Activists here in Durham are very concerned about this case.  Samuel was in Sanctuary at City Well church just down the street from where I teach until he was entrapped and seized by ICE earlier this week.  The following statement from local House Reps Price and Butterfield articulate the deception that was involved in the way he was taken in:

PB statement on Samuel Oliver Bruno

Please call in following the instructions above, and follow the case on social media at #freeSamuel.  He is currently in Texas and at risk of being deported from there to Mexico.  The case is of particular importance because his wife in Durham is ill with Lupus and his son is about to head off to college.  Their treatment and education are at risk of being lost, in addition to the life of their husband and father.

One of my colleagues taught a lesson at Hillside High about how the circle Samuel’s supporters formed around the ICE vehicle echoed similar tactics that were used against slave patrols in the antebellum South.  Here’s the text and images from his FB post:

Two images I plan to use in class Monday: 1) members of our community surrounding an ICE van yesterday to stop the unjust detention of Samuel Oliver-Bruno. 2) 1850’s diagram used by the Boston Anti-Man-Hunting League, which was founded to resist the Fugitive Slave Law. “Slave hunter in the center (SH), surrounded by the speaker of the committee (S), a member to take hold of the hunter’s head (C), two members to take hold of the arms (A1 and A2) and two for the feet (F1 and F2), and twelve additional members to form an outer circle to ward off intruders”, until he consented to release the slave. I’m continually dumbfounded by the resonance between my history class and our movements today. Sometimes it’s depressing, and sometimes it’s inspiring. Thankful for abolitionists then and now. 

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