Report Back From a Families Belong Together Event

Report Back from a Families Belong Together Event


The event that I went to was a smaller event stuck between two major cities in my state. Despite this, however, I think the overall tone and atmosphere at this event is characteristic of what went down at other such events. The structure of the rally allowed for about 30 minutes prior to the first speaker for mingling purposes. There were several tables set up by various local organizations which were more or less connected to the event at hand. After the short period of mingling, the rest of the rally was a series of speeches given by representatives of various organizations. Breaking it down numerically, there were four religious representatives, three political representatives two of which were running and one of which was the mayor, and two Latinx organization representatives. It is worth mentioning as well that at the end an individual who didn’t represent any organization beyond himself was also allowed some time to give a speech. The themes on which the speakers spoke are summarized as follows; the separation of children from parents is not a political issue, it is a human rights issue; religion in general condemns the separation of children from parents; there were some first-hand accounts from people who had been to the southern border; rallies like this are not enough, we also need to turn up to vote; we need to speak truth to power and if they don’t listen then vote for leaders who do listen. I, of course, did not attend this rally to speak truth to power, but rather to begin seizing power, even if only in very modest ways.

During the mingling period I spoke with a number of different individuals and organizations about their potential interest in ride sharing for undocumented immigrants. Consistently when I have attended meetings or rallies related to immigration issues, the main pipeline pointed out for deportation in NC has been traffic stops. Undocumented immigrants are not permitted to obtain driver’s licenses and as such can potentially be deported from a simple traffic stop. The natural solution to my mind is simply to ride share such that someone with a license can carpool with someone who lacks a license. The model for this can be two-fold. One member of Siembra suggested using a hotline that people could call to obtain a ride if they need one on short notice which I think is a great idea. I also think it would be worthwhile to co-ordinate the schedules of those offering and receiving rides such that a more stable and permanent ride sharing situation could be arranged. This stable and permanent ride sharing could form the basis of welding together two separate sections of the working class, those with documentation/citizenship status and those without. In the former model, it would simply be a case of compiling the availabilities and locations of willing drivers to match with incoming callers. In the latter model, it would be a case of matching schedules and destinations between drivers and riders.

Essential to the success of this ride share program, Red Rides, is the attitude that no thanks is offered from rider to driver. This is no charity. It is a political act meant to simultaneously aid and empower the working class by building a transportation network which could be utilized for a plethora of other applications. Riders should never be made to feel indebted to any given driver. It is our obligation as members of the working class to help our most vulnerable sections, an obligation which needs no thanks.

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