Travelin' blues

They came from as far away as Hawaii, California and New York to walk the streets of Detroit, Dearborn and Hamtramck, passing out placards and stickers bearing blue triangles.

You can see the signs now, in the windows of stores and homes, as a show of support for Muslims, Arabs and South Asians rounded up in the post-Sept. 11 dragnet. The symbol is drawn from Nazi Germany, where immigrants being sent to concentration camps were forced to sew blue triangles on their clothes.

Detroit resident Kate Fayette, 22, became involved in the issue after being “disgusted” by the treatment of targeted groups following last year’s terrorist attacks. “To see the way our government could blatantly go after people the way it did, that really woke me up,” says Fayette, who will begin attending Wayne State University Law School this fall.

Fayette attended a May summit meeting held in Dearborn, where participants issued a statement raising concerns about what they termed the U.S. government’s “wide-scale assault on constitutional rights and civil liberties. In order to defend these violated human and constitutional rights, this network dedicates itself to mobilizing the broadest number of people to challenge and oppose this repression.”

The current action, taking place Aug. 1-8 with about 20 people participating, is an outgrowth of that May summit. As one of the organizers of the campaign, Fayette says she is heartened by the fact that some people have traveled great distances to show their support. Most of them, she says, are not members of the ethnic or religious groups being targeted.

“This has been a huge learning experience for me,” says Fayette. “To see people come here like this, to help draw attention to this issue, is very encouraging. It is important that we keep pounding away with our message, because what’s happening has to stop.”

Curt Guyette is the MetroTimes news editor. E-mail [email protected]

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