Thursday, November 25, 2010

Read this blog instead of mine...

     On top of trying to keep up with my ninety others blogs, I am also transcribing the words of friend Pablo Airaldi, who is in Hudson Country Correctional Facility awaiting deportation. His blog is aptly named Dearly Deported. Hopefully he will come home soon to Brooklyn, and I won't have to write this blog for too long. While I have not known Pablo for very long, I can honestly say he is an intelligent, caring, interesting, passionate and talented human being, and does not deserve the treatment he is receiving from the US Federal Government.
     I met Pablo while working on the Greenpoint Open Studios. I was walking up and down Manhattan Avenue approaching local businesses for advertising donations for our booklet and walked into Pablo's bike shop, which had only been open a month. I told him about the GOS and within five minutes he handed me $100 over the handle bars of one of his custom made bikes I was riding around on in the shop. He trusted me and supported what we were doing for the art community and then put together an awesome exhibit for GOS called Bikes & Art (and whiskey...) His positive energy and enthusiasm helped make GOS a huge success for Greenpoint. Until his arrest he was working on building out the bike shop to include an art annex where local artists could rent affordable studios and he was a actively supporting a homeless shelter that was proposed to be built in the neighborhood that all the local business were firmly opposing. There is a petition to support Pablo's freedom in all the shops in GP, and ironically it is posted next to a petition against the homeless shelter.
     I visited him recently in prison (behind the bullet proof glass over the telephone, just like in the movies) and it was extremely sad to see a person with so much life and promise being held against his will as if he is some danger to society. Over a few rows down a man was singing over the telephone to the family member he was visiting. Many of the others being held for deportation are hard working family people with businesses in this country, just trying to live good lives and support their loved ones. What is wrong with that? It was good to see him, even though it was under such unfortunate circumstances. Today is Thanksgiving and I got to sit with my family and eat and laugh, while my friend Pablo sat in prison.
     Everyone looks at me suspiciously when I say my friend is in jail, as if I am some sort of moron for taking the time to be kind to such a person. What did he do? Why is he in there? Are you stupid? I don't need to justify my friendship with him and I honestly don't care what stupid thing he did to get himself into this situation. He is a good human being in trouble and I am just trying to help. If I were in such dire circumstances I hope someone would do the same for me. Please take the time to read his blog. The worst part of being in prison is he cannot communicate with his friends and family.
    Monday 11/29 at 9am, Pablo is having a Deportation and Removal Hearing at Immigration Court (201 Varick St. Room 1140). The more people who come from the community to show support, the better chance Pablo has to stay in the US, his home since he was six years old.

1 comment:

Rocco Galatioto said...

Very nice Jen. I'm proud of you for your concern for your friend.