For Immediate Release
July 18, 2014
Barbra Ramos | National Communications Director | [email protected] | (323) 813-4272
Katrina Socco | National Programme Coordinator | [email protected]
Zeena Aljawad | AF3IRM Irvine/Orange County | [email protected]
This weekend, in five cities across the country, the women of AF3IRM take to the streets to demand justice against border brutalities! As transnational feminists, we stand with the women and children in Palestine and we stand with the migrant women and children along our borders. The ongoing crises both here and abroad speak to the heightened levels of US and Israeli state-sanctioned violence and oppression that demand that we as women rise together in global resistance.
Even as border brutalities occur thousands of miles apart, we the women of AF3IRM are acutely aware that they are not simply about a far-off “conflict” or an immigration issue, but in reality are parts of the concerted war on women. When the women and children are targeted, the goal is not just repression, but genocide. We denounce the ongoing murderous rampage on Palestinian women and children, the inhumane treatment of migrant children, and the unjust creation and enforcement of artificial borders on stolen land – and we name them as deliberate acts of genocide.
As Israel prepares to launch a ground invasion and missiles continue to fall, more than 264 Palestinians have been killed and over 1,600 Palestinian homes hit or destroyed in the latest attacks. This highly militarized assault on a repressed people on occupied land in the name of justice is perverse. This is not about justice – it is about finding any excuse to continue the massacre of Palestinians. Ayelet Shaked of the Israeli Parliament shamelessly calls for the slaughter of all Palestinian mothers, stating, “They have to die and their houses should be demolished so that they cannot bear any more terrorists […] They are all our enemies and their blood should be on our hands.”
Across oceans in Central America, the US-backed murders continue. With over 4,000 women killed in Honduras in unspoken femicide and with poverty and violence plaguing cities and villages in Central America, we know the exodus of refugees to the US— more than 50,000 children refugees alone since October—is not about getting a “free pass” but that the children are desperate to seek the homes and families that have been destroyed and stolen from them. And when these refugee women and children reach our borders, the cycles of abuse and oppression continue. They are detained, sexually assaulted, and mistreated by coyotes (smugglers), vigilantes border officials and even deported—-sometimes as young as the age of 1—-back to the violence and poverty created by the legacy of Operation Condor and covert wars in Latin America. These migrant children are either forced to die in their home countries ravaged by US-backed dictators, die crossing the border, or die in Obama’s detention centers.
Indeed, AF3IRM calls out the United States government, which has been complicit in fueling the violence and abuse in both areas. One Palestinian child has been killed by the Israeli military every 3 days since 2000—-funded with $20 billion in aid, weapons, and military assistance given to Israel from the United States every year. 90% of migrant children at the border are refugees who qualify for asylum—due to instability caused by US-backed covert wars in Central America. The US has been de-stabilizing Central America since the Cold War—-from the US-backed overthrow of populist elected Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz in 1954 to the recent coup d’état of Honduran President Zelaya in 2009. Central American migration is also born out of a legacy of US-sown civil wars and brutality.
Another tool of US and Israeli genocide has been the creation of artificial walls and borders, designed to seize power and resources for the privileged few. We the women of AF3IRM see the connections and we denounce the methods of oppression used. We especially condemn these borders that serve to divide native lands and peoples, as well as separate transnational and diasporic communities. From the checkpoints and the physical walls, these borders have bred cultures of constant fear and violence and created unjust and inhumane conditions. It has led to the restriction of water rights, with 95% of the water in Gaza unfit for human consumption and the criminalization of water stations along the US border. It has led to checkpoints in both areas, exposing women to violence and cutting off access to medical resources, with women facing miscarriage or death as they are forced to give birth when stopped and facing sexual assault and rape.
We the women of AF3IRM recognize that the genocide and oppression of Palestinians and migrants are transnational feminist issues and require global resistance. When women and mothers are unable to keep children safe because of a militarized state that targets faces that very much mirror our own children, all women should be outraged. When countless children are killed in Gaza in the latest massacre by Israel and 70,000 migrant children are treated like cattle in hidden detention facilities in the United States, women need to be at the forefront demanding justice. We do not forget our sisters across borders– and we stand with the women and mothers from Palestine and Central America who lie awake at night with grief for murdered children and worry for those still trying to survive.
We heed the call of our sisters’ struggles and we the women of AF3IRM encourage all to resist and to fight! As transnational feminists, we know that our existence, especially as women, is dependent upon our personal and collective resistance. Together, we continue to call for the end of the occupation of Palestine! We demand divestment and the end to US aid to Israel! We seek more just and humane treatment for all migrants along our borders, especially the refugee women and children facing detention and deportation! We demand more protections for migrant and refugee women and children under VAWA! Even as they try to stop and destroy us, the flame of women’s resistance will continue to rage on! We women will never give up the fight!
AF3IRM DEMONSTRATIONS AND PROTESTS THIS WEEKEND (July 18-20)
Demonstration to End Israeli Occupation
Friday, July 18, 4pm
880 Front Street
San Diego, California 92101