Tonight, come out to Murphy's Law in Bridgeport, show your support for Jim Himes and celebrate the holiday season by matching your trivia skills with several of the best progressive bloggers in Connecticut.
Hartford community groups braved the cold Monday to protest the November Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid in which 21 alleged illegal immigrants from the city’s Brazilian community were arrested.
But at least one prominent member of the Brazilian community launched her own anti-protest as she march alongside the more than 50 protestors calling for an end to the ICE raids. Ester Sanches-Naek, president of the Shaheen Brazilian Community Center said, “The ICE was doing their job.” Draped in a Brazilian flag, Sanches-Naek held a sign thanking the Hartford Police for not taking away Brazilian woman and children.
The 21 alleged illegal Brazilian immigrants were arrested by Hartford police and federal immigration agents, who are working together to find a Brazilian-born man wanted on charges of attempted murder and robbery.
As the rally was wrapping up, Sanches-Naek asked for the microphone but was denied an opportunity to convey her message to the crowd there to protest the immigration raids.
Councilman-elect Luis Cotto, who joined Monday’s protest, said Sanches-Naek wants to go back to the way things were before the raids, but that’s not going to happen. He said Hartford Police Chief Daryl Roberts said it’s possible that more immigrants here illegally may be arrested during the course of the ongoing investigation of an attempted murder, which has local police cooperating with ICE officials.
Labor representatives were among the speakers at the rally.
“We are a force to be reckoned with,” Rochelle Palache of SEIU told the crowd outside the federal building following a four-block march down Main Street. “We’re not here to steal jobs. We’re here to make a difference.”
Other speakers spoke about a new atmosphere of hostility toward Latino immigrants that has been created by the raids.
“I want to live in a city where people don’t live in fear,” Mayra Esquilin, president of Hartford Areas Rally Together, said.
Immigration activists were galvanized last month when 21 people suspected of being illegal immigrants from Brazil were arrested in Hartford's Parkville neighborhood by city police and federal immigration agents.
On Monday, the activists took to the streets.
They marched from South Green Park at Main and Park streets to the federal building at 450 Main St., demanding that the raids be stopped and that the city show more support for immigrants, regardless of their status.
Mayra Esquilin, president of Hartford Areas Rally Together, told about 150 people who gathered outside the federal building Monday night that immigration raids are "devastating to our community and our families."
Police have said they asked Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to assist in an investigation of a shooting on South Whitney Street on Oct in which a Brazilian-born man was being sought on attempted murder and robbery charges. In the process, ICE picked up 21 people suspected of being in the country illegally.
Most have since been released on bond and the suspect, Moises Coutinho, is still at large. Coutinho, 23, is accused of shooting a man in the neck in a small Brazilian restaurant on South Whitney Street on Oct. 2. The victim has since been released from a hospital.
The arrests caused alarm in Parkville's emerging Brazilian community.
A coalition of immigration, religious, student and labor groups have been meeting since the raids to develop a response, including trying to mount political pressure on the city to develop clear policies for how the police should interact with immigrants.
Luis Cotto and Larry Deutsch, elected to the city council in November as members of the Working Families Party, both attended Monday's march and said they would push for policies that limit when police can inquire about immigration status.
Cotto said immigration status should not matter to the city, whether it's the health department or police department. He said the city government has more important things to focus on than enforcing what he calleda broken federal system.
"We're not supposed to be doing their work for them, not on our time and our dime," Cotto said.
150 Immigrants Rights Supporters Marched in Hartford, In front of the ICE Headquarters this week, and what an amazing site it was. Far from the myth that the Stop the Raids movement is dead here in CT, this march proved that people from many different groups, and from all regions in CT detest the ICE Raids which are terrifying workers, and ripping apart latino families, nation wide.
While the Anti Immigrant groups such as FAIR, and NUMBERS USA would like you to believe that the Immigrants Rights Movement is a dying movement, and that they have indeed one the battle, I believe that this video footage from FOX 61 proves that there are still those who will continue to march, continue to speak out, and continue to stand up to the face of the Xenophobic Madness which is currently fueling these policies which are threaghtening our communities.
NUMBERS USA folks, as is par for the course with Hate Groups, continually bakes lies and misinformation, to make it seem as if their opinion, opinions based deeply in hatred, are the opinions of the majority of Americans. But, when one stacks their numbers at their own demonstrations, with the numbers of those who march in the streets at every pro immigrant rights activity, one clearly sees this as just another lie.
On Saturday, she appeared on NPR’s “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me” during a segment that guarantees embarrassment for its well-known guests, or as the introduction gamely puts it:
The subjects are “asked ridiculous questions about completely random topics and then being mocked and punished for your wrong answers.”
And mocked and punished she was, but not for batting 1-for-3 on the subject of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer minutiae. Instead, it was for volunteering up front the kind of canned tale of self-deprecation that is often seen on late-night-television. The Washington Post retells the relevant passage about a recent question in the White House briefing room that uncovered a glaring historical blind spot for her:
I had a situation the other day when they said President Putin said that our missile defense program was like the Cuban Missile Crisis. And so I got asked about the Cuban Missile Crisis and I was panicked a little bit because I really know nothing about the Cuban Missile Crisis...I came home and I asked my husband...wasn't that like, the Bay Of Pigs thing? And he said, "Oh, Dana."
