Standing on a Corner

Every Friday my friend, Liz, and I stand on a corner because we don’t know what else to do.

What do you do when something so terrible is happening around you and you don’t know how to stop it? I’ve decided to stand on a corner and hold a sign. Our country has anywhere between 20,000 and 60,000 migrant children that have been taken from their families and put into detention camps. The largest one is on the edge of a hot swamp in Homestead, Florida. It is run for profit and many people make a lot of money off of warehousing these kids. it is not licensed to follow child protection laws. What stands out to me with those numbers is the vast difference. Basically, our country doesn’t know. It doesn’t know how many children were taken from their families, it doesn’t know where many of them are, it doesn’t know how to reunite them all. It doesn’t know and it really doesn’t care. That’s why Liz and I stand on a corner. Because it’s wrong, so darn wrong.

A little over a year ago our country began taking children away from their families and putting them into detention centers. This is how our country welcomed their families, fleeing violence and poverty induced by climate change in their Central American countries. A year later and we are still separating children from their families and putting them into detention centers. Some even call them concentration camps. Whatever we decide to call these places we know they are horrific. Inspectors have gone in and proved this to be true. And now our country is opening several more. At least one in Texas and one in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, the place of the Japanese internment of the 1940’s and where Geronimo was imprisoned.

I can go on and on about this topic and the inhumanity of it all. But you can find this out by doing a simple search on the internet. Do it. Google “child detention camps”. Learn what we are doing and then don’t look away. Follow that action with your next. Make a sign, find a corner near you, and stand on it. It’s not glamorous standing with a sign. Some days it’s hot, sometimes it rains a lot, and sometimes it’s cold. But there is a power and a rightness upon each and every standing time. Most people ignore you, pretend you aren’t there. They don’t want their day disrupted with such uncomfortable thoughts. Some people even say some pretty mean things. And many don’t know what you are doing there or what your sign means and you have to explain it. Often they look at you with unknowing eyes. But there is always at least one who finds your eyes and thanks you with such deep meaning that it makes it worth while.

Don’t let our country do this without knowing that many of us are watching, witnessing, and we find it reprehensible. Make them uncomfortable. Then call each and every representative you have and demand their action to stop this. Remind them that this horror is on their watch. Ask them if this is how they want to go down in history, for separating kids and putting them in dangerous tents, because that will be their legacy if they continue to do nothing about it. Then prepare for the following week and do it all over again.

If you are in central Maine, please join us. Every Friday rain or shine, on the corner of Main and Temple, in front of Key Bank. Waterville, Maine. 4:00 – 5:00.

Please, join us and many others around the country by standing on a corner near you,

Mary

PS – It’s the end of July and it’s been 5 months now of standing on our corner every Friday. We have grown from 1 to 2 and now to over 30. This is important. I hope you too find a corner and stand there with a sign. More will join you. I promise.

6 thoughts on “Standing on a Corner

      1. The following is adapted from an email from a friend.

        We are in a very very dangerous moment in our country as refugees to our country are being moved into concentration camps – there is no other word that fits the cramming of children and families into small spaces, the denial of adequate food, sleep, water and medical care. YES, this is happening and we do know it.

        The debate over semantics is meaningless.
        https://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2019/06/20/detention-concentration-camps-miles-howard

        In his article, Mr Howard states “The sliver of good news here is that we still have time to reclaim our government from Trump and those who believe that ethno-nationalism is an appropriate response to the global displacement crisis. But voting is the bare minimum. Every legal means of resistance in our arsenal — marches, sit-ins, general strikes and other forms of civil disobedience — must be utilized if we want to stop Trump’s concentration camps from becoming our new normal.
        And these steps need to be taken as quickly as we can organize — as though our worst fears are finally being realized.

        Because they are.”

        by Miles Howard.

        What will we say to our grandchildren and great grandchildren when they ask us What did you do, once you knew? We do know now. We cannot just look away.

        My plan is to start standing on the corner as often as I can – maybe 3X week or so. My thought is that it does NOT matter what corner, what hour or how many stand. What is important is consistent visibility and a refusal to accept what is happening.

        Find the best corner near you ! Make your sign. Bring a chair. Show up at the same time daily or several times a week. Gather your friends. Little by little …….more will join.

        The subject is not Trump or the republicans or anything other than the treatment of children and the camps. Hopefully my first sign will say “Never Again is NOW !!”

        I will see you on the corner.

        #MakeANoise #StandForSomething #DoTheRightThing.

        Like

  1. Here we were this morning in Green Valley, AZ. We were 6 on Monday, 3 on Tues and Wed, 8 today. We will be calling our community through other working groups today. How do we add a photo ??

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s