As many as 8,000 migrants from Honduras in Central America are marching on the US border.
They have already crossed two borders and are defying Donald Trump’s threat to forcibly deny them entry to the US.
The migrant caravan arrived at the border between Guatemala and Mexico last Friday. At first authorities only allowed a slow trickle of people through. In response, migrants tore aside fences and other obstacles.
Mexican police attacked, with some 400 cops using tear gas on those trying to force their way through.
After people were pushed back, they held a meeting and thousands decided to use rafts to cross the Suchiate river to get into Mexico.
Some remained camped on a bridge, demanding to be let in.
“We are going to stay together, we won’t be broken,” said Edwin Rosas from Honduras. “We will keep going all the way.”
Now the march continues through Mexico to the US border—a journey of over 1,000 miles.
Ordinary people have responded magnificently—in contrast to the attacks from the Mexican state and the threats from the US.
They set up donation points with clothing and food for the migrants after the caravan reached Mexico.
The mainly Honduran migrants are fleeing violence and poverty which US foreign policy is largely responsible for.
In 2009 the US-backed a coup in the country—carried out with Barack Obama’s knowledge—and installed a vicious regime that pushed through free market reforms.
Now 66 percent of Hondurans live in poverty. The murder rate stood at almost 64 people for every 100,000 in 2015—among the highest in the world.
“There is no work back home,” said William from Honduras. “No future.”
Fraudulent presidential elections in Honduras in 2017 were met with protests.
Authorities killed 30 protesters and arrested a further 1,000 people.
No one should have to live in fear for their life.
That is what Trump is threatening. He tweeted, “Full efforts are being made to stop the onslaught of illegal aliens from crossing our Southern Border.
“People have to apply for asylum in Mexico first, and if they fail to do that, the US will turn them away.”
He even accused the US Democratic Party of organising or funding the caravan. Actually, the Democratic leadership has distanced itself from the plight of the migrants.
Trump is using the issue to appeal to his racist base ahead of the midterm elections to Congress next month.
Immigration is the most important issue for 25 percent of Republican voters.
Yet it falls to 15 percent for the rest of the US population, according to a Kaiser Foundation poll.
The caravan’s journey to the US border is long and dangerous.
International solidarity is important if the migrants are to force their way through the border.
Tens of thousands of people in Brazil protested against the far right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro last weekend. The demonstrations came ahead of the second round of the presidential election.
Bolsonaro was polling at almost 60 percent on Monday.
In the last week he has pledged to use the armed forces to patrol the streets.
“If Congress grants permission, I would put armed forces in the streets,” he said, saying the country was “at war”.
He has promised to deport or jail left wingers and has branded some left wing groups as terrorist organisations.
“These red outlaws will be banished from our homeland. It will be a cleanup the likes of which has never been seen in Brazilian history,” he told a rally.
Some 50,000 people took to the streets against Bolsonaro in Sao Paulo on Saturday.
The city is one of Bolsonaro’s support bases. Protests happened in over 50 cities over the weekend.
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