Berger Spoke At Lights4Liberty Vigil

On Friday evening, July 12th, at Levis Square in downtown Toledo, the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie (SHoWLE) co-sponsored the Lights For Liberty vigil to End Human Concentration Camps.

Lights for Liberty partnered with international, national, regional and local communities and organizations who believe that human rights are fundamental rights, are not negotiable, and are willing to protect them.

President Douglas Berger was one of several speakers, at the event in Levis square, who highlighted the human rights issue with the immigration detention camps setup around the country.

Other groups co-sponsoring the event included: Indivisible Toledo, NOFA Indivisible, Glass City Indivisible, Indivisible Maumee River Progressives, People Called Women LLC, The Greyhound Connection, The Toledo Area Chapter of National Organization for Women, UT Department of Women’s Studies, Transform Network, InterReligious Task Force On Central America, and The Fellowship of Reconciliation USA.

Here is the text of Douglas’ remarks as written:

I am here today because I am angry. All people, no matter your gender, nationality, religion, or immigration status are due basic dignity and worth as human beings.

It has been expected that no matter who you are, even if you were not a citizen of this country, the Bill of Rights applied to you.

The US has signed on to treaty after treaty not to treat asylum seekers like criminals, but our current administration has thrown those treaties out in the name of politics – cruel politics.

In fact, our current administration is treating asylum seekers worse than common criminals. Where is their due process? Where is their appointed attorneys?

Most of the people seeking asylum are fleeing political instability and violence that was caused by the actions of past administrations. We are responsible for the immigration. We owe the people a chance to stay here.

We have border patrol agents boarding buses and trains right here in Toledo illegally challenging citizenship. They are also seen on the freeways and turnpike in the area. What is happening along the southern boarder can happen here in Toledo and Northwest Ohio.

I am extremely disappointed that many of our local elected officials seem not to care about the self-inflicted crises at the southern border. Some who have spoken up want to discuss the issue to come up with some compromise that will look good for them at the next election.

Human rights are not debatable. You either believe we all have basic rights, or you don’t. THERE IS NO MIDDLE GROUND! I say CLOSE THE CAMPS!

Any elected official who stays silent or tries to bargain against human rights needs to pay for their inaction and indifference at the ballot box.

The same people who fight to deny a woman’s right to her own body don’t care if children are living in cages and filthy conditions or even dying. They don’t care about the systematic and illegal separation of families. They don’t care if the government is violating treaties concerning asylum seekers.

Humanists are naturally committed to social justice as a foundation to peace and happiness for the greatest number and see it as a moral failing to stand by while others are denied their civil and human rights. Humanistic social justice advocacy involves respect for the equality of all people, compassion for their dignity and welfare, and a conviction that positive change requires human intervention.

Regardless of race, ethnicity, economic status, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious beliefs or nonbelief, or citizenship, all individuals have universal human rights that must be respected and protected.

I can’t imagine the pain and suffering going on right now in those concentration camps. I can’t imagine having to flee one’s home due to political upheaval and violence. I can’t imagine traveling thousands of miles in the hope of having a better life and then being caged like an animal.

I do know our government’s current policy is wrong, it goes against my Humanist principles, and is inhumane.


Thank you…

Video of a portion of remarks by SHoWLE President Douglas Berger