Resisting the “Zero Tolerance” Immigration Detention Program

People throughout the United States gathered in communities and cities around the country to protest the separation and detention of asylum-seeking families. The largest one was held in Washington, DC.  The one I attended was on the other side of the country at one of the Federal Detention Centers where adults, but not their children, have been sent to.  This detention center is located just south of the Seattle-Tacoma (SeaTac) International Airport.  Thousands of people came out to protest the US Department of Justice’s “Zero Tolerance” policy of separating children from their parents when the parents attempt to cross our borders seeking asylum.

People were passionate and peaceful. The following shows our thoughts in pictures and words.  I posted some of these pictures on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.  My thoughts were attached to those pictures. The rest I believe speak for themselves.  Here’s my photo gallery of the day.

Heading to the Rally

Due to the expected crowds and lack of parking near the Federal Detention Center, we parked at the north end of Seattle at the University of Washington. This is the northern terminus of the Seattle Light Rail line.  Angle Lake is the southern terminus of the the rail line and is located about 2 blocks from the detention center.

picture of My selfie of my twin sister and myself on the Seattle Light Rail heading to the #BringFamiliesTogetherMarch at Angle Lake south of SeaTac, WA. We are sitting on the train. My sister in the white hat is on the left and I'm on the right wearing a fushia-colored hat.

Selfie of my twin sister and myself on the Seattle Light Rail heading to the #BringFamiliesTogetherMarch at Angle Lake south of SeaTac, WA.

The Crowds

The light rail train we were on had standing room only when we arrived.

picture of the Federal Detention Center with cars driving down street and people walking towards the rally in front of the building
The Federal Detention Center at Angle Lake just south of SeaTac, WA. This ominous structure with the slit-like windows was what loomed over us as we stepped off the train.

There were police everywhere but the road was open. People kept coming; the crowd continued to grow. Several times the speakers asked people to “slowly move forward and south” so that more people could enter the area. By the time we left we could see why…

20180630_123114 crowd

The police closed the road at the Federal Detention Center due to the 1000’s of people who came out to say #enddetentionnow, #bringfamiliestogether, #FreedomForImmigrants and #EndFamilySeparation at one of several #FamiliesBelongTogetherMarch in the Seattle area. – at Federal Detention Center (from my Twitter feed).

The Police Presence

They were everywhere. At the train station. Standing on the street. In their cars. On the rooftops. All in uniform.  I didn’t “see” any in the crowd within the rally site, but I did assume they were there in civilian clothing.

It was a bit overwhelming.  My thoughts about the police presence were expressed with this photo:

picture of a federal agent surveilling the crowd attendees.

Is this what we have come to here in the US?! Asylum is a human right. SHAME! #enddetentionnow #KeepFamilesTogether – at Federal Detention Center (as posted on my twitter feed).

Only about a 1,000 people had been expected to show up for the rally. Yet, we came in droves.  According to Sgt. Cindy Sampson, spokesperson for the King County Sheriff’s Office, police estimated that there were around 10,000 demonstrators.  She told the Seattle Times that we we showed up for a highly emotional, but peaceful, demonstration full of strollers, grandmothers and a small contingent from the Puget Sound John Brown Gun Club.”  [This Gun Club, according to the Seattle Times, is an “anti-racist, anti-fascist organization, standing in opposition to organized white supremacists and attacks on people from vulnerable communities”]

What We Had to Say

According to NPR, between May and June 19, 2018, a estimated total 2,342 immigrant children have been separated from their parents. These children are scattered across 17 states. And their parents have been scattered elsewhere.  One of these separated families is known to be detained at the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac where we demonstrated. According to the New York Times, Jelsin Padilla is being held in New York City. His mom, Yolany Padilla, is being detained at the Federal Detention Center in Washington State.  She hasn’t seen her son in over a month.

Ms. Padilla is one of over 200 immigrants —174 are women — detained as of June 19 in Washington state.  We came by the thousands to say “no more; this incarceration and separation of families must end and end now!

Here’s the postcard letter I wrote to Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) calling upon him to use his powers in the Senate to end these torturous incarcerations and separations of families:

Text of letter to Senator Bob Casey (D-PA)

Letter to Senator Bob Casey calling for the permanent ending of the detention of children and their family members. This postcard letter was written onsite at the Federal Detention Center and will be hand-delivered to Senator Casey’s office by an organization called #FreedomForFamilies.

