Wednesday, May 26, 2010
DEMANDING DIGNITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS FOR INDIGENOUS AND MIGRANT COMMUNITIES
National Day of Action Against SB1070
May 29, 2010
O'odham Solidarity Across Borders Collective sends you greetings from occupied O'odham lands,
We urge all who support indigenous nations and migrant communities to join us on Saturday May 29th at the National Day of Action Against SB1070 to demand that 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 tear families apart through increasing numbers of raids and deportations.
This contingent is in support of the O'odham elders, and other indigenous elders that will be leading the march. It is a follow-up to last Friday’s (May 21st) Peaceful Occupation of the US Border Patrol Headquarters in Tucson, AZ. We hope to use this formation to voice the end of border militarization and racist, colonial laws that attack not just indigenous communities, but migrant ones too. We hope to project true Indigenous/Migrant solidarity in the face of the state's police oppression, and the immigration reform movement’s suppressive tactics to further marginalize the indigenous voice in border policies and colonial laws that affect us all.
The contingent also calls on the State of Arizona to repeal the racist Senate Bill 1070 that criminalizes immigrant communities on the state level, makes it illegal to transport or harbor an undocumented person regardless of family relationship, requires police agencies to engage in racial profiling, and ultimately is an attempt to ethnically cleanse Arizona of those with brown skin.
The contingent demands:
• An end to border militarization
• The immediate repeal of SB1070 and 287g
• An end to all racial profiling and the criminalization of communities of color
• No ethnic cleansing or cultural genocide
• No border patrol encroachment/sweeps on sovereign native land
No to comprehensive immigration reform that further militarizes the border or exploits migrant labor
• No Deportations
• No Raids
• No ID-verification
• No Checkpoints
• Yes to immediate and unconditional regularization (“legalization”) of all people
• Yes to human rights
• Yes to dignity
• Yes to respect
• Yes to respecting Indigenous Peoples inherent right of migration
Support looks like:
• Banners calling for an end to border militarization,for migrant/indigenous solidarity, and drawing the connection between racist laws like SB1070/287g/HB2281, immigration reform and the destruction of indigenous and migrant communities.
• Noise makers, puppets and other visuals, etc.
•Cop Watching, video documentation, legal observation of the contingent and the march to ensure safety in light of police repression
•Medics prepared for sun exposure, dehydration, police attacks
•Our own “security” – not to police our people, but to deescalate the police, step-in as a barrier in case of a police attack, help people cross the street, etc.
•People who can flyer/lecture expressing our message.
Join us on Friday, May 28th to help prepare for the following day. Bring materials to finish making signs, banners, noise makers, etc. To connect, let us know you're down, meet up with us on Friday, if you have any questions or for more information, contact Alex Soto @ 602.881.6027 or Ned @323.541.2352 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
OCCUPATION OF BORDER PATROL HEADQUATERS
DAVIS-MONTHAN AIRFORCE BASE, TUCSON, AZ
1st NATION AND MIGRANTS OPPOSE SB1070 DEMAND DIGNITY, HUMAN RIGHTS, AND END TO BORDER MILITARIZATION
Tucson, AZ – More than a dozen people occupied Border Patrol headquarters at Davis-Monthan Airforce Base today in an act of peaceful resistance. The group includes members of Indigenous Nations of Arizona, migrants, people of color and white allies. Six people used chains and other devices to lock themselves in the building. These Arizona residents disrupted the Border Patrol operations to demand that 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 tear families apart through increasing numbers of raids and deportations. (read more...)
Activists Lockdown & Occupy US Border Patrol Headquarters Demanding End to Border Militarization, Protesters Cited and Released
High resolution pictures and B-roll available at: www.oodhamsolidarity.blogs
Tucson, AZ – At approximately 1:00PM Friday, May 21, 2010 more than a dozen people occupied the Tucson Headquarters of the US Border Patrol to draw attention to impacts of border militarization in Indigenous Communities. Six people, including Alex Soto a member of the Tohono O'odham Nation and a volunteer with the group O’odham Solidarity Across Borders, locked themselves together for up to 3 and 1/2 hours. “Indigenous voices have been ignored. In our action today we say NO MORE!” Said Soto.
Banners were hung, including one placed over the reception window that read, “Stop Militarization of Indigenous Lands Now”, traditional songs were sung and the group chanted, “Border militarization destroys Indigenous communities!” and “No raids, no deportations! No SB1070, no racist laws!” Approximately 30 Border Patrol agents flooded the lobby of the headquarters and scrambled to react. Roads to the headquarters and adjacent air force base were shut down. Tucson City Police were eventually called and began preparing an extraction of the peaceful resisters.
A diverse crowd of up to 70 people quickly gathered outside the Border Patrol headquarters to support those locked down inside. Ofelia Rivas of O’odham Voices Against The Wall, an elder in support of the action stated, “It was a historical and powerful moment for people of all color to unite with O’odham to stand in solidarity for human rights and to see the next generation take a stand”.
