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MN marches against wars and deportations on Human Rights Day

By Meredith Aby-Keirstead |
December 12, 2017
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March on International Human Rights Day in Minneapolis
March on International Human Rights Day in Minneapolis (Fight Back! News/staff)

Minneapolis, MN - Over 150 people marched on International Human Rights day, Dec. 10, in south Minneapolis demanding an end to Trump’s wars and his administration’s attacks on immigrants. The Anti-War Committee and the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee co-sponsored the community march, which started at Powderhorn Park.

Marchers took over half of Lake Street, one of the busiest streets in Minneapolis, and marched past its immigrant-owned businesses chanting “No ban, no wall, sanctuary for all!” The Unlawful Assembly band brought up the rear of the march.

After the march there was a closing rally in the Powderhorn Park building. The program began with a performance by the Calliope Women’s Chorus.

Christine Hauschildt, from Anti-War Committee, spoke to the crowd, “The U.S.’s foreign policy and immigration policy are interwoven, creating a racist, xenophobic system where the same people that the U.S. is displacing with war are the people banned from entering the country. The Muslim ban is now in full effect. This Muslim ban - which the current administration has insisted is a ban to protect U.S. citizens - is nothing more than an attack on and stigmatization of Muslim people around the world.”

Hauschildt continued “The U.S.’s endless wars are an assault on human rights. These wars are often justified by ‘human rights abuses’ in other countries, when in fact the U.S. is the largest violator of human rights by being the largest perpetrators of wars and occupations. The endless wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria traumatize, displace and kill human beings every day. After such wars, the countries we claim to have ‘liberated’ never end up in a better position than before U.S.’s unwelcome military intervention.”

She concluded, “Human rights, and any real social change, can only be won by people’s movements. As an anti-war movement in the U.S., we must build an anti-racist, peace and justice movement that stands in solidarity with the peoples of the world, that sees that our liberation is linked to the liberation of others."

William Martinez, from the MN Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAc) also addressed the closing rally, saying, “The United States and its corporations have invaded, killed and raped the people of countries from South and Central America to the Middle East, causing a crisis of millions of migrants and refugees trying to come to the U.S. The Muslim ban, the criminalization of immigrants in the U.S., the murder of Blacks and natives at the hands of the police, are all violations of human rights, but they are not new. We must continue to fight these attacks on our communities and for our right to survive. On a cold day like today, it is the heart of the community that keeps us warm and gives us the power to take to the streets. Immigrant rights matter! Black rights matter! Native rights matter! Women's rights matter! LGBTQ rights matter! Trans rights matter! Homeless rights matter! Human rights matter!”

Sabry Wazwaz, a member of the Anti-War Committee and an outspoken Palestinian American activist, was the concluding speaker, “The state of Israel is important to the U.S. because it is a military base for them in the middle of the Middle East. And it keeps everything in the Middle East in chaos. The U.S. uses this chaos to control the resources of the region – especially the oil. Support for Israel is the one thing that Democrats and Republicans agree on.”

Wazwaz called out the U.S. for giving Israel $3.1 billion and for President Trump’s decision to call Jerusalem the capital of Israel. Wazwaz called for the U.S. to spend that money instead rebuilding inner city schools and the plumbing in Flint, Michigan.

Other speakers included JR Babick from Native Lives Matter, Daphne Brown from the Twin Cities Justice for Jamar Coalition, Gerardo Cajamarca, an SEIU organizer and Colombian trade unionist, and Maddy Henteges, a member of the Calliope Women’s Chorus.

The Anti-War Committee announced that their next action will be on Jan. 20, the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration as president, to resist his racist, sexist, xenophobic and pro-war agenda.