Many, many others wrote similar messages:

And so that you can see what else was said, the following pictures and social ,media postings will give you a flavor of our outrage.

My Social Media Postings Calling on the US Government to End this “Zero Tolerance” Policy

Instagram Posts

Pictures of the Federal Detention Center at SeaTac with a sign saying, "In the name of humanity, Stop Terrorizing Immigrant Children. RefuseFascism.org"

tostivasey Stop Terrorizing Immigrant Children. #keepfamiliestogether #enddetentionnow #bringfamiliestogether #endfacism

Picture of a girl sitting in a stroller with her mother and sister holding signs that say, "Families belong together."

tostivasey This little girl and her mother and sister say it all, “Keep Family Together.” Separating immigrant kids from their parents and other family members is a criminal act. #enddetentionnow #keepfamiliestogether❤

picture of a heart-shaped sign decoration with babies' and toddlers' shoes

tostivasey #WhereAreTheBabies?! The shoes of the babies need to be put on their feet by their mothers and fathers and their sisters and brothers. Babies are innocent kids and should NEVER be used as pawns. #enddetentionnow #bringfamiliestogether

Picture collage of the Federal Detention Center, a list of numbers to call Congress (202-224-3121), HHS (202-690-7000), DOJ (202-353-1555), DHS (202-282-8995), and the White House (202-456-1111), and two signs saying, "Separating children from families really is nothing less than government-sanctioned child abuse!" and "Where are the children?"

tostivasey Separating Children from their families is nothing less than #ChildAbuse and #torture. Call your representatives, Senators, @jeffsessions212, #DHS, & @realdonaldtrump. Ask them #wherearethebabies And Tell them to #enddetentionnow #bringfamiliestogether.

Tweets

Joanne Tosti-Vasey added,

@tostivasey “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.” No more separation and detention. !

Large sign with an impression of the New Colossus (aka the Statue of Liberty) with the following words that are engraved at the base of the statue: "Remember?! 'Give my your tired, your poor, you huddled masses yearning to be free. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed t me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.' Emma Lazaras 'New Colossus' What is happening to our country??!"

Quote from New Colossus (aka the Statue of Liberty) with the words that are engraved at the base of the statue. My previous blog on Lady Liberty is about immigration as well.

Signage Expressing Our Outrage at this Maltreatment of Our Fellow Human Beings

Messages without Words

Why We March

Why Now?

What Should Be Done to End this Outrage

 

NOW IT’S Your turn! If you are in the Seattle Area, here’s some additional actions you can take this week:

Families Belong Together Activities in Seattle on ending Zero Tolerance Policy

If you’re elsewhere in the country, do as the sign says above and call

  • The White House (202-456-1111);
  • The Executive Branch departments that are causing this crisis
    • Health and Human Services (202-690-7000);
    • Department of Justice (202-353-1555);
    • Department of Homeland Security (202-282-8995); and
  • Your federal legislators (202-224-3121)

Tell them

  1. Families Belong Together
  2. Stop Separating Familes
  3. End Family Detention
  4. Stop Torturing Children
  5. End this fascist behavior. We are better than this (or should be).
  6. Get rid of the “Zero Tolerance” Policy

 

A Day Without a Woman Strike: aka #ADayWithoutAWomen

On International Women’s Day, March 8th, women and our allies will act together for equity, justice and the human rights of women, through a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity. Here are 3 actions you can take on #DayWithoutAWoman:

1. Do not engage in paid & unpaid work

2. Avoid spending money (with exceptions for small, women- and minority-owned businesses)

3. Wear RED in solidarity [with] www.womensmarch.com/womensday

The above statement announcing a nationwide women’s strike came from and Instagram Posting from WomensMarch.com.

And here’s another idea.  Use the following pictures as memes on your social media posting on March 8.  And use the hashtag #ADayWithoutAWoman. The mosaic is my collection of all of these memes.  The rest are the individual memes created by the Women’s March.

A Day Without A Woman

 

Individual Memes for Your Use

picture of multi-colored hand encircling women of all colors

Women Together

meme with a small picture of women of all colors stating "Support Each Other"

Support Each Other

Picture of the Women's March in DC on January 21, 2017 with the words "Gather Your People" superimposed on top.

