When Is Enough, Enough?

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A Letter from a Reader

Scenes of horror continue to emerge.

Between 100 and 150 migrant men detained for more than a month on a bridge—in what a reporter called “a human dog pound,” in El Paso, Texas. Detained outdoors in temperatures approaching 100 degrees, they told the professor who reported this, “... they haven’t washed or been able to change the clothes they were detained in the entire time, and that they’re being poorly fed and treated in general.”

A teenage girl from Guatemala sitting in a wheelchair in extreme pain, with a bunched up sweatshirt, detained at a crowded “border facility.” Under this sweatshirt, a premature baby who urgently needs to be in an incubator with a heart monitor at a neonatal hospital facility.

This follows the chilling image of detainees “standing on toilets” for breathing room at a border facility holding 900 people in space meant for 125.

And those of open air camps cramped with detainees in the extreme cold of winter... of children separated from their parents and housed in cages... of children dying in the “care” of the Department of Homeland Security, at least five since late last year...

Nobody in these United States can claim they did not know... with each new image and story that is not responded to with outrage and protest, the moral backbone weakens further. For all those who look away, whose outrage is numbed, who refuse to pursue their convictions to where they will lead ...

When is enough, enough? If not now, when?

This week a few DID take action, even if beginning and basic: artists in NYC, where chilling art installations depicting crying children in cages popped up across the city, which police quickly took down, and Paris, where the artist Saype in “Beyond Walls,” at a park across from the Eiffel Tower, depicted hands interlocking with each other symbolizing those rescuing people attempting the deadly crossing between Africa and Europe.

A positive stand was taken by jurors who were part of a deadlock and declared a mistrial for a courageous activist, Scott Warren, from No Mas Muertes, a group that wants No More Deaths for those crossing in the border regions between Mexico and the U.S.1

Much more is needed—art and activism, outrage and creative defiance, protest in the streets and walk-outs, from ALL people of conscience ... I am reminded of Mario Savio’s call at the Free Speech Movement:

There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part! You can't even passively take part! And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels ... upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop! And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!

And in this context, note the call from No More Deaths for a “Day of Action” on June 21, “the longest day of the year, and often one of the deadliest in the Arizona desert,” for actions at Department of Homeland Security offices around the country. The actions will demand an end to “Prevention Through Deterrence,” the Border Patrol program, begun under President Bill Clinton, which has deliberately funneled potential border crossers into the most treacherous portions of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Ask yourself, and ask everyone you meet: Why are thousands flooding the border? Tell them the “hot” truth: Global warming has made scarce harvests, driving people off their land. Societies have been destroyed by U.S.-backed invasions, coups and regimes with violence endemic and terrorizing; economies destroyed by global imperialism that distorts the economy to serve those countries atop this system, especially the U.S. Trump may succeed in further outsourcing the horror of terrorizing and detaining the migrants to the Mexican government. Or you may get the Democrats with their “civilized” electronic fence. But the horror will go on... and on. THEY—THE CAPITALIST-IMPERIALIST SYSTEM AND ITS RULERS—HAVE NO ANSWERS.

There are only two choices: Either this goes on and on ... or, WE MAKE REVOLUTION! Supporting and getting with the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour. Bringing into being through an ACTUAL revolution a radically different system and society! And with this, birthing an entirely different relationship to the earth and its people, and an entirely different relationship between those of us living in North America and the peoples to the South and all over the world that the U.S. has so bitterly exploited and oppressed.

We need a movement for revolution AND we need people of all views, who wish to hold onto their humanity, to begin acting now to change this outrage, coming from their own convictions.

I myself am heartened by Scott Warren’s stand, coming from his religious convictions to “provide emergency aid to fellow human beings in need.” Ask yourself: What sort of system criminalizes someone like him, for offering water to those in the desert, fleeing violence and destruction? What kind of system threatens and hangs the sword of a 20-year prison sentence on someone like him?


1. Warren, a geographer who taught courses at Arizona State, was arrested for allegedly providing food, water, beds and clean clothes to undocumented immigrants near Arizona’s scorching Sonoran Desert. Warren faced up to 20 years in prison on charges of “harboring and conspiring to transport" immigrants. Jurors in the case could not reach a unanimous verdict and remained deadlocked. During the case, it emerged that Border Patrol agents were conducting surveillance of these activists and were punitive in their charges, filing them in retaliation for the activists’ release of a report criticizing the Border Patrol that showed “video footage of agents behaving cruelly and unprofessionally.” [back]

Bob Avakian's Answer to People Who Complain about Immigrants Crossing Borders

Click here to watch the whole film:
Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution

Neal Rosendorf, a government professor at New Mexico State University, took this photograph of migrants he discovered being detained outdoors near the Paso del Norte Bridge in El Paso. The men said they had been held there more than 30 days, without showering or changing clothes. (Photo: Neal Rosendorf)


Detainees at a border facility holding 900 people in space meant for 125.


Many New Yorkers were jarred out of their daily routine when they came across metal cages on sidewalks with what appeared to be a child-size figure inside—representing caged refugee children--wrapped in Mylar sheets. Photo: RAICES


In Paris, “Beyond Walls,” by the artist Saype at a park across the Eiffel Tower, depicted hands interlocking with each other symbolizing those rescuing people attempting the deadly crossing between Africa and Europe.


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