On Saturday, June 30th at 3:30pm the March for Racial Justice RI and AMOR will be leading a rally in front of the Rhode Island ACI in the Swarovski Optik parking lot (4498 Slater Road, Cranston) to demand an end to all family separation by the state. The Trump administration’s recent executive order that claims to stop family separation at the border is a political tool to quell public outrage and hide the fact that detaining and deporting children with their parents is STILL separation from family and community. We must show up and say we will not accept such injustice. We will be gathering to demand accountability from the government for all forms of family separation, a struggle that connects oppression experienced on multiple fronts.
Family separation is not new, and the US government has invested in dividing families throughout history. This nation was built on family separation from the beginning of colonization of indigenous land and the transatlantic slave trade, and this legacy continues today. Detention and deportation of migrant parents with their children is still separation from extended family and community. Mass incarceration and police brutality kill family members or keep them locked away in prisons. Low-pay work steals family members away from their homes to labor under threat of death. A punitive child support and foster care system deprive children of their parents. Construction of pipelines ravage Native communities while lining the pockets of wealthy capitalists. U.S. war and militarism divide families overseas. These are just a few of the ways that this government upends families, biological and chosen.
The current political moment is forcing us to reckon more publicly and visibly than ever before with racist, oppressive ideas that have always existed in our government, and we cannot be silent. We will not buy into convenient narratives that position children as uniquely innocent compared to their parents–NOBODY should be forced away from community. We will not stop talking about colonialism, patriarchy, ableism, slavery, capitalism, or imperialism just to get a concise message together as a reaction to Trump’s policies.
We demand that our current elected officials and those running for office include protections for our vulnerable community members in their platforms. Practical steps that they can take include ensuring that RI police do not stop people for minor offenses (like minor traffic violations) in order to ask about their immigration status, ending collaboration between local police and federal ICE agents, refusing campaign money from those who support or profit from detention and the prison industrial complex, providing state services to all residents regardless of immigration status, and publicly prohibiting schools from cooperating with ICE.
We need restorative and transformative justice; we need healing and accountability mechanisms that don’t make us turn to the government when harm occurs. In the end, all roads lead back to the grassroots organizations on the front lines working to protect the most affected by the state-sanctioned violence inflicted upon black and brown citizens and migrants by ICE and the police.
Come out on Saturday to show your support and demand accountability from our elected officials at every level of government.