[Author Catherynne Valente (previously) posted this outstanding rant to her Facebook page; I asked her permission to repost it here so it would have somewhere to live outside of the zuckerverse and she graciously gave her permission -Cory]
I live in Portland, Maine. We have recently had an influx of African asylum seekers and the city has been scrambling to find shelter and support for them.
Cue NextDoor, that wretched hive of scum and villainy. Every day someone would post some new hateful jingoistic nonsense about how horrible these people are and that they need to get out of 'Merica and leave it to the 'Mericans.
I try not to get involved on NextDoor because I live in a small community and I have to see these people at the ferry dock. But I got mad. And I got involved. And it got long.
So I decided to share it with you. Please feel free to share it with others who might need to hear it.
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Yesterday's spectacular series of raids on Australian journalists by the Australian Federal Police are a turning point in how democracies view the role of the press and leaks: the raid targeted News Corp's Annika Smethurst over her reporting on a secret plan to grant the Australian Signals Directorate -- a spy agency -- the power to surveil Australians; 2GB radio's Ben Fordham over his reporting on human rights abuses of refugees; and ABC Sydney's offices over their 2017 Afghan files reports, which documented war-crimes and other misconduct by Australian military personnel.
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“Why are we just apprehending them (…) not lining them up and shooting them? We have to go back to Hitler days and put them all in a gas chamber.”
Remember that US-Mexico border white supremacist terrorist group that published videos of members detaining hundreds migrants at gunpoint, with the Border Patrol's apparent tacit consent?
Today, we learn that one member of that racist New Mexico border militia told police that another fellow member once said, “Why are we...not lining them up and shooting them? We have to go back to Hitler days and put them all in a gas chamber,” reports Ken Klippenstein. Read the rest
“If these people follow our verbal commands, we hold them until Border Patrol comes. Border Patrol has never asked us to stand down.”
In El Paso, Texas, the U.S. Border Patrol has confirmed that it is holding asylum seekers in a "transitional" camp under the Paso Del Norte Port of Entry bridge. A photo was making the internet rounds yesterday, and it seemed impossible they'd be literally holding them in a tent under a bridge. Read the rest
A family of Armenian refugees have been sheltering in Bethel Church in The Hague for 27 days, avoiding a deportation order because officials are not legally permitted to interrupt a service -- and the church has been holding a nonstop, continuous service for the whole 27 days.
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The U.S. will deploy an additional 5,200 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, said White House officials today. The deployment will more than triple the military presence there, and is presumably a Trump administration response to the so-called “Migrant Caravan,” about which white supremacists in the United States are currently fixated. Read the rest
Back in January, Microsoft announced that they were "proud" to support ICE. Honestly, what company wouldn't be? A U.S. federal contract, no matter how large your coffers and corporate reach might be, is a good get, due both to the amount of American lucre you'll pocket and the visuals that come from being trusted by one of the most powerful countries in the world to meet their cloud computing needs.
But hey: it isn't January anymore and Microsoft in June, 2018 is looking a little bit like IBM back in the 1930s.
Under the Trump Administration's direction, ICE and other Homeland Security entities have been busy breaking up families, emotionally scarring thousands of innocent kids, and driving their anguished caretakers into cages, or worse, to suicide. That Microsoft's Azure cloud computing services are helping such villainy along, in any capacity, might be good in the short-term, for the company's bottom line, but the optics are shit. More than this, the company's association with ICE is raising the hackles of some of their their most important assets: not their shareholders or board, but their employees.
According to Gizmodo, a number of Microsoft employees, who prefer to remain anonymous in the interest of protecting their careers, have stepped forward to report that the computer technology company's relationship with ICE has led to growing dissent among the company's workforce. When Giz questioned Microsoft's PR team on the matter, the response was a bit wishy-washy:
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Microsoft condemned family separation by ICE in a statement to Gizmodo but declined to specify if specific tools within Azure Government, like Face API—facial recognition software—were in use by the agency.