Johnny is a 28 year old man who fled his home country after being subjected to rampant violence there. In January, ICE took him away from the community he had built and detained him at ICA-Farmville, a facility known for its long history of physical and medical abuse. Things took a turn for the worse when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Johnny is truly scared knowing that he is trapped in a facility where there is no way to social distance with people who have been exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms for almost two weeks now. Currently, 50 people have tested positive for COVID-19 at ICA-Farmville.
Last week, to protest Farmville’s appalling response to the outbreak of COVID-19, a group of detained people refused to eat a meal and to stand for the "count”. In response, officers barred everyone from making calls, including to their lawyers. When this happened, Johnny knew his rights and asserted them despite the risk of retaliation. He insisted on calling his attorney until the officers had to give him access to the phone. Johnny used his phone call to his lawyer to advocate for the people who were not receiving adequate medical care and attention. He also exposed the horrifying abuse perpetrated by Farmville guards, that included using flashbangs and guns to intimidate and scare the protestors in the dorm the night before. Despite being warned of the possibility of retaliation, Johnny even offered to speak with the media about the atrocities he experienced at ICA-Farmville.
Johnny has been granted bond, but like many people who encounter the financially discriminatory bond system he cannot pay it. Please donate to help Johnny get released from ICA-Farmville so he can go home and be safe from retaliation by Farmville guards. He has no family in the United States, but many friends who truly love and support him because of his kindness, his positive attitude, and his resolve to “give [his] best to the whole community” in the U.S.
Fundraiser info: The organizer is a Washington, DC resident and and a member of Sanctuary DMV, an all-volunteer collective that works to resist the criminalization of migrants in the DC metropolitan area. $8,000 will be used to pay for Johnny's bond. The remaining amount will be used to provide Johnny with a place to quarantine for two weeks after his release. Due to the abysmal conditions at ICA-Farmville and lack of adequate testing, it is safest for Johnny and his community if he quarantines for 14 days before coming into contact with people. The demand to #FreeThemAll is just the first step, it must be followed by community care and solidarity.
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