Thanks to a lot of people who are working, day after day, to address the humanitarian crisis on the US southern border caused by Mafioso Don and those shamefully doing his bidding, the truth about the abysmal, subhuman conditions both children and adult migrants are experiencing has exploded, again, into public view over the last week. The pictures that have come out in just the last couple of days of the severe overcrowding in rooms and cages are infuriating, even more so when Racist One tweets: “If Illegal Immigrants are unhappy with the conditions in the quickly built or refitted detentions centers, just tell them not to come. All problems solved!”
His game plan is clear: send a message to desperate, brown-skinned, Spanish-speaking people that your living conditions will be even worse if you dare to come north seeking a better life.
It’s not like all of this is completely new, but the lengths to which Trump is willing to take his vile racism is new.
How can those of us who support immigrant rights but whose personal priorities are on other things, other issues, or just on making a living and raising a family—how can we do more? How can we help to raise such a massive cry that the anti-immigrant racists are forced to change their policies?
One answer is what the group Never Again: Jews Against Ice did several days ago at the immigrant detention center in Elizabeth, NJ. 36 people were arrested as they blocked the entrance to the facility.
It would be a very good thing if the groups giving leadership on the immigration crisis, or those who appreciated the importance of the tactic of nonviolent direct action, called and organized similar actions. Better yet would be if they organized national days or a week of action and called upon those of us not primarily in this movement to get involved.
Another option would be hunger strikes outside detention centers where immigrants seeking asylum are concentrated under despicable conditions, which sure seems to earn them a “concentration camp” label to me.
Of course, the less dramatic and legal forms of action are also important. I plan to take part personally next Friday, July 12th in a local vigil part of a Lights for Liberty Vigil to End Human Concentration Camps.
Flooding Congress with phone calls, tweets and letters is always a good thing.
And what about a massive march on Washington this summer, maybe a month from now? I don’t know that they are but I would expect that this tactic is being considered by some of the activists giving leadership on this issue. I hope they will decide to pull the trigger soon; a national mobilization can help to keep the focus on the issue in the lead-up to the event, keep the political pressure on, generate continuing press coverage and take the movement to another level.
It’s easy for me to throw out all these ideas because my primary work is and will continue to be the climate emergency, which is a very serious issue. But it’s not the only one, and today all of us whose heart is working the way it’s supposed to, who refuse to be “good Germans” letting evil overwhelm us and suppress our humanity, need to do whatever we can, for as long as necessary, throughout the summer, until these vile camps are shut down.
Ted Glick has been a progressive activist, organizer and writer since 1968. Past writings and other information can be found at https://tedglick.com, and he can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jtglick.