by Melissa Tso
The attack on women from all corners of the globe has become more apparent over the last several weeks. Claudia Patricia Gómez González (Guatemalan), Razan Al-Najjar (Palestinian) and Roxana Hernandez (Honduran), are more recent victims whose murders, at the hands of imperialist nations, have gained international attention and outcry. These women’s lives were stolen by a murderous empire.
Reasons why are clear when we reflect on the violent history of colonial oppression. Indigenous and colonized peoples especially have been made prime targets, continuing into present-day imperialist nations, such as the allied United States and apartheid state of Israel.
Claudia Patricia Gómez González, 20, was shot in the head by US Border Patrol May 23, shortly after crossing into the United States. Two days later, Roxana Hernandez, 33, died May 25, due to medical negligence that triggered cardiac arrest while in the custody of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Seven days later, June 1, Razan, 21, a nurse, was shot in the chest by Israeli snipers as she was volunteering as a medic in Gaza, during Palestine’s Great Return March.
Diverse struggles of oppressed women across the colonial world is one in the same when recognizing they all fight the same racist, settler-colonial states who join forces in their domination and control over women. Indigenous peoples in particular are, by default, born targets of capitalist oppressors wanting to erase a history of mass injustice against “the other” who are the original people of the lands.
Before her assassination by US Border Patrol, Claudia traveled 1,500 miles in search of a better life in the US. Before dying from medical negligence by ICE. Roxana too made the risky journey crossing into the US in order to escape “violence, hate, stigma and vulnerability” as a transgender woman in Honduras. Before Israel murdered Razan in her clearly marked paramedic vest, she tirelessly volunteered day in and day out to help her people heal from wounds inflicted by the Israeli Occupation Army — not to mention lived her entire life under a bloody, US-funded Israeli occupation and blockade. June 2018 marks 12 years of the blockade on Gaza’s air, land and sea. One need not look further to notice this clear pattern of human rights violations committed by an allied imperialist force. The United States and Israel have blood of the innocent on their hands!
Marginalized women from all walks of life live their lives in war zones. This is especially true for Indigenous women who are systemically disappeared, murdered, and raped. Considering the above cases, it has become apparent that it is legal under imperialism to murder women of color in broad daylight, even with the world standing as witness to such criminal acts. Under human rights law, a person has the right to defend themselves when attacked, and that is exactly what our oppressed peoples of the world have the right to do in protest of violent imperial terrorism.
Claudia’s mourning aunt send this message to the US: “Don’t treat us like animals!”
Razan’s mourning mother sends this message to the world: “I want the world to hear my voice… what’s my daughter’s fault?”
Claudia was escaping violence from her home when she was killed. Roxana was on the brink of ridding herself from a heavy cultural stigma. Razan was about to announce her engagement to a loving fiancé. In a settler-colonial society, women of color don’t even have the privilege to dream. Settler-societies are never designed for marginalized women of color, but rather it is designed for their erasure.