Gather Your People

environmental-justice-racial-justice

Environmental Justice = Racial Justice

 

the words "Environmental Justice = Gender Justice" printed on a black background

Environmental Justice = Gender Justice

environmental-justice-economic-justice

Environmental Justice = Economic Justice

 

consult-your-community

Consult Your Community

 

adaywithoutawoman-legacy

We Honor the Legacy of the Movements Before Us. #DayWithoutAWoman

a-day-without-a-woman

A Day Without a Woman

Go for it!

Women’s March Affects Entire World, All Ages

I participated in the march on Denver on January 21, 2017. Between 200,000 and 300,000 people were walking for democracy in Denver; we joined several million men, women, and children around the world who are standing up and fighting back for our rights and for our democracy. Here are three pictures I took while in Denver for the March.

And here’s another perspective on the Women’s Marches around the world from a fellow blogger.

Nel's New Day

I couldn’t stop laughing! A poll shows that Republican males believe that their lives are harder than those of women. Men make more money for the same work, have a far less chance of rape, don’t have their reproductive rights attacked, and do far more housework than men while holding a full-time job, but white men are the “low people on the totem pole” and “everybody else is above the white man,” according to an 81-year-old retired police captain. He complained that “everything in general is in favor of a woman. No matter what happens in life, it seems like the man’s always at fault.”

In this survey taken after the election, only 41 percent of GOP men think now is a good time to be a man. Although one-third of women feel unsafe because of their gender, only 20 percent of men understand that women feel this way. Thirty percent of women…

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picture of PSU's Old Main Building surrounded by students, faculty, staff, and community members at the "#NotMyPresident Walk-Out/Love Trumps Hate" Rally

Love Trumps Hate Rally

picture of PSU's Old Main Building surrounded by students, faculty, staff, and community members at the

Outdoor portion of the PSU “#NotMyPresident Walk-Out/Love Trumps Hate” Rally

Penn State University held a “#NotMyPresident Walk-Out” Protest on Tuesday, November 15. It was one of many held at universities across the country. Students who believe in human rights and who oppose the election of Donald Trump got up, walked out of class, and headed to a designated meeting space on each campus to “show their resistance” to this election.

Students at PSU left their classrooms at the University Park Campus and headed to Old Main’s front lawn where protests have historically been held since the civil rights protests of the late 1960’s.

It quickly turned into what I believe would be better called a “Love Trumps Hate”  Rally.  The speakers acknowledged that Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States. We, as citizens must, therefore stand up and speak out for all people and the environment.

Caring for all of our brethren including LGBTQIA people, people of color, Muslims, documented and undocumented immigrants, and women is an absolute necessity. Like in the 1960’s, the civil rights movement must rise again.

The rally occurred at two different venues.  The first one happened in front of the Old Main Building.  Somewhere between 800 and 1000 people appeared to be attending this part of the rally. Since the university did not allow any voice amplification, most people, including myself, were unable to hear what was said.

So the best I could do was take pictures of the signs that were carried by the participants.  Here is some of what was expressed.

The “#NotMyPresident” Type Signs

sign saying Donald Trump is NOT My President with Sponge Bob saying,

Grr! Donald Trump is NOT My President

banner asking whether Trump is/will be the President or a Predator/

Prez or Predator???????????

picture of a boot underneath the words

Anger sign declaring those opposing Trump will “Make Racists Afraid Again.” This was the only non-peaceful statement I saw at the rally.

cardboard sign saying

Put a “Fence Around Pence.”

The Public Discourse and “Love Trumps Hate” Type Signs

black sign with a flag at the top. Underneath the flag are the words,

Democracy is Dissent. A statement declaring that we have a 1st Amendment constitutional right “of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress.”

picture of two signs. Once says

Get White Supremacy Out of the White House (a call for Trump to reverse his decision to make White Supremacist Steve Bannon his Senior Counselor) and a call for “Civic Engagement.”

Large fiberboard sign saying

Nasty Women Keep Fighting

The March

After the speeches were done, about half of the participants marched over to the Hetzel Union Building to hold a second rally calling people to stand up, support our brethren, and to fight back just as those that fought segregation did in the 1940’s, 1950’s, and 1960’s during the Civil Rights Movement.

picture of people leaving Old Main and heading towards the HUB

Leaving Old Main

picture of people moving from the outdoor rally into the HUB for the second part of the program.

