Artistic drawing of bird with different colored feathers

On Wednesday, August 7, I had the opportunity to attend a meeting for an activist group called RAID. RAID stands for Resistance Against Immigrant Detention. The goal of RAID is to stop the Department of Homeland Security and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, commonly known as ICE, from mishandling and mistreating those they deem as "illegal."

I'd noticed that the group consisted primarily of younger activists, mostly in their 20s. During the meeting, I noticed they were very quick to embrace the fact that they were all from various leftist factions united against the same cause: The liberation of immigrants from the clutches of ICE. One thing they emphasized was their desire to be directly involved in their communities with actions such as protests and so forth. One of the leaders there named Jorge saw that the United States' policy towards Latin America has been imperialistic and that this current mistreatment of Latin Americans within the United States is an extension of the United States' policies that are negative towards Latin America dating back almost 200 years. Jorge said that this movement "Has to be Anti-capitalist in nature."

At the end of the meeting I had gotten the chance to ask him what he meant, and he told me "This issue was caused by capitalism. It was caused by imperialism predominantly, which is an expansion of capitalist markets. Making it anti-capitalist is imperative to making sure that the structures that created this issue are dismantled." 

The group was mainly focused on dividing the work among the members to ensure that everybody there had a role, that those with roles would be able to do whatever it is they were interested in and that they could better serve the community and like-minded people. They want to back the cause as needed and hopefully build a network of activists interested in stopping oppressive movements and ideologies as quickly as possible. They also seek to teach one another about building strong movements and developing these relationships with one another to create a strong sense of unity. Some of the groups created were:    Outreach: The focus of this group is to produce a narrative as well as inform the public about the cause and what is really going on in the community around them.  Support: The focus here is to make sure that someone is watching the protests to ensure nothing shady happens here. It also seeks to train people to be legal observers as well as to assist those who are detained.  Action: This group seeks to be active in their community, they need to be able to supply materials to activists to be able to hand out to the general public. They want to make sure that those directly in the community are able to get the message across.
Emergency Response: The members of this group are to make sure that the victims are being aided by the group members and that the victims are able to feel cared for and not forgotten.