The Past Is Never Truly Past: We are Still Imprisoning Indigenous People in Deadly Conditions
By Arun Gupta (June 23, 2019)
Take a good look at these faces. What do you see?
They are all indigenous peoples.
527 years after the conquest of the Americas began, we are still penning, brutalizing, kidnapping, and killing indigenous people.
Asylum-seekers are 100% legal, protected by U.S. law as the signatory to international agreements such as the Fourth Geneva Convention protecting civilians in 1949 and the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Yet 12,000 children of indigenous descent are in concentration camps in which the government is arguing before judges this week that denying children — children! — access to soap, dental hygiene, blankets, and even sleep are not needed to ensure the safe and sanitary conditions they are required by law to provide.
Deprivation of sleep is one of the cruelest forms of torture, yet children are being forced to sleep on cold cement floors under fluorescent lights on 24/7 with a thin aluminum blanket as their only bedding.
We have essentially recreated the 19th reservations for Native Americans that existed somewhere between concentration camps and death camps.
The conditions in these modern concentration camps are designed through malice and indifference to be hothouses of disease. Just today, officials from Central America who toured the concentration camps were warned they should wear surgical masks because of the prevalence of respiratory diseases.
The past is never truly past.
We need to stop this. It’s not going to happen through memes. It won’t happen through social media or online petitions.
We need to start organizing Caravans of Hope and flood the border cities with thousands of people to record, to witness, to vigil, to protest, to blockade, to force such an outcry that these camps are all shut down and that we give these people, our indigenous brothers and sisters, the compassion, care. and respect they deserve and that is long, long overdue.
Stay tuned for updates on what’s next.