Since the election things have been quite busy for us at New Sanctuary for Immigrants. We’ve been blessed with many new members who want to get involved with the work of defending and strengthening immigrant rights. Post-Election we have been able to form working groups and organize to make Albany a Sanctuary City, Albany County a Sanctuary County, and to stop the County Sheriff from detaining immigrants at the County jail. Parallel to our work, there has been mobilization at the state universities (SUNY) to declare Sanctuary Campus.
After a seemingly endless and often times sad election, we met as a community, as we always do, on the second Monday of the month for one of our New Sanctuary Open meetings at the Albany Catholic Worker house. We prayed and decided to hold our annual Vigil for Immigrant Rights and calling to Close the School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia. New Sanctuary holds this annual vigil in remembrance of four Catholic sisters murdered in El Salvador in 1980, by graduates of the School of the Americas.
On May 9th, contract negotiations between Honeywell Aerospace and their workers at plants in Green Island, NY and South Bend, IN broke down, and the workers (members of United Auto Workers) were immediately locked out of work. Replacement workers have been brought in for these past months while the workers remain locked out, seeking to negotiate a fair contract.
For just over a year, a group of activists, volunteers, and organizers have been marching, protesting, picketing, and advocating alongside a group of fast food workers in the Capital District of New York.