Wednesday, November 16, 2011
The Occupy Movement has now hit home in a fierce manner for those of us in the broad meditation community. Whatever your thoughts about Occupy, the man in the image above was not only arrested while bearing witness during the Occupy Oakland protests, but is now facing deportation. Fellow Buddhist blogger Katie Loncke, who is a part of the Occupy Oakland group, posted the following link, which offers more details about Pancho's case, and also ways you can support him if you so choose to.
Here is the letter I am sending to public officials in California. May we all be liberated in this life.
Dear Senator Feinstein,
I am writing in support of Francisco "Pancho" Ramos-Stierle, who was arrested while doing meditation during the recent raids on Occupy Oakland. He is currently facing deportation, and I am requesting that you step in and stop this action.
While I do not live in your district, I have friends who do. They know Pancho, and recognize his value to the community. This man is not a threat to our nation, nor is he a hardened criminal. He was an astrophysics major at UC Berkeley. He has been active in humanitarian causes for years, as well as violence prevention work in Fruitvale neighborhood. Furthermore, he is promoter of the benefits of meditation, and active non-violence, and was peacefully demonstrating both at the time of his arrest.
Our nation needs more people like Pancho. In fact, I'd argue we're desperate for more folks willing to teach and practice non-violence in our communities.
Please step up and support this man. Stop ICE's attempts to deport him. Be part of the change our hearts are calling for, longing for. It's time.
*Update: Pancho is now free, thanks to everyone who wrote in, called, and rallied in support of him. Check out the article I posted in the comments section for more details.