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This was my second time traveling out to Hutto. Transcript and more information below.
“I’ve known about this place, this is just my first time coming here. When I first got here, I actually felt like crying because I felt so angry that they would do this to people. Everybody talks about peace in the world and stuff, but this has nothing to do with it…”
18-year-old Yvette Garza joined about a hundred people from around Texas on Saturday afternoon in Taylor, a forty-minute drive from Austin. For the third year in a row, activists marked World Refugee Day with a march across town to the T. Don Hutto Residential Center, an immigrant detention center holding undocumented families, including at least 100 women and young children. Jose Orta, a Taylor resident, said the corporate-run facility should be shut down.
“They are incarcerated. And those children have done nothing, nothing wrong. They are non-criminals. Yet they are in a medium-security prison. No matter what you call it – you can call it a detention facility or a residential facility, whatever. It is a medium-security prison, and T. Don Hutto’s got to go!”
“People started making profits for people wanting to make money off of people’s misery.”
Conrado Acevedo, an activist with the indigenous coalition ‘Defense of Our Mother,’ traveled from Houston.
“They used to let ‘em go and then they would show up in court, which was the more humane way. But now when you put people in jail, especially a mother with kids, I mean that’s totally uncomprehensible in a supposedly democratic society. So we’ve been coming here for two years…”
The march eventually spilled onto an field alongside the facility. Marchers raised their voices, hoping the kids inside would hear them.
The group rallied for another few hours with music and speeches in the blazing sun across from the detention center. They vowed to continue protesting until the facility is closed and the families are released.
It’s June 22, 2009, this has been a Mediahacker.org podcast.