Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pablo benefit in Switzerland

Thank you, Jerome Thiriet, for organizing a race to benefit Pablo...in Switzerland. Jerome and Pablo met on '07 in New York during an international messenger race and have kept in touch since. When hearing of Pablo's situation, Thiriet told his buddies that one of their own needed help and everyone wanted to donate so...they organized a race!

Pablo's got some awesome friends. 

 (all proceeds of the race went to help with Pablo's legal fees)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pablo's Mailing address

I know everyone hates scrolling down so I'm reposting his address.

Write him. While we're all with friends and family during the holidays, Pablo is jail. Facing deportation. His main connection to the outside world are the letters we send. 

Please send letters and photos (up to 8x10) to:
Pablo Airaldi #240750
E500 South
Hudson County Correctional Facility
30-35 S Hackensack Ave
Kearny, NJ 07032

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Grime

Amazing news- "The Grime" just won best movie at Bike Shorts and is donating all of it's winning's to Pablo!

Check out http://www.grimebikes.com

Thank You!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Louisville, KY: Benefit for Pablo!

Free Pablo Benefit feat. Ron Whitehead, Ian Uriel Girdley, & More
Sunday, January 2, 2011 · 6:00pm
Nulu Black Box
812 E. Market St. (Chapel behind the future home of Decca)
Louisville, KY

$5-$10 donation strongly encouraged, but we will take more or less.

Here is a list of performers thus far (more will be added as they are confirmed):

Ron Whitehead
Ian Uriel Girdley
Huh Robots
Sheri Wright
Sonja De Vries


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Minneapolis benefit for Pablo!

St. Ides Alleycat/ Pablo Airaldi Benefit

When: Friday, December 17 at 6:30pm 
  Where: Starts at the bench.
(Loring greenway, behind the Hyatt)

The St. Ides is an old school MBMA alleycat that has been thrown off and on for years. Always in the cold, and always a snack food challenge! YUM! You got $5 on it? Then you're racing. Also bring cash to purchase a 22 of malt liquor DURING THE RACE.

There will be prizes, but all money brought in will be sent to our friend Pablo to help with his attorney fees. Pablo is an ex-MPLS messenger who has been living/messin' in NYC for the past few years. He is originally from Uruguay, but has been in the U.S. since he was a child. He's had some brushes with the law(nothing shady, things you and/or your friends have probably been guilty of), and is currently being held by the INS facing possible deportation. I'll post some links if you'd like to learn more. If you can't/don't want to race, or whatever, the after party will be at Grumpy's downtown. Donations would be much appreciated. I don't know about you, but I'm thankful this is one worry I'll never have. Hope to see you there!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Why it was so important for us all to show up at Pablo's hearing on the 29th...

