Justice Action Bulletin: Pipeline arrests; #NoMuslimBanEver; sanctuary

This article appears in the Justice Action Bulletin feature series. View the full series.

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The Occupy the World Food Prize group protests within sight and sound of the Iowa Capitol building during the presentation of the World Food Prize on Oct. 19 in Des Moines. (Aaron Jorgensen-Briggs)
The Occupy the World Food Prize group protests within sight and sound of the Iowa Capitol building during the presentation of the World Food Prize on Oct. 19 in Des Moines. (Aaron Jorgensen-Briggs)

Editor's note: Welcome to NCR's Justice Action Bulletin, where every Tuesday we bring you the latest news on active nonviolence in the service of peace and justice. Do you have news you would like to share? Contact Maria Benevento at mbenevento@ncronline.org.


Lancaster County, Pa. — Six people, including a Catholic priest, were arrested Oct. 21 after they used a quilt to block the entrance to the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline construction site on land owned by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ.

Lancaster Online reported Oct. 21 that about 60 other people remained to continue the protest, which took place five days after 23 protesters were arrested in the same location.

The Adorers are appealing a case against the pipeline company and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The sisters allege their religious freedom is being violated by the construction of the pipeline on their land. 


Washington — Muslim, Jewish, Christian and religiously unaffiliated protesters gathered across the street from the White House Oct. 18 to protest the latest edition of President Donald Trump's "Muslim ban," Religion News Service reported

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Protesters gather for the #NoMuslimBanEver March in Washington's Lafayette Square Park on Oct. 18. (RNS/Chris Mathews)
Protesters gather for the #NoMuslimBanEver March in Washington's Lafayette Square Park on Oct. 18. (RNS/Chris Mathews)

The group gathered in Lafayette Square Park before walking to the Trump International Hotel for the #NoMuslimBanEver March.

The current edition of the ban, issued Sept. 24, blocks immigrants from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Chad and North Korea, as well the some Venezuelan government officials and their families.

Two federal judges who temporarily blocked parts of the ban, which previously affected only Muslim-majority countries, were swayed by arguments that despite additions of non-Muslim countries to the ban it still primarily targets Muslims.


Amherst, Mass. — First Congregational Church of Amherst announced Oct. 18 that it has agreed to provide sanctuary to Lucio Perez, a 35-year-old Guatemalan man with three U.S.-born children who has been threatened with deportation after 20 years in the country.

While immigration officials are allowed to enter churches, they consider them "sensitive" areas that are typically out of bounds, allowing churches to protect immigrants from deportation by sheltering them on church grounds.

The Daily Hampshire Gazette reported Oct. 19 that Perez's lawyers have filed a motion to reopen his case for cancellation of removal with the Board of Immigration Appeals. He has no criminal record and works as a landscaper.

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Immigration authorities have been aware of Perez since 2009, but his deportation proceeding were put on hold under President Barack Obama as long as he checked in with immigration officials on a yearly basis. This September, however, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ordered him to depart by Oct. 19 and forced him to buy a plane ticket.

Perez is supported by a network of faith-based and activist organizations. On Oct. 16, 140 people gathered outside the Springfield Department of Homeland Security to protest his deportation; 18 were arrested for blocking the door.

Meanwhile, Foothills Unitarian Church in Fort Collins, Colorado, will offer sanctuary to Ingrid Encalada Latorre, a mother of two U.S. citizen children who was scheduled to be deported to Peru Oct. 17.

Latorre had previously claimed sanctuary at Denver's Mountain View Friends Meeting while she unsuccessfully tried to overturn a criminal conviction for using another person's papers to work, The Denver Post reported Oct. 17.

Latorre failed to obtain a pardon from the governor and her stay of removal expired. She decided it was in the best interests of her children to remain in the country.


Des Moines, Iowa — The Occupy the World Food Prize group celebrated a settlement that allowed them to protest within sight and sound of the Iowa Capitol building by holding a rally and direct action during the presentation of the World Food Prize on Oct. 19.

The protesters expressed concerns about genetically modified organisms, environmental destruction and corporate interests in agriculture during a rally that included music, chanting and speeches.

Catholic Workers Frank Cordaro and Mike Miles risked arrest by attempting to enter the building, but were prevented by law enforcement and locked doors. The rest of the group joined them on the Capitol steps, where they looked through the windows at the reception inside and waited for event participants to exit.

"This at least shows them that they weren't uncontested," Cordaro can be heard saying on a video of the event, "that this World Food Prize this year was contested at the front door."

"They used to act with impunity, they used to own this town, they had their banners up and down the streets ... and nobody challenged them," Miles said. "And here we are."

[Maria Benevento is an NCR Bertelsen intern. Her email address is mbenevento@ncronline.org.]


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