Friday, October 31, 2008

Efrén Announces His Public Hearing Date on Ebling and You Radio Show Today (WILS 1320 AM)

Click the play button on the left side of the flash player below to hear an interview done with Efrén by Jack Ebling on WILS 1320 AM this evening, Friday, October 31, 2008. They discuss the news of Efrén's public hearing which has been scheduled for Thursday, December 4, 2008. They also discuss Efrén's thoughts about the event, his feelings about the support he has received, his invitation to his supporters to attend the hearing, among other things. Listen to Efrén in his own words!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Presentation About Efrén at CAMP (College Assistance Migrant Program) Meeting

Sunday, October 12, 2008 a member of The Injustice Must End (TIME) Committee to Free Efrén Paredes, Jr. spoke about Efrén's case at a CAMP (College Assistance Migrant Program) meeting on the campus of Michigan State University.  Members of MRULE (Multi Racial Unity Living Experience) were present as well.

The PowerPoint presentation about Efrén's case was shown and questions were fielded from people in the audience.  Attendees signed 42 letters supporting Efrén's release addressed to the Parole Board, 47 postcards of support for the Governor, and several students signed a list committing to appear at Efrén's public hearing when it is scheduled.

CAMP and MRULE have chosen to use Efrén's case as a social justice cause to present about throughout campus. The students were enthused about Efrén's campaign and getting involved, and were eager to get started.  It was a very productive meeting.

You can learn more about MRULE and CAMP by visiting their web sites at:

MRULE: http://mrule.msu.edu/about-us
CAMP: http://msucamp.msu.edu/people.php

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Efrén's Mother, Velia, Radio Interview With Jack Ebling

Click the play button on the left side of the flash player below to hear an interview with Efrén's mother, Velia, by Jack Ebling on WILS 1320 AM this evening, Thursday, October 9, 2008. They discuss Efrén's participation in the first Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K walk held inside a Michigan prison (see previous post for more information).

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Efrén Participates in First Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K Walk in Michigan Prison

Saturday, October 4, 2008 Efrén participated in the first Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (hereafter "Making Strides) 5K walk held inside a Michigan prison.  He also made a monetary donation to the cause.  Making Strides representatives visited the prison and participated in the walk alongside Efrén and other prisoners who participated.

According to their web site, Making Strides is "more than just the name of an event."  It goes to say:
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer refers to the vital progress the American Cancer Society has made through research, education, advocacy, and patient services.  It is the premier event to raise awareness and dollars to fight breast cancer.
Source: http://tinyurl.com/4otdal

Efrén was instrumental in helping raise over $674 for the event from the prisoner population.  He reminded prisoners to make donations and also announced the event at the September 2008 monthly Latin American Spanish-Speaking Organization (LASSO) meeting he chairs.

According to the Jackson Citizen Patriot, the prisoners, "raised $674, which will be matched by the Michigan Braille Transcribing Fund."  Michigan Braille Transcribing Fund is the corporation Efrén and other prisoners who participated in the walk is employed with.

At the conclusion of the walk Efrén and other participants were awarded certificates for their contributions to this very worthy cause.  Efrén also encouraged other prisoners to participate in any future events sponsored by Making Strides.

After speaking with the Making Strides representatives that visited the prison about ways they could help increase prisoner participation and awareness about future events, Efrén is confident that will occur.

One thing Efrén never lacks is progressive ideas.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Free Efrén Press Conference Held at Gone Wired Café in Lansing, Michigan

Friday, October 3, 2008, a press conference was held at Gone Wired Café to discuss Efrén's pending commutation request and the work we are doing to generate support for his release.

Present were Velia and Hans Koppenhoefer, Sr., parents of Efrén Paredes, Jr.; Adriana Abundis, Sara Vitale, Xavier Gonzalez, Jaime Gasca, Todd Mireles, and Crystal Cuevas of Chicanos y Latinos Unidos (CLU); Sierra Lopez of MEXA de MSU; John Masterson of Peace Education Center (PEC); Jack Edukere of Culturas de Las Razas Unidas (CRU); and members of The Injustice Must End (TIME) Committee.

Jaime Gasca read the press release and was followed by Efrén's mother, Velia, who read a statement supporting Efrén's release on behalf of their family. Velia's statement read as follows:
The family of Efrén Paredes, Jr. strongly supports the commutation request that was submitted by The Injustice Must End Committee on behalf of Efrén to the Michigan Parole Board. We know Efren is innocent of the crime he was convicted of because he was home with our family when the crime occurred.

Efrén has been wrongly imprisoned for a crime he did not commit since age 15. He is now 35-years-old. We are confident that upon his release Efrén will be a productive member of society and society as a whole will benefit from his release. As long as Efrén remains incarcerated we all remain imprisoned to injustice.
It was great to be in the company of this dedicated and courageous group of community organizers who are serious about combating social injustice. They lifted our spirits and it felt good to know that we are in such good company. I know that together we will bring Efrén home so he can join them and contribute to the work they are doing in a major way.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Free Efrén Event Held on Michigan State University (MSU) Campus

Chicanos y Latinos Unidos (CLU), Great Issues, and The Injustice Must End (TIME) Committee to Free Efrén Paredes, Jr. held an event tonight from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm at Kedzie Hall on the Michigan State University (MSU) campus.

Sixty people were in attendance, including members of Efrén's family. There was an informative presentation made by one of the TIME Committee members and great food was available as well.

People were able to sign letters and postcards of support for Efrén, purchase Free Efrén T-shirts and leather products (e.g., purses, wallets, belts, etc.) that Efrén made in prison, and they were able to get Free Efrén posters to distribute on campus and around town.

Efrén called in to the event several times to speak with people on the telephone, and he also called in to speak to all the attendees during the presentation as well. He fielded questions and spoke to the group about the status of our campaign to free him, his pending commutation request, life in prison, the work he does helping others, and his aspirations upon release.

It was a wonderful event. Efrén and his family are grateful to all those who attended and to the organizers who made the event a success.

Attendees waiting for presentation to begin.

PowerPoint presentation being showed about Efrén.

Adriana Abundis holding microphone to speaker phone
as Efrén calls in from prison to speak to everyone at event.

Some of the attendees at the event this evening.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

New Free Efrén Posters Displayed in Detroit, Michigan

The following photographs were taken by TIME Committee member, Saul Garza, in Detroit, MI on October 1, 2008. He and other members of the Detroit TIME Committee have been displaying the Free Efrén posters around the city of Detroit. We appreciate all the work being done by our friends in Detroit.

Vernor Highway next to Las Brisas Restaurant


Dix and Springwells


Patton Park on Dix and Woodmere


Vernor Highway and Waterman
Free Efrén Paredes, Jr. Poster and T-Shirt Slide Show

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