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A critical examination of how WOOD TV 8 reported on Grand Rapids protest connecting violence against asylum seekers at the border and family separation in Kent County

December 7, 2018

Last night Movimiento Cosecha GR and the GR Rapid Response to ICE hosted a protest/vigil to make the connection to the tear gassing of asylum seekers at the US/Mexican border and the violence of family separation being perpetrated by ICE agents in Kent County.

After a brief informational gathering, the group walked to three different ICE offices located in the downtown area, offices that ICE operates out of, offices that ICE rents from local property management companies that we previously reported on.

However, before the protest/vigil began one member of Movimiento Cosecha GR was interviewed by WOOD TV 8. We recoded the entire interview, which lasted 8:55 and is posted here below.

We think it is important to contrast the interview that we did, with the interview that WOOD TV 8 conducted, which you can view at this link.

There are several differences between the full interview that we video taped with Movimiento Cosecha GR member Karla Barberi and what WOOD TV 8 aired on their channel and posted on their website.

First, WOOD TV 8 felt it was necessary to early on in their story and at the very end to use language from the US Border Patrol to frame their actions against asylum seekers at the US/Mexican border, language that places the blame on those who were coming to the US seeking asylum.

Second, in the WOOD TV 8 interview we never hear Karla talk about what the purpose of the action last night was and why Movimiento Cosecha GR organized the event, along with GR Rapid Response to ICE.

Third, WOOD TV 8 chose to focus on the more emotional comments from Barberi. And while there is nothing wrong with using emotional comments, those comments were taken out of context, thus making it difficult for viewers of the channel 8 story to fully understand what was happening and what the focus of the protest/vigil.

Fourth, in the video tape of Karla Barberi, she clearly discusses what local ICE violence is doing to immigrant families and why it is important for Kent County to end their contract with ICE. Those points, unfortunately are not very clear in the WOOD TV 8 story.

Lastly, since WOOD TV 8 did not accompany the march/vigil to the three ICE locations, they also missed the important information and analysis that was provided at each location by members of Movimiento Cosecha GR and GR Rapid Response to ICE. At the last ICE office that the protestors visited, in the old Waters Building, they were met by members of the GRPD, which escorted them out of the building, stating that if they stayed in the building, they would be arrested.

Movimiento Cosecha GR was live streaming the entire action, which you can watch at this link.

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