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Views in brief

August 24, 2007 | Page 4

VIEWS BELOW:
The death of Edimar de Araujo
Another chapter to the Potter story
A smear against the CPUSA?s

The death of Edimar de Araujo

EDIMAR ALVES de Araujo, a 34-year-old Brazilian immigrant living in Milford, Mass., is the latest casualty in the drive to criminalize immigrants in the United States.

He was stopped by Woonsocket, R.I., police for a traffic violation on August 7. Less than four hours later, he was pronounced dead at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.

When the Woonsocket police found out that de Araujo had an outstanding deportation order, they detained him at the police station and called Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to take custody of him. They did this despite the fact that there's no legal agreement that allows local police in Rhode Island to work with ICE.

The Woonsocket police ignored pleas by his sister Irene that he had seizures and needed medication for them. By the time de Araujo reached the ICE office in Providence, he was clearly in the midst of a seizure. By the time ICE agents got him to the hospital--just a few blocks from the ICE office--he was dead.

De Araujo is the 62nd person to die in ICE custody since 2004. There appears to be no real consequence to ICE for this type of negligence or malice, and there is no compensation to the families of the victims. In other words, ICE can kill with impunity--and get the help of the local police as well!

Coincidentally, it was Woonsocket's State Senator, Marc Cote--a Democrat--who was the driving force behind a spate of anti-immigrant legislation in the Rhode Island General Assembly this past spring. Fortunately, none of it passed.

However, the problem goes beyond legislation: when undocumented immigrants are considered "criminals" by those in power, it gives cops the green light to dehumanize them and violate their human rights. This is why we need to proclaim: No human being is illegal!
Brian Chidester, Warren, R.I.

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Another chapter to the Potter story

I READ the article "Harry Potter: The final conflict" (August 3). While the article was good, it merely skims the surface of the socialist message in Harry Potter.

Rowling has said repeatedly that her heroine was self-taught socialist Jessica Mitford, and several character names from the book were taken from Mitford's autobiography, A Fine Old Conflict. The conflict in the book could easily be seen as an analogy of Mitford's own life growing up in a British aristocratic family, where her sisters were supporters of fascism and Hitler, and Jessica became the red sheep of the family, running off to fight in the Spanish Civil War and eventually emigrating to the U.S. and joining the Communist Party.

I hope that SW will consider a follow-up story discussing how Rowling has repackaged socialist ideas in an attractive and marketable format.
John Rose, from the Internet

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A smear against the CPUSA?

IN THE article "Demanding action from the Democrats" (August 3), you say: "Some of these apologists aligned with the Communist Party USA accused protesters of 'the white left' of singling out Conyers, a leading Black member of Congress, for abuse. This disgraceful race-baiting was simply a cover for those who would rather play along with Democratic leaders than challenge them."

Who are these apologists, and what makes you think they're aligned with the CPUSA? I suspect your claim is not based in fact, and this is really bad reporting on your part and undermines your credibility. Looking forward to your response.
Rachel Peterson, from the Internet

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