Caravans to the Kids Internment Camps and Related Sites

This is a call to action

to join women
and women’s accomplices

who are caravaning
to the kids internment camps
and related locations

Our aim is to hold peaceful vigil in solidarity with the kids who have been interned–both with and away from their families.

We will sing songs and bring hand-written notes and bring stuffed animals and books that people have offered in solidarity with kids.

We hope others will join our call to hold peaceful vigils at kids internment camps and related sites across the country.  Information to help you organize a caravan may be found below. Let’s do everything we can to show these kids our care.

We are ready to hold a constant physical presence outside these facilities to put continuous pressure on the powers that be to ensure the internment is put to an end.

start a caravan IN YOUR CITY

If you would like to start a caravan in your city, there are some suggestions below.

Picking the Departure Time

We suggest 1pm on on a Sunday.  Sunday is a great time to meet and depart for location-based reasons (we’ll explain below).  But really, you can leave whenever you want.

PICK A Location for the Caravan to DEPART FROM:

You can depart from anywhere of course, but here’s an idea: what if you meet at a place with a Sunday service?
Perhaps you will be given a moment to speak during the service, and perhaps folks can pass the collections basket around to help fund your gas money (please ask the service leader in advance if this will be all right).  Plus, maybe the congregation can bring a potluck to feed you before you go?  (Again, be sure to ask the service leader if they can make an announcement about this to the congratulation to give them time to prepare).
Please don’t be afraid to reach out to local Sunday-service-oriented organizations!  Many will be eager to support your caravan and let you use their meeting place as a launch-point.  That’s why 1pm Sunday is a great time to depart: it will give you time to have an optional potluck lunch with the congregation ahead of time.

Pick a Point-Person:

Pick someone to be the contact person.  Their email and phone (optional) should be shared along with caravan departure time and location.  It often really helps people just to have another human to call and talk to to help them emotionally prepare for their trip.  Be sure the point-person is ready to share tasks with everyone who signs up to come so you can keep it leaderless, and also this is a lot of work for one person, so really, spread it out!  Also, be sure the point person knows this is omni-partisan: anyone can stand in solidarity with the kids.

Start to Spread the Word

Once you have picked those 3 details (time and location for the caravan to depart from & point-person) start spreading the word (don’t worry, you don’t need to know yet where you are going–we’ll explain why in a minute).  Also, be sure to let people know if you’re collecting money for gas!
Some great ways to spread the word:
– social media
– speak at meetings
– make a flier. Here’s a flier template you can use: create_a_caravan_flier.
– you can let us know about it our contact form
– send out a press release

Once you’ve done the things listed above, take a moment to breathe.  And eat and get some sleep too.

The next stuff doesn’t need to happen until after FOLKS START CONTACTING YOU TO JOIN.

You know how when there’s trouble in the airplane, you’re supposed to put your own mask on first, and then put on the kids’ masks?  Please be sure to put on your own mask first.  Take care of yourself through this process.

Set Up a Pre-Departure Planning Meeting

It’s great if you pick a time/location for folks to meet up before the caravan leaves to help everyone help each other prepare.  Back yards and dinner tables are great places to meet.  We’ve tended to meet from 7pm-9pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays at different people’s homes and also at a preschool after hours.  It’s good to meet the Thursday before your caravan leaves.
During the meetings, be sure to go around the circle and have everyone say their name and why they care about this issue.  Once everyone has introduced themselves, take a moment and orient everyone to the issue.  This might mean doing a quick ~5 talk about what you’ve heard in the news about internment-related facilities in your area, plans to build them, the current situation at the border, etc. Other people in the meeting might chime in and share what they’ve heard too, and that’s great.  It’s good to share knowledge, and also hold space for people to cry.  Having tissues on hand is pretty helpful.
Once everyone is oriented and has had a chance to talk about and share their feelings about what is going on, you can all start sharing ideas for what you want to do to help.    Perhaps one woman will want to research facilities and drive as part of a caravan.  Perhaps another woman will want to help organize the singing of lullabies in Spanish.  Perhaps a woman’s accomplice will want to paint a banner that can go on the side of someone’s car.  Perhaps someone else wants to do legal work, and someone else wants to write a press release.  Everyone has something to offer!
Remember this is a leaderless mutual care network.  Our aim is to support each other in sending care towards the kids.  We’re not here to tell each other what to do or how to think, but rather support each other in offering care as best we can.
Perhaps some people are themselves immigrants and because they fear exposure will not come on the caravan, but these folks will come to these meetings.  That’s great!  Folks who are immigrants can share their stories and bring a lot of amazing support to the caravans, even if they don’t join in themselves.  Other folks who are immigrants aren’t going to mind coming on the caravans, so don’t make assumptions.  Just be sure to be supportive of whatever someone is ready to do.
Another good thing to talk about at the meeting is the possibility of getting arrested.  While we certainly didn’t expect for Liz and Jesse to get arrested when we went to the Fairfield, CA facility to deliver toys to the kids on July 1st, by golly it happened.  So, even though this seems like something that shouldn’t happen, it would be smart to be ready just in case it does.  (Gosh, we weren’t ready at all and were running around like chickens with our heads cut off after Liz and Jesse were cuffed and driven away!!).  Click here for some tips on how to prepare for that possibility just in case it comes up.

