THIS BLOG is NOW RETIRED

I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

David Rovics: We Are Everywhere

To my fellow activists now struggling through life - let this be a reminder that you are not alone and that we desperately need you here. All the injustice, grief, war, and human suffering calls for us to stay and do everything we can about it - you can't help us anymore when you're gone. Don't give up the fight - your last shred of hope may just keep someone else alive, too.
BLOG POSTS

Friday, July 10, 2009

URGENT: No Más Muertes; No More Deaths.

Volunteers trying to save lives along the border areas are once again being ticketed, threatened, and penalized for their humanitarian practices. At least one No More Deaths volunteer is facing up to 1 year imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine for littering by leaving a jug of water in the desert. Now the campaign against them has become aggressive.

Please read both articles and get involved this summer - whether as a No More Deaths volunteer, a donor, or a vocal and visible opponent to the criminalization of people coming to the aid of the desperate and dying. Until meaningful immigration laws are passed, groups like No More Deaths are critically needed, not only to save lives in the desert, but also to help the rest of us remember our own humanity.

If you are inclined to deal with legislators and bureaucracies, keep in mind that the offending agency here is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department, so federal offices and legislators should be targets of complaint and protest. It is symptomatic of the attitudes of both the state and the feds that the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge administrators are more concerned about trash left behind by immigrants than about the bodies they may leave.

The No More Deaths website is http://www.nomoredeaths.org/

Defiant humanitarian border group once again cited for littering
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 07.09.2009

Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge officials issued littering tickets to 13 volunteers from No More Deaths on Thursday for setting out water jugs, according to a press release from the humanitarian aid group.

Thursday’s arrests marked the latest incident involving the Southern Arizona group which says distributing water on the refuge is a humanitarian act aimed at preventing deaths of illegal immigrants and U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials who see it as littering. The refuge is located about 45 miles southwest of Tucson.

No More Deaths had planned to set out the water on Thursday despite not having authorization from refuge managers, and had sent out press releases announcing their plans.

The Tucson-based No More Deaths is a faith-based aid group that regularly helps illegal immigrants by offering them food, water and medical aid in Arizona's borderlands near Mexico.

On Feb. 22, 2008, No More Deaths volunteer Daniel Millis was the first to be cited for littering when he and three other volunteers were setting out full water jugs. In September, a U.S. magistrate ruled that he was guilty of littering but suspended any sentence.

In December 2008, fellow volunteer Walt Station was cited for the same thing. After being found guilty on June 3 in U.S. District Court of knowingly littering on a national wildlife refuge, Staton said he would continue to set out water on the Refuge. Staton is scheduled to return to federal court Aug. 11 where he faces a maximum of one year in jail or a $10,000 fine.

Buenos Aires Refuge manager Michael Hawkes has said on multiple occasions that anyone found littering in the refuge would be cited. Refuge managers say they have major problems due to the trash left behind by illegal immigrants.

The volunteers cited on Thursday were placing jugs of water at four spots on Arivaca Road West between Arivaca and Arizona 286 where they say illegal immigrants frequently cross.

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Crosser dies despite boyfriend's call for aid
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 07.10.2009

An illegal immigrant died despite her boyfriend's call for help on his cell phone Wednesday after they became lost without food or water in a remote part of the Tohono O'odham Nation, said a spokesman for the U.S. Border Patrol's Tucson Sector.

The Pima County Sheriff's Department transferred the boyfriend's 911 call to the Border Patrol, which then notified its search, trauma and rescue team, Borstar, said agency spokesman Mike Scioli.

The agents found the two illegal immigrants at 11:30 a.m. near the village of Sil Nayka, about 45 miles west of Tucson, he said. The village is in the eastern part of the reservation. The unidentified woman was dead at the scene, Scioli said. The man, from Hidalgo, Mexico, was in good condition and is to be returned to Mexico.

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