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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Santa Cruz Indymedia | Immigrant Rights
YARR Training Attracts Crowd of Santa Cruz Supporters
Saturday’s YARR (Your Allied Rapid Response) Open House and Legal Observer Training attracted a crowd of nearly 150 people to hear about how they could be part of the Rapid Response Team of Sanctuary Santa Cruz, supporting community members who are targets of an ICE raid or other forms of harassment or bullying.
YARR organizers offered poetry and background and described the need for the broadest possible representation of the community to stand with and shelter its members in the face of increasingly oppressive forces currently unleashed within our nation. Attendees were invited to converse with representatives of six of the YARR working groups, then all joined in an exercise of inspirational nature.
Three lawyers from the Immigrant Liberation Movement (ILM) concluded the afternoon with a training based on their work in three Bay Area Counties now networked in a Rapid Response System. Using roll-playing and personal stories, they described what is likely to happen at an ICE raid and its consequences. They described the workings of their phone alert system, vetted for crank calls, which dials the cell numbers of responders within a short distance of an ICE raid. Responders are committed to be prepared for swift action to turn up at the location of the event, and to become legal witnesses using cellphone or other recorders. Trainers noted the importance of capturing certain details to assist in the case of legal proceedings. At the conclusion of the raid, responders then send the evidence to a hotline or to the ACLU website.
Legal witness is one intervention tool of Your Allied Rapid Response. Among the others is the family and legal support offered by Sanctuary Santa Cruz.
YARR was formed in December 2016 shortly after the election cycle as an outgrowth of Sanctuary Santa Cruz.
Earlier this month, Sanctuary Santa Cruz, with the aid of sympathetic City Council members, worked to encourage City leadership to adopt a strong Sanctuary City ordinance, which was written, approved by Council and is now in process to be adopted as law.
Even with the strongest possible Sanctuary City policy, our local government cannot legally prevent ICE from working in Santa Cruz County when it operates within federal law and with signed arrest warrants.
What is left is for the Community of Santa Cruz to stand together.
YARR Santa Cruz
Sanctuary Santa Cruz
YARR Open House and Legal Observer Training