Buddha taught us how to sit. Gandhi taught us where to sit. And Krishna taught us when to stand up.
Its time to stand up for Pancho.
There has been an incredible outpour of support for Pancho, though it is no surprise, it speaks to his love and impact on everyone he comes across. There have been so many emails and phone calls that have gone back and forth over the last 24 hours with a lot of information, support, and updates. In order to better enable people to support Pancho, remain informed, and to allow for clear communication and coordination among everyone so that we are all engaged in the most optimal manner for Pancho, we held a conference call this afternoon (thank you Sri and Swetha for coordinating) and here is the latest update (including input from Pancho’s lawyer who was able to participate).
The most immediate thing we can do is contact the offices of Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Congresswoman Diane Feinstein, and Congresswoman and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi asking them to call ICE directly to lift the hold on Pancho.
What can you do NOW:
1) Call/email offices of people above – the links above will provide you with their office phone numbers and email (both local to CA and in DC). Call them on both sides!
2) Get in touch with Sheriffs office and ask to not honor the ICE hold – (510) 272-6878
3) Write letters to give to lawyer Francisco Ugarte describing Pancho’s impact on community – please send the scanned letters (they must be signed) to Amit Dungarani (firstname.lastname@example.org)
4) Get in touch with influentials to do the above as well (community leaders, faith leaders), time is very short, 12-24 hours – An additional call list has been provided at the bottom of this email.
5) Additional ways to reach out include social media and petitions, language for which will be handled by communication team. We need to get this out far and wide in a way that resonates.
6) If you are local to Oakland/Berkeley/SF area – look for an email from Guri Mehta on events tonight and tomorrow to come to in support of Pancho including public city council meetings, Pancho’s hearing, etc.
7) Meditate. Meditate in solidarity with Pancho and send love his way and to everyone else including those who have put him behind bars. This is what he would want.
Talking Points (from Pancho’s Lawyer) for points 1-4 above:
Request Pancho’s release because…– He is a humanitarian, volunteer for several YEARS
– Former student of astrophysics at UC Berkeley
– violence prevention in Fruitvale neighborhood
– promoter of meditation and non-violence in expanded groups
– his inclusiveness of all communities
– anything else of this ilk (even personal stories)
– Key Point: Why use valuable money to arrest a pillar of community rather than on pay for police, schools, etc? I want my tax dollars spent on schools, fireman, police and teacher pay and not to deport humanitarians/pillars of the community who focus their whole time on serving the community.
What NOT TO SAY (for points 1-4)– Anything specific about his immigration status, as even the lawyer doesn’t fully know the situation here. In general terms it’s alright though as its already out there.
-There is a strong possibility that Pancho could be arrested as soon as tomorrow and sent to Arizona for proceedings. We do NOT want this to happen because of the legal and political environment out there. Though there is a strong team of supporters out there, it would make this more challenging. Thus, the best thing we can do is work in a coordinated manner.
-Pancho’s words to lawyer – “It should not be about me, its about the injustices to the occupy community and to undocumented peoples.”
-Lawyers words about Pancho – “I have never met anybody in 25 years that has made a bigger impression on me in just 20-30 minutes”
(humbly written by Amit and Birju)
P.S. Agencies & Politicians to Contact
ICE: (415) 844-5512
Alameda County Sheriff: (510) 272-6878
Oakland Police Department: (510) 777-3333
Mayor Quan: (510) 238-3141 (leave voicemail) or e-mail her
Barbara Lee: (510) 763-0370
Santa Rita Jail: (925) 551-6500.
Alameda County Supervisors:
Supervisor Scott Haggerty (510) 272-6691
Supervisor Nadia Lockyer (510) 272-6692
Supervisor Wilma Chan (510) 272-6693
Supervisor Nathan Miley (510) 272-6694
Supervisor Keith Carson (510) 272-6695
UPDATE: PANCHO RELEASED!