dimanche, avril 23, 2006

Actualité - People Have Rights by Virtue of Being Human — No One Is Illegal!

Franc-Parler publie un article de Voice of Revolution, une publication américaine, à propos de la lutte pour les droits des immigrants et des sans-papiers. L'analyse présentée ici contextualise la loi HR 4437 et la lutte des Américains pour leurs droits avec le récent sommet du Partenariat pour la prospérité et la sécurité entre les dirigeants du Canada, des États-Unis et du Mexique.

The battle in Congress over immigration laws, and the annexationist policies of the U.S. at the recent summit of North American leaders to advance the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) should awaken people to join the movement to resist this growing fascism.

An important feature of fascism is the state’s fear of the subject people and the need for criminalization according to arbitrary criteria based on politics, race, class, lifestyle, age, nationality, immigration status or religion. Arbitrary criminalization demands a law and order mentality of the state and the framing of every problem in that way. It becomes a battle of the repressive organs of the state versus the people.

A priority of President George W. Bush is increased “border enforcement” and law enforcement more generally, in the name of the “war on terrorism.” The arbitrary criminalization of people and their behavior requires the ability of the state to identify and locate those individuals who belong to those groups profiled and under suspicion of resistance and defiance of the rich.

The state must be capable of casting a wide net. Identifying individuals who are suspected of indiscipline and rebellion proceeds through arbitrary searches and other means. This allows the monopolies and their state to single out subjects for persecution and exploitation and to divide them according to specific features that are associated with politics, race, class, lifestyle, age, nationality, immigration status or religion.

Chattel slavery in the United States was enforceable in the 17th and 18th centuries partly because of the identifying racial features of the enslaved people of African descent. All people of African descent, even those living in non-slave states were subject to arbitrary search, arrest and forced transfer to a slave state based on their membership in the targeted or profiled group.

Today the targeted or profiled groups are so diverse they require a different form of identification or what is commonly referred to as “documentation.” In the U.S. or Canada, people on the street or in an airplane may look very European but that does not preclude them from being a member of a targeted group. Someone in the U.S. for example may be overheard speaking Spanish. The individual could immediately be profiled as an “undocumented migrant” but may be of Cuban origin. In that case, for political reasons, the individual has received all the necessary “documentation” from the government, no matter how the Cuban national arrived in the U.S. The documentation means they are considered “legitimate and documented.” It is arbitrary because it is based on the political pragmatism and needs of the ruling elite in relation to Cuba, as an example, and not on the rights of the human being.

The concept of “documented” and “undocumented” has entered the reactionary consciousness. It has come to mean a human being with or without certain rights. Documentation is singled out as a key to identity. The state establishes the very being of the individual or not through its process of documentation. Through documentation the very right to be is established or not. With current immigration laws, this right to be is being directed not only at documentation for immigrants, but for all workers. As well, this arbitrary demand for documentation is being extended to medical care. Recent federal law requires anyone applying for Medicaid to now show proof of citizenship — which means anyone without such documentation will be excluded, even if they qualify.

The state, which is controlled by the most powerful monopolies, gives itself the right or prerogative to sanction the rights of the people, such as the right to healthcare. The state considers the people’s rights as privileges to be granted or not, to be documented or not according to criteria that suit the monopolies. Such a situation can only be arbitrary and unjust.

The antithesis is quite simple: the modern conception of rights is based on a social consciousness that emerges from the level of development of society. Modern society is social in all its aspects and people have rights by virtue of being human. The state must become subject of the socialized people and act as the guarantor of their rights. Modern society is the only institution capable and positioned to guarantee the rights of all. It has the duty and authority to do so. If it does not, the people must force the authority to do its duty or the people must change the authority.

Fascist Control

Fascist control is designed to isolate individuals and groups from others based on their personal identification or documentation, which is arbitrarily dictated by the state. Individuals are forced to fend for themselves in the fascist environment prohibited from uniting in action to defend their basic interests and conditioned by the culture to submit without question. Anyone who unites with others for any reason not sanctioned by the state is branded an enemy. “You are either with us or you are with the terrorists.”

