Facing Sterilization and Inhumane Detention, Women Fight For a New Society
You see them first through the filmy resolution of the video posted on YouTube, about five or six women, with makeshift masks made of socks or the tops of orange detention jumpsuits, the camera slightly out of focus as they cluster around the computer making the video they hope will save their lives. Others come later. They hold signs written on cast-off scraps of cardboard: Hay personas enfermas!, Ayuda por favor! Somos Vulnerables! Somos Madres! Libertad!*
The women step up one by one. All speak of their fears and plead for help.
“We’re very afraid of being incarcerated here and dying here.”
“ All we want is for people to listen to their conscience, their hearts, because there are so many mothers in this place who are suffering so many things, so many humiliations.”
“We have the right to live! We have no protection, we don’t have our sons or daughters.”
Captives of ICE, these women are held at the notorious Irwin County Georgia private detention center owned by LaSalle Corporation, where Dawn Wooten, an African American nurse who worked at the facility, exposed the truth about the forced sterilizations and the deadly risk to the women from COVID. Lasalle and other private prison corporations like it are part of a growing billion-dollar industry that owes its wealth almost entirely to us, the American taxpayers, whose interests have been highjacked by the immigration policies of both parties. When the women call out, “All we want is people to listen to their conscience, their hearts,” they speak as part of our class against an economic system that is amoral and a-human.
These prisons and what happens there are just one expression of the vast remaking of American society where the State and the corporations have merged together into one, operating in the private property interests of the ruling class and for the corporations, and against the workers of this country and the rest of the world. Is there any better example of this than the catastrophe of the government and corporate response to the COVID-19 pandemic characterized by manipulated shortages, price gouging, and attacks on workers who organized and spoke out?
These attacks on families from both sides of the border and around the world may not seem related, but our fight is the same. The fight for access to masks, space for social distancing, and health care when we get sick. The struggle to protect ourselves and our children against being violated or killed by the State in the pursuit of profit and the violence at the hands of the police or ICE. The struggle for the survival of our families and our communities. The sterilizations at LaSalle’s detention center are a part of this broader systematic destruction of our families, our communities, and our histories that sustain the basic sinews of social life. They aim to not simply contain or discard us but to eradicate us as a class.
Digital technologies, automation, and robotics are doing away with the need for human labor. The rapid development from robotics performing simple repetitive tasks to increasingly complex ones to the advances in artificial intelligence are reshaping the economy, the nature of work, and society itself. The private ownership of these advances has brought only suffering and privation. Our class is being pushed to the margins of existence, and that makes our class a danger to the capitalist class.
Every day, in every town of America, our class is fighting for a better life for our families and the future of our children. In the collective hands of our class, these scientific and technical technologies could be used to free humanity from endless toil and live a free, safe, and happy life. With that power, we could provide the wherewithal to protect and create our families, build our communities, and reestablish the web of natural and social life.
This is the message of our time: Unity, hope, transformation. Unity of our class for our children and the future. Hope in our knowledge we can change that future for the better. Transformation at our hands to live for the first time as truly human.
* There are sick people! Please Help! We are Vulnerable! We are Mothers! Freedom!*
For more information about organizations and campaign related to the Irwin County, Georgia mothers cases, see Project South https://projectsouth.org/enough-is-enough/
Published: October 12, 2020
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The age-old vision of a world without scarcity, without exploitation, class domination, organized violence, and stultifying labor has been the dream of millenia. The new completely socialized labor-eliminating means of production ... sets the basis for its realization. Now human history can begin, the light of the individual shining in the full brightness of liberated life, that can only be realized within true equality and cooperation: communism, a cooperative society.'Without Vision, the People Perish'
Rally, Comrades ! May/June 2011