By Terri Kay
A rally of about 100 people, called by Pueblo Sin Fronteras, was held in the Fruitvale Plaza in Oakland, California, on November 26. PSF is “a collective of human rights activists that accompany migrants and refugees in their journey of hope. They provide humanitarian aid, human rights education, and legal advice to migrants and refugees.” The rally was held in conjunction with San Diego migrant rights and social justice organizations, as part of an international day of action, to show solidarity for the refugee caravan.
The current administration is creating a war-like situation at the border and ramping up hate and fear against our brothers, sisters and siblings in exodus from poverty and violence in Central America. It is critical that we demonstrate the mass sentiment in support for migrants and refugees, and demand the recognition of their legal right to seek asylum.
While we held a space in Fruitvale, Pueblo Sin Fronteras had a demonstration in Tijuana in the morning, folks came together in Los Angeles around 2pm PST, and others from La Voz de Abajo in Chicago organized a rally around 3pm CST. Our energy, solidarity and prayers were communicated to our refugee brothers and sisters.
Shortly after the demonstration, our refugee brothers and sisters were tear gassed and repressed by federal border patrol agents.
One of the organizers described how “[we] had the honor of having different community activists and organizations come out and provide some context as to why Central Americans are being forced to flee their home countries. We did this by humanizing the conversation around our refugee brothers and sisters who find themselves threatened by Mexican nationalism, white supremacy, border patrol intimidation and repression, and also violent misinformation. We came out to show these oppressors and the community of the East Bay that there is a network of communities in the East Bay that stand in solidarity and that are also working towards humanitarian solutions for our refugee brothers and sisters.”
A couple of days later, on November 28, the Honduran Solidarity Network posted this statement:
Honduran regime uses violence against its people – US uses violence against refugees fleeing Honduras.
On Monday, November 26, 2018, Honduran authorities fired massive amounts of tear gas and opened fire with live bullets on a large protest march in Tegucigalpa to mark the one year anniversary of the November 2017 election fraud. At least 3 people were wounded, one of them, Geovanni Sierra, was working as a reporter for UNE-TV when he was shot. This happened one day after the US Border Patrol shot rubber bullets and quantities of tear gas across the border into Mexico at the refugees, most fleeing from Honduras, who are being held back from entering the US. Only 2 days before that incident the brother of the de facto president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez, was arrested at the Miami Airport for being part of the narcotics trafficking organized crime in Honduras. These three incidents in 4 days, are just the tip of the iceberg of the crisis of US policy, and a dictatorial regime and its violence and corruption.
On November 26, 2017, Honduras went to the polls in an election that was a faceoff between the right wing National Party sitting president JOH (who ran for reelection unconstitutionally) and the Alianza, an alliance between the anti-coup/resistance Party LIBRE and members of the Anti-Corruption Party. But, instead of the election allowing Honduras to take a new path to restore democracy and make the country livable for the people, blatant election fraud, a new wave of repression and continuing impunity and corruption plunged the country even deeper into crisis.
That crisis began with the US backed 2009 coup, and after the 2017 election (also supported by the US), it is deeper and broader than ever before. It is this crisis that is pushing thousands of Hondurans out of their country.
As the Honduran people continue organizing, we respond with a call for solidarity to support the people fighting for change in Honduras and to support the people fighting for survival in the refugee exodus.
We demand that the US and Canada stop all support for the Honduran regime. We support the Honduran people’s demand for freedom for all the political prisoners and for justice for all the victims of the regime. We demand that the US stop the repression against the refugees, open the borders to those being pushed out of their countries and end the militarization of the border and violence against all migrants and refugees.