‘Hate words lead to hate actions’
On December 15, Enrique Morones gave a warm welcome and a bit of history to about 20 volunteers who were bringing, sorting and loading cars with donations. Below are some excerpts from his presentation.
I’m the founder and director of Border Angels. We’ve been around for 33 years. Border Angels was started in 1986 when there was no wall. In 1990, we started going out to the desert to bring water. In 1994 the United State built their own wall, which has led to the deaths of more than 11,000 people.
Nineteen ninety-four was an important year. You had Proposition 187 and the Zapatista movement and then NAFTA, which allowed commerce to pass borders but not people. And you had the wall. All of those things happened in 1994.
What we’re going to do today is the Caravan of Love. This is the fourth time we’ve done it. Every other week, we get a really large group. Last week, we had like 45 or 46 cars. This week, we only have about a dozen cars.
We are going to be going to at least two shelters and El Barretal; this is a new shelter, sheltering 3,000 migrants. The federal government runs it and they still need a lot of items, especially sleeping bags and hygiene products.
This is the third major caravan this year, coming from Central America to the border. Actually, the first one was last year, this year we’ve had two. The one that came in the spring, in March and April, that was mainly people fleeting violence. Then this one that’s about six weeks old, this one has people fleeing violence, too. But mainly this one is people fleeing hunger. And hunger is not a case for asylum – but whether you are fleeing hunger, violence, ecological disaster, you have a right to flee, you have a right to try to survive, and it’s a universal human right.
We’re very wary of the situation under this administration. Hate words lead to hate actions. The United States is the only country in the Americas that has walls, and the only country in the world that separates children from their parents, and they put those children in cages. But that wasn’t good enough. A couple of weeks ago they tear-gassed children at the border and just a few days ago they killed a 7-year-old girl. Yes, hate words lead to hate actions.