Fight Back! - News and Views from the People's Struggle http://www.fightbacknews.org/ This newspaper exists to build the people's struggle! We provide coverage and analysis of some of the key battles facing working and low-income people. en Gun toting Zionist arrested at Chicago pro-Israel protest http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/7/24/gun-toting-zionist-arrested-chicago-pro-israel-protest <p>Chicago, IL - Chicago’s supporters of Israel must have mistaken West Madison Avenue for the West Bank, say activists opposed to Israel’s assault on Gaza, because they harassed and assaulted counter-protesters with impunity at a pro-bombing rally, July 23.</p> <p>Eventually, one pro-Israel supporter was arrested for bringing a handgun to the “Stand With Israel’’ rally. “If this had been a supporter of Palestine, his arrest would have been headline news,” say Palestinian supporters.</p> <p>Hundreds of opponents of Israel’s bombardment and invasion of Gaza counter-protested at the July 23 pro-Israel rally, which featured an extreme racist view of the loss of Palestinian life in Gaza over the last two weeks. Palestinian supporters expressed frustration at the treatment they received at the hands of Chicago police.</p> <p>The Chicago Tribune reported that police searched those attending the pro-Israel rally, but they missed at least one pro-Israel individual packing a handgun, who was later arrested. Andrew Glatz, who was ultimately the lone arrest at the rally, sells real estate, including in Trump Towers, and is an ardent supporter of Israel’s violent assault on Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.</p> <p>“The Zionists at Wednesday’s rally believe that the lives of invading Israeli soldiers in Gaza are of more value than the lives of over 600 Palestinian civilians who’ve been killed in Israel’s latest onslaught, including over 130 children,” says Hatem Abudayyeh of the Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine (CJP) and the U.S. Palestinian Community Network. “At the same time, our counter-protest was corralled and policed like a criminal enterprise, when it was the pro-Israel protesters who harassed and assaulted us. Chicago police commanders need to learn from our community’s experience and stop giving a privileged place to the other side, which is advocating an agenda of dispossession and murder.”</p> <p>That bias – and the impunity that pro-Israel protesters were afforded at the July 23 action, mirrors the treatment of Israeli settlers and security forces across Palestine, say activists. A number of pro-Israel protesters crossed the street to the Palestinian protest to taunt and threaten protesters, who included American Jews opposed to Israel’s war on Gaza and hundreds of Palestinian American youth. Yet the Chicago police sent their mounted police and others to face off not with the approaching mob from the Israeli side but against the Palestinians and their allies.</p> <p>CJP leader Senan Shaqdeh says the reverse would have been unthinkable. “If our side had done that - gone across the street to disrupt the Israeli demonstration - the police would’ve been all over us,” he says.</p> <p>One Turkish American was among the pro-Palestine supporters who was harassed by racists at the protest – but does not want to be named for fear of retaliation from Zionist extremists. Pro-Israel protesters called him a “terrorist” and used other racial slurs, then put their hands on him and tried to grab him. The pro-Palestine supporter chose not to press battery charges. “There was definitely something extreme going on,” he said, of pro-Israel protesters.</p> <p>Glatz, wrapped in an Israeli flag, acted so aggressively that the police detained him - and when they searched him, discovered he was carrying a concealed weapon. He’s been charged with a misdemeanor.</p> <p>Kristin Szremski of the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), says the double standard on Chicago’s streets reflects the daily reality on the ground for Palestinians at home. “We’re not surprised by the violence of the Israeli Occupation Forces and the Israeli settlers and racists they support,” she says. “Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir’s torture and killing is just one example of this kind of atrocity that Palestinians routinely experience.”</p> <p>Palestinian teenager Abu Khdeir was tortured and burned alive by right-wing Israeli settlers.</p> <p>"Glatz brought a handgun to a protest!” adds Szremski. “In Chicago, we expect that the violent offender who threatened the young people in our community will be dealt with the full force of the law, unlike the impunity with which Israel deals with the settlers on Palestinian land.”</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/7/24/gun-toting-zionist-arrested-chicago-pro-israel-protest#comments Antiwar Movement GazaUnderAttack Palestine Thu, 24 Jul 2014 18:44:41 +0000 Fight Back 4210 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Over 200 protest in Durham, NC in solidarity with Palestine http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/7/23/over-200-protest-durham-nc-solidarity-palestine <p>Durham, NC - More than 200 people rallied and marched in downtown here, July 23, to protest the Israeli occupation's assault on Gaza and the people of Palestine.