Imprisoning undocumented immigrants isn’t ‘national security’ – it’s cruelty

Innocent children and families are being detained just like Japanese Americans were during World War II. This must stop. Photograph: David Maung/EPA

These detentions seem to be a repeat of the Japanese American internment camps – an ugly part of US history

29 June 2015

As Japanese Americans whose relatives were imprisoned as “national security threats” during World War II, we were shocked to learn that the Obama administration is contracting with private prison companies to imprison thousands of mothers and children from Central America in detention camps. This, after these families fled some of the most violent countries in the world to apply for asylum in the United States.

After visiting one of these family detention facilities, a descendant of incarcerated Japanese Americans described the place as feeling like “an updated version” of the World War II prison camps. The Japanese American Citizens League has stated that the organization is “deeply troubled by the chilling similarities between the confinement of women and children in places such as Dilley and Karnes, and the wartime treatment of Japanese Americans at places such as Manzanar, Heart Mountain and Tule Lake.” Continue reading

Historic resister of US’ arbitrary and indefinite detention dies

[Only a few days after President Obama signed into law provisions for arbitary and capricious seizure and indefinite detention of US citizens–throwing out habeus corpus and other “Constitutional rights”–one of the most prominent and courageous opponents of such a repressive policy–the US’ detention of Japanese American citizens during World War II–has died.  –Frontlines ed.]

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Gordon Hirabayashi, shown in 1985, was vindicated in his challenges to internment.

January 3, 2012

Gordon Hirabayashi, World War II Internment Opponent, Dies at 93

By , New York Times

Gordon Hirabayashi, who was imprisoned for defying the federal government’s internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II but was vindicated four decades later when his conviction was overturned, died on Monday in Edmonton, Alberta. He was 93.

He had Alzheimer’s disease, his son, Jay, said.

When Mr. Hirabayashi challenged the wartime removal of more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans and Japanese immigrants from the West Coast to inland detention centers, he became a central figure in a controversy that resonated long after the war’s end.

Mr. Hirabayashi and his fellow Japanese-Americans Fred Korematsu and Minoru Yasui, who all brought lawsuits before the Supreme Court, emerged as symbols of protest against unchecked governmental powers in a time of war.

“I want vindication not only for myself,” Mr. Hirabayashi told The New York Times in 1985 as he was fighting to have his conviction vacated. “I also want the cloud removed from over the heads of 120,000 others. My citizenship didn’t protect me one bit. Our Constitution was reduced to a scrap of paper.”

In February 1942, two months after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in the name of protecting the nation against espionage and sabotage, authorized the designation of areas from which anyone could be excluded. One month later, a curfew was imposed along the West Coast on people of Japanese ancestry, and in May 1942, the West Coast military command ordered their removal to inland camps in harsh and isolated terrain.

Mr. Hirabayashi, a son of Japanese immigrants, was a senior at the University of Washington when the United States entered World War II. He adhered to the pacifist principles of his parents, who had once belonged to a Japanese religious sect similar to the Quakers.

When the West Coast curfew was imposed, ordering people of Japanese background to be home by 8 p.m., Mr. Hirabayashi ignored it. When the internment directive was put in place, he refused to register at a processing center and was jailed.

Contending that the government’s actions were racially discriminatory, Mr. Hirabayashi proved unyielding. He refused to post $500 bail because he would have been transferred to an internment camp while awaiting trial. He remained in jail from May 1942 until October of that year, when his case was heard before a federal jury in Seattle. Continue reading

British Imperialism cuts another deal with Zionism–a free pass for Israeli war criminals

[Since World War 2, imperialism has cynically promoted itself as the advocate of international human rights law, even while trampling human rights in its wars, interventions, and other pursuits of domination and control and suppression of people’s struggles all over the world.  But, again and again, the truth of human rights violations has surfaced, and imperialism has created exemption after exemption to human rights law.  Several years ago, the blocked prosecutions of Pinochet of Chile and of Henry Kissinger are two examples of such imperialist shielding of its own.  Now, the immunity and impunity given imperialism’s criminals has been formally extended to Zionist war criminals. The Israel press YNet reported, “The (British) law that allows issuing arrest warrants against foreign nationals (had) not been amended since the Second World War, and has prevented several IDF officers, including former Southern District Commander Major General (res.) Doron Almog and Head of the Intelligence Corps Major General Aviv Kochavi (who was the former commander of the Gaza Division) from entering Britain…Last May, Major-General Yohanan Locker, the military secretary to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, had to cancel his trip to Britain due to his role in Operation Cast Lead, where he served as the head of the IAF’s Air Division.” When even the superficial appearance of justice is discarded by imperialists, the people will, inevitably, take matters into their own hands. — Frontlines ed.]

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Former Israeli minister Tzipi Livni to visit UK after change in arrest law

Critics claim change in law governing arrest warrants for war crimes is motivated by political pressure from Israel

by Ben Quinn, The Guardian (UK), Monday 3 October 2011

Tzipi Livni, now opposition leader in Israel, will meet foreign secretary William Hague in Britain. Photograph: Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty Images

The former Israeli foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, will meet the foreign secretary, William Hague, in Britain on Thursday in the first test of a new law governing arrest warrants for war crimes.

Westminster magistrates court issued an unprecedented arrest warrant for Livni in 2009 – a move that led to an review of the issuing of such warrants.

The warrant, which was issued at the request of lawyers acting for Palestinian victims of Israel‘s operations in Gaza, was withdrawn amid embarrassment in the Foreign Office.

Israel’s foreign ministry condemned it at the time, describing it as a “cynical” move.

Livni, who is the current Israeli opposition leader, had been due to attend a conference in London in 2009 but cancelled two weeks before the warrant was issued. Palestinian sources claimed to have seen her at the event and alerted lawyers. Continue reading