Things That Matter

Heated Protesters At A Colorado ICE Facility Replace The American Flag With The Mexican Flag In A Show Of Defiance

The conflict at America’s southern border proves to be more and more horrific as containment continues. Now, with ICE raids having started over the weekend, more activists are getting in the mix to protest the existence of these facilities and their abusive treatment of migrants. On Friday, protesters camped outside of ICE detention centers around the nation, ready for rallies to denounce further internment of migrants from Central America and other foreign nations.

One of these protests is receiving national attention because of how demonstrators handled the facility’s United States flag.

Protesters at the Aurora, Colorado facility removed the American flag on display outside the building and replaced it with the flag of Mexico.

Twitter / @RealSaavedra

American flags are always flown outside of government buildings. A “Blue Lives Matter” flag was also removed and replaced. The flag was hoisted upside down on its pole with the words “Abolish ICE” spray painted upon it.

The DENVER POST reported that the demonstration was just one part of a nationwide event called Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Concentration Camps. The events were aimed at protesting the scheduled onslaught of ICE raids that are planned for the coming weeks. The event’s goal was also to expose the human rights violations being committed against the detained migrants.

The altered flags did not fly for long. Armed guards quickly removed the Mexican and defaced “Blue Lives Matter” flags and replaced them with another US flag and the Colorado state flag.

Still, the brief act of defiance caught Twitter’s attention and nobody was happy about it.

Twitter / @charliekirk11

Conservatives and Republicans were quick to see this as an act of treason. This Twitter user claimed that the Democratic goal for the next election year was to “Make America Mexico.” This isn’t the point that protesters were trying to make but it is one that was assumed by  Conservative Twitter. Many far-right Twitter accounts have since referred to this act as proof of an “invasion” as opposed to immigration.

This account relied on a racist mantra in response to the Mexican flag swap.

Twitter / @TrumpStudents

Often times when citizens criticize the United States, conservatives respond with the old adage “If you don’t like it here, leave.” That’s how this Trump Student Twitter handle responded. However, this is our country too and, instead of abandoning it, protesters and activists want to make it more inclusive and more harmonious. Besides, protesting against tyranny is just about as American a tradition can get.

Still, there were others disappointed by this swap. Central American and Latinx Twitter were quick to point out the hypocrisy.

Twitter / @_danalvarenga

Many pointed out that the Mexican government is just as responsible for the death, brutality, and confinement of Central American migrants as the United States is. Salvadoran journalist, Daniel Alvarenga, tweeted his disapproval of the Mexican flag swap by pointing out that this act is not the solidarity that activists should be showing towards migrant communities. The Mexican flag, he points out, is also a symbol of death to many Central American people.

This Twitter user glibly suggested that the presence of the Mexican flag meant that activists were acknowledging Mexico’s role in the deaths of thousands of Central Americans.

Twitter /@EarlsxLips

This fact is often dismissed but migrants traveling through Mexico to seek asylum in the US are often treated despicably by Mexican officials. They are denied shelter, resources and are quickly hastened to the Mexican-American border. They are not given any sort or comfort or safety in Mexico. Central America migrants also face discrimination and hatred from Mexican nationals — making their trip even more difficult.

Another Twitter user observed that people from the Latinidad are often lumped together under one incorrect classification.

Twitter / @TheHoesherJew

This tweet points out that not all Latinx folk are Mexican. Flying the Mexican flag erases the fact that most people in these southern border facilities are not from Mexico. It perpetuates a bigoted assumption and is probably not the message activists wanted to send.

The takeaway? The suffering of our Central American familia needs to be acknowledged instead of capitalized upon for a photo op with a flag of their oppressors. The United States government isn’t the only one to harm these migrants and we should remember that going forward as we try to ally and advocate with the migrant community.

Finally, Biden Admits The Pain Caused By Obama’s Immigration Policies And Here’s What He Plans To Do About It

Things That Matter

Finally, Biden Admits The Pain Caused By Obama’s Immigration Policies And Here’s What He Plans To Do About It

@JoeBiden / Twitter

Vice President Joe Biden unveiled his immigration plan, in it, his campaign acknowledges that the Obama administration’s mass deportations caused families pain. As expected Biden’s proposal is a moderate approach. The Vice President plans on rolling back many of the Trump administration’s policies if elected. 