Entering the Hetzel Union Building (aka the HUB)

Inside the HUB

Once inside, people gathered on the steps near the HUB-Paul Robeson Center that  was created to “provide cultural, educational and social support for Black students. It was also expected to provide a place for ‘building bridges to understanding.'”  Using the Center as a backdrop, the rally focused on standing up, fighting back, making sure our voices are heard, and spreading the message of civil rights for all.

I was able to hear much of what was said and sung in this venue.  Here are some of the additional messages I saw and some of the words I heard.

picture of signs and people standing on the steps leading up to the Paul Robeson Cultural Center at the HUB on PSU's University Park Campus.

Rally on the steps of the HUB-Paul Robeson Cultural Center.

Picture of what looks like two federal officers holding a Confederate flag and two other officers carrying a flag that says

A Wall is NOT an invitation to dialogue.

Hand-drawn sign that says,

We are fighting for what’s right.

Hand-drawn sign that says,

We are Stronger Together

A friend and colleague, Peter Buckland, also attended the rally.  Here’s his view and commentary from inside the HUB. If I can get a YouTube link, I’ll embed it here.

And this is how the rally ended:

Let the Sunshine In

What I did not get a picture of was everyone coming together at the end of the rally to hug one another, saying that “I’ll be here for you.” Black. White. Latino. Muslim. Gay. Straight. Women. Cis. Men. As the Three Musketeers said, “All for One and One for All.” Love does Trump Hate.

Louis P. Tosti – My Dad, in Memorium

1923-2016

RIP “Little Iggi” – my nickname for my father when I was growing up and couldn’t pronounce “Luigi.” That was the name I heard my grandparents—”TiTi” and “Mommy T”—call him.  Born in 1923, he passed away late last Tuesday, June 14, 2016.  Here’s a memorial in pictures along with his official obituary.

baby picture of Louis P Tosti

Louis Peter Robert Tosti as an infant in 1923 in The Bronx, New York City

Picture of Louis P. Tosti as a toddler

Louis Peter Robert Tosti as an toddler in  the Bronx, New York City

picture of Mom and Dad at their wedding. Dad on the left. Mom on the right.

Mom and Dad at their wedding reception at Fort Monroe, Hampton, VA on December 29, 1951. Taken in front of the Hotel Chamberlain.

1953

Mom and Dad in the year I was born. Top Left – Martha, Top Right – Lou Bottom Left – Linda, Bottom Right – Joanne

1974

Mom and Dad in 1974

Joannes wedding Mama Ti Dad Mom Titi

My parents and grandparents at my wedding in 1975. L to R: Estherina Sera Pellegrino Tosti (aka Mommy T), Louis Peter Robert Tosti, Martha Magdelene Bowery Tosti, and Antonino Rocco Tosti (aka TiTi)

Lou Tosti October 2, 2011 IMG_9538

Dad at my Mom’s wake, October 2, 2011 in Richmond Virginia

Note: As these are family pictures, please do not copy  the pictures without our permission. You may, however, share this blog in its entirety if you wish.

His Obituary

Louis P. Tosti, 93, a 72 year resident of Yorktown VA passed away on June 14, 2016. The son of the late Antonino Rocco Tosti and Estherina (Pellegrino) Tosti was born in The Bronx, New York in 1923, studied Mechanical Engineering (B.S. 1944) at the City College of New York and [Master of Science] Administration [in Management Engineering] (M.S. 1972) at George Washington [sic] (my records say it was Georgetown) University in Washington, D.C. For 36 years, he worked for NASA at the Langley Research Center as an aeronautical engineer and retired in 1980. During his career, he helped develop advanced VTOL aircraft for the military and was a leader in the Scout Rocket Project, a cornerstone in the history of space exploration.

Following retirement from NASA, he assisted the elderly as a tax counselor, was treasurer of the Ruritan Club, a member of the Peninsula Sales and Marketing Exchange as well as the Hampton Roads Power Squadron. He enjoyed traveling, photography, ballroom and country dancing.

