The INS has detained hundreds of individuals from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Sudan who voluntarily went to the INS office to register. Ms. Banafsheh Akhlaghi, an attorney from San Francisco, reports that the detainees have been treated inhumanely: shackled, standing for hours, no drinking water, 2-3 hours sleep, and confinement. Last Wednesday, December 18, 2002, thousands of people demonstrated in front of the U.S. Federal Building in Los Angeles. Thanks to the hard work and passion of these people who peacefully voiced their concerns, many of the detainees of the Los Angeles branch of the INS have been released, many without bail. However, detainees are still in jail, some since Dec. 5th, in other regions.
We call on you, those who are concerned with the rights and dignities of all human beings and who believe that people must express their feelings regarding the violations of the United States Constitution, to participate in demonstrations being held in San Diego and San Francisco. We, Students for Progress and Development in Iran, the Law Offices of Akhlaghi & Associates, as well as a wide range of organizations will be sponsoring a demonstration in San Francisco, California on Monday December 23rd at 11AM in front of the INS building*. By coming together and uniting to pronounce our grievances, we hope to influence the INS to release the detainees as was accomplished in LA. The purpose of our demonstration is not to voice anti-U.S. sentiment but rather to demand the state to uphold the basic civil liberties we are entitled to under the U.S. Constitution. For those interested in helping to organize and make placards, we will be meeting on Sunday. The exact time and location will be announced later.
Also, the Persian Cultural Center is planning a rally in San Diego, California on Sunday, December 22 at 2:00PM in front if the U.S. Federal Building**. Those who live in Los Angeles and Orange County, please try to attend this rally, as it is very important in voicing the deep concerns of the community and in order to help the detainees in jail.
Furthermore, we are in need of people, both students and adults, who are willing to be active participants in our projects. We plan to increase awareness of the events unfolding, lobby and petition against the new laws, document the stories of the detainees and their families, and to organize peaceful rallies demanding an end to the unjust laws and the inhumane treatment of the detainees. Again, we urge you to defend the basic civil liberties given to us in the United States Constitution by uniting and organizing. If you can help in any way, please e-mail me back with your contact information as well as your region of residence (i.e. Southern California, Northern California, DC, etc.).
Please forward this e-mail to as many people as possible.
Payam Mohseni, President
Students for Progress and Development in Iran (SPDI)
*San Francisco Office Location:
INS San Francisco District Office
444 Washington Street
San Francisco, CA
Map & Directions:
Facilities are available in the area. Prices generally range from $12.00 to
$27.00 per day. Street parking is scarce.
Exit at Montgomery Station. Walk North on Sansome Street. The office is six
blocks from the station.
Take the #41 or #10 bus to Sansome and Washington. Call San Francisco
Municipal Railway (Muni) at (415) 673-6864 or visit their web site at
www.sfmuni.com for other routes.
From the Peninsula, take Caltrain to the King Street Station, then take the
#10 bus to Sansome at Washington. www.caltrain.org
For additional public transportation information, visit the San Francisco Bay
Area Transit Information web site at www.transitinfo.org.
**US INS San Diego District Office
U.S. Federal Building
880 Front Street, Suite 1234
San Diego, CA 92101
Map & Location: It is located in the Federal Building in downtown San Diego, one block South of Broadway, on Front Street (between Front and First Streets).
By Car: From I-5 (North): Exit on "J" Street. Continue Eastbound to 12th Street; turn right onto 12th Street and continue North to Broadway. Turn left onto Broadway and continue to Front Street. Turn left onto Front Street. The office is at 880 Front Street is located on the right in the Swartz Federal Building which is a few feet South of Broadway. From I-5 (South): Exit on "J" Street. Turn left onto Market Street, continue to First Street. Turn left onto Broadway and make a second left at the first corner, onto Front Street. The office is at 880 Front Street is located on the right in the Swartz Federal Building which is a few feet South of Broadway. From 805: Take the I-94 "Martin Luther King Jr. Freeway," West to the end of the freeway and continue on "J" Street (West). Turn right onto 11th Avenue to Broadway. Turn left onto Broadway, continuing westbound to Front Street. Turn left onto Front Street from Broadway, and drive South to 880 Front Street, which is a few feet south of Broadway, located on the righthand side of the street in the Swartz Federal Building.
By Amtrak: Exit train at SND Santa Fe Railway Station which is the "end of the line". Walk West three blocks to Front Street, and turn right (South). Continue a few feet south of Broadway. The office is at 880 Front Street is located on the right, in the Swartz Federal Building.