November 3, 2011

Fighting against ICE's so-called "Secure Communities"

It has been a year since BAJI's been involved in actions against S-Comm in Alameda County, and it has been a busy year! 

BAJI, in coalition with organizations like, NNIRR, Causa Justa, MUA, CIPC, Interfaith Organizers, EBASE have held three community forums this year to educate Alameda County about S-Comm as well as a brown bag, for community organizers.  We've worked with SFIRDC, to push for The Trust Act (AB 1081), a bill that would regulate S-Comm’s reach into our communities. And we have assisted in the formation of ACUDIR (Alameda County United in Defense of Immigrant Rights),  a coalition dedicated to fighting for the rights of immigrants and against the criminalization of communities of color in Alameda County.

Photo Courtesy of DRUM NYC
S-Comm is important, because it is another connection between African American communities and immigrant communities.  BAJI will continue to educate the Bay Area, about links between the prison industrial complex, the school to prison pipeline and immigration detention and policy.  And we will connect community members to leaders who are working to change this!

Women & Migration - Building Bridges Between Black and Brown Communities

BAJI, The Latina Center, Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA), the City of Richmond Human Rights/Human Relations Commission, and the Neighborhood House of North Richmond are collaborating to organize a series of dialogues to address the tensions that exist between the Black and Latino communities. The first session called “Building Bridges Between Black and Brown Communities” took place on June 25.  The second gathering was held on October 29.  Building Bridges is a safe space for the healing and empowerment of women as agents of social change in their communities.

You can read the Richmond Progressive Alliance’s account of the June 25 gathering at:

November 2, 2011

BAJI Statement - In Support of Occupy Oakland and Occupy Wall Street

Statement of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration
In Support of Occupy Oakland and Occupy Wall Street

The world spotlight is on Oakland, California, a city that has historically been recognized for its strong resistance to injustice.  From the Black Panther Party, to the Bay Area Free South Africa Movement, to the Justice for Oscar Grant Committee, the people of Oakland and the Bay Area have stood on the right side of history time and time again.  Today, as the Occupy Oakland movement brings international attention to our city, the social justice movement continues to be led by grassroots communities who have stood their ground against economic exploitation and police brutality. 

The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), as an organization founded on racial equity, immigrant rights and economic justice, categorically condemns the forced removal of and police brutality perpetrated against Occupy Oakland activists. The Administration of Mayor Jean Quan, the first female Asian mayor of a major city in the U.S., elected with support from the diverse progressive movement, has failed the people of Oakland. 

We support the Occupy Oakland movement and the Occupy Wall Street movement’s demand for economic justice and endorse the occupation of public spaces to call attention to the gross inequalities in U.S. society.  We condemn not only the growing national income inequality but also the racial inequality that leaves black and brown communities in persistent poverty, with at least twice the unemployment rate as the general population.  We denounce the scapegoating of African Americans, Latinos and immigrants of color, who make up a disproportionate share of the 99% living in poverty, for the economic crisis caused by the banks and Wall Street.

We call upon the City of Oakland to cease all actions against the occupiers of Oscar Grant Plaza (Frank Ogawa Plaza) as they use the public space to exercise their rights of free speech and expression.  We urge the Oakland Police rank and file to resist following orders that perpetrate brutality and force against peaceful protesters.
We call upon progressive individuals and organizations, Labor unions and labor organizations, churches, synagogues and mosques, and all peace loving people to keep the pressure up.  Occupy Everywhere!

Occupy Wall Street!
Occupy the banks—Wells Fargo, Bank of America, CitiBank and other financial institutions—to demand the end to home foreclosures and investments in immigrant detention centers.  Boycott the Banks!

Occupy Washington!
March on Washington and occupy Congress to demand a public works program that creates living wage jobs to repair our crumbling infrastructure and transform our oil-dependent economy to a green economy.  Demand that Washington tax the rich, restore the social safety net, and regulate financial institutions and big corporations.

Occupy Oakland and all U.S. cities!
Demand that local and state governments stop the cutbacks in services and education and tax the rich to pay for them. Demand an end to attacks on Occupy Wall Street movement and the end to police brutality.  Support and encourage the economic localization movement that disconnects the stranglehold that the Central Bank and predatory global capitalism has on our communities.  Support municipal ID cards that will better integrate undocumented immigrants into Oakland’s diverse community and will benefit small businesses through a local e-currency that circulates the earnings of a city’s residents within the city without any portion being siphoned off by the national corporations and the big banks.