Love the People #3: Sanctuary for All – Community Defense

In episode three of AORTA’s Love the People Webinar Series, we cover the following topics:

  • the historic roots of sanctuary movements
  • rapid response networks
  • how people are organizing in workplaces and schools in the current climate
  • solidarity across groups and expanded definitions of ‘sanctuary’

Our guests for this session: 

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Watch all three sessions in the series from the beginning and access the accompanying resources.

Recommended Resources

USFWC Workplace Sanctuary Campaign
Guest storyteller Ana Martina Rivas of  US Federation of Worker Coops, discussed the Workplace Sanctuary Campaign. Sanctuary workplaces are hate-free zones that intend to be safe spaces for our communities…where worker-owners and employees are empowered knowing their workplace rights. This is a call to action to extend protection and safety to all communities facing harassment and persecution in the workplace, including all people of color, immigrants, Muslims, and people with disabilities.

An Indian immigrant’s fight for US citizenship in 1923 holds lessons in Trump’s America
Deepa Iyer takes us back to the 1913 case of Bhagat Singh Thind when the US government’s denied Bhagat Singh Thind his eligibility for citizenship because he was not deemed to be a “free white person” or person of African descent or ancestry. Iyer connects this to recent divide and conquer tactics by the Trump administration that pit South Asian immigrants against one another (and other people of color) and the recent attacks on family immigration or the favoring of H-4 visa recipients (a child’s visa tied to a parent’s workplace) over young people whose status depends on DACA.

NY Teamsters to form ‘sanctuary union’ to fight ICE Raids
NY Daily News
“Across Long Island and throughout the city, some 120,000 Teamsters are getting prepped to become a “sanctuary union.”

In 27 shops, business agents, supervisors and front-line workers are getting schooled on their rights under U.S. law — and when and how to challenge federal immigration agents who show up to search their work sites.”

NYC Restaurants Forced to Get Political in Wake of ICE Immigration Firings
Eater New York

Tom Cat Bakery in Queens is the focus of an ongoing conflict between the employer and employees over protection rights and adequate severance, after Tom Cat fired 21 employees following a Department of Homeland Security I-9 Audit. Former Tom Cat employees are organizing for better severance and for the bakery to adopt a set of guidelines (developed by the National Employment Law Project) to protect workers from ICE raids.

A Trouble Maker’s Guide: Principles for Racial Justice Activists in the Face of State Repression 
Catalyst Project

This guide includes principles of anti-racist movement security, defending, building and supporting movements. This is a living document written primarily for white activists and majority-white organizations to speak to the ways that white supremacy in movements interacts with white supremacy of the state.

Mijente Community Defense Zone Starter Guide
Mijente‘s guide to starting Community Defense Zone campaigns includes tools, examples and templates. The guide is geared towards creating community-based sanctuary, countering criminalization, and changing policies at local and state levels.

Deportation Defense Manual 
Make the Road New York created this website and bilingual (English and Spanish) guide to help support immigrant communities targeted by the Trump administration. Note: The guide is written for New York City so some information may not apply elsewhere. Make the Road offers detailed trainings on the content in this manual. 

Immigrant and Refugee Children: A Guide for Educators and School Support Staff
Tolerance.org
This short guide offers ways for educators and support staff to show support and solidarity with unaccompanied young people, undocumented students or other children negatively affected by immigration policy. This guide is adapted from content developed by the American Federation of Teachers and their collaboration with United We Dream’s Dream Educational Empowerment Program, the National Immigration Law Center and First Focus

The Origins of a Political Trial: The Sanctuary Movement and Political Justice 

Sophie H. Pirie
This is an optional reading from the Yale Journal of Law and Humanities. This 1990 piece gives a detailed analysis of the international and political conditions surrounding the emergence of the 1980s sanctuary movement. It traces the conditions in Central American countries and the US refugee and legal policy of the time and considers the historical roots of political repression in the US. as well as the biblical origins of the concept of sanctuary.