Caravan Against Fear | Caravana Contra el Miedo

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The Caravan Against Fear is a grassroots mobilization, traveling from California to Texas to defend immigrant rights, keep families together, and build momentum for the May 1 National Strike.

Throughout the journey, the Caravan will put pressure on legislators to pass expansive sanctuary policies for all, refuse to cooperate with ICE, withhold funding for deportations or border wall construction, and restore constitutional protections to people living along the border.

The Caravan is sponsored by a diverse and growing coalition of labor, community, human rights, religious, civic, environmental, and other organizations. Follow the Caravan Against Fear on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. #AgainstFear #ShutItDownMay1

SEIU Member leader Valeska (Val) Sanchez, a janitor with the Fresno Unified School District, will represent SEIU 521 as she participates in the California leg of the tour. This blog will be updated daily with details from Valeska’s experience. Follow along with Val as she fights for social justice and a world without fear.


 

Val’s Journey

Val began Day 1 of the Caravan in Sacramento.

Val began Day 1 of the Caravan in Sacramento.

“I’m participating in the Caravan Against Fear because I came to this country as an immigrant, and I believe that it’s time to say, enough is enough. Donald Trump, you are not going to intimidate us, you are not going to intimidate our families. We do not want the wall. We are fighting for our children, they are the future of America. Almost all of us are immigrants, and we have all worked to make the United States what it is. Without our handwork and the hope that we bring with us to this country, knowing that this is the country of the free, a country where you can work for a better future – we are able to make the U.S. what it is. But we can’t do it alone, we need a community to join us. I encourage you to follow along with the Caravan, to understand the background stories and to know what immigrants are fighting for. We’re here to make a greater America. Si se puede!”


Day 1
April 10 – Sacramento – Modesto
The Caravan kicked off with breakfast, followed by an 11:00am rally at the State Capital in Sacramento. The buses then took off for Modesto, for a 3pm rally. In Modesto, the Caravan invited local champions and targets to sign a pledge card, encouraging local leaders to engage Modesto in the national fight against fear. The rally wrapped up with a community call to action to participate in the May 1 strike. The caravan continued on to Stockton, where they hosted Know Your Rights TownHall at 6pm.

After breakfast and a rally in Sacramento, the Caravan headed to Modesto.

After breakfast and a rally in Sacramento, the Caravan headed to Modesto.

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Val's bed on night 1, on a church pew in Stockton.

Val’s bed on night 1, on a church pew in Stockton.

 


Day 2
April 11 – Oakland – Silicon Valley
After a quick breakfast in Stockton, the Caravan headed to the Bay Area, where they hosted a rally at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) building in Richmond at 11 a.m. The caravan held an evening rally in San Jose, with speeches by local politicians including State Assemblymember Ash Kalra, live music and traditional Aztec dancers. View more photos and videos of Day 2 on our Facebook page.  The Caravan spent the night in San Jose at our SEIU Local 521 headquarters.

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Traditional Aztecan dancers opened the San Jose rally.

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State Assemblymember Ash Kalra (San Jose) greeted caravaners and spoke in favor of Senate Bill 54 aka the “Sanctuary State” bill.

Val (left) with State Assemblymember Ash Kalra.

Val (left) with State Assemblymember Ash Kalra.

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Live music and dancing at the San Jose rally.

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Day 3
April 12 Fresno, Bakersfield

The Caravan spent night #2 at our SEIU 521 Headquarters in San Jose. In the morning, the SEIU 521 Latino Caucus cooked breakfast for the caravan before they headed to their press rally in Fresno. After Fresno, the tour took off for Bakersfield, where they lobbied SB 54 at Assemblymember Salas’ office. Watch live footage of Val’s journey on our Facebook video playlist.  They spent the night at our SEIU Local 521 offices in Bakersfield.

SEIU 521's Latino caucus cooked breakfast for the caravaners.

SEIU 521’s Latino caucus cooked breakfast for the caravaners.

Member leader Bob Sigala got up early to help our Latino Caucus cook breakfast for the caravan.

Member leader Bob Sigala got up early to help our Latino Caucus cook breakfast for the caravan.

Breakfast at SEIU 521 headquarters in San Jose.

Breakfast at SEIU 521 headquarters in San Jose.

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The Fresno rally was held outside the Fresno Police Department.

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Val (second from left) pictured here with various union leaders, including Sergio Garcia (third from right) and SEIU 521 president Gwyn Harshaw (second from right).

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Community Members wrote messages to the caravan and strung them on a clothesline on the rally stage.

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Day 4
April 13 Bakersfield, San Bernardino, Riverside
Val woke up in Bakersfield to a surprise gift bag from our Kern County Chapter President Veronica Vasquez! The caravan then took off for San Bernardino and the Riverside area for another busy afternoon.

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Kern County Chapter President Veronica Vasquez (right) gives Val a good luck gift bag in Bakersfield

 


Day 5
April 14 – Orange County
The caravan held a morning rally in Irvine, outside the offices of Mimi Walters, to protest Representative Walters’ support for President Trump’s immigration policies. Walters’s staff refused to open her doors to hear what the very people she represents had to say. According to Val, Walters hid inside and called police on the caravaners, but law enforcement simply joined the peaceful festivities. In the afternoon the caravan held a rally in Anaheim outside Representative Ed Royce’s office to protest his support of President Trump’s immigration policies, followed by a  community call to action to join the May 1 strike. The day ended with cultural celebrations in Santa Ana. View footage of the day’s events on our Facebook video playlist.


Day 6
April 15 – Los Angeles
After a Know-Your-Rights town hall, the caravan met with State Assemblymember Miguel Santiago in downtown L.A., followed by a taco truck action and an Easter vigil in the evening.

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Val with State Assemblymember Miguel Santiago in Los Angeles.

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Day 7
April 16 – Los Angeles to San Diego

The Caravan arrived in Los Angeles and Southern California in time to celebrate Easter with parishioners in local churches in International Friendship Park, where the border wall between San Diego, CA and Tijuana, Mexico stretches out into the waves of the Pacific Ocean. Val’s tour with the Caravan concluded in Los Angeles; Although Val’s journey is coming to an end, the Caravan will continue on to Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas to call on communities to support immigrants’ rights and to generate momentum for the May 1st Strike. Thanks for following along!

“It’s amazing, the power that all of our races have. I just can’t believe how amazing it feels to be here, doing the right thing. And to see all of these people supporting us… it doesn’t matter what color their skin is. So many people have participated in the caravan during the last week, even police have stood with us to show their support. Our only intention is to send President Trump a message, that we will not allow our families to be separated.” -Val Sanchez


 

After Easter, the Caravan Against Fear will head east along the border – through Arizona, New Mexico and Texas – to the Gulf of Mexico. The Caravan will join with resistance struggles in big border cities like San Diego and El Paso; as well as those in small towns and indigenous communities.

 

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One Response to “Caravan Against Fear | Caravana Contra el Miedo”

  1. Caitlin G. says:

    This is such an awesome collection of photos and stories that show the caravan and the journey! Thank you Val!


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