Direct Action Will Work Against ICE

By Teka Lark (June 24, 2019)

Direct action is a tool that should only be used when it needs to be used. Protesting with a permit is not direct action. Anytime you appeal to authority in a way that puts them in the position of reasonable, you’re not doing direct action.

What is direct action? When you resist with your body or with your wallet. The Montgomery Bus Boycott is an example of direct action.

The most effective direct actions understand that the system is corrupt and unreasonable, not parts of the system, the ENTIRE system and people resist accordingly. i.e. You can’t call the police on ICE.

I have been involved in three direct actions in my life, both involved law enforcement and children. I taught little kids in the fall, but in the summer I taught bigger children. When I went from teaching in the wealthiest schools in LA to some of the most economically oppressed, I realized I needed some kind of code to guide me, one of them was I don’t help the police and I don’t help LA Migra (now ICE), because I was not in education to make things worse.

One time I refused to let the police interrogate my student, even after the police got in my face and told me I was “a ‘stupid’ woman for dealing with ‘thugs’ and to not call them when I found that out who I was dealing with.” I told the police and my principal that they weren’t going to violate my student’s rights and they explained, “We can interview minors without a parent present.” And I said, “The laws of this stolen country don’t guide me and I do not consent to a searching of my classroom.”

I didn’t know whether that was within my rights or not, but I just knew they weren’t questioning my student alone while I was in charge. We already know what happens to teenage Black boys when the cops think they did something. To my surprise the police actually left, they left pissed, but they left, all because I said no, because they so rarely hear no, at least from a Black woman with a college degree, who was supposed to be vetted to be “one of the good ones.”

Another time was when I was teaching poetry at a community day school. The police came in my classroom for a student who was in the bathroom. They said, “Where is James?” And I said, “He didn’t come to school today? Is there a message you have for him?”

The third involved La Migra and a parent and I can’t discuss it.

I do not believe in the prison industrial complex and I will not cooperate or abet in putting someone in the hands of the police.

In my life I have always thought if I could just convince more people to stand up with me, we could really do so much to prevent injustice.

This brings us to current day. The #ICERaids are delayed, but they aren’t stopping, they never will. The point of #ICERaids is to terrorize people into shutting up, so they can be exploited. As Adam Serwer said in regards to Trump, “The cruelty is the point.”

What I really want you to do now is to understand your power. When you are on social media, when you watch the news, what they are trying to do is take away your courage, take away your power, to convince you that YOU CAN NOT make a difference. I know for a fact that is a lie.

If we all understood our power, we could stop injustice. When ICE comes for your neighbor (regardless of who is president), I don’t want you to go on FB Live and record them taking your neighbor away, then edit music into it, and share it with thoughtful words of how angry you are, what you need to do is to STOP them.

We all occupy different spaces in oppression, currently your job is this, if ICE comes for someone in your physical space you need to do whatever you can to stop them from taking away the person in their custody. Get creative, but we need to all mentally prepare ourselves that ICE doesn’t work, because we’re not going to let it work.

We all say:
If it was during Jim Crow, I would have…
If it was during Slavery, I would have…
If it was WW2, I would have been fighting the NAZis like Josephine Baker…

Here is your chance to put on your best lipstick and do something. They can’t arrest everyone, not if we all decide that no one is going anywhere.

Direct action, it will work, if we all agree that is what we’re doing.

So you agree, right?


21 thoughts on “Direct Action Will Work Against ICE”

  1. I believe we need to free the children at the concentration camps in South Texas. They are living in deplorable conditions. We need an army of civilians to bust open the gates and remove these kids. I’m willing to lay my life down for it.

  2. The world needs more of you. I cried yesterday after coming back from camping and tapping back into news and social media. I want to help these human beings with every part of my soul. I know we can take care of each other. I’m willing to do whatever it takes and it warms my heart to know there’s someone like you out there willing to do the same.

  3. Thank you so much for understanding the depth of ignorance and systemic racism this country is drowning in. I believe it may be too late. Freedom isn’t free and we, meaning the numerical majority, have condoned this continued crime against humanity by doing NOTHING. I taught elementary school in Compton, Ca during the LA Riots. As an ignorant white woman, I saw the truth about this nation. we absolutely could stop the atrocities that happen. We just don’t want to. I’m not referring to the “white savior”… I’m referring to acting like a human being to our fellow humans. White people are enjoying our status too much. Just replace a blond child with any child of color and it all becomes painfully obvious. I spend my days educating white folks and attempting to use my privilege to teach our real racial history, but the propaganda/ lying machines at play are too giant for any one to combat. I spend my days doing YouTube videos, running online communities geared towards educating the white folks who, are just realizing the truth about our culture of white supremacy. But it’s not enough. This nation is as corrupt as it gets… The people who DO NOTHING are doing something. They are allowing this to happen. I keep telling people, If you ever wondered how Nazi, Germany was allowed to happen, you don’t have to wonder any more. I tell people, “It’s not enough to be nice to everyone. The system needs dismantling.” We have terrorists among us. ICE officers who torment brown and black and indigenous people need to be help accountable for their crimes, just as the Nazi’s who were just taking orders needed to… I’m doing a live show tomorrow tonight. It’s an open discussion I do weekly. Open topic / open discuss. Sorry for the rant and thank you for all you’re doing.

  4. You’re under the delusion that these are all innocent people who have not committed crimes. Human trafficking is rampant among immigrants, rape and murder are very prevalent and some make it across the border and continue committing crimes. These are the ones ordered by ICE to leave. Keeping you and your family safe and helping the victims of sexual abuse and children trafficking. You are led to believe otherwise by our media. To call for an action such as violence against those that’s job is to PROTECT the U.S. and uphold it’s laws, is VERY DISTURBING. You hide behind such words as racism, when in fact it’s just the opposite. By having so called “compassion” you are actually creating more harm to future victims. If you all feel so strongly about this, then donate half your paycheck and sponsor an immigrant. Or donate whatever you can, food, clothing, etc But to call for violence is not the answer. Angry Soccer Mom – I’m sorry you hate your race. That’s on you. I don'[t see race or color, I see people….good….and bad.

      1. Even more, Jamie directly suggests alternative, indirect types of action. Don’t go out in the streets. Don’t do anything. Just send your abstract capital around like you do in every other aspect of your life. Jamie SAxon is probably not a cop pretending to be a civilian, but there is no doubt in my mind that in this disingenuous paragraph, they personify the cruel status quo.

        I bet they even think we’re the naive ones, for thinking the ICE is persecuting people indiscriminately to what they may or may not have done wrong. They haven’t considered the thought that being proud of their country might be the height of naiveté. Or if they have, they can prove me wrong.

    1. Jamie—Where is any credible support for any of that? By percentage of the population, immigrants and refugees have a far lower rate of criminal activity than native whites.

  5. Teka Lark, yes, I agree.

    “When ICE comes for your neighbor (regardless of who is president), I don’t want you to go on FB Live and record them taking your neighbor away, then edit music into it, and share it with thoughtful words of how angry you are, what you need to do is to STOP them.”

  6. Violence is not the answer. Help ICE by pointing out the hiding places of your law-breaking “neighbors” and help round them up! Being patriotic by loving and defending your country is not racism. GO GET ‘EM ICE!!!!!!!!!

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