From Dearlydeported.blospot.com

Pablo writes...
Being shackled and paraded through the jail to the van, then to the courtroom has never been a great experience, but what I went through yesterday was one of the hardest instance I've ever been forced to endure. As the ICE agents called my name the feeling of nervousness had long passed. After, maybe two hours of nightmarish sleep, no food, being prodded into a packed van and an even more tightly packed holding cell, I was ready for anything, or so I thought. The agent shackled both hands and led me through the hallways and into the courtroom, two free men were having their cases heard first. I saw no one there for my support and got immediately worried. Had everyone bailed on me? I sat back, trying to relax. I recognized one of the free men as a former dorm neighbor. He was in a suit, his family on the benches with worried faces. Judge Abrams changed his venue to Federal Plaza and have him a court date in April, I could see the grief melting away from his wife's face as he stood from the table. The clerk stood and left the room as they called my case... even a day later, as I write this a lump rises from my chest and my heart sinks to my stomach.
The clerk returns followed by by ten of my closest friends, she told the judge there are at least 30 more people in the waiting area alone. I wanted to smile at them, I wanted to give them a bow, a thumbs up, any of my usual lighthearted gestures to show them that what they are doing to me can never change me, but the truth is, seeing them, seeing the pain in their eyes as I sat before them in jail garb and shackled, shrunk me to the size of a grain of sand. It took every ounce of strength and concentration I had left not to look at them and deal with the task at hand. My memory can barely even recall the conversation I had with the judge, my mind and my heart simply left, my body on autopilot.
Grief had ejected them violently from the room for their own good. It ended as I figured it would, the judge adjourned the date to 5 weeks from now. I arose a dead man as if my execution had just been sentenced, my legs could barely move, my eyes did not want to leave the floor. I owed them at least a valiant effort. My head lifted, our eyes met and I realized just how much pain they all were in as well. This was too much, I had to suck it up. As my eyes travelled the room I forced the ends of my lips to a curl, waved a tiny little shackled goodbye to my family as the guards ushered them out before me. I could feel my heartbeat in my lungs swearing any moment it was going to crack my sternum and spill out onto that courtroom floor. The guard ushered me to the hallway, I caught one last glimpse at my my friends through the door's tiny window and entered the holding area hallway. Breathing went out first, then the eyes, then the knees as the guard tried to hold me up. I felt like curling up right there and sleeping for the next few days. He tried to speak to me but all I heard was the sound of Charlie Brown's teacher made. The muffled trumpet sounds formed into words after a few minutes, reality rushed in again like the summer sun after a midday shower. I wipe my face, got to my feet, collected my thoughts, collected my heart from the floor and got on with what I had to do. Upon my return to the cell, I immediately passed out until our wonderful lunch of bologna on bread, then read for a bit from The Great Gatsby. When it was finally time to go one of the inmates was telling another that he lost it after seeing his mom, then another confessed to crying while holding his one month old for the first time, then I made my confession. One by one we all shared our belittling experience until all had confessed to shedding tears. We all laughed for a minute and then came a contemplative solemn quiet that lasted all the way until the shackles came off and we were back to what felt like home for the first time.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

"Free Pablo" stickers available!

If you'd like "Free Pablo" stickers, email me for my address. You'll need to send a S.A.S.E. and a few bucks (for Pablo, of course).

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A plea to the Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Stumbled across this tonight: http://forums.thedailyshow.com/?page=ThreadView&thread_id=34697

Pablo on freewilliamsburg.com

 Freewilliamsburg.com reports on Pablo:


The Brooklyn Paper reports on Pablo

Hear the news? The feds have got Pablo!

The Brooklyn Paper

Greenpoint residents are rallying to help the neighborhood’s most famous bike messenger — a native Uruguayan who could soon be deported because of a minor crime he committed a decade ago.
Pablo Airaldi, co-founder of Greenpoint Bikes and an urban racer, was taken into custody earlier this month in the latest twist in a long-delayed deportation case that has its roots in 2000, when Airaldi, then 18, pleaded guilty to stealing $2,000 worth of car parts in Indiana. He received a suspended sentence, but the aggrevated felony conviction remains on his record.
Airaldi put the matter out of his mind for years, until a trip to Canada in November, 2008, when he was briefly held by border police and told that he was deportable because of the then-eight-year-old crime.
He was not detained at that time, but allowed to remain free. But last month, the government seized him and sent him to an detention center in Hudson County, N.J., and resumed its deportation proceedings to send him back to South America, which he fled when he was 7.
Conditions inside the facility are deplorable.
“Try to ask for toilet paper and you are laughed at,” Airaldi, a legal permanent resident since 1991, wrote to friends. “We go months without feeling the sun, are forced to hand wash our underwear every night because we are only given one pair, go hungry if no one sends us money because the food is not enough and there is a 13-hour span from dinner to breakfast. Men begin to lose their sanity and then you can actually see them slip away, their light getting dimmer and dimmer with each indignity.”
Airaldi’s Manhattan Avenue bike repair shop opened in August, and he spent much of this time there readying the shop and fixing people’s bikes, falling asleep in the back of the store and waking up at 7 am to do work on the shop the next morning.
Customers and friends believed that he had turned his life around.
“He was really proud of the store,” said former roommate Becky Wise. “I’ve never seen him so happy in his entire life. That’s all he ever talked about.”
Airaldi’s friends were stunned when he was detained, given that the cyclist rarely even discussed his immigration status.
“I think he was freaked out about it and didn’t want to talk about it,” said Wise. “The situation is slowly going into a downward spiral. Nothing is getting better. It’s just getting worse and worse.”
Now they’re scrambling to save him.
Last Friday, friends organized a fundraiser at the Production Lounge, raising money to hire an immigration lawyer. There is also a petition on bicycle-centric sites such as bikeblognyc.com to raise awareness.
“Across the world people in the bike messenger community know Pablo,” said Wise. “He makes friends easily and has friends all over the place. He’s a very vibrant guy, you can’t forget him.”
Federal immigration authorities did not return calls for comment.
Interested parties can make donations via Paypal to pablosfreedom@gmail.com.