Deciding Where to Go

As more and more people sign up for your caravan, discuss possible destinations together, but don’t get too hooked on any one spot.  Different cars in your caravan might head different directions depending on everyone’s commitment level, and that’s fine. Here are some suggested destinations:

If one site already has lots and lots of people, perhaps your caravan should go to a different place that doesn’t have as many people holding vigil.  Perhaps it’s great if the vigils can be spread out, right?

Also, some people may only wish to travel for a few hours, and for it to be a day-trip.  That’s fine!  Others are prepped for a much longer journey.  That’s great!  You can break up into a couple different caravans departing from the same point.

Be sure to let people know nothing is set in stone! The powers that be might shuffle things around before your departure date, and the destination may need to be change at the last minute.  Be ready for that.  That’s why it’s good to only spread the meeting point of the caravan, rather than the destination, that way if you need to change destinations at the last minute, it will be easy.

Learn All Y Can About the Selected Destination(s):

Be sure to work together to learn about where different possible destinations. A couple of you might even want to visit the spots you’re thinking about in advance to decide where people should head.  Is there a good spot for people to park? A good spot for folks to stand while holding vigil?  These things will all come together once you see the  place with your own eyes.

Also, don’t hesitate to try calling difference facilities to see if you can arrange a visit with the kids being held, or arrange a good time to drop off the toys and notes you’ve gathered.

Try connecting with folks who live near the facility–you might try asking around in local peace activist groups to see if they know anyone near the facility who might be able to give you a tour of the area.  It’s great to have allies who are there locally!

If you have time, you might try getting a hold of groups working with a given facility.  Watch out though! A lot of NGOs are making a lot of money from the kids’ internment–these types will try to stall you from doing something that could end the interment.

See if you can connect with the loved ones of anyone interned or being held in a the facility.  This might not happen until after you start the vigil though.  Be ready to have these folks come and join you once they hear you are there.

Deciding What to Do Once You Get There

At some locations, activities may already be planned by various groups and organizations.  Or your caravan may be planning the activities.  Here are great peaceful things you might do:

  • Sing lullabies en mass in Spanish and English and also Latin American Regional Dialects.  It’s great if you can have someone(s) guiding this.  Be sure to bring plenty of copies of the lyrics to pass out.
  • Broadcast recordings of lullabies in Spanish and English on loudspeakers. We haven’t done this yet, but some folks are talking about giving it a try.
  • Attempt to deliver toys and books in Spanish to the kids. We were able to gather a hold pickup truck load of toys with just a week’s notice once we put the word out.
  • Light candles, hold signs, hold vigil.
  • Sing-ins, pray-ins, teach-ins.
  • Knitting. There is a group in Australia knits while holding vigils over thing they care about. If you can knit, why not try it?  why not do that here too?
  • hold a constant physical presence outside these facilities to put continuous pressure on the powers that be to ensure the internment is put to an end
  • Note: We were thinking about holding a “cry-in” outside the vigil, but someone pointed out that might be traumatic for the kids to hear all these women wailing outside, right?  We want to  avoid things that might be load or scary or upset the kids. We are there to be a comforting presence: to do all we can to show them they are loved & to keep the pressure on for their release.

Deciding How Long to Stay at a Given Location

Some people in your caravan may not have an end time.  Others need to return home for obligations.  Make sure those with cars make clear to everyone (before you all leave) if/when they plan to return.

Other Things You Can Do

Perhaps you can’t attend a caravan.  Here are some other great ways to help and show your solidarity with the kids who have been interned:

Thank you for your solidarity with the kids who have been interned! Muchas gracias por su solidaridad con los niños!

We are not an official organization, just women and womens’ accomplices organizing to bring comfort to these kids and get them out of the internment camps, stop the internments, and also get the kids who have been separated back with their families as soon as possible. Please join in solidarity with the kids!

This is an omni-partisan call to action.  Anyone can stand in solidarity with the kids.

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