At approximately 4 o’clock the peaceful resisters negotiated the conditions of their release on their terms. Their requests to consult with Tohono O’odham elders to negotiate terms of release were denied by Tucson Police. The protesters decided to unlock and were cited for two misdemeanors each of trespassing and disorderly conduct. The resisters were released just outside the premises to join supporters where they gathered in traditional prayer and rallied against border militarization for another hour. Community members including members of the Pasqual Yaqui, Tohono O'odham, and Dine' Nations reacted emotionally when two Wackenhut Corp. buses left the Border Patrol compound filled with undocumented people. The detainees responded with returning the symbol of resistance - a raised fist.
“This is just one action of many that makes visible the invisible crimes against humanity that occur every day on the colonial border,” stated one of the peaceful resisters. “We commit to honoring the prayers and call for support of the people most impacted by border militarization, the Indigenous Peoples who’s lands we are on and migrants who seek a better life for their families. We cannot not allow government agencies, border patrol, ICE or reformist agendas to further their suffering. We will continue our actions of peaceful resistance for human dignity and respect for all peoples.”
The action also denounced SB1070 and HB2281 as racist laws that are a part of an ongoing system of genocidal policies against Indigenous Peoples and migrant communities.
For previous Press Statement, please see attachment.
Note to editors, high resolution photos attached; Photo credits: O'odham Solidarity Across Borders Collective
Alex Soto (602) 881-6027
Leilani Clark (520) 982-5687
OSABC would like to share this link of today's occupation of Border Patrol in particular, down below.
6 people cited after protest at Border Patrol Headquarters (KVOA.com-Tucson and Southern AZ)
Our voice, put into words in the "1st NATIONS AND MIGRANTS OPPOSE SB1070 DEMAND DIGNITY, HUMAN RIGHTS, AND END TO BORDER MILITARIZATION"statement, was to our surprise, expressed succinctly in this article's line below:
"The demonstrators say they are protesting SB 1070 and any military presence at the border."
In this occupation, we came from our voice, the O'odham voice, along with other indigenous voices in the region, to address the bigger attack on indigenous/migrant communities by colonial, racist border policies/racist laws of the United States.
I'm glad that most coverage was positive of our peaceful resistance, but at the same time, I would hope the consideration and respect of our people (O'odham) is given in all coverage of this occupation. We would hope the colonial marginalization of our people, and all indigenous people, will not be continue in coverage of this occupation. We must recongnize where we are at. In southern AZ and northern Sonora, this is our traditional homelands, O'odham jewed (land).
Down below, are more links:
6people cited after protest at Border Patrol Headquarters (KVOA.com-Tucson and Southern AZ)
Update: Six protestors unlink themselves, leave Border Patrol lobby (KOLD13-CBS Tucson)
Activists Occupy Border Patrol Headquarters in Tucson (Allvoices.com)
Protesters cited after sit in at Border Patrol offices in Tucson (KGUN9-ABC Tucson)
Tucson Border Patrol HQ Protested by Activists, Half-Dozen cited by Tucson PD (Phx Newtimes)
Friday, May 21, 2010
For Immediate Release Media Contacts:
Friday, May 21, 2010 Leilani Clark (520)982-5687
OCCUPATION OF BORDER PATROL HEADQUATERS
DAVIS-MONTHAN AIRFORCE BASE, TUCSON, AZ
1st NATION AND MIGRANTS OPPOSE SB1070 DEMAND DIGNITY, HUMAN RIGHTS, AND END TO BORDER MILITARIZATION
“The militarized border imposed by the U.S. has lead only to cultural and environmental destruction of the indigenous peoples whose land is on or near the border. This militarization brings death and terror for indigenous peoples from other parts of the continent migrating to this land.”
21 May 2010
Tucson, AZ – More than a dozen people occupied Border Patrol headquarters at Davis-Monthan Airforce Base today in an act of peaceful resistance. The group includes members of Indigenous Nations of Arizona, migrants, people of color and white allies. Six people used chains and other devices to lock themselves in the building. These Arizona residents disrupted the Border Patrol operations to demand that 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 tear families apart through increasing numbers of raids and deportations.
The protesters also call on the State of Arizona to repeal the racist Senate Bill 1070 that criminalizes immigrant communities on the state level, makes it illegal to transport or harbor an undocumented person regardless of family relationship, requires police agencies to engage in racial profiling, and ultimately is an attempt to ethnically cleanse Arizona of those with brown skin. This act of civil disobedience was only the latest in an increasing wave of direct action targeting the federal government’s terrorist immigration policies.
Border militarization destroys Indigenous communities.
The development of the border wall has lead to desecration of our ancestors graves, it has divided our communities and prevents us from accessing sacred places.
Troops and paramilitary law enforcement, detention camps, check points, and citizenship verification are not a solution to migration. We have existed here long before these imposed borders, my elders inform us that we always honored freedom of movement. Why our communities and the daily deaths at the border ignored? The impacts of border militarization are constantly made invisible in the media, the popular culture of this country and even the mainstream immigrants rights movement which has often pushed for “reform” that means further militarization of the border, which means increased suffering for our communities.
