Guest blog post by third year Cecemmana student Batul True Heart.
Right this minute there are almost 5,000 refugees trekking north to make their way to the U.S. border. Most are Honduran, some Salvadoran and Guatemalan. They are not impulsively adventuring here with their packed bags and American dreams. They are not evil terrorists or criminals coming to get us either. They are human beings, most of whom are families, elders, mothers, small children and trans and queer folks, who are desperately fleeing economic and political devastation.
It doesn’t take much imagination or education to speculate that the U.S. might have had something to do with the desolation of these people’s homelands. In 2009 the U.S. supported a coup in Honduras, overthrowing the democratically elected president, down spiraling the country into economic instability and violence. This has made living and surviving there nearly impossible, especially for the most marginalized. Murder rates have accelerated at enormous rates.
These caravanistas of people, families and children have been walking for 20 days now, sometimes in extreme heat. Access to water is sparse. Most have no money and little to no food. Many have not showered and are wearing the same socks that they started with 20 days ago. Mothers are pushing tiny babies in strollers this way. More and more are in need of medical treatment of some kind.
The Trump administration and the mainstream U.S. media like to portray these human beings (and people in similar situations all over the world) as felons, rapists, and killers. In reality, they are humble people who are walking hundreds of miles, sometimes in the dark of the night, to save their own lives and the lives of their children. The wouldn’t be coming here if they had any other choice.
Trump has deployed 5,000 military troops to be waiting at the border when the caravan arrives. That’s more than he has serving in combat zones in other parts of the world. Many of the refugees may not know the potential severity of Trump’s threats. Not only do these innocent people face possible murder by military and U.S. border police but as we know, they have the absolute potential of being imprisoned by our government and separated from their children, maybe permanently.
One of the first and most supportive things we can do is to begin to deconstruct within ourselves all the lies and misconceptions that we are fed in the U.S. about immigrants and refugees. We must begin to see and take it upon ourselves to hear their stories, advocate for them, lift their voices up, defend and protect them. As people who are wanting to see real change in these terribly challenging times, we must stand and mobilize in defense of indigenous peoples and all the decimation that our white supremacist, capitalist society places on them. After all, there are no borders on stolen land.
Some local Oakland herbalists, healers, and helpers are gathering and making medicines for the caravan’s arrival. We will be making immune boosting tinctures, nervine tinctures, wound and pain salves!
We are hoping to have at least one medicine-making day before folks in the community take donations down to the border on November 23rd.
If you would like to contribute herbs, herbal salves or tinctures, or any medicine making supplies, below is a list of needs. We will also gladly accept any other herbal tinctures or salves that you may have to offer. Please contact Daisy at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to make a donation.
- Carrier Oils
- Brandy/Vodka (at least 80 proof)
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Willow Bark
- Tea Tree Essential Oil
- Lavender Essential Oil
- Wild Cherry Bark
- Salve containers, any type, sealable lid
- Tincture containers, any size, sealable lid
- Please make sure your medicine is labeled (w/ ingredients + date) and sealed.
*This blog post was inspired after listening to this interview on KPFA with Gloria La Riva who is currently in Mexico City, on the ground in solidarity with the caravan of refugees: https://archives.kpfa.org/data/20181109-Fri1700.mp3
*Please donate cash now to help continue providing aid and solidarity to the refugee caravan! https://www.pslweb.org/help_send_gloria_la_riva_and_a_liberation_news_team_to_the_refugee_caravan_in_southern_mexico?fbclid=IwAR0gsiiE9g-0gHO-NNaDR5P2Jc4Fj4lb6tByZ46ZfyHfG49cb8XgE4bDUP8