happening now: activists from NC who participated in a demonstration outside the henrico home of ICE director tony pham are turning themselves in at the henrico county jail. they are charged with misdemeanors like littering and trespassing.
“i’m mad that i’m here - there are a lot of things other than this that we could be doing,” says nancy, one of the nine people here to turn themselves in.
last week, armed officers entered her home in pennsylvania and arrested her while she was changing her baby’s diaper. she was held for 21 hours. on a misdemeanor charge for participating in a protest here in virginia.
“the reality is, we came with signs and bullhorns and crosses with the names of people who have died in ICE custody,” nancy says of the protest. and ICE & local police have responded with violence & repression. “in this moment we have to stand up,” “we’re not afraid.”
tim is an immigration attorney in charlotte. “we deny these charges lodged against us - we did not commit any crimes.” tim says they are trying to criminalize free expression, “we will defend ourselves against these trumped up charges.”
“he [ICE director tony pham] wanted the police to arrest us in our homes in the middle of the night to inflict maximum pain, punishment for exercising our civil rights,” he says.
“he and his family wouldn’t even be able to come into this country as refugees under the current system,” he says of ICE director tony pham, who talks often about his family’s story of entering the US as refugees.
“you can never silence us. you can never intimidate us. we are your nightmare,” he says.
“drop the charges. abolish ICE. abolish the police. abolish all cages.”
ash, a black trans femme who uses he/they pronouns, speaks next.
“we know what it’s like when someone who looks like us is weaponized by the state against us,” “we reject that.”
“he may look like us, but he does not represent us” says a vietnamese organizer about tony pham.
“pham is not family,” the crowd chants.
pham had complained that the protest outside his home frightened his children, “we are pham’s nightmare so that our children can sleep and dream,” the speaker says. this administration has deported more vietnamese people than any other.
“he does their bidding while they struggle to say his name and make fun of him,” the speaker says of pham’s place in upholding white supremacy.
“this is a hazing process for a club that you will never be a part of,” “white supremacy will never accept you. you may be for sale, but we are not for sale.”
the speaker, who is about to turn herself in, says she does so with the power of her ancestors.
“we see you, we love you,” the crowd chants for their comrades who are heading into the jail to turn themselves in.
here’s an article about nancy’s arrest last week

inquirer.com/news/nancy-ngu…
word has come out of the henrico sheriff’s office that they will process these people outside on the sidewalk, rather than having them enter the jail. this is a big victory during a pandemic.
you can sign the petition urging the henrico county commonwealth’s attorney to drop the charges here:
this seems to have been not entirely true... they’re taking them in one at a time to handle the paperwork. but it does sound like the understanding at this time is that no one will be held.
still, i can’t think of a better way to get processed by the sheriff’s department than on your own terms, with all your friends dancing outside to fuck the police at a volume i’m kind of shocked the county is tolerating.
as each activist leaves the sheriff’s office, paperwork about their upcoming court appearances in hand, they’re greeted with cheers and embraces from the crowd. there is love and joy even under the weight of state oppression.
i’ve never in my life seen even one person get processed so fast, let alone 9. turns out cops can work real fast if there’s a huge group of people outside with no plans to leave without their friends.

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