Austin, Texas: Dignity not Detention, Fair Food not Slavery
On our first day in Austin we travelled 30 miles outside the city to go to a protest at the office of MTC, the corporation that runs "Tent City" immigrant detention center as well as many others around the country. Over the past few years, Texas has seen a rise in private Immigrant Detention Centers. The Willacy County Processing Center or "Tent City" in Raymondville, Texas is where over 3000 immigrant detainees are held in Kevlar tents, in inhumane conditions. We interviewed Bob Libal an organizer with Grassroots Leadership about Tent City as well as their partially successful campaign to close the nearby Hutto Family Detention Center.
Listen to the interview above and click Read More to learn more about other struggles in Austin.
Austin, Texas is a center of community radio with numerous stations including KOOP Radio, KPWR radio, Austin Airwaves and more. Participants from many of these organizations attended our public presentation at MonkeyWrench books on Communications Rights & Community Media.
Throughout this tour we have recounted the story of Radio Conciencia, The Low Power FM station of The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), as an example of participatory radio used as a tool for organizing around economic justice issues. Recently they have been using their station to broadcast information about their campaign against Publix Supermarket for better wages and more dignified working conditions for farmworkers who pick tomatoes in South Florida. Austin Fair Food held a delicious tamale dinner to raise funds to send 20 people to the Farmworker Freedom March that the (CIW) are holding in Florida from April 16-18, 2010. At the presentation we learned about the CIW's modern day slavery museum and watched this video that Andalusia recently completed about the campaign.