Lakeshore participated in a statewide action this week in protest of the deplorable conditions in California prisons, jails and detention centers that have lead to 68 deaths from COVID and to demand Governor Newsom take action to save lives. Banners were placed outside faith communities, under freeway overpasses, and in front of prisons and jails throughout the state. Faith leaders added our voice to this action under the hashtag #Praying for Newsom.
Lakeshore highlighted the demand to stop ICE transfers from prisons to detention centers, a common practice that unfairly doubly punishes the immigrant community. Our dear friend Oscar, whom we’ve been accompanying since his release from detention, was caught up in this web of injustice. Five years ago, he received a two-month jail sentence. Upon completion of his sentence, he was immediately transferred to ICE, where he was detained for four years. He would still be there without the efforts of countless people, Lakeshorians included, who worked for his release in the wake of COVID. We gathered to pray for Oscar on his journey toward asylum, and for the countless others affected by this immoral practice.
Here is the statement we read. You can hear the recording here.
Hi, we are members of Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church in Oakland, CA. We are putting up this banner in collective efforts to demand Governor Newsom address the inadequate action within jails, prisons, and detentions during this pandemic.
Our faith calls us to faith compels us to pursue justice for immigrants and incarcerated individuals, protect those who are vulnerable and provide hope and healing for everyone in our community. We believe in REDEMPTION – not excessive punishment. We believe in RESTORATION – everyone should be able to make amends for their past and be able to contribute positively to their community. And so we are calling on Governor Newsom to RELEASE of the Captives who are unjustly and inhumanely detained.
We are praying for Gov Newsom to have the courage to stop more needless deaths by using his executive authority to: stop ICE transfers, release more people from jails and prisons, approve clemencies, stop the expansion of ICE detention, and hold the detention industry accountable.”
Together we keep praying for peace and working for justice,
PS – The Sanctuary Working Group invites you to join us next Wednesday, October 14, at 7:30 p.m. for a discussion of the webinar Abolition and Liberation: A Conversation with Angela Davis and Jamal Juma‘. Even if you haven’t had a chance to watch this powerful webinar, please join us for our important discussion!