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Monday, October 13, 2008

Fast for Our Future Begins October 15, 2008

"Talk is cheap. It's the way we organize and use our lives every day that tells what we believe in." —Cesar E. Chavez

Dear Friends in the Struggle for Human Rights,

I am inviting you to join the Fast for Our Future that will begin on October 15, 2008 in Los Angeles, three weeks before the November 4th presidential election. Many people will be fasting in an effort to mobilize our community to vote for immigrant rights.

According to The Rise Movement:

"On October 15th, over 100 people will begin one of the largest hunger strikes in American history to call on Latinos, immigrants, and people of conscience — the Immigrant Rights Movement—to rise out of our fear and vote for change.

The Fast for our Future will be based in a permanent encampment at La Placita Olvera, the historic heart of Los Angeles, and will continue until at least 1 million people have signed this Pledge [or the fast will end on November 4 — after 21 days — whichever occurs sooner]. Through our shared sacrifice and commitment we will renew our movement and inspire an historic mobilization of Latino, immigrant, and pro-immigrant rights voters.

We must remember the I.C.E. raids, those detained and deported, the families torn apart, the dreams deferred. We must remember the marches, the walkouts, the boycotts, and the promise we made: Hoy marchamos, mañana votamos. Yesterday we marched for our rights, today we vote."
"Fasters will give up all food and juice liquids. We will only drink water. The Fast will be based at an encampment at La Placita Olvera, the historic heart of Los Angeles. The encampment will be a visual representation of the size of the hunger strike. Fasters will sleep in tents and live at the encampment for the duration of the hunger strike. The Fast will continue until at least one million people have signed the Pledge to vote and take action for immigrant rights." (Source:

Please sign the Pledge and invite everyone else you know to do so by visiting The sooner we can register one million people to sign the Pledge the sooner the fast will end. However, we are fully prepared to fast the entire 21 days, if necessary.

I fully endorse this campaign on behalf of the Demand an End to the ICE Raids and the Inhumane Assaults on Immigrants, a Facebook group with over 3,200 members.

Even if you do not live in Los Angeles I am asking you to join the fasters in solidarity and support this historic effort. I will be personally participating in the fast and am hopeful that many others across the nation will join as well so we are united in spirit for this very important cause.

The lives and futures of millions of Latinos and other immigrants are at stake. Please answer this very important call to action and share this message with as many people as you can.

In Solidarity,

Efrén Paredes, Jr.
Demand an End to the ICE Raids and the
Inhumane Assaults on Immigrants!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Efrén Participates in First Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K Walk in Michigan Prison

by Velia Koppenhoefer

Saturday, October 4, 2008 Efrén participated in the first Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (hereafter "Making Strides) 5K walk held inside a Michigan prison. He also made a monetary donation to the cause. Making Strides representatives visited the prison and participated in the walk alongside Efrén and other prisoners who participated.

According to their web site, Making Strides is "more than just the name of an event." It goes on to say:
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer refers to the vital progress the American Cancer Society has made through research, education, advocacy, and patient services. It is the premier event to raise awareness and dollars to fight breast cancer.

Efrén was instrumental in helping raise over $674 for the event from the prisoner population. He reminded prisoners to make donations and also announced the event at the September 2008 monthly Latin American Spanish-Speaking Organization (LASSO) meeting he chairs.

According to the Jackson Citizen Patriot, the prisoners, "raised $674, which will be matched by the Michigan Braille Transcribing Fund." Michigan Braille Transcribing Fund is the corporation Efrén and other prisoners who participated in the walk is employed with.

At the conclusion of the walk Efrén and other participants were awarded certificates for their contributions to this very worthy cause. Efrén also encouraged other prisoners to participate in any future events sponsored by Making Strides.

After speaking with the Making Strides representatives that visited the prison about ways they could help increase prisoner participation and awareness about future events, Efrén is confident that will occur.

One thing Efrén never lacks is progressive ideas.