Sparks of Solidarity: Sept. 5, 2017
By Mattie Stardust
Federal judge blocks Texas “sanctuary city ban” law
A Texas law known among immigration and civil rights advocates as the “Show Me Your Papers Law,” has been temporarily blocked in federal court Aug. 30.
Under the law, local governments were prohibited from impeding or refusing to cooperate with immigration enforcement. The law even goes as far as to make it a crime for public officials to “adopt, enforce or endorse” any policy other than complete compliance with ICE. Lee Gelernt, the deputy director for the ACLU’s Immigrant Rights Project described the law as “perhaps the harshest anti-immigrant provision in modern times.”
According to District Court Judge Orlando Garcia, “The government may disagree with certain viewpoints, but they cannot ban them just because they are inconsistent with the view that the government seeks to promote. SB 4 clearly targets and seeks to punish speakers based on their viewpoint on local immigration enforcement policy.”
The state of Texas has indicated that it will appeal Garcia’s temporary injunction. The Trump administration has filed statements of interest in the case, urging the appellate court to uphold “Show Me Your Papers.” (NYTimes.com, Aug. 30)
North Korea successfully tests H-bomb
The socialist Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) completed a successful test detonation of the country’s first ever hydrogen bomb on Aug. 3. According to the South Korean defense ministry, the underground blast was as much as six-times more powerful than a similar test carried out by the DPRK last year.
The Trump-led U.S. government’s response has been predictable: widespread, and indeed hypocritical condemnation. President Trump even went so far as to threaten illegal “preventative war” against the DPRK. (nytimes.com, Sept. 3)
The successful H-bomb test is the culmination of Workers Party of Korea Chairman Kim Jong-un’s signature byongjin policy of developing the DPRK’s consumer economy in tandem with its ability to defend itself from U.S. attack.
Virtually the entire modern history of north Korea has been characterized by efforts to rebuild from the catastrophic 1950 U.S. invasion of the peninsula. During the three-year war, the U.S. dropped more bombs on the Korean people than in the entire WWII Pacific Theater. This, along with near-constant sanctions and embargoes levied against the country since then, undercuts the parasitic U.S.’s claims of concern for peace and security.
A pamphlet produced during the Korean War and distributed by Korean and Chinese defense forces among U.S. soldiers explained, “We didn’t come five thousand miles across the sea to fight. We didn’t come to America with guns and bombs and we never will.” Since then, the DPRK government has proposed or agreed to normalize relations with the U.S. multiple times, including in 1994, 2000, 2005, 2007 and most recently in 2017. (endthekoreanwar.org)
Defend People’s Korea: Disarm the United States!
Puerto Ricans protest colonial fiscal control board
Hundreds of Puerto Ricans braved 110-degree heat Wednesday in the island’s capital of San Juan, to protest the economic crisis currently plaguing the U.S. colony. Six labor unions, including the recently-struck Unión de Trabajadores de la Industria Eléctrica y Riego (Electrical and Irrigation Industry Workers’ Union) brought out members to protest austerity measures.
Since 2016, Puerto Rico’s fiscal policy has been dictated entirely by a U.S.-appointed fiscal control board, with no accountability to the Puerto Rican people or their elected government. As a result of this political and economic strangulation of the island nation by the U.S., unemployment is at ten percent (and as much as fifty percent among young workers), minimum wages have been cut, hospitals and schools have been shuttered, and a staggering 450,000 people have been forced to immigrate to the U.S. as economic refugees. (abcnews.go.com, Aug. 30)
Students at the University of Puerto Rico also occupied the school for over two months beginning in April to protest the extreme education budget cuts. For updates and analysis of the situation in Puerto Rico, readers are encouraged to visit WarAgainstAllPuertoRicans.com
Phoenix residents speak out against police brutality
Some 200 community members took control of a city council meeting in Phoenix, Arizona on Wednesday to protest police abuses at an Aug. 22 anti-Trump protest.
Thousands of protesters had taken to the streets of Phoenix Aug. 22 as U.S. President Donald Trump delivered a speech at the city’s convention center. Although major news media described the protesters as “largely peaceful,” Phoenix Police still dispersed the crowds by indiscriminately firing foam projectiles, pepper spray and tear gas into the throngs of demonstrators.
Demonstrators at the city council meeting criticized city government’s inaction in the face of such extreme and well-documented police brutality. Several wore shirts saying, “I was tear-gassed for exercising my right to peacefully assemble.”
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton initially fled the room once protesters took control of the microphone, but returned several minutes later to face the angry crowd: “Mayor Stanton and members of the council don’t you ever, as long as you’re elected officials, run from the people when we hold you accountable,” said Phoenix resident Redeem Robinson.
Robinson continued, “The crazy thing about this is, the whole time we were worried about white supremacists and Nazis harming us, but it was Phoenix police that attacked us.” (AZcentral.com, Aug. 30)