Sunday, August 31, 2008

I didn't know nothin'

Before I first arrived at the Border to start my retirement/volunteer life in 2006, I imagined I'd be moving into a land contentiously united against immigrants. Wow, was I wrong. I didn't know nothin'.
The folks who organized March of Peace and Unity against the border wall explain the how people at the Border think:

The people of the border share and are united by a history, a language, a culture. While this land may be separated by an international boundary, the people cannot be divided. As construction begins on the proposed border wall, it stands to not only further divide the land but to divide the people.

We of the border are one community. We are all affected when our neighbors are displaced from their homes, are all affected by waves of violence, by unemployment and anti-immigrant measures. As the borderlands experience a difficult time, we cannot be passive and simply hope for change. We cannot allow our community to be parted and so it is for ourselves and our future that we must stand together in an act of solidarity.

As the border wall cuts the land, it cuts the communities of the border and tries to create differences among them. This wall, imposed upon us by those who do not live here, is said to be a form of “security” but there can be no security when division and hate are created.

It’s time that we mobilize to stop the building of the wall.
The wall will disrupt the life of Native American communities, such as the Tohono O’Odham people located west of El Paso. They were there first, but now their homelands lie on both sides of where we whiteys put the international border. The Rio Grande, which provides water in the harsh, dry environment, was also integral to their religious practices. As the Rio Grande is walled off, the Tiguas will be cut off from graves and sacred sites.

The American Indian Religious Freedom Act (and other laws) should prevent this assault on their religion and culture. But the Real ID Act allowed Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff to brush aside any law that might slow construction of the border wall. On April 1, 2008 he waived 36 federal laws. April Fools, Everyone!

The Tiguas are challenging the constitutionality of the Real ID Act’s waiver provision, alleging that giving an unelected administration appointee the power to waive laws passed by Congress and signed by the President (for the express purpose of subverting the judiciary) is a violation of the separation of powers enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. (They are joined in this by El Paso County, the El Paso County Water Improvement District No. 1, the Hudspeth County Conservation and Reclamation District No. 1, Galeria 409, The Frontera Audubon Society, the Friends of the Wildlife Corridor, and the Friends of Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge!!!!)

The wide spectrum of plaintiffs just cited points to the broad range of negative impacts the wall will have. The Rio Grande is important for the survival of plant, animal, and human communities. The Rio Bosque Wetlands Park, for instance, protests that, “A fence would limit the ability of native terrestrial species to move...It would limit genetic exchange and would fragment populations that are currently connected.” As habitat is fragmented and access to the river is denied, animals, particularly those that are listed as federally threatened or endangered, may not survive.
(Info on Tohono O'Odham thanks to No Border Wall blog)

August 31: Day 5 of the March for Peace and Unity against the Border Wall
I guess that's enough reasons for now. NO BORDER WALL! Here's what's happening in El Paso. Today is the grand finale:
Depart @ 8am from Socorro to Ysleta del Sur Pueblo arriving at 9-930am. Community event from 930-11am.

From Ysleta, there will be a caravan on the border highway that heads to Anapra/Sunland Park area where the border mass has been held in the past. Close to Ardovinos Desert Crossing restaurant. Caravan expected to arrive @1pm.

Closing event will take place there w/ people from Mexico joining for a Bi-National act of protest.


DivaJood said...

This (in)security wall along the border is a shonda (a shame) upon the United States. One more reason to NOT vote Republican in 2008.

dada said...

Talk about casting a wet blanket over this whole march event. Today's weather (as of 8 a.m.): It's raining steadily and fairly heavy at times. While it's too wet to go outside to check the rain gauge, a look at it through the binoculars from inside reveals an inch and a half of rain overnight. This could really 'dampen' things a bit. Otherwise, the temps are just great - 79 yesterday.

Randal Graves said...

I just can't shake the feeling that the Tiguas' challenge will eventually get tossed out by a Bush judiciary appointee that passed a Democratic-led Congress. You know, for national security purposes and protecting fuzzy little bunnies.

Mariamariacuchita said...