Monday, November 29, 2010

How you can help

There are several things you all can do to help Pablo:

1- Donate money via Paypal to pablosfreedom@gmail.com * -This money will go to his legal fund

2- Donate money to Pablo directly via accesscorrections.com-  This money will keep food in Pablo's stomach. They tend to starve them in there. He can also use this money to buy stamps and letter writing materials.

3- Write letters to Judge Abrams. Even if you've already signed one of the form letters please take the time to write a personal letter. It will have a much greater impact on Judge Abrams.

4- Continue to circulate petitions! Email me at khennerty@gmail.com for the petition form.

5- Raise money! Throw benefits no matter how small or large. Every penny helps.

6- Raise awareness- Please contact blogs and press. Please let me know if you personally know anyone at any of NYC's newspapers.

7- Write politicians- Local or not. Pablo's immigration lawyer, Stan Weber, said that it is crucial that we have the backing of politicians. A handful of us are meeting up to brainstorm and write letters at the end of this week. Email me if you are willing to help out.

8- We have an art benefit coming up soon and will be needing donations.  Please contact me a.s.a.p. if you're interested.

Thanks everyone and contact me at khennerty@gmail.com with any questions, suggestions, art submissions, etc.

*If you don't have a credit card and would like to donate money via cash, check or money order to Pablo please email me.

**NOTE** Please hold off on sending books to Pablo. He's only allowed a few at a time and already has over 20 (thanks to his generous friends!). I'll let you know when it's ok to send him more. You CAN however send him printed material.

Update on Pablo's hearing

Pablo's hearing took place today Monday, 11/29/2010 at 9am. He relayed to the judge that we have recently hired immigration lawyer Stan Weber and set the next hearing date to Jan. 6th, 2011. We should be meeting up with Weber later this week and setting up a time for him to meet with Pablo as well.

Judge Abrams was very impressed at the amount of letters and petitions received in support of Pablo and took note that many people came out in support of Pablo. Though all were not allowed in the courtroom it was brought to Judge Abrams attention that there were even more people in the waiting room.

Pablo brought to the judges attention that he was not notified that his bond was overturned (the result of which is his current detainment). The district attorney was very unorganized and couldn't show documentation as to why this happened. It is also unclear WHY it was overturned in the first place. The DA couldn't explain that either. Pablo's lawyer will surely be looking into this.

I've heard from several sources that Judge Abrams is a fair and compassionate judge and from what I saw that seemed to be true. Example: Abrams requested several times that Pablo have at least one hand uncuffed-that it was not necessary for both to be restrained. After the judge asked about three times the officer on duty finally honored his request.