Could imagine the outrage if, let's say, George Stephanopoulos made this statement when he was press secretary during the Clinton administration?
Thankfully, Keith Olbermann says the obvious so I don't have to.
The state criminal grand jury investigating Mayor Eddie A. Perez and possible corruption at city hall will hear testimony this week in Superior Court in New Britain.
State investigators have distributed subpoenas during recent weeks to city employees in different departments, ordering them to testify.
While the number of potential witnesses is unknown, four people have confirmed to The Courant that they have received subpoenas.
It is unclear precisely what the grand jury will review, but state investigators have been looking into Perez's activities at least since February, when reports published in The Courant indicated that the mayor's office had instructed the city to give a lucrative, no-bid deal to a political supporter to operate a city-owned parking lot downtown. The investigation touched Perez directly over the summer, when he admitted in August that criminal investigators executed a search warrant on his home because he had hired a city contractor to do $20,000 worth of work to renovate Perez's bathroom and kitchen.
Investigators then searched the office of that same contractor, Carlos Costa of U.S.A. Contractors.
Those who follow Hartford politics say the investigation appears to be the first time, certainly in recent history, that a state grand jury has looked into allegations of corruption at the highest level of Hartford city government. A state grand jury in the early 1990s investigated police corruption in Hartford, which led to arrests, but none within memory has had the mayor at its center, political observers say.
The investigation into the Perez parking lot deal was touched off after the no-bid contract to run the downtown parking lot was given in February to political power broker Abraham L. Giles, whose support in the city's North End is considered important to electoral success in the city.
Giles also was at the center of a collapsed private real estate deal to build condos on a downtown parcel and an adjacent city-owned parking lot that Giles has operated since 1993.
The deal, which would have included the demolition of Hartford's "butt ugly" building, also included a $100,000 lease termination fee for Giles to vacate the city lot.
State investigators also want to know why the city paid close to $10,000 to clean out Giles'private warehouse in early 2007, only to be repaid after the deal made news months later.
Costa, a family friend of Perez, has done millions of dollars worth of construction projects for the city, including its parking authority. One of the projects done by Costa's company was the Park Street streetscape improvement project, for which his company was the low bidder in 2003.
While Costa was working on the mayor's house, the contractor was so far behind on his streetscape work on Park Street that the city's public works staff determined that he was in default of his contract and tried to put his professional insurer on notice — a potentially disastrous move for a contractor. One of the mayor's aides had to intervene on Costa's behalf.
MR. RUSSERT: And we’re back. Our remaining minutes with Rudy Giuliani.
Mike Huckabee, leading the field in Iowa, told the Associated Press back in the ‘90s that AIDS patients should be quarantined and that “homosexuality was aberrant, unnatural and a sinful lifestyle.” What’s your reaction?
MR. GIULIANI: My reaction is that I haven’t seen—on the second of that, I haven’t seen Mike’s comment. The first one I think he says that he didn’t have the information, that he’s changed his mind about it, it’s not his current position. Look, I got enough of my own statements and issues, as we’ve seen, that I have to deal with. I think Mike has to...
MR. RUSSERT: But you don’t believe homosexuality is aberrant...
MR. GIULIANI: Oh, no, no, no.
MR. RUSSERT: ...unnatural or sinful.
MR. GIULIANI: My, my, my—no, I don’t believe it’s sinful. My, my moral views on this come from the, you know, from the Catholic Church, and I believe that homosexuality, heterosexuality as a, as a way that somebody leads their life is not—isn’t sinful. It’s the acts, it’s the various acts that people perform that are sinful, not the—not the orientation that they have.
MR. RUSSERT: The Congress is discussing and...
MR. GIULIANI: Which includes me, by the way. I mean, you know, unfortunately, I’ve had my own sins that I’ve had to confess and had to deal with and try to overcome and so I’m very, very empathetic with people, and that we’re all, we’re all imperfect human beings struggling to, to try to be better.
It seems like Rudy's over-the-top statement regarding gays has caught the attention of a gay-rights group that issued this press release and called for Giuliani to clarify his comment.
Truth Wins Out called on Rudolph W. Giuliani today to clarify a statement he made about gay relationships to moderator Tim Russert on NBC’s Meet the Press. While Giuliani said he did not think a person’s sexual orientation was sinful, he seemed to mirror the far right’s assertion that homosexual “acts” are sinful.
“Have Giuliani’s long held convictions on gay relationships changed in a New York minute to win the GOP nomination? If they have, then he lacks the character to be president,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “Giuliani’s answer on Meet the Press seemed to parrot the religious right’s cruel and empty ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ rhetoric. We call on Giuliani to clarify what ‘acts’ he thinks are sinful and we hope he continues to respect all relationships.”