</p> <p>A statement from the protest organizers noted, "This most recent Israeli assault on Gaza continues to escalate and the death and casualty numbers continue to rise in a Palestinian territory that has been under a state of siege, including a blockade on building materials and other basic supplies, since 2006." The statement continued, "We believe that Israel is committing mass murder against all people living in Gaza, using killing as a tactic of ensuring the power of the Israeli settler state and the occupation of Palestine."</p> <p>The rally kicked off with rousing speeches from activists and moving testimony from Palestinians whose families have been affected by the ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza. The rally was held in the busy Five Points intersection in Durham, so hundreds of passersby heard the speeches and saw the demonstration. A <a href="http://www.fightbacknews.org/tags/rasmea-odeh">petition to demand justice</a> for Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh was circulated; many people took "Support Rasmea" pamphlets home with them and activists expressed their solidarity and support for the campaign.</p> <p>After the rally, a vibrant, loud march kicked off through the streets of downtown, with protesters chanting "Free, free Palestine!" and "Gaza, Gaza don't you cry, Palestine will never die!"</p> <p>The march went to the downtown public library, where speeches were made demanding that Durham county <a href="http://www.bdsmovement.net/activecamps/g4s">cut ties with G4S</a>, a British private security company which plays a key role in Israel's occupation of Palestine. Durham County has a $1 million contract with G4S. A campaign is currently underway calling on Durham County to join the global Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement by not renewing the contract with G4S.</p> <p>From there, the march proceeded to the downtown jail. As prisoners tapped on their windows in support, organizers spoke about the repression visited on Palestinians and the struggles to end repression of oppressed nationalities here at home.</p> <p>The Durham protest is the latest in a wave of actions here in solidarity with Palestine in recent days. Three protests have been held in Carrboro, Durham and Raleigh over the last five days and on July 25 two vigils will be held in Durham.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/7/23/over-200-protest-durham-nc-solidarity-palestine#comments Antiwar Movement attacks on Gaza Israeli Occupation Palestine Palestine Palestine Solidarity Zionism Thu, 24 Jul 2014 04:29:49 +0000 Fight Back 4209 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Minnesotans stand with Gaza, denounce mounting civilian deaths http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/7/23/minnesotans-stand-gaza-denounce-mounting-civilian-deaths-0 <p>St. Paul, MN – More than 500 people gathered on the Marshall Avenue/Lake Street Bridge that spans the Mississippi River, July 23, for the weekly peace bridge vigil that this week focused on Palestine. This is the fourth Twin Cities protest in two weeks against the Israeli attack on Palestine. The death toll in Gaza has increased to over 600 people since the ground invasion began. Over 100,000 Palestinians have been displaced from their homes. </p> <p>Over half of Gaza’s population is under 18, so children have the highest likelihood of being killed or injured in the Israeli ground assault and aerial bombing campaign. UNICEF estimates that one third of civilian casualties are children, with over 900 children injured so far by Israel’s attacks. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that at least 107,000 children need specialized psychosocial support for trauma involving death, injury or the loss of their home. </p> <p>Minnesotans are outraged at the bombing of civilian targets. Meredith Aby-Keirstead, of the Anti-War Committee, explains, “On Tuesday, Israel shelled a UN girls’ school where refugees were seeking shelter. Today we have heard reports that Israel bombed Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest medical facility. Meanwhile Obama and Congress keep making statements in support of Israel’s ‘right to self-defense’ and defend U.S. military aid to Israel. Our tax dollars are paying for this massacre and more and more people are taking to the streets to say ‘no.’ On Friday we had about 2000 people protesting. Last weekend there were 10,000 people on the streets in Chicago to express solidarity with the people of Gaza. Momentum is growing against U.S. support for the attack on Palestine and today’s vigil was another opportunity for Minnesotans to express their outrage at Israel’s aggression.”</p> <p>The vigil was co-sponsored by Women Against Military Madness’ End War Committee, the Twin Cities Peace Campaign, and the Anti-War Committee. </p> <p>Another protest against the Israeli attack on Palestine will take place on July 25, at 4:30 pm, at corner of Snelling and Summit Avenues in Saint Paul.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/7/23/minnesotans-stand-gaza-denounce-mounting-civilian-deaths-0#comments Antiwar Movement Bridge Israel Minnesota Palestine Palestine St. Paul Twin Cities US Boat to Gaza Thu, 24 Jul 2014 02:18:51 +0000 Fight Back 4208 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Supporters of Palestine outnumber Zionists at Chicago Israeli Consulate protest http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/7/22/supporters-palestine-outnumber-zionists-chicago-israeli-consulate-protest <p>Chicago, IL - Hundreds of protesters stood across the street from the Israeli consulate here, July 22, shouting, “Hey, Israel, waddya say? How many kids did you kill today?” They aimed their voices at a smaller crowd that waived Israeli flags and who gathered directly in front of the consulate in a show of support for the murderous assault on Gaza over the past two weeks.