Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Migrants on Hunger Strike Are Being Force-Fed at Texas Detention Center

In the El Paso Processing Center in Texas, eleven migrants are on hunger strike against the conditions of the center, the slowness of their legal proceedings, and the verbal abuse they regularly receive from Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

Ioan Georg

February 1, 2019
Facebook Twitter Share

JOE RAEDLE/GETTY IMAGES

In response, ICE has begun force-feeding these detainees — driving plastic tubes through their nostrils and down their throats, leading to injury and vomiting. Once again, the U.S. government’s barbarity against migrants and people along the border zone is laid bare.

According to the BBC, an ICE spokesperson calls this practice “non-consensual feeding,” a phrase which does little to mask the fact that force-feeding is a form of torture meant to cause pain and degradation. Another four detainees are on hunger strike in Miami, Phoenix, San Diego, and San Francisco — it remains to be seen if they too will be force-fed. The brutal practices of ICE recall the force-feeding employed by the U.S. military against detainees in Guantanamo or by Israeli forces against Palestinian prisoners.

The World Medical Association has repeatedly condemned force-feeding. In a statement released in 2006 after updating its guidelines for physicians on the management of hunger strikes, the WMA states that “physicians should never be used to break hunger strikes through acts such as force-feeding,” and emphasized that “doctors working in prisons or the armed forces have exactly the same ethical obligations when treating prisoners as they do when caring for other autonomous patients.”

At least two of the detainees being force-fed are Indian men seeking asylum in the U.S., according to their lawyer. These migrants began their hunger strike around the beginning of the year. ICE has already subjected them to prolonged solitary confinement — another practice considered to by torture by the UN special rapporteur — in an attempt to break their strike.

On February 15th, the U.S. government may shut down again as Trump continues to crusade for an extended border wall. The Democrats will feign a fight to appear as the opposition, but they have shown they have no problem providing funding for ‘border security’ or being tough on immigrants. It should not be forgotten that the Obama administration deported millions of immigrants during his eight-year tenure and is responsible for the highest number of deportations in a single year.

However, in the 35-day shutdown that ended last week in part by workers’ activity, the power of the working class was demonstrated quite clearly. And if those 800,000 workers who missed two paychecks then, and will miss more with a second shutdown, were to strike they could end the shutdown almost as soon as it starts. And if they were to strike alongside protests in the detention centers and strikes across the border in the maquiladoras, there will be a real fight to open the borders and win full citizenship rights for all immigrants.

Facebook Twitter Share

Ioan Georg

Ioan is a factory worker at an optical lens plant in Queens, NY and a shop steward in IUE-CWA Local 463.

United States

In Standoff Over Cop City, Police Are the Real Terrorists

For over two years, the protests and occupations against a police training center in Atlanta, Georgia flew under the radar of the mainstream press. Now, after the police murder of land defender Manuel Teran and the arrest of 19 protesters on charges of domestic terrorism, the standoff has gained national attention. But in the battle to defend the Weelaunee Forest and the people of Atlanta from the development of the massive “Cop City” training center, it is the Atlanta Police Department and the state that have been acting like terrorists.

James Dennis Hoff

January 27, 2023

Say His Name! Justice for Tyre Nichols

As the video footage of the police murder of Tyre Nichols is released today, it will be important for everyone who is against police violence to stand in solidarity and defend and join in the mobilizations demanding justice for his murder.

Tristan Taylor

January 27, 2023
Republicans Matt Gaetz and Kevin McCarthy talk during the House Speakership votes.

The Rise of the Proto-Fascist Right Highlights the Crisis of the Whole System

The recent fight over Kevin McCarthy’s becoming Speaker of the House reveals how divided and polarized the Republican Party is. Out of this crisis, a proto-fascist wing of the Republican Party has emerged, strengthened and empowered after extracting concessions from the GOP establishment.

Ezra Brain

January 23, 2023
A meeting of the new Detroit Tenants Association

Tenants and Allies across Detroit Meet to Organize for Renters’ Rights

Tenants in Detroit are getting together to create a citywide organization to help fight against housing insecurity and slumlords and for renters’ rights.

Tristan Taylor

January 11, 2023

MOST RECENT

Amazon workers protesting the company's union busting.

Our Lives and Labor Stolen from Us: Reflections of a Black Amazon Worker

"A journal entry on my experience as a Black Amazon worker. I dedicate this entry to Tyre Nichols and to all victims of police and military violence here and abroad; our enemy is the same."

Carmin Maffea

February 1, 2023
Protesters in Paris over proposed pension reforms.

‘Robin Hood’ Strikes in France: Workers Provide Free Energy for Hospitals, Schools, and Low-Income Homes

Last week, energy workers in France provided free energy for hospitals, schools, low-income households, and libraries. They show that the working class holds the keys to the economy, and can put these resources in the service of society.

Otto Fors

February 1, 2023

No to NATO Tanks in Ukraine, Let’s Fight the Escalation!

Left Voice and our comrades in Germany issue a joint statement against NATO sending tanks to Ukraine. We call on the working class to organize against this reactionary war which continues to escalate.

Left Voice

January 31, 2023

Higher Ed Strike Fever: This Morning, Temple’s Grad Students Walked off the Job

TUGSA, organizing Temple University’s graduate students, walked out on strike this morning. Winning will take bottom-up organizing from Temple’s unions and undergraduates, shoulder to shoulder with TUGSA on the pickets.

Jason Koslowski

January 31, 2023