In fascist Germany, people of the Jewish faith were forced to wear an identifying symbol, the Star of David. The Nazi state criminalized and identified individuals as terrorists or possible terrorists according to their political or trade union activity, religious faith, lifestyle or membership in certain minorities such as the Roma, called Gypsies. People criminalized and identified as terrorists or potential terrorists were captured and forced into labor concentration camps to work as slaves. They were branded on the arm with a numbered identity tattoo.

People captured abroad by the German army were transported to labor concentration camps within Germany or to labor concentration camps located in conquered territory. An expanding empire needs slaves and plundered wealth to survive. Constant war demands enormous material wealth coming into the empire and mercenaries or conscripts to fight the constant wars.

The base or homeland of the empire for those numbed into anti-consciousness by chauvinism must at least appear as normal as possible in the material sense and as irrational, fearful and patriotic as possible in the political, ideological and cultural sense. Nazi Germany was able to carry the illusion of a “normal” yet irrational existence for those consumed by chauvinism for the racist homeland until the defeat of the German army at Stalingrad in January 1943. After the people’s heroic victory at Stalingrad, the collapse of the German Empire was sealed worldwide and the tide turned against fascism.

SPP and National Identity Cards

The three leaders at the recent summit of the SPP, President George W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexico’s President Vincente Fox, agreed to “North American Smart, Secure Borders.”

The implementation of this proposal is said to include the requirement of all travelers crossing North American borders to possess a passport or another high-tech identity card with a photograph, fingerprint and possibly an iris scan, which is digitalized for immediate verification with a handheld computer. Already a no-fly list is in place and now the Mexican-U.S. border is to be fortified with a secure wall stretching more than 700 miles. Consideration of building a similar wall for the Canada-U.S. border is underway.

Speaking of a national identity card U.S. President George W. Bush said at the SPP, “I intend to enforce that law [passed by Congress]. But what I’ve told the prime minister and I’ve told President Fox is that we have an obligation to work very closely with our counterparts to provide a set of standards as to what will meet the obligations of the law.... I think we can be wise about the use of technologies to envision a card that can be swiped across a, you know, reading device that facilitates the movement of people.” Harper said, “I’m not sure Canadians are fully aware these requirements are coming.... People finding they don’t have documentation whether it’s for business or for ordinary travel, they’re going to find they do in fact need it in the future.”

The identity cards fit well with the emphasis of both Bush and Harper on law and order. Activists in Toronto report people in national minority areas being arbitrarily questioned and forced to produce documentation. Deportations of Portuguese and other minorities are increasing all within the climate of “law and order.” Bush is having more detention camps built and threatening to deport million of workers. Among provisions I the Congressional bills are those allowing local police and even vigilantes like the Minutemen, to profile and stop people, demand documentation and arrest and detain them if they do not have it. The notion that simply to be in public requires documentation is being established.

In the U.S., the House of Representatives passed HR4437 that criminalizes “undocumented” people and their supporters. The mass media even speak of former military bases being proposed as concentration camps for criminalized “undocumented” people, also including first and foremost political activists. Are they to become labor camps and centers from which workers are sent out to work in prison gangs? Already state laws are being passed putting a tax on workers’ remittances abroad. Empires do not like wealth flowing out. More than $50 billion in remittances are sent to Mexico and Central America every year mostly from “undocumented” workers.

Labor concentration camps combined with prisoners sent to do farm and construction work on big projects would stop much of the remittances. The monopolies are not concerned about providing workers in front of the Home Depot for day labor. The monopolies want a guaranteed mass of organized workers for their huge operations. The options they are presenting to solve the problem of masses fleeing the devastation and impoverishment of Mexico and Central America caused by neo-liberal policies and NAFTA are indentured labor through a “guest worker” program, criminalized concentration camp workers or a combination of the two.

A “guest worker” program could be combined with criminalization of “undocumented” workers. Guest workers by definition have an indentured contract. The indenture is their captive document. The contract controls the added-value claimed by the individual and sent home. If they violate the captive document, they become “undocumented,” criminalized and subject to imprisonment in a concentration camp.

The framing of the debate favors the monopolies no matter how it is resolved because the rights of the people are violated. To break out of the framed debate the people have to organize to force the state to do its duty and uphold the rights of the people by virtue of their being human.
No One is Illegal!

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