- Henry Manning
No Justice, No Peace.
No Justice, No Peace. What does this mean for CIFF? It means that we are seeing an uptick in donations, of every size. Two days with more than 21 donors, the greatest number ever. Sign-ups for our emails. Likes on Facebook. We thank you. Each of you. It also means that we must understand the deep interconnections between the violence that law enforcement is employing right now against protesters, and the violence deployed around the globe and at home against immigrants. Some examples:
The same tear gas that border patrol fired at mothers and children running across the border is now fired at peaceful demonstrators in the streets of cities around the country.
The same pepper spray used on Black people as they kneel in protest is used in detention centers to punish immigrants protesting inadequate precautions to coronavirus.
The same bullies patrolling the halls of federal prisons (Bureau of Federal Prisons officers) now march in the streets of D.C. in riot gear with no identifying badges or agency.
The same predator drones used by the military to menace Afghanistan and Somalia are now being flown by Customs and Border Protection in a continuous loop over Minneapolis to surveil the protests.
The same ICE and Border Patrol and DEA agents, whose core missions have been inextricably linked to dominating and abusing communities of color, are now deployed in D.C. and elsewhere to conduct surveillance of the protests and carry out arrests.
And many of those same tools, the gas, and pepper spray, and rubber bullets, and brutal policing tactics that we’re seeing in our streets are also used by regimes around Latin America and the rest of the world, where the CIA has trained security forces in the art of terror against civilians and the U.S. empire has bolstered convenient authoritarian allies. It is from many of these contexts that our new immigrant neighbors flee daily.
Think about how shaken you have been --as we all have-- by the recent unrest and brutality seen here these last two weeks. Have you worried for your safety, or that of your friends marching in the streets? Have you seen the riot police, the military occupying the capital, the tanks, the brutality, and worried about where this country is going? Now, imagine that things got so bad that you and thousands of your fellow citizens felt you had no other choice but to flee with your children across the border to Canada, and once there, beg for asylum. This is a lived reality for millions of refugees and immigrants who have fled places like Honduras, Guatemala, Cameroon, Syria, Mexico...the list could go on. When you really try to inhabit the shoes of another human in this position, it becomes clear just how abhorrent is the U.S. government’s response to immigration. ICE and CBP are rogue agencies. They have long and deep records of abuse, they habitually exceed their bloated budgets and demand more resources from Congress, and they are subjected only to toothless and inadequate oversight. Through their maliciousness and incompetence, thousands of immigrants have died, even as private contractors and for-profit corporations have flocked to the detention and border control industries like a gold rush. For CIFF, there is no justice until detention centers are emptied, ICE is abolished, no one is jailed because of a lack of status, and our broken immigration system is dismantled and completely reformed, along with the criminal punishment system. And, there is no peace until no undocumented families, no Black families, have to fear the early morning knock on the door, no broken taillight results in deportation or death by cop, and no child goes to school wondering if their parents will be home when they return. If what we have written makes sense to you, and you agree with our understanding of No Justice, No Peace, please consider continuing your support through a donation.