</p> <p>While the pro-Israel rally was only a few hundred people, compared to the 700 that came out to support the people of Gaza, that didn’t stop the Zionists from acting aggressively. According to Hatem Abudayyeh of the U.S. Palestine Community Network and the citywide Coalition for Justice in Palestine, “The most rabid of them came across the street when their event ended to confront us.”</p> <p>The Chicago Police Department sent their mounted police and others to face off, not with the approaching crowd from the Israeli side, but against the Palestinians and their allies. Abudayyeh said, “If our side had done that, gone across the street to disrupt the Israeli demo, the cops would’ve been all over us.”</p> <p>Women leaders of Students for Justice in Palestine-Chicago led most of the rally’s chants.</p> <p>After the Zionist event dispersed, the youthful protesters took off on a march across the Loop to the Chicago <em>Tribune</em> building. They held a die-in there to dramatize that Palestinians in Gaza are still dying under the guns, bombs and missiles of the Israeli attack.</p> <p>For the Palestinian community in Chicago and the solidarity movement, Chicago won’t be quiet until the U.S.-backed siege of Gaza is over.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/7/22/supporters-palestine-outnumber-zionists-chicago-israeli-consulate-protest#comments Antiwar Movement attacks on Gaza Hatem Abudayyeh Israeli Occupation Palestine Palestine Palestine Solidarity US imperialism Zionism Tue, 22 Jul 2014 23:35:15 +0000 Fight Back 4206 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Grand Rapids protest against Israeli war and occupation http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/7/22/grand-rapids-protest-against-israeli-war-and-occupation <p>Grand Rapids, MI - In the largest anti-war protest since the end of the U.S. war and occupation of Iraq, 140 people protested the Israeli war on Gaza, July 21. Chants of “Free, free, Palestine!” and “Hey Obama you will see, Palestine will be free!” rang out at the Gerald R. Ford Federal Building in downtown Grand Rapids. Young people lined the street with signs reading, “Free Palestine!” and “End U.S. aid to Israel!” The protesters were mostly Palestinian and Arab American, joined by a good number of local anti-war and environmental activists.</p> <p>Nidal Kanaan, an Arab American from West Michigan and an organizer of the protest said, “We need to raise awareness. We are here today at a unique time when more and more people realize something is not right with Israel. People are willing to listen to us for the first time.”</p> <p>Reinforcing her son’s plea was Shadia Kanaan, saying, “Silence becomes equal to violence.”</p> <p>Another organizer, Emad Shatara, said the protest had three goals, “We want the Israeli war to end. Now! We want the massacre to stop and especially children’s lives are on the line. Israeli soldiers shoot aid workers and people trying to flee. Lives are at stake.”</p> <p>Shatara explained he was born in one of the most ancient Christian villages of Palestine. Christians are as much as 10% of the Palestinian people. He wanted people to know that the Israeli war and occupation is not about religion, it is about occupation and domination. Shatara said, “We want people to realize there are a people, called the Palestinians, whose humanity, as well as their land, is being taken away. We need support and solidarity.”</p> <p>Also joining the Grand Rapids protest was a contingent of 12 from the Kalamazoo Non-violent Opponents of War (KNOW). A well-known peace and justice group in Michigan, KNOW protests drone warfare at the Fort Custer military base. KNOW also participates in the campaign supporting Rasmea Odeh, a Palestinian American woman who is going on trial in Detroit on Sept. 8. The U.S. government is charging the 66-year-old Rasmea Odeh with immigration fraud for not detailing her torture, rape and imprisonment by the Israeli military in 1969 on her immigration paper work.</p> <p>Organizers say they are joining a worldwide day of action in solidarity with Palestine this Friday, July 25. They plan to have an even larger crowd at the Ford Federal Building in Grand Rapids starting at 4:00 p.m.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/7/22/grand-rapids-protest-against-israeli-war-and-occupation#comments Antiwar Movement Gaza Grand Rapids Palestine Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:44:32 +0000 Fight Back 4205 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Palestine resistance announces capture of Israeli soldier http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/7/21/palestine-resistance-announces-capture-israeli-soldier <p>The Ezzedeen Al Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, announced that it captured an Israeli soldier July 20. According a statement from the Information Office of the Ezzedeen Al Qassam Brigades, the name of the occupation force solider is Shaul Aaron and his military number 6092065. </p> <p>The statement relates the Israeli solider was captured “during the recent operation carried out by the Brigades east of At Tuffah neighborhood, east of Gaza City, which killed 14 soldiers and wounded more than 50, including the commander of the Golani Brigades.” The Golani Brigade is an Israeli infantry group that is well known for committing war crimes.