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People Gather | Riot in a Mic 11-6-07 | 5 Minutes on a Full Moon
goofing off on the phone | Lowry, --->Tubman, & ---> Amin | Where is the Water? Part 1 | Where is the Water? Part 2
Derrick Jensen & Radio Roxanne: Premise One | Winter Solstice '08 | Women in Black-NYC-(Palestine & Israel) | Save Aaron | Questions from the Allegheny Forest | Oceans of Oil | Japan: As Crows Fly | Time Short, Stakes High-#1-"XL Excess"
This is a 20+ min Radio Roxanne audio interview with the family of Aaron Vargas-- his sister Mindy and his Aunt Rhonda. There are several links to website, myspace, facebook, petition site and legal defense fund with more information.
In response to hearing Aaron’s story, a friend recently said that Aaron has a responsibility to turn to the existing legal system for justice. I was astonished: This was judgment on Aaron, and I thought my friend understood that the legal system is –presumably- based on innocence until proof of guilt. As Mindy and Rhonda stated, we don’t know what happened in the moments prior to Darrell McNeill's death, and that’s for a jury of peers to decide. I thought my friend was someone who understood that the legal system is not working if hundreds of thousands of children per year are sexually abused. I thought my friend understood that the legal system is not working if nothing is done when community members bring abuse to the attention of those we expect to protect us and our children (as was the case with Darrell McNeill). I thought my friend was one who understood that the legal system is not working if it is dependent upon how much money one has, and understood therefore, that those who need assistance get it from their community coming together to ensure the right to legal counsel, supposedly guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. I thought my friend understood that a “legal system” is one of community and consent, and therefore when it’s not working, those whom it is expected to serve and protect, go to work to shape it to work for us, and not against us; not harm us.
I was wrong about my friend. --But I can say this: The story of Aaron Vargas compelled the production of this audio segment because his story, like all stories, has a context. That context is the inherently violent culture within which this happened. The reason for sharing this story is in part because of how Aaron’s community has been shaken out of their denial and in part because in the shattering of their world-view they are rediscovering a powerful purpose of community: the protection of Aaron and of the children of their community. In doing so, they are also demonstrating how to build a new culture, even in the face of this tragedy—Something we all need to learn.
For those who can appreciate that, the following addresses are ways you, too, can help:
Letters to the District Attorney, supporting Aaron Vargas, expressing Aaron is not a threat to society, asking for rehabilitation and no jail time, can be sent to:
Meredith Lintott, DA
PO Box 1000,
Ukiah, CA 95482
Letters of solidarity and support to Aaron Vargas, to keep him company in prison can be sent to:
Aaron Vargas c/o
20751 Fawn Lane
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
Aaron Vargas’s preliminary hearing is being held on April 17th, 9am at the:
Ukiah Court House
100 North State Steet
Ukiah, CA 95482
The Support Aaron Vargas Myspace is http://www.myspace.com/ave109 :
Excerpt from Statement from Myspace:
“…I know that this trauma has greatly affected the community and I thank everyone for their support. I plea to others who are victims, or had any type of negative contact with Aaron's abuser, to please contact me. You can remain anonymous. The only way that Aaron and the other men affected by this abuse can get help is by making the abuse known. We can help save other small towns and communities from disasters of this degree if we come together and fight. The predators most powerful weapon is the silencing of his victims. We must end the silence….”
They need 1,000 signatures!!!
Aaron is in desperate need of funds for his legal defense. So far, the family has raised $4,000 and they need $21,000 more by end of May!!!
You can make a donation at any Washington Mutual location or you can mail a check to:
Vargas Defense Fund
120 E. Alder Street
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
(Note: You must provide the bank with the acct# when making a donation.)
There is also a PayPal link on the MySpace page if you prefer to donate that way.
Thanks to Heather Kuhn for assistance and advice for this production of Radio Roxanne. A special thanks to Mindy Vargas for being a model of the sister we’d all need in times of trouble.
PLEASE read, listen, and FORWARD WIDELY!!!