I wish I could be there. Sadly, the government cares nothing for Indian lands, tribal money or what the Tiguas want.

I hope the weather clears.

Border Explorer said...

I feel like I'm a million miles away from El Paso, TX, the border wall, the March and this entire reality. Can this really be the same world? I'm experiencing a huge disconnect today.

Diva, good to hear from you & you are so right.

Dada, thanks much for an on-the scene update. That's a bummer about the rain. All the more ironic in that rain was so rare the first 5 months of the year in El Paso. For all my looking, I haven't gotten one word of news from the March since it started. Would love further updates if you can provide them.

Randal, what a disappointment Nancy and the Dems have been. Will they ever get it together?

Maria, I at the Mendota (IL) TriCounty Fair today, I saw a Tshirt that said: "Sure you can trust the government.....Just ask an Indian."

enigma4ever said...

I am proud of you and ALL that you blog- keep at it are an inspiration and amazing....namaste....

Robert Rouse said...

I'm considering bring my video camera to the border next year to get a flavor of what's going on from different perspectives. Perhaps before I come you can point me to the right people to talk to.

susan said...

It's a stupid idea concocted by stupid people. What a mess. I agree with Diva that hopefully a non-Republican government can get this idiotic scheme cancelled.

Kelsey said...

Hi there. I found your blog through QuakerDave, and was considering adding you to my blogroll. Is that okay? You're under no obligation to reciprocate, but I like to ask people before I add them.

My blog is at:

Border Explorer said...

Engima, thank you for all your support! Your presence on
Blogger has done & continutes to do so much for so many. I love when you comment here.

Robert, oooh...that'd be cool. I'll be happy to share ideas/contacts.

Susan, my hopes are slim that a change of party is going to accomplish it. The Repubs have ruled for 8 years and the right-to-lifers still have hopes they'll eliminate abortion. The issue of "abortion" and "immigration" are parallel, I'm starting to believe. Obama is not a leader on this issue, either. I'm still looking for a direction of action that holds some hope. (Open to suggestons...)

Kelsey, welcome. I'll be over to visit you later today. Quaker Dave has been a real "find" for me. I'm always on the lookout for people like him. I'd be delighted to appear on your blogroll.

FranIAm said...

Walls are meant for entitled Americans... you know, Christians who deserve a boundary to keep the savages away.

This infuriates me, as you know.

Kelsey said...

Yeah, I have found many a good blogger through him. I hope you enjoy reading my own.

thepoetryman said...

Closed minds says it all, eh?

Marjorie said...

Well, I don't think you would like San Diego - full of vigilantes.I believe, just like Barack and others, we need to safeguard our borders. Just last week, another tunnel found in Mexicali, of course this was for dope, but what else gets through? If they smuggle dope, they'll smuggle anything. You know my husband works for DHS, before that DOJ, so automatically I am sure, that puts us on the shit list.

Do we need a wall? Nope, we have the technology to safeguard our borders. Should our borders be wide open? No, I don't think so. should people be granted amnesty after working and living in the States? Yes, I think so. Should Mexico start to take care of her own people? Absolutely. Should we can NAFTA and give loans to Mexico to develop industry with human and environmental safeguards? Yes, I think so. should we wrok internationally with Mexico to protect the environment, you bet, although Bajagua was shot down by Diane Feinstein.

I do not know how it is in Texas, and I just know you guys are going to roll your eyes and say oh yea sure, but there is an out of control problem on the San Diego border with criminals and dope (marasalvatruchas and zetas), sex slave trade, child sex slave trade, freon smuggling,hired hit men and kidnapping.

Sorry, but I want to keep those elements out, but we don't need a fence, that's just a political football.

Border Explorer said...

Maggie, I struggle with coming up with a coherent opinion on several points you raise, so I appreciate learning yours.

We can't responsibly leave our borders wide open. But this wall is dumb, pure and simple.

The crime situation is beyond comprehension, all across the border. There won't be peace or order until there is justice. With the First World and the Third World grating against each other on the U.S./Mexico border, justice will be a long time coming, I'm afraid.