</p> <p>The statement from the Ezzedeen Al Qassam Brigades also noted, “This operation came as a response of killing more than 480 Palestinian civilians and wounded more than 3200 due to Israeli attacks on Gaza residential districts.”</p> <p>On July 21 Ezzedeen Al Qassam Brigades told of a another successful battle. “The Israeli patrol was ambushed by Al Qassam members in Ash Shuja’iya neighborhood east of Gaza city, the Qassam members clashed with them from zero point, killing 10 soldiers and wounding 30 others.”</p> <p>Another resistance group that has been battling the Israeli assault on Gaza is the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and its armed wing the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades. According to a statement from the PFLP, on July 20 members of the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades “infiltrated and engaged occupation forces at the Rafah airport area and confronted them with a variety of weapons including four ‘107’ type missiles,” and they targeted “enemy artillery east<br /> of Shuja’iya at 12:45 a.m.”</p> <p>Also on July 20, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, of Lebanon, pledged to stand with the Palestinian and the people of Gaza. Al –Manar News reports, “In a phone call with Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal, Sayyed Nasrallah said Hezbollah and the Lebanese resistance will support the Palestinian Intifada and resistance, with all their hearts, willpower, hope and destiny.” </p> <p>According to Al-Manar News, “Sayyed Nasrallah also contacted the leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement, Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, where they discussed the developments on the battleground in Gaza, including field conditions and political advances.”</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/7/21/palestine-resistance-announces-capture-israeli-soldier#comments Antiwar Movement Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades Gaza City Hamas Hezbollah Israel Palestine Palestine Shaul Aaron Soldier Ezzedeen Al Qassam Brigades Tue, 22 Jul 2014 02:38:14 +0000 Fight Back 4204 at http://www.fightbacknews.org AFSCME holds International Convention http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/7/21/afscme-holds-international-convention <p>Chicago, IL - 4000 delegates from throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico gathered here, July 14 -18, for the International Convention of AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. Under the banner, "Bold, Brave, and Determined," delegates discussed the impact of recent attacks on public sector unions and strategies for strengthening the labor movement. </p> <p>The convention was held just weeks after the Supreme Court ruled in the case, Harris v. Quinn, that home care workers are "quasi-public" employees and therefore non-members do not need to pay “fair share" fees for representation. At the convention, AFSCME announced that a six-month campaign to increase membership had resulted in more than 92,000 non-members signing membership cards to join the union. The organizing effort was part of a larger strategy in response to Harris v. Quinn that AFSCME developed in order to organize and mobilize members, expand new organizing efforts, build political power and strengthen alliances with community organizations. </p> <p>Among the other efforts highlighted at the convention was the struggle of 22,000 University of California workers, members of Local 3299, who walked out on strike twice in the past 18 months before winning the best contracts they've ever had. </p> <p>The convention delegates rallied mid-week in support of 12,000 Chicago cab drivers who are attempting to organize a union with AFSCME. The cab drivers have seen cuts in income averaging $7500 a year, due to reduced hours, high credit card fees, and other rule changes imposed by the city two years ago. Reverend William Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP and leader of the Moral Monday movement rallied the crowd of supporters from the podium as he told the crowd, "We must not allow those who drive us to be themselves driven into poverty." </p> <p>The next day, Reverend Barber spoke to the entire convention and received multiple standing ovations as he spoke of the weekly rallies that the Moral Mondays movement, which he helps lead, has held on the steps of the North Carolina state capitol for the past year. He talked of the gains of reconstruction following the Civil War, the connection between civil rights and labor rights and the need to organize the South. He also reminded the crowd, "Nobody is going to come from the grave to save us. Martin Luther King is dead; Fannie Lou Hamer is dead. We have to organize and fight and save ourselves. We've got to have a movement, not just a moment."