Proposal for an
INS RAID EMERGENCY RESPONSE WATCH
[This proposal is meant to encourage discussion and exchange of ideas in order to work out a variety of possible structures rather than as an unalterable and final proposal.]
There has been considerable discussion about attempts to respond to reports of INS raids. A variety of different groups and individuals have attempted to get to the site of the INS raids before the INS raid is over and the INS has finished with its immigration interrogations and pickups.
Usually it is difficult or impossible to get to the site of the INS raid before it is finished because the call telling the responding agency about the INS raid does not come in to the responding agency soon enough and because the responding agency is often physically too far from the site of the INS raid.
The following is a proposal to attempt to set up a structure that will enable the responding groups and individuals to be much more quickly informed of the INS raids and to have responding groups and individuals nearer to the site of the INS raids so they can more quickly arrive at the site of the INS raid.
2) Fast Notification of the INS raid
It is proposed that a single central INS RAID EMERGENCY RESPONSE telephone number be set up and that all possible groups and individuals that might be able to respond to the INS raids use the same telephone number to learn of INS raids while in progress.
The INS RAID EMERGENCY RESPONSE telephone number could then be publicized as widely as possible by all immigration rights groups, individuals and activists. Leaflets could be distributed and posted all around any and all areas where it is suspected that INS raids might occur. Posters could be put up at strategic locations with the response telephone number. Radio stations and T.V. stations could also be asked to publicize the response telephone number. Press conferences and press releases could also be used to get the word out about the response telephone number.
If several telephone numbers are used in order to assure that the calls are to a local telephone area code they should all ring into the same location.
3) Quick response by groups and individuals
The key to an emergency response to the INS raids it making a very very quick response. At least some of the INS raids must be caught while they are still in progress. After setting up a broadly publicized central telephone number for any and all who witness INS raids to call into the next vital step is to set up teams of groups and individuals who can go to the site of the INS raid as rapidly as possible.
A large number of groups and individuals spread over a large geographic area is key. There is not time to drive long distances to get to the site of the INS raid so groups and individuals in many areas are needed so that at least one of the groups and individuals can get to the site very rapidly.
The telephone number of each group and individual who signs up to respond has to be available to those who staff the central response telephones. And the response telephones have to call the responding groups and individuals in order based on how near the INS raid site that the response groups and individuals are located.
In addition radio and television contacts can be called if it is likely that they might immediately broadcast the location of the INS raid site while the raid is going on.
4) Method of response
All response groups and individuals would have video cameras, still cameras and tape recorders. The response teams would have to be trained for methods of response and safety measures. All persons who respond should stay well back from any and all INS personnel or they would risk arrest for interference with law enforcement officers. However the response teams could observe and document with video cameras and tape recorders all activities of the INS raid.
In addition after the INS raid was over information could be gathered about the raid including witnesses names, the actions of the INS personnel and how the raids took place. Such documentation would be invaluable in any contemplated lawsuits against the INS or any local police assisting the INS.
5) Who would respond?
As many groups and individuals that are willing to become trained would be encouraged to sign up as responding teams.
6) Media co-operation and broadening the response
As many media agencies as possible should be contacted and encouraged to actually broadcast the occurrence of an INS raid while the raid is actually going on.
If one or more radio station would actually immediately broadcast the site of the INS raid perhaps many many people in the vicinity of the INS raid area would go to the location of the raid and witness the INS raid in progress. Further if one or more radio stations would air programs stating that video cameras and tape recorders at the site of the INS raid would be helpful perhaps members of the general public in the vicinity of the INS raid would begin to video tape and voice record the INS raids while they are happening. Then even if no response team could get to the INS site area quickly enough members of the general public could observe and document the INS raids.
There is some hope that PACIFICA (KPFK in Los Angeles) could be persuaded to have a station policy to immediately air broadcasts stating the site of the INS raids as soon as it is notified that an INS raid is in progress. KPFK might also be persuaded to actually ask members of the public to go to the location of the INS raid and video tape and voice record the INS raid while it is in progress. On the air training programs about how to respond to an INS raid might also be possible.
KPFK is strongly influenced by its listener base and by public opinion. It also has many committees and boards with sympathetic persons on them that can influence programming at KPFK. If a concerted and organized effort were began to persuade it to implement the above policies perhaps such an effort would be successful.
If one radio station (such as KPFK or any other station) could be persuaded to implement the above policies then the INS raids could be made to generate a media frenzy which could stir up massive public opinion against the raids.
7) Inherent liability
The response teams could incur legal liability from interference with law enforcement officers. Other legal liability is a real possibility. All involved groups and individuals would have to consult their own legal counsel before they begin any response activity. Anyone or any groups encouraging, suggesting, assisting or training such response teams could also incur legal liability and should consult their own legal counsel before engaging in any such activities. All responding groups and individuals should be informed of the possible risks and lability and should be asked to sign liability waiver forms and to seek their own legal counsel.
Very often the INS will actually stop the raid in progress of they are being observed. In addition often the observation of INS raids actually in progress will deter the INS from making new raids in the future. Information gathered by the response teams would greatly assist in documenting potential lawsuits against the INS. Much greater publicity would be generated by actually notifying the media while the INS raids are still going on and having very accurate data about many many INS raids. In addition the publicity generated from the INS RAID EMERGENCY RESPONSE WATCH teams would tend to help gather support to fight the INS raids on all other possible fronts.
Obviously many other types of Adirect action@ (whatever that might come to mean) would be aided by the structure and organization as described above. The various types of possible Adirect action@ should not be seen as competing but as complimentary in form, function and result.
fax 310-673-9672 firstname.lastname@example.org