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York, PA: Rallies And March Still On For Next Weekend

Rallies and march still on for next weekend
Several groups hope to raise awareness about U.S. human rights policies.
By SHAWN LEDINGTON

Daily Record staff
Saturday, November 29, 2003

Next Saturday's demonstration in Springettsbury Township isn't about just
one person being detained in the York County Prison, its organizers said.

It's about all detainees across the country, said Craig Ilgenfritz,
spokesman for the Convergence for Human Rights Coalition, which is hosting
the rally that begins at Springettsbury Township Park. People will march
to the prison, then march to the Caterpillar parts warehouse to hold
another rally.

Ilgenfritz, a 48-year-old Red Lion resident, said his coalition is
committed to holding a peaceful demonstration and hopes the event will
bring local and national attention to human rights issues and U.S.
policies that the coalition believes need to be changed.

The coalition, he said, is made up of representatives from dozens of
groups from York County, the state and the region, including the York
College chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, Women Against War
out of Albany, N.Y., and the Johns Hopkins chapter of Students for a Free
Palestine.

Specifically, he said, his group takes issue with the policies of the
Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which operates inside the
York County Prison and many other prisons in the country.

The policies allow large numbers of people who are seeking asylum in the
United States to be detained, Ilgenfritz said. Government officials are
not releasing the names of those being detained, which prevents them from
receiving proper legal representation. Furthermore, he said, they are not
being charged with crimes.

"We have people who have not been charged with any crime being held in
prison," he said.

After rallying at the prison, the coalition will march to the lone
Caterpillar building left in York County. The coalition is rallying at the
plant to criticize Caterpillar's alleged involvement in sending bulldozers
to Israel's defense forces, which the coalition says uses the equipment to
destroy Palestinian families' homes and property. Attempts to reach
Caterpillar were unsuccessful.

Springettsbury Township Police have said they will be prepared to handle
the vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The details of the event were not
available Friday because organizers said they were still making
preparations.

The coalition had originally planned to hold the rally on Oct. 18, but
canceled it for lack of participation and because members felt a negative
message had been conveyed to the public about their mission.

Ilgenfritz said the coalition is a group that cares about human rights for
all people and hopes others with the same concerns will join the rally.

"We want to bring this law home," he said. "We want to show how York
County is impacting the world."

He said the cases of the detainees can set a precedent for the way the law
is applied to all U.S. citizens.

To learn more about the coalition, go to .