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For Immediate Release //

January 16, 2024

Contact: Tamara Marquez, tamara@ic4ij.org, (562) 212-2664

Fontana, CA – As an immigrant rights organization dedicated to fostering equality and justice, the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice vehemently opposes Victorville Sheriff Department, Fontana and Pomona’s Police Department attack on our fundamental First Amendment right of free speech and protest. The unjust arrest of the “Justice 8” not only stifles the voices of marginalized communities but also impedes the progress of intersectional justice movements that strive to stand against systemic injustices.

The limitation on free speech and protest undermines the ability of immigrant communities and our allies to assemble and advocate for our rights peacefully. It stifles the essential avenues through which individuals can raise our voices against discrimination, inequality, and the many challenges faced by immigrant populations.

Furthermore, this anti-democratic action comes at a time when street vendors, who are often immigrant individuals supporting their families, are being unjustly criminalized in Fontana. Instead of targeting immigrants and peaceful protestors, Fontana should be exploring ways to support local entrepreneurship.

The inalienable right to advocate for justice thrives on the freedom to peacefully assemble, protest, and speak out against various forms of oppression, including the unjust treatment of immigrants and street vendors. Denying these rights not only erodes the democratic fabric of society but also perpetuates systemic injustices.

We urge the City of Fontana to reconsider their criminalizing ordinance and recognize the importance of upholding the First Amendment rights that are crucial for fostering a fair and equitable society for all, regardless of their background or immigration status. We demand the release of the Justice 8, who has been jailed for almost a month on trumped up charges after being targeted by Pomona PD, Fontana PD, and the San Bernardino County Sheriff Department. The immigrant and working class communities of the Inland Empire are clearly being targeted for our pursuit of a more just world. In the face of adversity, we must not relent and continue to move on the path towards a just Inland Empire for all. 

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