He joins progressives like Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and HUD Secretary Julian Castro in ending the use of for-profit detention centers. However, unlike the leftist trio, he does not want to decriminalize illegal border crossings. Biden rolled out his new plan while visiting Nevada on the campaign trail. 

Biden vaguely acknowledges “pain” he might have caused immigrants.

Nicknamed by advocates the “Deporter in Chief” Obama has deported more immigrants than any other president in U.S. history with over 3 million deportations during his time in office. 

“Joe Biden understands the pain felt by every family across the U.S. that has had a loved one removed from the country, including under the Obama-Biden Administration, and he believes we must do better to uphold our laws humanely and preserve the dignity of immigrant families, refugees, and asylum-seekers,” Biden’s plan reads. 

While Obama’s methods pale in comparison to the cruel tactics like family separation, inhumane conditions, and targeted raids, the impact the deportations have had on families is cannot be quantified.

As Vox notes, this year Biden has attempted to evade numerous questions challenging the Obama administration’s record-high mass deportations. 

In July, advocates made it clear they wanted Biden to answer for the past. A group of protestors with Movimiento Cosecha brought family members of those deported by the Obama administration to Biden’s Philadelphia campaign headquarters. 

“Biden needs to be accountable,” said Joe Enriquez Henry, vice president of the Midwestern region of League of United Latin American Citizens told Politico in July. “Biden needs to make it clear, if he wants to be president, that he has compassion and understanding and he needs to ask for forgiveness.”

Some advocates are cautiously praising Biden for opening the door to talk about past grievances.

In November, when an immigrants’ rights activist asked Biden if he would support a moratorium on deportations, Biden told them to “vote for Trump,” after explaining he would continue deporting migrants who committed serious crimes or felons. Biden’s most senior Latina staff member recently quit in protest of his rhetoric about immigrants. 

“I stand with Barack Obama all eight years, good, bad and indifferent,” Biden said during a September debate when asked about the deportations. 

Biden, like any Vice President, is put in the position of having to defend his president, but also himself as the future president. This isn’t a bad thing, Biden must distinguish himself from his predecessor but if the shadow of Obama’s legacy is buying him goodwill, it might be difficult to undermine that administration’s stances.

“By acknowledging plainly the real pain that American families around the country feel today, Biden’s plan signals an openness to discussing the evolution of the Obama-Biden approach to immigration enforcement over the course of their eight years in office and how the lessons learned from that process would shape a Biden administration in its first 100 days,” the Center for American Progress’s Tom Jawetz told Vox. “That is a conversation that should continue over time.”

Biden wants to multiply the annual cap on refugees. 

“It’s all about families. It’s all about families to me,” Biden said at a Las Vegas union hall, speaking to a room of many immigrants and casino workers. 

The Vice President will increase the annual refugee limit from 18,000 to 125,000 in a clear rebuke to the Trump administration. Like the other candidates, Biden will end family separation and the travel limits or “Muslim ban” on citizens from countries affected by the policy. He wants immediate action taken to protect DACA recipients from deportations. 

Biden will also allocate $4 billion to stabilize Central American economies and governments to ease the conditions that create mass migration in the first place. 

“We should be engaging and offering our help to organize this hemisphere right now,” Biden said. “I’m going to spend, literally, a billion dollars a year to build up those countries so there’s no reason to leave in the beginning.”

Biden has pledged to end for-profit detention centers, wants to make work visas more practical for seasonal workers, and he wants to end the public charge rule that requires migrants to show proof they can afford health care. 

“While Trump is responsible for the current immigration crisis, we can’t ignore that Democrats have a choice to embrace the Obama legacy or choose to address the immigration issue in a humane way,” said Carlos Rojas, an organizer who protested Biden said in July

Greta Thunberg’s Subtle Clap-Back At Donald Trump Fo Her Time Person Of The Year Title Is Amazing

Entertainment

Greta Thunberg’s Subtle Clap-Back At Donald Trump Fo Her Time Person Of The Year Title Is Amazing

gretathunberg / Instagram

The Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg is just 16 years old but she sure knows how to get the best of men in power. The environmentalist who managed to grasp the attention of the world within a matter of year and refocus our attention on the health of our planet has done so by condemning world leaders through passionate speeches and damning essays. Speaking to the world at the  United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York in late September of this year, the teen shamed leaders for their inaction in the climate crisis. “You have stolen my childhood and my dreams with your empty words,” she spat out. “I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us for hope. How dare you?” 

