Socialist journalist Calero released; fight to quash his deportation continues
Jose G. Perez
jg_perez at bellsouth.net
Sun Dec 15 20:29:38 MST 2002
Below is the text extracted from a PDF file on the Militant's web site.
This is an important victory not just for Calero and the comrades of the
U.S. Socialist Workers Party, whose views are reflected in the publications
Calero writes for, the Militant and Perspectiva Mundial. It is a victory for
all socialists, for all antiwar activists, for all defenders of freedom of
speech and of the press, and for all working people.
It is also a lesson in effective organizing around defence of democratic
rights. People from all walks of life put aside their differences on all
other questions to unite around the single issue of defending constitutional
rights in this case. You don't have to agree with Calero to support his
fight against the INS; you just have to defend his right to have those views
and expresss them freely.
Despite this initial victory, it is important for everyone to continue the
fight. We mustn't let Ashcroft and Bush deflect our protest by the simply
expedient of releasing him from custody while continuing the move to throw
him out of the country. This is important not just in defending the rights
of a "dissident," a socialist, but of all working people. Inspired by this
initial victory, all defenders of democratic rights should continue
bombarding the Houston INS District Director with messages demanding that
all attempts to deport or "exclude" Calero from the United States be dropped
now. Obviously the government was taken aback by the response to this attack
on Democratic rights and has made a tactical retreat. Let's turn their
retreat into a rout by redoubling the pressure NOW!
* * *
December 13, 2002
To all supporters of the fight for freedom for Róger Calero
Bulletin: Róger Calero released on parole. Special public meeting for all
defense supporters called for Sunday afternoon in New York City.
This afternoon at 5 p.m., Róger Calero, associate editor of Perspectiva
Mundial and staff writer for the Militant newsweekly, was released from the
Houston Processing Center, the immigration jail in the Houston area, by
Hipolito Acosta, INS District Director. His reporter's tools -- his laptop
computer, his digital camera, and his press pass -- were returned to him
he was being released.
We are calling a special meeting for this Sunday afternoon in New
York City to celebrate what we have accomplished and discuss how to keep
the pressure on. We are inviting supporters from Washington, D.C., to
Boston to join us. Details on time and place will be sent out tomorrow.
Calero's release represents an important victory in the fight to turn
back the INS's attempt to exclude him from the United States. It follows a
week of initial public protest, centering on letters and faxes to the
Director urging that Calero be released and that the case against him be
Letters to the INS have been sent by the Coalition for the Human
Rights of Immigrants; the Committee for the Release of Farouk
Abdel-Muhti; Bruce D. Nestor, president of the National Lawyers Guild; Bill
Pearson, president of local 789 of the United Food and Commercial Workers
Union, which organizes Dakota Premium Foods where Calero worked and
participated in the organizing drive that won the union; Marleine Bastien,
executive director of the Fanm Ayisyen Nan Miyami (The Haitian Women
of Miami); Gregory Coleridge, Director, Economic Justice & Empowerment
Program of the American Friends Service Committee, Northeast Ohio
Office; Hollywood director Nick Castle, and many others.
Material on the case is being circulated through the Reporters
Committee for Freedom of the Press, the U.S./Cuba Labor Exchange, and
dozens of other groups. Calero's fight has been featured in El Dia, the
Spanish-language daily in Houston, KPFT, the Pacifica affiliate in Houston,
Calero's publications the Militant and Perspectiva Mundial, and numerous
independent media networks, from Texas to New Jersey. In Barcelona,
Spain, the fact sheet on his case was translated to Catalan.
The fight continues to stop the exclusion proceedings
Winning Calero's release gives added momentum to the fight to end
the exclusion proceedings by the INS. A hearing on the case is still
scheduled before an immigration judge for next Tuesday, December 17.
Supporters of freedom of the press, of immigrants' rights, of the labor
movement, and of the defense of political rights should press forward with
messages demanding that the attempt to bar Calero from this country, where
he has been a legal resident for more than a dozen years, be dropped.
Messages should be sent to Hipolito Acosta, District Director, Immigration
and Naturalization Service, 126 Northpoint Drive, Houston, TX 77060; fax
281-774-5989; with copies to Perspectiva Mundial, 410 West Street, New
York, NY 10014; fax 212-924-6040. Funds to deepen the fight should be
sent to the Political Rights Defense Fund, P.O. Box 761, Church St. Station,
New York, NY 10007.
Let's step up the pressure, now!
Political Rights Defense Fund
Editor, Perspectiva Mundial
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