Public Witness

Releasing the Captives

Allison Tanner

March 31, 2023

Maricela (on the right) is free!

Last November, Alice Butler shared with us Maricela Andrade’s story and many of us have reached out to Governor Newsom requesting her pardon. On Tuesday, Maricela was released from detention and will soon be back in California! We celebrate with her this significant step in her journey for freedom – even as we continue to pray that she will be granted asylum and pardon to remain in California. (As a victim of human trafficking, if she were deported back to Mexico she would face certain violence and death from those who abused her for 13 years.) Thank you to all who have offered prayers, calls and emails on Maricela’s behalf!

The Hunger Strike at Mesa Verde and Golden State Annex has been paused. Some of the men in detention went 35 days without food, many faced multiple forms of retaliation and a few were forcibly transferred out-of-state and threatened with force-feeding. The goal of the hunger strike was to highlight the deplorable conditions in detention and the demand was release for all in these detention centers and closure so others don’t endure the same inhumanity. This strike has inspired others in detention centers across the country.

While the hunger strike is paused, the demands remain. Lakeshore will participate in a Multifaith Solidarity Fast during Holy Week to continue to highlight these brave men and their demands. If you’d like to join us in fasting or a day of prayer, please contact me (Pastor Allison!) for details. I will also help lead a Multifaith Solidarity Vigil outside of ICE headquarters in San Francisco at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, April 4. (The vigil will be live-streamed at the link above.) Our fast and vigil will also honor the 39 lives lost in detention in Juarez this week. For too many, detention remains a violent reality and a potential death sentence. Let us work together to free them all!

In solidarity,

Pastor Allison