Her scalding words and personal strike at Donald Trump, during her visit at the time seemed triggering for the U.S. president who in true-Trump fashion mocked her on Twitter. In a belittling tweet the president wrote “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”

The tweet only inspired the bright men further, choosing to respond indirectly to his attack and embrace his title she added the words “a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future” to her Twitter bio. 

The Swedish activist and inspiration is back at again, this time after Trump got a bit too green for his own good after she was giving Time’s title of Person of The Year.

On Wednesday, Trump, aged 73 and an extreme climate change denier, tweeted about Greta’s big TIME honor.

It was announced the Thunberg had been named Person of the Year by Time magazine this week for her uncompromising contribution to changing the course of the climate crisis. Most watching were relieved to find that the magazine had selected Thunberg in favor of a figure like Donald Trump. ( In 2016, the magazine selected Trump after his presidential election and disruption of traditional politics.) His selection had disgusted those who’d watched his horrendous campaign and attacks on women, people of color and other minorities throughout his campaign. So to say that the selection of a person devoted to changing the world for the better delighted most of us, would be an understatement.  Donald Trump however, proved to be extremely unhappy. 

In a tweet about her newest title, Trump called the decision “ridiculous.” “So ridiculous. Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!” he tweeted. Taking a tip from his last attack, Thunberg used his words for her latest Twitter bio update.   Now it reads: “A teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend.”

In case you’re still left wondering, who exactly is Greta Thunberg and what is she campaigning for, ask no further, we got you covered. Here are just a few facts on the relentless teenage activist who has called out world leaders and scolded their actions on this hugely important issue.

“People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction,” Thunberg told the summit. “And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”

Greta first gained notoriety after staging a “School Strike for Climate” in front of the Swedish parliament in August last year.

CREDIT: @SHALLOW_NEL / TWITTER

Thunberg’s idea of a global walk-out in the name of climate change drew millions of young people around the world demanding change. Last year, she was along in front of the Swedish parliament demanding action.

She continued to gain popularity after speaking at the U.N. Climate Talks in Poland in December of 2018. “This is the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced,” she said to UN secretary-general António Guterres before the conference. “First we have to realize this and then as fast as possible do something to stop the emissions and try to save what we can save.”

Her strike for climate change inspired young people all around the world, resulting in tens of thousands of students to join her #FridaysforFuture school walkout demonstrations. Young people in more than 123 countries skipped school to demand tighter climate policies and the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions.

Her actions to fight against climate change caught the attention of the people at the Nobel Peace Prize.

Greta was nominated for a Nobel peace prize, which would make her the youngest recipient of the award won by the likes of Nelson Mandela, and Mikhail Gorbachev. “We have proposed Greta Thunberg because if we do nothing to halt climate change it will be the cause of wars, conflict, and refugees.” said Norwegian Socialist MP Freddy André Øvstegård in an interview with The Guardian.

She is leading by example.

The teenager traveled to the US on board a zero-emission sailboat to draw attention to the greenhouse gas emissions caused by air travel. A single round-trip flight between New York and California generates roughly 20 percent of the greenhouse gases your car emits in a year. In Sweden, she is said to be credited for the spread of the term ‘flygskam’ which translates to “flight shame,” which has encouraged Swedes to avoid traveling by air.

She has Asperger’s and won’t be shamed about it.

Four years ago, Greta was diagnosed with Asperger’s, a form of autism. “Being different is a gift,” she told BBC. “It makes me see things from outside the box…If I would’ve been like everyone else, I wouldn’t have started this school strike for instance.”

Her biggest inspiration is an American Civil Rights icon.

View this post on Instagram

Heading into Lisbon!!

A post shared by Greta Thunberg (@gretathunberg) on

Rosa Parks is reportedly Greta Thunberg’s inspiration. “One person can make such a huge difference,” she said to Rolling Stone magazine about the civil rights activist who refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus.

Thunberg’s glare at President Trump is a social media mood.

Greta’s speech this Monday didn’t go down well with President Donald Trump, who has questioned climate change and has challenged every major U.S. regulation aimed at combating it. He took to twitter to mockingly comment on the 16-year-old activist: “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”

Her fight is not slowing down.

Greta continues to miss school on Fridays to protest climate change. This year on September 20, she led the largest climate strike in history, which included an estimated 4 million people across 161 countries to combat the use of fossil fuels and their catastrophic effects on global warming and future generations worldwide.