Lent Without Borders Launch: Sing-In at Detention Center

9 02 2013

When: 4:00pm, Friday, February 15th

Where: 1 Union Avenue, New Haven

Join faith groups and social justice organizations as we sing hymns for a world with no borders and no prisons.

This event will be brief and followed by a community dinner (Location TBA).

In this Lenten season, we will challenge ourselves to give up the militarization of the US-Mexico border, and the policies in
Connecticut that deny due process and human rights to immigrants.

We will mourn the 179 people whose remains were found in the desert on the US-Mexico border last year.

We will denounce the Department of Homeland Security’s “Secure Communities” program, which has torn apart more than 400 Connecticut families.

We will stand in solidarity with Josemaria Islas, a New Haven man who is facing deportation. He was on his lunch break when the Hamden Police arrested him, looking for a Latino man who had attempted to steal a bicycle. Although he was later acquitted, his fingerprints were sent to Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the moment of his arrest, according to Secure Communities procedure. As a result, he
spent five months in jail and will be deported as soon as next week, all because he was racially profiled and accused of a crime he did not commit.

We are angered that more than 155 Connecticut residents have been deported after they were arrested and fingerprinted but never charged or never convicted of a crime.

We will call on the judicial marshals, who run the lock-up at 1 Union Avenue, to stop complying with Secure Communities.

We will dare to imagine that a world without borders and prisons is not only possible, but is demanded by a faith which declares that we are all “strangers and aliens in the world,” (1 Peter 2:11) and that Christ “has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us” (Ephesians 2:14).

Join us throughout Lent for Lent Without Borders actions, of which this will be the first of 6. To see our agenda or endorse Lent Without Borders, visit:

Lent Without Borders has been endorsed by the following faith-based
and secular groups:

Amistad Catholic Worker New Haven
Brazilian Immigrant Center of Bridgeport
Greater New Haven Peace Council
John Gage, Pastor of United Church on the Green
Seminarians for a Democratic Society
Shalom United Church of Christ
Tom Gye Kim, Pastor of First and Summerfield United Methodist Church
Unidad Latina en Accion – New Haven Workers Association
Unitarian Universalist Society of New Haven Immigration Rights Task Force


We’re Launching on Feb 15!

24 01 2013

Lent Without Borders: Holy Imagination in the Face of Empire
By Seminarians for a Democratic Society

New Haven – January 22nd 2013 –Marking the Christian season of Lent, activists and faith communities are pledging to “give up borders” and call upon the broader American community to do the same.

“When we think of Lent, we tend to think of giving up chocolate, or smoking, or something else that might be unhealthy for us,” said Greg Williams, a campaign organizer. “But Lent is really about pushing ourselves to imagine life as it could be. Just as a smoker might use Lent to imagine and experiment in life without Nicotine, we who live at the center of American Empire are taking this time to imagine life beyond border imperialism. For those of us who identify as Christians, this kind of radical imagination (and the activism that it demands) is foundational to our Discipleship.”

The Campaign is being organized in Solidarity with Unidad Latina en Accion, an immigrants’ rights group that campaigns for economic justice and legal status for immigrants. “In the last four years the Obama administration spent more money arresting and deporting immigrants than on all other kinds of law enforcement put together,” said Jordan Scruggs, another organizer. “It has also instituted the Secure Communities program that essentially turns every local law enforcement officer into an immigration agent. The structural sin of the system as it stands call for nothing less than the abolition of borders to transform the American Empire into God’s Beloved Community.”

Organizers with Seminarians for a Democratic Society will stand with activists and faith communities in doing public direct actions every Friday at 4:00 through the Season of Lent, starting on February 15th outside 1 Union Avenue. The campaign will culminate with an action on Good Friday (March 29) where people will gather to lay crosses on the New Haven Green for everyone who has died crossing the US-Mexico border. For more information, or if you or your community would like to participate, please feel free to email Gregory.williams@yale.edu or Jordan.scruggs@yale.edu or visit the campaign’s website at http://www.lentwithoutborders.wordpress.com

Two Events for Migrant Justice Next Week

15 01 2013
Immigration Reform Now! Rally
Monday, January 21, 2013
4:00 pm
Outside Federal Courthouse, 141 Church Street, New Haven
Contact: Greg Williams 203-584-5784 (Yale Divinity School), Megan Fountain 203-479-2959 (Unidad Latina en Accion)

On the day of President Barack Obama’s Inauguration and Martin Luther King Day 2013, let’s inaugurate a new era. Let’s commit to welcoming 11 million immigrants out of the shadows and into the rights of US citizenship. Let’s bring all people under the same labor laws, so that businesses can no longer exploit second-class workers, robbing us all of decent jobs. We pledge to create a new system in which we don’t have two classes of people — those who have rights, and those who have no rights. While Martin Luther King Jr. sat in Birmingham Jail after being arrested for violating segregation laws, he wrote that “there are just and there are unjust laws”; and he told us that we must not wait passively for change to happen, but we must take direct action to change unjust laws. Let us, as the New Haven and Connecticut community, commit to creating just immigration laws in 2013.


On Tuesday, January 22nd, Seminarians for a Democratic Society (SDS) and Unidad Latina en Accion (ULA) will be co-hosting a community supper and round table dialogue on the topic of deportation.  Over three hundred and seventy five people have recently been deported from our community under the Obama administration’s “Secure Communities” program that effectively turns most local police officers into immigration agents.  Nationally, the Federal government now spends more money on immigration controls and deportation proceedings than on all other kinds of policing combined.


In this context, we will hear from people currently facing deportation proceedings in our community and listen to their stories, as well has host a dialogue with activists working against the violence of deportation.  We will examine the US border system as an institution of racial and economic oppression and talk about what a faithful response might look like.


WHAT:“Break the Chains of Deportation: A Community Supper and Round Table Dialogue on the Right to Remain, the Freedom to Move and the Right to Return”


WHERE: Room S202 here at YDS


WHO: Seminarians for a Democratic Society, Unidad Latina en Accion and YOU


We hope very much to welcome you into this circle of conversation and action.  Blessings and Solidarity in Christ our Liberator!

for a world without borders…

5 01 2013

Im for tellin the truth exposing the lies

Think about the dead soldiers when youre  drivin your ride

Them people died for the oil and Daddy Bushs revenge

Im with the widows the children and the lonely best friends

Im with Families Stayin Together as ONE

Im Not for the Raids and the Deportations!!

Im with Victor Toro and The M.I.R.

So watch out for those snitches in that unmarked car!

And for Lil Saulito, we gonna fight for your moms..

So we gonna shout her out, twice in One song..

Im for twelve million workers and Elvira Arellano

Im for a world without borders and a better tomorrow


– Rebel Diaz, “Which Side are You On?”