</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/7/21/afscme-holds-international-convention#comments AFSCME AFSCME Cab Drivers chicago Illinois Protest Rally Labor Mon, 21 Jul 2014 23:22:03 +0000 Fight Back 4203 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Twin Cities labor activists mark 80th anniversary of historic truckers strike http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/7/21/twin-cities-labor-activists-mark-80th-anniversary-historic-truckers-strike <p>Minneapolis, MN - Trade unionists, historians, community members and descendants of strikers held several events in Minneapolis this past weekend, July 18 -20 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the historic strikes by truck drivers and helpers, members of Teamsters Local 574. The three successive strikes in 1934 resulted in the defeat of the Citizen's Alliance, an anti-labor group of employers that controlled city government. The strikes established the industrial form of union organization for the first time in the trucking industry and set the stage for the organization of over-the road drivers throughout an 11-state area, eventually transforming the International Brotherhood of Teamsters into a million-plus member union.</p> <p>The weekend of events to commemorate the strike were organized by the Remember 34 Committee, which brought together unions, labor activists, community members and descendants of the 34 strike. On July 17, Bryan Palmer, author of the book <em>Revolutionary Teamster</em>, spoke at the Minneapolis Central Library, reading from his new book on the 1934 strike.</p> <p>On July 18, 110 people attended the Twin Cities Labor Movie Night to see documentary footage of three historic strikes from 1934 - the West Coast Longshore Strike, the Southern Millworker Strike of 400,000 workers and the Minneapolis Truckers Strike. After the films, presentations were given by Bryan Palmer and Joe Burns, author of<em> Strike Back: Using the Militant Tactics of Labor's Past to Reignite Public Sector Unionism Today. </em></p> <p>On July 19, a street festival was held on the Minneapolis Warehouse District site where on July 20, 1934, 67 unarmed striking workers were shot, mostly in the back, by police. Two men, Henry Ness and John Belor, died of their wounds. A number of bands performed at the street festival, as did a traditional Aztec dance group and a Native American youth drum circle. Organizers paid tribute to two Native American leaders of the strike, Hap Holstein and Ray Rainbolt.</p> <p>Earlier in the day, Teamsters Local 120, which has its historic roots in Local 574, held a picnic for members and their families, then marched to the site of Bloody Friday, where Teamsters joined descendants of the strike in placing a wreath on the street corner where Henry Ness was killed.</p> <p>On July 20, there was a picnic in a Minneapolis park. Several dozen family members of the strikers were in attendance and a special tribute was given to them. Speakers from a number of current labor struggles spoke and the event ended with over 100 labor activists, community members, and supporters in attendance joining a sing-along led by labor troubadour Larry Long, Madison, Wisconsin’s Solidarity Singers and the Twin Cities Labor Chorus.</p> <p>The Remember 34 Committee is raising funds to place a permanent historic marker on the site of the Bloody Friday battle between strikers and police. An event will be held next year when the historic marker is permanently placed on the site.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/7/21/twin-cities-labor-activists-mark-80th-anniversary-historic-truckers-strike#comments 34 Strike minneapolis Minnesota Posters Richard Berg Teamsters Truckers Strike Twin Cities Labor Mon, 21 Jul 2014 23:12:02 +0000 Fight Back 4202 at http://www.fightbacknews.org PFLP condemns Israeli massacre in Gaza City http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/7/21/pflp-condemns-israeli-massacre-gaza-city <p><em>Fight Back News Service is circulating the following July 20 statement from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).</em></p> <p>Shuja’iya massacre will stain the hands of all who are silent and complicit</p> <p>The Zionist enemy carried out a horrific massacre today against the civilians of Shuja’iya neighborhood in eastern Gaza City, targeting homes with mortars, tanks, missiles and aircraft, killing dozens of martyrs and wounding hundreds, where many remain under the rubble of their destroyed homes amid a barrage of shells and rockets.</p> <p>The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine pledged that the blood of the martyrs of the Shuja’iya massacre, of the war crimes and genocide committed by land, air and sea in every inch of Gaza against civilians in their homes, children, women, and the elderly, will not be wasted, and that the enemy will never be able to break the will and steadfastness of our people and their valiant resistance which will fight and resist this cowardly and criminal enemy until the last breath.</p> <p>The Front noted that the Zionist criminal occupation has brought death, destruction and devastation to our neighborhoods, camps and cities, saying that the occupation forces were incapable of stopping the resistance or its qualitative strikes against occupation forces, and have expressed their cowardice by targeting innocent civilians in their homes.</p> <p>The Front saluted the brave resisters in all the Palestinian military organizations who are willing to sacrifice in order to block the progress of the occupation forces, for our people to survive and confront the war machine, and praised its ongoing painful strikes to the enemy.