Against the Current, No. 172, September/
Our Planet, Our Movement
— The Editors
Ferguson on Center Stage
— Malik Miah
Is Water a Human Right in Detroit?
— Dianne Feeley
Detroit: Your Pension and Your Life!
— Dianne Feeley
- September 21st People's Climate March
Toward Energy Democracy
— Bill Resnick
A Green New Deal for New York
— Howie Hawkins
- Richmond Progressive Alliance Update
Death in the Eagle's Shadow
— Jennifer Loewenstein
Palestine's Unfolding Horror
— an interview with Hisham Ahmed
Resisting the New McCarthyism
— an interview with Rabab Abdulhadi
August 1914 and World War I
— William Smaldone
Open the Border Now!
— David Finkel, for the ATC Editors
One Step Up, Three Steps Down
— an interview with Barbara Garson
Piketty on Capital and Inequality
— Charlie Post
Spotlighting Inequality and Injustice
— Marian Swerdlow
— Connor Donegan
De-colonizing North America
— Robert Caldwell
One Historian's Journey
— Dan Clawson
Making the Rulers Obey
— Diana C. Sierra Becerra
- In Memoriam
Fred Ho, Presente!
— Brad Duncan
Allan Sekula, Against the Grain
— Fred Lonidier
David Finkel, for the ATC Editors
WHENEVER HE GETS around to it, president Obama might or might not take “executive action” to slow down the machinery of destruction that has earned him the title of “Deporter-in-Chief.” Meanwhile, the new tide of desperate children and families fleeing Central America piles up at the U.S. border.
Why has this happened? It’s the legacy, first, of the much-praised Ronald Reagan whose administration sponsored Central American military dictatorships, death squads and contra armies in the 1980s. Civil wars substantially shattered those societies.
This crime was compounded by the Reagan gang’s insane “war on drugs,” which effectively put the multi-billion dollar drug trade in the hands of violent criminal syndicates (and brought crack cocaine into U.S. inner cities). Many of the brutal gangs terrorizing young people in El Salvador today actually formed in Los Angeles by refugee youth from shattered families and brought when they returned home.
Let’s not deny the Clintons their share of the credit. The North America Free Trade Agreement and subsequently another for Central America (NAFTA and CAFTA) largely destroyed indigenous agriculture and the livelihood for farmers, especially in El Salvador and Honduras. Finally, credit the Obama administration for enabling and endorsing the 2009 Honduran coup and subsequent savage repression.
Amidst the social catastrophe, brutal armed gangs prey on these countries’ young people, whose families send them on the desperate road north to escape slavery or death at home.
The crisis at the U.S. border is the harvest of genocide, counterrevolution and “free trade.” Every one of these asylum seekers is entitled, at minimum, to a full hearing in their own language, with due process and effective representation. In reality, the borders need to be opened to them and a full moratorium on deportations is necessary — now.
September/October 2014, ATC 172