Lou was predeceased by his sisters, Myra T. Antonelli, Adele T. Stephenson and Vivienne T. Monteiro-Olivastro and his former wife Martha B. Tosti. He is survived by his five children Linda G. Tosti-Lane (Dave Tosti-Lane) of Brier, WA, Joanne L. Tosti-Vasey (Joe Vasey) of Bellefonte, PA, Mary J. Harley of Parkersburg, WV, Janet T. Baker (Michael Baker) of Bumpass, VA and Anthony B. Tosti (Andrea Gerwers-Tosti) of Simpsonville, SC; seven grandchildren Joshua Baker (Genie Baker), Genesa Benton (Justin Benton), Katharina Tosti, Raphael Tosti, Sophia Tosti, Julianna Tosti and Kenneth Vasey; four great grandchildren, Jack Baker, Olivia Baker, Gavin Benton and Jacob Benton and his beloved companion of 30 years Grace E. Hale.

A memorial service will be held at 6:00 PM on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at Amory Funeral Home, 410 Grafton Drive, Grafton, VA, 23692. The family will receive friends following the service. A graveside service will be held at a later date to be determined at Valley Forge Memorial Gardens, King of Prussia, PA.

 

My 2015 annual blog report. Have a Happy New Year!

See the fireworks Civil Rights Advocacy created by blogging on WordPress.com. Check out my 2015 annual report.

Real quick summary for you:

Voting Rights button

Voting Rights

 

Map of where states stood on Medicaid Expansion as of Feb 5, 2015

Medicaid Expansion

 

Rosie the Rivater "We Can Do It!"

Feminism and Women’s Rights

 

Memorial to Helen Bechdel - picture and flowers

Memorials: This one was to Helen Bechdel

 

Picture of the stained glass windows in need of repair at St. Paul's AME church in Bellefonte, PA

Historic Preservation and Preserving Black History

 

NOW Keep Abortion Legal round

Reproductive Justice

 

Picture of a sign that says, "End Rape Culture"

End the Culture of Rape on Campuses

 

NOW "Stop Violence against Women" diamond sign

Stop Violence Against Women

 

Picture of a white pater onf cyberstalking and online threats created by the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women, NOW, and the Nationl Council of Women's Organizations

Cyber-stalking and Online Threats

 

Picture of fireworks associated with my 2015 blogging annual report

Fireworks for 2016. Happy New Year!

 

 

Thank you to all of my readers and have a very Happy, Peaceful, and Prosperous New Year

Source: See the #fireworks I created by blogging on #WordPressDotCom. My 2015 annual report.

Artist Shirin Barghi Captures #LASTWORDS Spoken by Black Victims of Police

Black Lives DO Matter. These last words from the mouths of babes are truly powerful.

The Militant Negro™

Mr MilitantNegro™ Jueseppi B Mr MilitantNegro™
Jueseppi B

Screenshot (7564)

Eric Garner was arrested in Staten Island on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes and placed in a chokehold by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo. A Staten Island grand jury decided not to indict Pantaleo, despite a coroner reportedly ruling Garner's death a homicide. Eric Garner was arrested in Staten Island on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes and placed in a chokehold by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo. A Staten Island grand jury decided not to indict Pantaleo, despite a coroner reportedly ruling Garner’s death a homicide.

Freddie Gray, 25, died after suffering a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody in Baltimore. Freddie Gray, 25, died after suffering a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody in Baltimore.

"They said they thought McDade was armed because ... he clutched his waste band as they chased him onto a dimly lit neighborhood street." “They said they thought McDade was armed because … he clutched his waste band as they chased him onto a dimly lit neighborhood street.”

Mehserle testified that he meant to zap Grant with his Taser in an Oakland station - but instead pulled his .40 caliber handgun and blasted the man. Mehserle testified that he meant to zap Grant with his Taser in an Oakland station – but instead pulled his .40 caliber handgun and blasted the man.

"She pushed out a back door and ran into the darkness beneath overarching oaks. He lay on the floor near his kitchen, two bullet holes in his chest, blood pooling thick, dying." “She pushed out a back door and ran into the darkness beneath overarching oaks. He lay on the floor near his kitchen, two bullet holes in his chest, blood pooling thick, dying.”

"Diallo was shot outside his Bronx apartment. The police officers had mistaken him for a serial rapist, who was later apprehended." “Diallo was…

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