Heather of newyorkshitty.com fame was there reporting on the case. Photographs can be found here: http://www.newyorkshitty.com/new-york-city/?p=49709

Please check back frequently for updates!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Greenpoint Gazette

Photo by Jesse Sposato  
Airaldi's shop, Greenpoint Bikes Photo by Jesse Sposato

What’s Next for Pablo Airaldi?

Community rallies against the deportation of a Greenpoint business owner

Pablo Airaldi, founder and owner of fledgling bike shop Greenpoint Bikes, is now under the threat of deportation after a string of unusual events, two years of detainments and continuous court dates and ten years of trying to move past a mistake he made when he was eighteen years old. Now, the Greenpoint community is rallying around him to raise money for legal fees, provide a comprehensive support system and do everything in their power to make sure he stays in the United States, and in the neighborhood.
Airaldi was born in Uruguay and moved to the United States when he was seven years old, along with his mother, who married a U.S. citizen. Since then, Airaldi has lived as a legal resident here. In 2002, Airaldi pleaded guilty to a crime upon the counsel of a public defender without understanding the possible ramifications to his status as a legal resident. Upon pleading guilty, he was issued two years probation and a 545-day jail sentence, which was subsequently suspended indefinitely. Since 2002, Airaldi has had a clean record, lived in several cities throughout the United States and opened his own business on Manhattan Avenue. However, in 2008, when Airaldi tried to travel to Canada with friends, he was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and told that his status as a legal resident was in jeopardy. He was incarcerated, but released on a $3,000 bond. Since then, he has had mandatory court dates every three months, and is now being held in a detention center in New Jersey awaiting a trial that may or may not result in his deportation. If deported, Airaldi—who is considered under immigration law to be an aggravated felon, making him vulnerable to deportation—will be sent back to Uruguay, a place where he has no friends or family, and does not speak the language.
“Every Detainee is in here because of some infraction to current immigration laws which have seen fantastic revisions over the past decade. These infractions make them deportable for one reason or another,” Airaldi wrote in a letter dated November 2, 2010. “I was originally brought over to this country in 1988 and have been a legal permanent resident since 1991. By 15 I was on my own, by 17 I was homeless. I did whatever I could to get by and caught a theft charge one month after my 18th birthday. Since I was too poor to afford a snickers bar, let alone a criminal attorney, I was appointed a public defender who forcefully advised me to plead guilty, telling me nothing of consequences that it might bring to my immigration status.”
Victoria Tychan, Becky Wise and Kathleen Hennerty have spearheaded efforts to aid Airaldi as he tries to navigate the waters of immigration law: he is choosing to represent himself in court.
“I’ve done a lot of research, trying to understand how the immigration process works. I know that [Airaldi] wholeheartedly cares for the community of Greenpoint. I know that he was living for his job at the bike shop—he would constantly tell me about people he’d helped in some way and how good it made him feel to contribute,” said Tychan, who has been involved in Airaldi’s case since 2008. “He loves bikes and he loves people, and he was really proud of where he was in his life. He had a lot of goals for trying to reach out to people who couldn’t afford bikes who needed them. He would barter and trade with people to try and help them out.”
Tychan, Wise and Hennerty organized a fundraising event last Friday night in honor of Airaldi, in an effort to raise money for impending legal fees, and to increase community awareness about Airaldi’s situation.
“He’s such a giver to the communities he belongs to, he goes above and beyond,” said Hennerty, who has lived in Greenpoint for the past ten years. “He’s always active, always trying to better the neighborhood. He’s someone who needs to be here.”
Sam Paul, another Greenpoint resident and longtime friend of Airaldi’s, echoed Hennerty’s sentiment, explaining that “Pablo is a really supportive and community-oriented person.”
Airaldi’s next hearing will be held on Monday, November 29th at Varick Immigration Court at 201 Varick St. Room 1140 at 9am.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Petitions and letters to Judge Abrams need to be deliverd tomorow

If you're a Brooklyn resident you can drop off the paperwork you have to me tonight Tuesday, 11/23/10 to:

Van Gogh's Radio Lounge
147 Franklin Street
between India and Java

now until 4am.

