Perspective from a National WILPF Staff Member
Sitting in the position of being national staff for an international women's peace and justice organization, many of our days are filled with incoming news of war, injustice, violence and oppression .... an item, a story, a piece of legislation, much of which I find challenging to both the work of peace and justice and to me personally as a human being on the planet. We here in the office will talk about it, perhaps plan a part of our work to address it, or pass on the news, hoping that our colleagues and friends will join us in speaking out.
Today feels different.
Today I learned that the House passed a bill in December, The Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 that would make it a felony to be undocumented in the US and would also make it a felony to assist anyone who is undocumented. In addition it calls for the permanent detention of all arrested undocumented peoples until they are deported.
It sounds so outrageous..... so improbable, both morally and practically..... then I get the next piece of information:
HALLIBURTON GETS DETENTION CONTRACT
KBR, the engineering and construction subsidiary of Halliburton Co., announced on Jan. 24 that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded KBR a five-year $385 million "Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity" (IDIQ) contingency contract to support ICE facilities in the event of an emergency. The contract, effective immediately, provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to expand existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the US, or to support the rapid development of new programs, KBR said. The contract may also provide immigrant detention support to other government organizations in the event of an immigration emergency, the company said. The competitively awarded contract will be executed by the US Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District. KBR held the previous ICE contract from 2000 through 2005. [MarketWatch 1/24/06; Business Wire 1/24/06]
And then from the School of the Americas (SOA) Watch......
"The week after a military jury in Colorado decided not to jail an Army interrogator even after they found him guilty of negligent homicide in the torture and killing of an Iraqi detainee, a federal judge in Columbus, Georgia is sentencing nonviolent activists to federal prison."
Three of the 32 people on trial are WILPF members.......
Chris Gaunt, age 49, sentenced to 6 months
Robin Lloyd, age 67, sentenced to 3 months
Rita Hohenshell, age 80, sentenced to 2 months
All of the above come on the heels of the news in the past couple of weeks of the indictments of over 20 folks out west who are in jail, no bail and are being charged with multiple felonies, accused of conspiracy to commit and/or committing arson. They are alleged members of Earth Liberation Front or Animal Liberation Front. Last week, Alberto Gonzales himself held a press conference to declare them "the number one domestic terrorist threat in this country." Even IF they did everything they are accused of..... not ONE PERSON DIED! Do you hear me, not one person! And, given the miserable track record of the police and feds in arresting many activists who didn't do a damn thing..... I suspect that is probably true in these cases as well. In fact, the 3 arrested in Sacramento were being held based on an FBI affidavit of probable cause based on the flat out lie that "they were in attendance at a demonstration in Philadelphia where demonstators assaulted a police officer that resulted in his death"..... those of us who were here in Philadelphia at that demonstration know that the officer died of a heart attack on a very hot summer day.Even the police commissioner here went on TV and said there was no evidence that the demonstrators has anything to do with his death!........
Then ...... we get word that last Friday the United States voted with Iran, China, Cuba, Sudan and Zimbabwe to deny Consultative status at the United Nations to 2 NGOs from Belgium and Denmark who address Human Rights of the global Lesbian/GayBisexual/Transgender community....
Alito just got confirmed and sworn in.
My brain literally feels like it is going to explode!!!!! Revolution anyone???
In Tears and Solidarity,