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.