According to Justice for All: “People of color are being treated unfairly as a result of institutionalized racism across the nation and here in Vermont. In the criminal justice system these disparities create challenges ranging from disproportionate traffic stops to overrepresentation in prisons. Ashley Nellis of The Sentencing Project reported that Vermont leads the nation with one in 14 African American males incarcerated. Stephanie Seguino of UVM reported that the Black arrest rate is almost double the White arrest rate.” Advocates discuss the reasons they are calling for a Racial Justice Oversight Board in Vermont. We begin with an update from Migrant Justice about the arrest of three of its members for immigration violations and the campaign to free them. (April 5, 2017 broadcast)
Will Lambek, Migrant Justice
Mark Hughes, Justice for All
Sarah Robinson, Vermont Network Against Domestic & Sexual Violence
In early February, Fadwa Alaoui, a resident of the Montreal suburb of Brossard, was turned away at the U.S. border station at Highgate after being questioned about her Muslim faith and her views on Donald Trump. The Moroccan-born Canadian citizen was headed to Vermont to do some shopping, which included buying a toy for her five-year-old son Youssef who had recently completed chemotherapy. In Vermont, undocumented farm workers discuss their fear of immigrant roundups, and activists discuss strategies for defending basic rights. (February 15, 2017 broadcast)
Fadwa Alaoui, Muslim Canadian citizen denied entry to US
There are approximately 1,500 migrant workers on Vermont’s farms, especially in the dairy industry. Often working up to 80 hours per week, many migrant workers live in isolation on rural farms and earn less than minimum wage. Migrant Justice is an advocacy organization with a mission “to build the voice, capacity, and power of the farmworker community and engage community partners to organize for economic justice and human rights.” On June 13, 2016, Migrant Justice scored a major victory when the Grand Isle Sheriff’s Department agreed to pay nearly $30,000 to settle a case regarding discriminatory treatment against an immigrant dairy worker, Lorenzo Alcudia, who was turned over to Border Patrol after a traffic stop in which he was a passenger. We talk with farmworkers and activists from Migrant Justice. We also speak with a representative from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a nationally known farmworker’s organization that has won landmark agreements with Taco Bell and other major restaurants. (June 15, 2016 broadcast)
A May Day special live from the Vt State House on Vermont’s hidden workers: Undocumented Mexican workers Oliver Lopez and Danilo Lopez talk about their life in Vermont, their role in the economy and the importance of being able to drive a car legally. We are also joined by Brendan O’Neil of Migrant Justice and Mary Gerisch, president of the Vermont Worker’s Center. Dan Barlow of VBSR also updates us on pending legislation.