Friday, August 24, 2007

Activism opportunities in La Frontera

Thanks to my friends Manny and XP, we've got news of a few opportunities for activists who happen to be in the requisite vicinities over the next few days. First XP sez:

This Saturday, BorderAmbassadors.com will kick off “Hands Across el Rio,” at two points along the border — El Paso and Mission, Texas — groups from both sides of el Rio Grande/Bravo will be forming a human chains across the bridges to form a united front in making the strongest statement to Washington that construction of a border fence is not wanted by residents of the region, on either side of the border. Hands Across El Rio is a 16-day border protest against the border wall.

While the Hands Across El Rio protest is taking place, another protest will be taking place in Mission, Tejas from the No Border Wall group. After the rally, participants will join in a formal ecumenical procession to the river carrying the banners of every group represented.

The rally will begin at 5 pm on the grounds of the historic La Lomita Chapel on the banks of the Rio Grande in Mission and features speakers who represent diverse views, but who are all united in their opposition to a wall.

The boundary between Mexico and the United States has always been zealously insisted upon by both countries. But initially Mexicans moved north at will. The US patrols of the border that began in 1904 were mainly to keep out illegal Asian immigrants. Almost 900,000 Mexicans legally entered the US to flee the violence of the revolution. Low population in both nations and the need for labor in the American Southwest made this migration a non-event for decades. The flow of illegal immigrants exploded after the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement in the early 1990s, a pact that was supposed to end the immigration crisis but wound up dislocating millions of Mexican peasant farmers and many small-industrial workers.

The idea of building a border fence began in 1990, when Congressman Ducan Hunter (R-CA) presented his plan, Four Achievable Victories, to President Bush I. And later that year, the US began working on the supply roads and the construction of the fence. Recently, two weeks before the 2006 midterm elections, President Bush signed the Secure Fence Act into law, which states that “the Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide for at least 2 layers of reinforced fencing, the installation of additional physical barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors,” along up to 850 miles of the United States’ southern border.

We must send a clear message to Congress and the people of America that the construction of a wall along the Mexican-American border would be disastrous for the ideology on which this nation was founded.

Manny highlights a National Day of Action in this Tuesday:
Courtesy of the tireless human rights advocates at Derechos Humanos
National Day of Action to Stop Anti-Immigrant Repression and Migrant Deaths at the U.S. - Mexico Border
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
4:30 - 7:00 pm

Federal Building
300 W. Congress Street, Tucson, Arizona

Urgent call for:

* Socially just legalization
* Justice for Elvira & Saul Arrellano
* Stop the deaths at the border
* An end to all raids
* A moratorium on all immigration detentions and deportations
* Restore and expand the due process rights of all immigrants
* Protect and expand the labor, human and civil rights of all immigrants and refugees

Cosponsored by:
Derechos Humanos, National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, May 1st Coalition, Borderland Theater, Fundación México, Tucson Samaritans, Salt of the Earth Labor College, Humane Borders

For more information, contact Derechos Humanos at: 520.770.1373
If you're in the 'hood, here's a chance to represent for a good cause.

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