Austin City Limits

We have moved to July levels of humidity and heat. This ratcheting up makes it hard to walk outside, even at night. In August things ratchet up another notch, giving meaning to the band name, Hot August Knights. After the fall equinox begin the dry, sunny days reminiscent of Southern California and home, as it was edenically then in its salt air and bougainvillea.

A friend has been arrested in Austin while demonstrating on behalf of immigrants. I posted her letter a few days ago, but I am moving it up to make sure it is seen. Please read it all the way through, and then act:

On Saturday, June 16th, I was arrested by the Austin Police Department. I was exercising my right to peacefully protest U.S. Border Watch, a white supremacist group that propagates hate and violence against immigrants. I chose to assert my rights and risk arrest.

So many others who become entangled in our corrupt and racist legal system do not choose to be detained and have few resources to get them through their lengthy legal battles. Therefore, I want to thank all of the human rights activists for their support and concern with my legal fees. Although I am grateful, I wish to direct all financial assistance to the ACLU’s efforts to represent the families unlawfully detained at T. Don Hutto Detention Facility and Common Ground Relief’s emergency shelter program in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Few people are aware that in the weeks following Hurricane Katrina, prisoners from the Gulf Coast were detained at Hutto. Many New Orleans Parish Prison (OPP) inmates had not been charged with a crime and others were minors. San Francisco Bayview reports that “As floodwaters rose in the OPP buildings, power was lost, and entire buildings were plunged into darkness. Deputies left their posts wholesale, leaving behind prisoners in locked cells, some standing in sewage-tainted water up to their necks.” After almost a week, instead of providing these people with financial or legal support, many Gulf Coast inmates were moved to Hutto.

This inhumane history is evidence of the fact that Hutto must be shut down! It lives in infamy with the numerous detention facilities, jails, prisons, concentration and internment camps throughout the world. It is important that we remember that the forces that empower US Border Watch and Corrections Corporation of America are born of the same ideology that created tragedy in New Orleans and abroad. Imprisoning people of color and the poor in mass numbers is a symptom of the sick global system that we must fight against. If we do not work to create a better world, our only other option is to take docile ownership of what we will inherit after years of colonialism and oppression.

I hope you take the time out of your day to use a few dollars as ammunition against the ongoing exploitation of the people of New Orleans and the families involved in litigation with the ‘Department of Homeland Security,’ as they are truly in need of our attention and support.

In Solidarity,
Rebecca Ruiz-Lichter

To donate to the ACLU please visit:

To Donate to Common Ground’s Emergency Shelter Program please send a check made out to “Common Ground Emergency Shelter Program” to:

Metairie Bank
3344 Metairie Road
Metairie, LA 70001.


2 thoughts on “Austin City Limits

  1. Thank you for sharing this, My check is in the mail. I think whether you agree with someone’s politics or not, we should all be concerned when our right to peacefully protest is threatened.

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