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

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Border Patrol 6 trial begins; more arrested.

This comes from the narcosphere at narconews.com; the author's regular blog is Censored News - Brenda Norrell does the best reporting on indigenous and border issues I've seen.

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Two arrested during march to end border militarization and Arizona's racist Laws

February 24, 2011

By Brenda Norrell

TUCSON – Protesters who locked-down at Border Patrol headquarters in Tucson were in court on Wednesday. In the streets, two more protesters were arrested as O’odham and others demanded an end to border militarization, racist laws in Arizona and the US government's reign of terror.

More than 40 protesters took to the streets and two were arrested, while six people who locked-down and occupied the US Border Patrol Tucson Headquarters on May 21, went on trial to fight charges of criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.

Indigenous in the struggle for justice released a communiqué calling for an end to the reign of terror on the border created by the US government and carried out by the Border Patrol and immigration agents.

“This terror manifests with the bones of thousands – making the southern Arizona desert a graveyard, where the hopes and dreams of migrant families are stomped into the ground by border patrol agents, National Guard, Minutemen, and profiteering coyotes. Through the military strategy of terror and fear the state maintains power and control,” stated the communiqué.

O’odham, whose graves and communities have been desecrated and destroyed by border militarization, sent this message to the Border Patrol: “We are not afraid."

In federal court, lawyers William G. Walker and Jeffrey J. Rogers represented the six as the city prosecutor called Border Patrol agents and Tucson Police to testify. The defense argued the trespassing charge was not properly filed and was granted a request to file a memorandum addressing the technicality. The trial is expected to continue on March 22. Corresponding rallies and actions are being planned.

As lock-down protesters prepared for the court trial, protesters gathered at 1:30 pm in downtown Tucson, at Library Park for a rally. Carrying banners that proclaimed Indigenous Resistance, Protect Sacred Places, Free Movement for People Not Commerce, Tear Down the Wall, they chanted, “No Borders, No Border Patrol.”

Two people were arrested for allegedly hanging a banner that read “Las Paredes Vueltas de su Lado son Puentes (Torn Down Walls Become Bridges)” on a street traffic light. They were arraigned and released at 8 pm at Pima County Corrections.

Meanwhile, banners in Tucson proclaimed, “Egypt, Wisconsin, O’odham Solidarity," “No raids, No deportations, No colonialism” and “Stop Militarization on Indigenous Lands."

O’odham elders attended the court proceedings to demonstrate their support.

The following communiqué from the occupiers of the Border Patrol Headquarters was released.

END BORDER MILITARIZATION NOW!


Communiqué from the occupiers of the Border Patrol Headquarters in Tucson, Arizona

We demand that the Border Patrol (BP), Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE), their parent entity, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Obama administration end militarization of the border, end the criminalization of immigrant communities, and end their campaign of terror which rips families apart through increasing numbers of raids and deportations.

The state thrives off of the climate of terror and fear that racist laws like HB2281 and SB1070, and new proposed laws like SB1611, 1308, 1309, 1405, have caused. This terror also manifests with thousands of troops invading indigenous lands, such as the Tohono O’odham, Yaqui, Kickapoo, Lipan Apache, to name a few. Since the creation of the current U.S./Mexico border, 45 O’odham villages on or near the border have been completely depopulated. This terror manifests with the bones of thousands – making the southern Arizona desert a grave yard, where the hopes and dreams of migrant families are stomped into the ground by border patrol agents, National Guard, minute men, and profiteering coyotes.

Through the military strategy of terror and fear the state maintains power and control.

We take direct action because we have decided not to be afraid. We are more afraid of not standing up to the state and what other crimes against humanity will be committed if it remains unchallenged.

We are not guilty of criminal trespassing or disorderly conduct.

The state, and by extension the border patrol, is guilty of occupying and destroying indigenous communities and ripping families apart. The development of the border wall has led to desecration of ancestors' graves; it has divided communities and prevents them from accessing sacred places. When will this end?

These buildings, the court house, are made of brick and mortar and are the same brick and mortar that are the operation streamline immigration court just down the street. It is a direct manifestation of this system’s criminalization, where in the 3 hours that we’re in court today, nearly 100 people will be detained, adjudicated and deported through the streamline process.

Who are these building for? Who do they benefit? These are the same brick and mortar prisons are made of. It’s the same steel and concrete that is ripped from Mother Earth that’s used to build the border wall.

Politicians aren’t going to negotiate away our oppression. They are sitting in the chairs in their offices that are built on it. Our oppressors can only maintain their oppression as long as we are afraid of them.

If they are not going to do it, then we are going to find creative and direct ways to ensure that our communities are safe. We recognize that this is not going to happen within the walls of these institutions, these walls, these borders. It’s only going to happen if we tear them down. What does that look like?

Let’s come together, strategize, and embrace diverse tactics to effectively become the answer.

Today we also shed the term immigrant that has been used to attack our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, and children, many of whom are also indigenous, and to acknowledge and help restore the full human dignity that has been stripped away. To be immigrant should not be considered a crime unless 99 % of the U.S. is going to be ashamed and guilty of their pasts.

Our relatives are attacked on both sides of the border by colonial governments. The migration that the U.S. government is attempting to stop is driven more than anything else by the economic policies of the U.S. Free trade agreements such as NAFTA have severely reduced the ability of Mexicans and others from the global south to sustain themselves by permitting corporations to extract huge amounts of wealth and resources from these countries into the U.S. This has led to millions of people risking the terror and death that so many face to cross into the U.S. looking for ways to better support their families.

If the U.S. really intends on reducing migration it must end its policies of exploitation and wealth extraction targeted at the global south and instead pursue policies of economic, environmental and social justice for all human beings on the planet, thus reducing the drive to immigrate. But are they really going to do that?


Direct Action is about Direct Democracy. Building community is about communication, having respect for each other and doing something.


This is a struggle for freedom of movement and self-determination for all!


No racist laws, No colonial borders, WE WILL NOT STOP!


NO BORDERS

NO BORDER PATROL

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