From a December 21st press release from La Resistencia (formerly NWDC Resistance)
Hunger Striker Threatened with Force Feeding- More People Detained Join Strike Due to Kitchen Guard Testing Positive of COVID-19 at Northwest Detention Center
Victor Fonseca reaches 32 days of hunger strike, at least 10 others joined hunger strike today due to growing fears of COVID-19
At the now infamous Northwest Detention Center (NWDC), Victor Fonseca has reached 32 days of a hunger strike. He is demanding that ICE release him and everyone else with medical conditions that increase their vulnerability to COVID-19. Three women have continued their strike for over 11 days and ten more people, detained in a separate unit, joined the hunger strike today. Hunger strikers have released the following demands to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and have issued the following public statement:
“We demand our freedom. We are tired of the officers not wearing masks in here and exposing us to COVID. Therefore, we demand our freedom!!! They have us incarcerated here as if we were criminals!!! We are not criminals that need to be imprisoned waiting for a criminal hearing. This is a civil process, and it could be done while we wait for it alongside our families. We are in dangerous conditions; these people ignore us. The circumstances these people expose us to are inhumane. We need to be with our families. We are asking to be released under parole so we can continue fighting our cases outside this place, because for those of us sick, we are at risk of getting COVID-19. We need your help… thanks.”
At least two more pods have been placed in quarantine, as more people are removed from the general population and into medical isolation. Concerned community members and members of La Resistencia gathered for a vigil yesterday at 7PM PST outside of the NWDC to support the hunger strikers, demand that ICE stop threatening to force feed Victor Fonseca and all other hunger strikers, and call for immediate action from local, state and federal authorities. A group of lawyers has been assembled to stop ICE from secretly force feeding detained people, as court documents show they have previously done at least seven times in our community. Besides using his body and hunger striking, Victor Fonseca wants to use all legal tools available to fight force feeding.
“I want you to mention that they [ICE] can give parole for those sick. I’m sick, I have diabetes, high cholesterol and tuberculosis” said one hunger striker in a statement sent yesterday [Sunday] to La Resistencia.
Contact: Maru Mora Villalpando (206) 251-6658
La Resistencia is a grassroots volunteer undocumented led group fighting alongside people detained at NWDC to end all detentions, deportations, and to shutdown NWDC