Wednesday morning at nine o’clock Abilene time, Jay Johnson-Castro will begin his 60-mile walk to the Rolling Plains prison at Haskell, Texas, calling attention to the unjustified imprisonment of 20-year-old Suzi Hazahza, her 23-year-old sister Mirvat, 18-year-old brother Ahmad, and 60-year-old father Radi.
“The important thing here is simply that there are human rights being violated and human indignities being committed on people,” says Johnson-Castro, speaking by telephone from his motel room in Abilene.
As critics of the Hazahza imprisonment have pointed out, if Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has concerns about the refugee family from Palestine, there are alternatives to locking them up in a harsh Texas prison.
“The other thing is that we are going to challenge the secrecy,” says Johnson-Castro. “Anytime you use taxpayers money, taxpayers have a right to know what’s going on. How many immigrants are being held at Haskell? Who are they? And how long have they been in there? We hope the media will take an interest in asking these questions and following the use of taxpayer money for these purposes.”
As usual, Johnson-Castro is prepared to go it alone with his trusted friend John Neck. They plan to hold a vigil near the Haskell prison Saturday afternoon.
“We’re into a major confrontation between the grassroots of America and those who abuse their power,” says Johnson-Castro. “The treatment of Suzi Hazahza at Haskell is an example and manifestation of that. And that is my focus. In order to go across the goal line, you accept that people are going to try to tackle you, but you keep going.”
The Texas Civil Rights Review has pledged to update the progress of the walk Wednesday night. Please stay tuned.