Ask for Kat

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Media Contacts

Hey everyone,

We have pieces being written up about Pablo's case in The Brooklyn Paper, The Village Voice & The Greenpoint Gazette. If anyone has contacts with any other publications please shoot me an email.

I'd also like to give thanks to all of the blogs that have been posting about Pablo. You're all amazing.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pablo's contact & donation information

Please send letters and photos (up to 8x10) to Pablo:
Pablo Airaldi #240750
E500 South
Hudson County Correctional Facility
30-35 S Hackensack Ave
Kearny, NJ 07032

You can send books, paperback only, to him Via Amazon.com

To donate to Pablo's legal fund please do so Via Paypal to pablosfreedom@gmail.com.

Letter from Pablo


1. What did he do?
Pablo didn't do anything wrong/different. His deportation case has been going on for more than a year and when he went to his regular court date recently, they took away his bond and put him in custody again.

2. Ok, why do they want to deport him?
Pablo got himself in trouble back when he was 18. He served his probation and everything but this incident made him "deportable." Deportations have reached a record high in the Obama administration.

3. Is he an alien?
Pablo arrived here at 9 years old and is a legal permanent resident.

4. Ok, but, Pablo must just be a troublemaker, right?
Quite the contrary. Pablo has always been an active member of his community and recently he helped open a bike shop in Greenpoint, BK. He has been working with the community to make improvements, as shown by several articles written about him.

5. Whatever, I love Pablo. How can I help?
We still need money for legal fees and detainment expenses (attend the benefit!), and most of all he would like letters and pictures no bigger than 8x10!

Pablo Airaldi #240750
E500 South
Hudson County Correctional Facility
30-35 S Hackensack Ave
Kearny, NJ 07032

Pablo Airaldi Deportation Hearing

WHEN: Monday, November 29 · 9:00am - 10:00am
Varick Immigration Court
201 Varick St. Room 1140
New York, NY
Pablo's judge specifically requested that he bring support to his hearing to see the community he says he would be leaving behind. This is the easiest way to help and could very possibly help prevent his deportation.

You can also write a letter of recommendation to Judge Abrams.

Petitions can be signed at:

1-Champion Coffee (1108 Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint, Brooklyn) 7ap-7pm
2-Van Gogh's Radio Lounge: 147 Franklin Street between India and Java, Greenpoint, Brooklyn between 4pm and 4am
3-If you don't live in NYC and would like a copy of the petition sent to you, please send a request to pabloairaldipetition@gmail.com

Benefit this Saturday in Indianapolis, IN!

R.S.V.P: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=173407282685591#!/event.php?eid=160478443988096

Ongoing: To sign a copy of the petition in support of Pablo's freedom, check out one of these two places in Indianapolis.

East Side of Indianapolis
Midwest Tattoo Co.
5605 N. Keystone Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46220
317 466 1623 (contact Bradd)

West Side of Indianapolis
Altered Image
10030 E. US 36
Avon, IN 46123
317 423 9390 (contact Jen)

Benefit show Friday 11/19/2010

Date: Friday 11/19/2010
Time: Doors @8/Show @9
Place: The Production Lounge: 113 Franklin St., Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Contact: Kat @ 917.678.6129
R.S.V.P: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=173407282685591#!/event.php?eid=170074026352671


Bands:(not in order)
Cell Theorem
Guts For Garters
Beauty Apes



Kimpanzee (starting at 8pm)

Other Performers

burlesque by Babes on Bikes
a fire/dance performance by Shay Williams.


We can't forget the treats!
Amy Herman from The Bake Easy will be selling $3 yummy vegan cupcakes at the benefit with 100% of the proceeds going to Pablo!

Note: If you can't attend the show but would like to donate to Pablo's legal fund, please do so via paypal to pablosfreedom@gmail.com.