</p> <p>Furthermore, the Front emphasized that the international community is responsible for the crimes against our people in Gaza with its ongoing military, financial, and political support to the occupation entity, providing it with political cover to commit crimes against our people.</p> <p>The Front demanded that Palestinian Authority officials and spokespeople stop engaging in the language of defeatism and to instead respect the Palestinian popular mood, which shouts that no voice is louder than the voice of the resistance. Our legitimate resistance is a point of pride for all of our people; we are convinced that we will win, and we will mend our wounds, we will rise from the rubble and the ruins to rebuild our homes again.</p> <p>The Front saluted with pride the steadfast people in Gaza from Rafah to Beit Hanoun who have suffered so much pain and yet refuse to concede to the threats of the occupation. People with such steadfastness will inevitably triumph and no war machine will be able to defeat them or to force them to abandon their embrace of the resistance.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/7/21/pflp-condemns-israeli-massacre-gaza-city#comments Antiwar Movement Gaza Israel massacre Palestine Palestine Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Shuja’iya Mon, 21 Jul 2014 22:43:11 +0000 Fight Back 4201 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Republicans, anti-immigrant forces want faster deportation of immigrant children http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/7/21/republicans-anti-immigrant-forces-want-faster-deportation-immigrant-children <p>San José, CA - As more Central American children flee violence and poverty and seek to reunite with their families already in the U.S., anti-immigrant vigilantes are targeting buses carrying children. Republican politicians have likened the children to an invading army and have called for changing the law to allow for faster deportations.</p> <p>While immigrant rights forces have been organizing counter-demonstrations in support of the child refugees, Obama has asked for $3.7 billion to build more detention centers for families and children. According to Jeh Johnson, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security that oversees immigration enforcement, more money for more detention facilities will allow for faster deportations. Already, 38 undocumented women and children have been flown back to Honduras, under the administration policy to ‘fast-track’ deportations.</p> <p>Three years ago, fewer than 5000 Central American children were caught near the U.S. border with Mexico. So far this year, almost 40,000 Central American children entering the U.S. without adults have been detained by the U.S. border patrol, and even more children who came with their families are being held. The single largest group of immigrant children is from Honduras, which has the highest rate of murders (almost one for every 1000 people each year) of all countries in the world. Honduras also has one of the lowest Gross Domestic Products (a measure of economic output) and the highest measure of economic inequality in all of Latin America. This means that two-thirds of Hondurans are poor, and one third of the population lives in extreme poverty.</p> <p>Honduras has long been under the sway of the U.S. government and U.S. corporations. Neoliberal policies that favored foreign investment and an export economy go back almost 150 years, to the 1870s, leading to large investments by U.S. fruit corporations. The U.S. sent troops to Honduras more than a half dozen times in the early 1900s. A U.S.-backed military government ruled Honduras for almost 20 years and as recently as five years ago a U.S.-backed coup d’état overthrew the elected president. The 2006 Central American Free Trade Agreement or CAFTA has further opened up the Honduran economy to giant U.S. multinational corporations. The economic and political rule of Honduras by the U.S. has meant poverty and violence for the majority of its people. Similar situations in Guatemala and El Salvador are also driving growing numbers of their children to the U.S.</p> <p>A 2008 law passed under President Bush with bipartisan support requires children who enter the U.S. without any adults be given a hearing before an immigration judge, unless they are from Canada or Mexico, in which case they can be deported without a hearing. With hearings backlogged for years, most of the children from Central America are being released to family members in the U.S. while waiting for their hearings, which is raising the ire of the anti-immigrant movement.</p> <p>While immigrant rights forces have been able to pressure the president to not propose changing the 2008 deportation law, the administration and top Democratic congressional leaders continue to signal their willingness to do so if the Republicans will pass their funding request. Only a stronger grassroots movement can challenge what is a growing bipartisan effort to speed up the deportations of children.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/7/21/republicans-anti-immigrant-forces-want-faster-deportation-immigrant-children#comments Central America immigrant children Immigrant Rights Mon, 21 Jul 2014 21:35:13 +0000 Fight Back 4200 at http://www.fightbacknews.org