Bodies of refugee children denied landing in Australia are recovered at sea.
Viola Wilkins, an Australian labor maven and curator of the Global Labour News & Information Facebook group posted this anonymous poem on her personal Facebook Page yesterday. It could refer to the desperate refugees turned away, often to drown at sea, by Australia and now by the Italian Navy in the Mediterranean by order the a neo-fascist government. And of course it applies to the cages and virtual concentrations camps ordered by the Trump Regime which has just ordered the Border Patrol, ICE, and other agencies to ignore and defy court orders that restrain their cruelty.
In the U.S.--cages, concertina wire, and concentration camps.
When this horror ends (because it will end),
we will do museums and in the showcases
there will be shoes, letters, small photos,
Cards, hair, pile of torn clothes.
And there will be school classes
that will wonder how this has been possible.
And there will be survivors who remember
“if it was human” thinking of Primo Levi.*
And there will be intellectuals, well-thinking,
of all variety that agree “never again this”
There will be TV shows where they interview our contemporaries
And there will be those who will say that they only obeyed the orders.
And there will be those who will explain they had the courage to disobey
And as always there are those too busy on the shopping channels
Who will say “we didn’t know”
And there will be grandchildren
who are going to ask their grandparents
on which side were you ?
And there will be grandparents, a few,
who will answer with truth “I was on the side of humanity”.
And there will be others who will drop their eyes and will not answer.
* Primo Michele Levi (July 13, 1919 –April 11 1987) was an Italian Jewish chemist, writer, and Holocaust survivor. He was the author of several books, novels, collections of short stories, essays, and poems. His best-known works include If This Is a Man (1947, published as Survival in Auschwitz in the United States), his account of the year he spent as a prisoner in the Auschwitz concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.