Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"Peace and Justice" Group Organizes Protest at Catholic Charities

Bishop Zubik, sproting a really ugly stole, attempts to address the material needs of new arrivals from Myanmar who don't speak English. They were led to convene at the Catholic Charities office named after Bishop Zubic's mother by a "Peace and Justice" organization.

Refugees from Myanmar picketed the opening of a new welcome center for clients of Catholic Charities at its Downtown office yesterday.

Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh, who dedicated the Susan Zubik Welcome Center in honor of his late mother, went out to meet the protesters, who spoke little or no English. Counting children, they included more than 30 ethnic Karens, who carried handwritten signs such as, "We demand a professional translator who speaks our language."

The protest was organized by Three Rivers Coalition for Justice, a group with ties to organized labor that helps workers with problems such as evictions. It printed a leaflet claiming that Catholic Charities had assigned the Karens a Burmese translator who did not speak the Karen dialect and who treated them with contempt.

It claimed that a Karen refugee facing eviction had given $500 to a Catholic Charities caseworker to pay his rent, but eviction notices kept coming. It also said that refugees are placed in low-paying, dangerous jobs.

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