted communities?
Any and all information or suggestions are welcome. And if you’d rather share off-line or over encrypted lines, find me here: email@example.com, 347-265-9379, or @circlesoffire on Signal and Bleep. (I’m @circlesoffire everywhere on the internets.)
Posted alongside https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/2/10/1632258/-Trump-s-ICE-agents-start-rounding-up-parents-of-American-children-in-multiple-deportation-raids on February 10, 2017 on Facebook.