lundi, avril 17, 2006

Actualité - New Orleans : Fighting for the Right to Be

Franc-Parler publie un article de Voice of Revolution à propos de la lutte du peuple américain pour ses droits. L'ouragan Katrina qui a terrasé la Louisiane, le Mississipi et l'Alabama en septembre dernier a revelé la faillite du gouvernement américain alors que les habitants de la Nouvelle-Orléans lutte pour le droit d'exister. Plusieurs mois plus tard, les actions entreprises pour la défense des droits démocratiques et pour le simple droit d'exister se multiplient. Elles visent à contrer le fascisme et la pire réaction.

As repeated actions continue to defend the rights of immigrants and all workers, and to defend the rights of Katrina survivors, the fight for the very right to be is coming to the fore. The government effort to criminalize undocumented workers simply for being in the country is a direct assault on their right to be as human beings. Similarly, the government assault on Katrina survivors, removing them from their homes, ripping apart families, exiling them outside New Orleans and even Louisiana while providing no means to return and rebuild, also is an assault on their right to be. Indeed it is an assault on the right of New Orleans — as a city of resistance — to be.

The very heart and soul of the city, nurtured by the resistance of African Americans, by Filipinos and Vietnamese, by Acadians, by Irish, by the workers of many nationalities is under attack. The same can be said of the assault on immigrant workers, from many nationalities, whose families are also being forced apart and whose very existence in the country is under fire. People are being criminalized simply for existing, and those who help them exist are also being criminalized.

Current proposals being debated in Congress go after those born in the country as well. There are plans to eliminate the long-standing practice of automatic citizenship for everyone born in the country. The proposals begin by denying citizenship to the children of immigrants born in the country. But there is nothing to prevent the government from then going further. Given the current widespread profiling and detentions and building of more detention camps, one can easily see the government denying anyone it brands as a “national security threat,” or providing “material support to terrorists” or simply refusing to accept the government values of “liberty and civic responsibility, equality under God, tolerance for others, and the English language.”

The attack on citizenship, as part of the attack on the right to be, is a reflection of the utter failure of the U.S. state to uphold its social responsibilities to society and all of its members. Fundamental arrangements between the government and all civilians are being wrecked. This can be seen directly in the failure to provide for Katrina survivors and the continued assault on their rights now, including the right to vote. It can be seen in the criminalization of whole sections of the population, like Arabs and all immigrants more broadly, simply for existing. It can be seen in the broad impunity of government to detain, deport or imprison thousands of people without charges.

The various plans now for special -identification for immigrants and all workers is yet one more means to exile and exclude those who do not meet the identification requirements, or who simply are black-listed for whatever reason by government or employers. The overall picture is one of a civil death — where standards and rights as a member of society are denied. This also means the government denies any responsibility to meet those standards and rights and instead acts with unrestrained impunity.

The failure of the U.S. state is fundamental. It cannot be repaired. The pieces cannot be put together again. On the contrary, the failure is necessarily giving rise and impetus to the new, to the people empowering themselves to govern and decide. This can be seen in the battle for New Orleans, where survivors and people across the country are standing as one to bring to life their vision, which includes housing and healthcare for all, a political life that includes and encourages all. It can be seen in the massive actions by immigrants demanding justice for all workers, demanding that those who produce also decide.

The defense of the right to be by the workers, by the youth and national minorities, is gaining strength against the broad reaction of the U.S. state. These battles are bringing forward the new, something welcomed and nurtured by all humanity as it advances its fight to be.

(Voice of Revolution - 17 avril)

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