Raymondville Greets Amy Goodman at Gunpoint

By Nick Braune

Here is a small incident, but another sign of the militarization of the border. Last Monday, April 23, Amy Goodman, a nationally respected reporter (“Democracy Now”), made a fast stop at South Texas College for a presentation on the media. Having a bit of time before flying out, she asked if she could be driven over to Raymondville to get some pictures of the immigration detention tents she had heard about. She was not planning anything public or planning on going in for interviews, or anything like that. But apparently, the car she was in got too close to the tents and she and the other passengers in a car were met by a man in a CCA (Corrections Corporation of America ) uniform holding a rifle (shotgun?) at their car and yelling at them. Jennifer Clark, who is a political science instructor and a leader in the Women’s Studies Committee at South Texas College , was driving the car.

Author: Jenny. Please tell me what happened at the fascistic Raymondville Detention Center last Monday. Did they know it was Amy Goodman?

Clark : I don’t think they knew it was her, I was driving in my car: Amy and I were in the front and John Jones [a progressive political scientist who runs Virtual Citizens, an internet newsletter] and Denis Moynihan (Amy’s outreach coordinator) were in the back. The guard in the truck came from nowhere and drove at us fast, stopping an inch or so from my car totally cutting me off from moving any further. He said that he thought we were “escaping” from the facility which did not make sense as we were driving towards not away. He literally escorted us off the premises with his gun pointed at us the whole time. There was no warning at all. When we got to the front gate a Raymondville police car had arrived. He accused us of trespassing and asked if we had not read the sign. We had not read seen the sign as we had approached the side of the facility.

**********

From Democracy Now! transcript, April 27, 2007.

AMY GOODMAN: On Monday, I went down to Raymondville, Texas, to this vast tent detention camp right behind a prison. As soon as we got there, we were met by the security, and they cocked their guns at us, one of the men in the pickup truck saying we got to get off the property now. We reported on the Jonathan Hutto facility, where kids are held, hundreds of kids — the ACLU is suing now — and talked to a nine-year-old boy named Kevin, who said, “I just want to go home. I just want to be free.” What about these prisons?

DAVID BACON: Well, the Bush administration is privatizing the enforcement of immigration law. They’re building huge detention facilities, which are run by private corporations, like Halliburton, for instance. Halliburton has started to build these. And this is part of the increased enforcement program that the Bush administration has. This is sort of like the flipside of the guestworker programs, to say — you know, to try and negotiate or to establish new guestworker programs to bring people to the US as contract workers, and for anybody who’s not part of that program, to begin to arrest people, detain people, as we’re seeing in these raids, put them into these kinds of — you know, I would say they’re close to concentration camps, really, but that are also sort of private business giveaways to Bush cronies.

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