#familiesbelongtogether: What we can do about the Crisis at the Border.

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“Those of us who are warm and safe and well-fed must show up for those who are cold and wet and hungry. That’s a rule of life. Every ethical and religious and spiritual tradition agrees on that rule.” ~ Jaz O’Hara

~

The current situation facing immigrants (including children) who’ve attempted to cross the southern United States border and are being criminalized and detained—their families separated indefinitely by official policy enacted in April—is showing in a more vivid, terrible light the true colors of Trump and all the government leaders and citizens who support him.

Heartless, tiny-brained, self-centered grubs is putting it nicely, but name-calling and insult-lobbing is just what they want us to distract ourselves with while they continue to implement absurd, harmful, shameful policies.

Everyone with an open heart is despairing, and many people are trying to organize meaningful actions in protest. The masses—desensitized to the constant lies and inhumane practices of this administration—are waking up and saying, “No, this is too much; we cannot stand for this.”

Yesterday, President Trump signed an executive order reversing his family separation policy. However, there is currently no plan to reunite over 2,000 children who were forcibly separated from their parents. The Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy will still detain children indefinitely, along with their parents.

The root of the problem of illegal immigration stems from interminable situations in countries such as Guatemala (and so many others) where people are so driven to desperately try to escape the cycle of poverty and crime which surrounds them that they are willing to risk their lives and lose their families for a chance at higher earnings en el norte. 

The roots of this unjust situation were planted 500 years ago through Spanish colonization and more recently (since the early 20th century) through the United States’ CIA operations to systematically destabilize Latin American governments. Why? To maintain a profitable bottom-line for soulless corporations and keep a system in place that continues to benefit only those with the most wealth and power. To keep the oppressed oppressed. There is a pitiful irony in these same oppressed people seeking asylum right in the place where the oppressors rule.

This is more than a buzzing nuisance—it is the air we breathe and the society of which each of us is a member. This is the current iteration of a long, dark history of racism in the United States. Not a new phenomenon, yet one that feels shocking thanks to mainstream, independent, and social media blitzes—and the fact that this is the year 2018.

There is an ever widening gap between filthy rich and downtrodden poor. When will it be enough? Will the tides of our world ever turn to provide basic human rights for so many struggling just to eat decent meals and drink clean water and have a roof over their heads and a warm bed to sleep in?

Those of us who are lucky enough to have food to eat and houses to shelter us must step in and help, in whatever ways we can, for no one can truly be free until all beings are.

Here are some ways to help, courtesy of the amazing women behind the Revolutionary Love Project.

“We cannot go numb.

We cannot look away. We can stop this—but only together.

Remember the wisdom of the midwife.

Breathe. Then Push.

It’s time for escalation.”

March. Saturday, June 23rd: pack the National Mall in Washington, D.C. for a mass rally to restore the moral conscience of the U.S. with Rev. Barber and the Poor People’s Campaign.

Get arrested. Thursday, June 28th: join mothers who will put their bodies on the line in a mass civil disobedience in Washington, D.C. led by the Women’s March.

Rise up. Saturday, June 30th: rallies are planned all across America. Find an event near you and bring a sign that #RevolutionaryLove demands #FamiliesBelongTogether.

Give. Support the advocacy groups on the frontline of this fight with a single donation. Donate here.

Call. Demand our legislators stop family separation. Several bills and resolutions are floating around Capitol Hill, including the Keep Families Together Act and the Fair Day in Court for Kids Act. Here’s how to call.

Spread the word. Forward this to your friends and family and post on social media. You can stay updated on the latest actions with this living document from Feed Our Democracy.

Please take good care of yourself. Let us take good care of each other. We will not let the unapologetic cruelty of this administration take away our ability to respond with love—for others, our opponents, and ourselves.

~

author: Michelle Margaret Fajkus

Image: Instagram @waylonlewis

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

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Michelle Margaret Fajkus

Michelle Margaret is a yogi, writer and teacher. Hers is the mind behind Yoga Freedom. Hailing from Austin, Texas, her home base since 2012 has been Lake Atitlán in the Guatemalan highlands where she lives with her husband, daughter and fur family. Michelle has been writing this column for elephant journal since 2010 and has also self-published several inspiring books. Michelle's practice style incorporates hatha yoga asana, dharma/Buddhist teachings, pranayama/breathwork, yin, mindfulness, chakra balancing, mantra and meditation. Go on retreat with Michelle in Guatemala!

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