Uphold and Protect the Peoples Collective Rights and Dignity of the Rohingya

IMA Statement on the Rohingya Exodus
18 September 2017

The Rohingya deserve the full recognition, respect and protection of their rights, dignity and life as people by all nations and governments, especially Bangladesh and Myanmar.

This is the statement of the International Migrants Alliance (IMA) as we extend our strongest solidarity to the Rohingya who are now suffering the worst tragedy at the hands of the Myanmar military government.

Right now, more than 400,000 people, many of whom are women, children and elderly, have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh to escape what can be called a state-instigated ethnic cleansing campaign. Rohingya people are Muslim while Myanmar is predominantly Buddhist.

Since August 25, the Myanmar military has cracked down on the Rohingya community in Rakhine State, using violent measures such as the scorched-earth campaign (burning down entire villages), rape, indiscriminate firing and strafing, and ultimately, massacre. This was supposedly a state response to alleged attacks by a group called Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army on 30 police posts in the area.

While condemnation from the international community has poured in, the Myanmar government apparently sees no reason to stop terrorizing the Rohingya people. There were also reports of Burmese military allegedly planning to bomb passage areas the Rohingya were using to escape the attacks.

The Rohingya remain a stateless people, virtual victims to what seems to be an onerous tennis match of accountabilities between the Myanmar and Bangladesh governments. Myanmar refuses citizenship to Rohingya reasoning that the latter actually come from East Bengal, and therefor should be responsibility of Bangladesh. Bangladesh, on the other hand, denies political and civil rights to Rohingya stating they are Burmese.

The IMA joins the international community in calling for a humanitarian campaign to provide immediate support, housing and all possible services to the Rohingya, both those who are already in Bangladesh and many more who are still in Myanmar.

Moreover, we urge both the Bangladesh and Myanmar governments to uphold human rights above all and ultimately stop the attacks on the Rohingya people.

We demand both governments:

1) To provide the respect, recognition and protection that the Rohingya rightfully and ultimately deserve;
2) To recognize the Rohingya as people and be accord them their much deserved citizenship;
3) To uphold, promote and respect their collective rights, which include their rights to live as a community, ethnicity and culture, among others; and
4) To provide the Rohingya to opportunity and the environment to live in peace, with dignity and without fear of discrimination, violence or ostracism.

We likewise call on governments to uphold and respect Rohingya asylum seekers, especially those in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

We hope that the United Nations wield political will and enjoin both states to derive through peaceful means concrete actions and mechanism to achieve these demands.

The Rohingya deserve a life of just peace, solidarity and acceptance. End the horrors of fascism, racism and violence that befall them and their children.

No one deserves to be stateless. No one deserves to experience violence.

Life, dignity and justice for the Rohingya!

Reference:
Eni Lestari, IMA chairperson

Post-DACA, Our Struggle Can Only Grow Stronger

Unite and Strengthen the Immigrant Movement Against Fascism, Defend DACA!

07 September 2017

The International Migrants Alliance (IMA-USA) shares the outrage of millions at this week’s decision of the Trump-Pence Regime to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA Program for undocumented youth and students.  Once again, the fascistic character of this administration rears its ugly head to eliminate even this temporary form of relief for the 800,000+ undocumented recipients who were given only temporary authorization to work, go to school, or join the military, instead of having to live in fear of potential deportation.

In 2012 it was the grassroots mobilization of thousands of undocumented youth and students that mobilized in the streets and won the DACA policy from the Obama administration.  Instead of hiding in the shadows, they refused to be treated like criminals, and these young “Dreamers” stood up as “undocumented and unafraid” leaders of the movement to end the criminalization of migrants.   Even just 2 years (renewable until Trump ends the program’s applications in a month’s time) was a significant form of relief for these youth and students, who, for a brief moment, could live without the anxiety, fear, or threat of detention and deportation.

As the name implies, the DACA Program impacted only those students who arrived as children, often as their parents were fleeing economic dislocation or political repression in their families’ homelands.  The most progressive leaders of the Dreamers, however, refused to be pitted as “good” immigrants versus the rest of the “bad” immigrants in the U.S.  There are more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., and the Trump administration has promised to deport all of them regardless of the reasons or conditions that brought them here.

While DACA tried to track these youth into schools, often low-paying jobs or even the military, there was always the fear that registering for the program would surface the close to 1 million youth and their families who would avail of the program.  Supporters of the program thought that subsequent presidents would be foolish to rescind the program and remove even this temporary relief for immigrants who registered to study, work, or fight for the U.S., but Trump was that fool and exposed that in the end, he will intensify and expand the discrimination and attacks against the forced migrants and refugees in this country.

The number of forced migrants, refugees, and displaced people in the world has increased to close to 300 million – a humanitarian crisis not seen since the devastation of WWII.  At the recent Solidarity and Fightback conference and mobilization in Toronto, Canada, IMA joined hundreds of people from dozens of countries to expose how US led wars of aggression, militarization and fascism were impacting migrants and refugees and how grassroots resistance was fighting back against this massive dislocation of people. Wars of US imperialism and between the world’s superpowers, global climate change and famine in large parts of Africa, and especially economic devastation and political persecution are forcing workers, families and communities to be separated and uprooted.

The failed neoliberal economic policies of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Trade Organization, numerous free trade agreements,  and the intervention and proxy wars of the world’s imperialist powers created this current crisis, and the US and other host countries are hypocritically and true to their fascist character cracking down on forced migrants and refugees as scapegoats for their own internal economic and political crises.  Dreamers and DACA recipients are the latest targets of a regime in decline, with Trump cynically repealing Obama’s piecemeal immigration reform program, feeding and emboldening his base of white supremacists, xenophobes, and the racist police and prison state.

This move will not resolve the economic and political crisis in the United States that is only intensifying.  As the US and other imperialist powers continue their wars for economic, political and military dominance in the world to alleviate their own internal problems, the number of forced migrants and refugees will only increase. Dreamers, undocumented immigrants, Muslim refugees, and the many other working class targets of the Trump administration must join together to resist his attacks on all of our communities.  They can also join the migrants and refugees from around the world who are forming a people’s campaign for a truly grassroots led Global Compact on Migrants and a Global Compact on Refugees as the United Nations only now begins to recognize the economic significance and profitability of the forcibly displaced peoples around the world in maintaining the global capitalist system.

Only peoples in struggle can turn the tide of a Trump attack on DACA and the 11 million+ undocumented immigrants in the U.S.  We stand with the Dreamers, Muslim immigrants, and all working class and people of color communities in the U.S. building resistance to the Trump-Pence regime. IMA-USA will continue to fight alongside Dreamers and other migrant youth, workers, and families to build the grassroots voices of migrants and refugees in struggle against imperialism, fascism, and all forms of reaction.

Defend DACA! Resist Trump’s Fascism and Attacks on Im/migrants!

End the Criminalization and Illegalization of Im/migrants!

Genuine Immigration Reform Now! Legalization for All!

End forced migration! No to US and other imperialist wars!

 

Reference:

Antonio Arizaga, International Migrants Alliance (IMA), Vice Chairperson

Terry Valen, IMA International Coordinating Body U.S. Representative

Contact Info: 4152030696, ima.usa2011@gmail.com