Pancho’s satyagraha

Pancho_Arrest_AZ1Dear Metta Family,

Beloved Berkeley activist and dear member of the Metta family, Pancho Ramos-Stierle, has been arrested and jailed in Arizona in a direct action against Maricopa County sheriff Joseph Arpaio. Here is the text from a friend in AZ recounting what happened:

Greetings fellow travelers,
I wanted to let you know that our beloved hermano Pancho has been arrested by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. He was part of a group of brave souls who attempted to block the sheriff’s posse from being able to conduct immigration raids on besieged communities. The activists nonviolently placed their bodies in the path of the police vehicles, and all were charged with a series of misdemeanor violations following their arrest. This video only contains glimpses, but you can see him standing in solidarity.

… I’ve been in constant contact with people holding vigil at the jail throughout the night, and most of those arrested (12 in total) are to be released later this morning. … Friends on the scene watched Pancho’s arraignment at 5am on the closed-circuit TV at the jail, and reported to me that he was his usual buoyant, smiling self despite the situation.

I was able to spend some time with him during the past couple of days in Phoenix (albeit during some very raucous demonstrations!), and saw him about an hour before he was arrested as I was heading back to Prescott. You should know that in just a couple of weeks’ time here in AZ, he made a tremendous impact as a nonviolent warrior, and [has been] much-loved by all during this crucial time in the struggle for justice. Personally, we consider him part of our family…

July 31, 2010

Berkeley, CA