FACES OF CONCENTRATION CAMPS AKA DETENTION CENTERS

ACTING ON ISSUES

It’s easy to stand at a distance on important issues. One can protest, call, write, or just have an opinion about a cause.  And I care about many!  But it’s different to see the faces of the people affected by a policy, a cruel policy in this case.

Frequently, I call or write my Congresspeople and Senators, I share news that I try to keep up with in newsletters and blogs.  There is so much going on these days!  I have participated in many marches too.

Last night, we held another march/protest at the Aurora Ice Detention center, my second time there. This in response to what is happening at the border, the dismal conditions that have recently been reported at this ICE facility (moldy food, unclean bathing and toilet facilities), and the threat that the President is making about rounding up 2,000 people starting Sunday.

DEFINITION OF CONCENTRATION CAMP:
a place where large numbers of people (such as prisoners of war, political prisoners, refugees, or the members of an ethnic or religious minority) are detained or confined under armed guard —used especially in reference to camps created by the Nazis in World War II for the internment and persecution of Jews and other … if they start with refugees, who will be next?

READING NAMES OF REFUGEES WHO HAVE DIED COMING TO AMERICA

It was raining on and off as hundreds of us stood with pairs of shoes between us representing those who died coming for a supposedly better life. First, we each read a name of a hopeful immigrant who died trying to get to the U.S. Many are fleeing starvation, rape, or death in their countries.  It is not unlawful to seek asylum from horrific conditions! Many of our ancestors did the same.  Our Statue of Liberty stands to welcome immigrants. Instead, our leadership is caging people, separating children from their parents, and rounding up people like Nazi’s did in Germany. This is not the America I want to support!

WHY ARE REFUGEES COMING TO AMERICA?

If our country would give more aid to the countries many are fleeing from, it would likely stop the migrations to our border. (I think it has begun again after stopping) Climate change has caused their crops to fail and their children are dying of starvation. Wouldn’t you flee too? Also, America has interfered in politics  (coups) in many countries making conditions even worse.  We could channel the monies to build cages instead by sending aid and food to the people who find it necessary to flee untenable conditions.

MARCH ON AURORA DETENTION CENTER FRIDAY JUNE 21

After we read the names last night, we marched around the side of the building over to the major street chanting and waving our signs to the cars passing by. As we turned around to come back, we faced the side of the building where there were many windows. Most had bars, and wire fencing attached to an actual fence to prevent escape. Faces began appearing at the windows as we walked by. They began waving and we waved back.

THE FACES OF THE DETAINEES

Finally, our leader stopped us in front of a group of three windows where many young men were watching us and taking turns looking out at our large group.  We stopped on a grassy slope and chanted as loud as we could that we loved them.  Soon we started seeing they were making their own signs and our leader went as close as he could to read what they said to us.  Some said “help!”  Others said that they had been there for 6 months.  They seemed happy to see us and engaged as well as they could from the barriors between.

We saw the faces of the detainees, the faces of America’s negligent actions,  the faces of people who could be productive members of our society, who instead are behind bars. (I realize some are unlawful people, but I believe this to be the minority.) As we shouted, tears were flowing down my cheeks. These were the faces of the people we were there to support. We were free; they were not. I hope our actions and our caring made a difference to them that day and gave them hope.

It’s hard to say what action will make the most difference. I just know that we have to do something to change the course our leaders have chosen.   We should not have concentration camps. We should not have children separated from their parents. We should not detain people in unhealthy conditions. Over 40 have died in our ‘camps’. We should not have Nazi round-ups.  This is not my America!  Will you stand up when your neighbors are targets of ICE?

Seeing the faces of those I marched for made an indelible impression on my heart and my history.

I urge you to get engaged…call, write, march, write opinion pieces in newspapers and online, share with your friends and family.

URGENT: ICE agents are targeting 2000 families in planned raid on ten cities soon.  Call the Department of Homeland Security, who runs ICE, and leave them a voicemail saying NO to the raids: 202-282-8495 #FamiliesBelongTogether #NeverAgain

NATIONAL ACTION: FRIDAY JULY 12: WWW.LIGHTSFORLIBERTY.COM OR FACEBOOK PAGE

WHAT TO DO IF ICE KNOCKS AT YOUR DOOR!

  1. DO NOT OPEN IT; LET THEM GET A COURT ORDER
  2.  REMAIN SILENT AND QUIET
  3.  DO NOT SIGN ANY PAPERS
  4. REPORT AND RECORD ALL INTERACTIONS
  5. GET AN ATTORNEY

TO REPORT ICE IF YOU WITNESS A RAID: CALL 1-844-UNITE41

CALL YOUR MAYORS TO FOLLOW ILLINOIS: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) said she would take “concrete steps” to support immigrant communities after reports emerged that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would begin raids this weekend to round up families who have received deportation orders.

Other information:
https://www.alternet.org/2019/06/the-worst-conditions-that-weve-seen-migrant-children-imprisoned-in-texas-detail-border-patrols-inhumanity/

Video of our march

https://unicornriot.ninja/2019/co-community-gathers-outside-geo-ice-facility-on-longest-day-of-year/ (I AM IN THIS VIDEO as are those mentioned below)

BTW:  Several local candidates were part of the march….including Colo. Senatorial candidate Diana Bray, Aurora City Council candidates Juan Marcano, and Alison Coombs.