Minnesotans protest on International Human Rights Day
Minneapolis, MN – Human Rights Day is celebrated internationally every year on December 10. This year, activist groups from the Twin Cities gathered in the Minneapolis’s Uptown neighborhood for a protest and march to bring attention to the ongoing fight for human rights. Over 50 people attended the protest and march despite the cold weather.
Human Rights Day provides a space for local and international human rights concerns to be discussed and the demand for change shared with the community.
The program included speakers representing many areas of human rights including reproductive, native, workers, Palestinian and immigrant rights, along with climate justice, police accountability and the right of the people of Haiti to reject U.S. military intervention.
The program began with Montana Hirsch, a speaker from the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee, who brought attention to the human rights needs of immigrants in Minnesota. She called for support from local lawmakers, “Join us this coming year, as the DFL has control of the state legislature, to demand that driver’s licenses for all is finally passed in Minnesota! With the lack of identification comes a lack of protection. Being undocumented means it is dangerous to drive to work. Without documentation it is harder to get to a job, to pick up your children from school or daycare – every driving commute becomes a risk.”
Robyn Harbison from Minnesota Abortion Action Coaltion who is fighting for reproductive rights after the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court in June of this year, told the crowd, “This was a vile and criminal injustice on behalf of women and people with uteruses both nationwide and on an international scale. It was a denial to proper access to the basic human right of bodily autonomy.”
Addressing the needs of native and indigenous rights was Melanie Yazzie from Red Nation, a new and important voice at the yearly action. Human rights abuses in the U.S. include threats to upholding The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).
The protest is organized annually by the MN Anti-War Committee to draw connections between the human rights abuses in the U.S. with the ones the U.S. sponsors abroad. Christine Hauschildt spoke for the Anti-War Committee about the U.S. support for human rights abuses of Palestinians, stating “The U.S. sponsors the destruction of human rights all over the world. One of the most heinous examples of the U.S.’s support of human rights abuses is its investment in Israel. The U.S. gives billions upon billions of dollars to Israel every year to fund the oppression of the Palestinian people. We are directly paying for the abuse of Palestinians.”
Additionally, a statement from protest organizers noted, “The U.S. uses the language of human rights to justify U.S. intervention in Ukraine and to impose sanctions on Iran, Venezuela and Cuba. Meanwhile, the U.S. government continuously refuses to act in support of the basic human rights to education, healthcare, housing and a livable planet for our children here at home.”
The Human Rights Day protest and march was organized by the Anti-War Committee and endorsed by Red Nation, Climate Justice Committee, Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN), Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Haiti Justice Committee, MN Abortion Access Coalition, MN Immigrant Rights Action Committee, MN Peace Action Coalition, Students for Democratic Society U of MN, Students for Justice in Palestine U of MN, Twin Cities Assange Defense, Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar, Veterans for Peace, and Women Against Military Madness.
For more information about the Anti-War Committee, you can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @antiwarMN and on their website at antiwarcommittee.org.