Indigenous communities such as the O’odham, the Pascua Yaqui, Laipan Apache, Kickapoo, and Cocopah along the US/Mexico border have been terrorized with laws and practices like SB1070 for decades. Indigenous people along the border have been forced by border patrol to carry and provide proof of tribal membership when moving across their traditional lands that have been bisected by this imposed border; a border that has been extremely damaging to the cultural and spiritual practices of these communities. Many people are not able to journey to sacred sites because the communities where people live are on the opposite side of the border from these sites. Since the creation of the current U.S./Mexico border, 45 O’odham villages on or near the border have been completely depopulated.
On this day people who are indigenous to Arizona join with migrants who are indigenous to other parts of the Western Hemisphere in demanding a return to traditional indigenous value of freedom of movement for all people. Prior to the colonization by European nations (spaniards, english, french) and the establishment of the european settler state known as the United States and the artificial borders it and other european inspired nation states have imposed; indigenous people migrated, traveled and traded with each other without regard to artificial black lines drawn on maps. U.S. immigration policies dehumanize and criminalize people simply because which side of these artificial lines they were born on. White settlers whose ancestors have only been here at most for a few hundred years have imposed these policies of terror and death on “immigrants” whose ancestors have lived in this hemisphere for tens of thousands of years, for time immemorial.
In addition, 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. Thousand of women, men, children and elders have died crossing just in the last decade. If the U.S. really wants to reduce migration it should 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.
The protestors are demanding:
-An end to border militarization
-The immediate repeal of SB1070 and 287g
-An end to all racial profiling and the criminalization of our communities
-No ethnic cleansing or cultural genocide
-No border patrol encroachment/sweeps on sovereign native land
-Yes to immediate and unconditional regularization (“legalization”) of all people
-Yes to human rights
-Yes to dignity
-Yes to respect
Yes to respecting Indigenous Peoples inherent right of migration
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Anti-immigration bills such as SB 1070 rest on the "securing" of the borders in order to manage the flow of migration. This securing includes and is not limited to a physical wall to be made on Indigenous land (Tohono O'odham/Lipan Apache to name a few). The state's power to waive pre-existing laws (such as NEPA, NAGPRA) in the name of security, directly attacks Indigenous autonomy/sovereignty. The "political" solution will bring forced removal and relocation of the many Indigenous nations that span "their" borders by means of a reinforced physical barrier. In addition, the peoples who will be primarily targeted for racial profiling will be Indigenous peoples on both sides of the U.S/Mexico border. The passage of HB 2281 further contributes to the cultural genocide of Indigenous peoples by criminalizing the histories of Indigenous peoples in our own lands within the Arizona public school system. The immigration struggle is also an Indigenous struggle.
US Immigration Court
160 North Stone Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85701-1584
11am - 1pm.
For those attending the NAISA conference, please gather in the lobby of Westin at 10:15am.
For more information on the protest, contact:
NAISA members: contact Mishuana Goeman, Southern California Native Feminist Group, at email@example.com
Support the following Indigenous groups organizing against SB 1070:
O’odham Solidarity Against Borders Collective
Táala Hooghan Infoshop
Lipan Apache Women’s Defense http://lipanapachecommunitydefense.blogspot.com/
O'odham Voices Against the Wall,
Council Advocating an Indigenous Manifesto
Monday, May 10, 2010
OSABC wanted to share last month's article from the Tohono O'odham Runner about the new restrictions of movement that the Mexican Government made into law in early March. These restrictions now require "U.S." citizens, to have a U.S. passport in order to travel more than 12 miles into Mexico. This was passed with no reason given, other than the spokesperson for the Mexican Consulate stating:
"We are not doing this to hassle Americans or bother them. It is to have better order, be more organized and provide better services".OSABC would like to identify the contradiction in the Mexican Government's need for "paperwork" (U.S. Passport) within "its" boundaries, and its oppositional position in Arizona law SB 1070, which also requires "paperwork" within the state of Arizona. Both policies are a tightened regulation of the free movement of people.
Mexico's new restriction are a direct attack on movement for all, but especially for the indigenous on both sides of the border line. For our people, the O'odham, this is a great concern. The article we've reproduced below is from the tribal newspaper, which covers the concerns that our people have with this law in Mexico. Many are concern how this will affect us this coming October as we make our yearly pilgrimage to Malina (also knows as Magdalena), and overall travel into Mexico. Malina is located in the Sonoran state, and is roughly 65 miles south of Nogales, clearly passed their 12 mile checkpoint known as "Marker 21".
Mexico's new requirement for a U.S. passports affects all O'odham, but especially our elders due to the requirement of a birth certificate. Many of our elders were born outside of the system and do not have records of their birth. Or, as was told to me by my grandpa, were lost in the 1940's when a tribal government storage building containing records, burned down. My grandpa was one of many who lost his "paperwork", and to this day, struggles with the State's ever growing demand for it.
Meanwhile, Mexico's public denouncement of SB 1070 sounds good on paper, but at the same time we can't help but see the contradiction in its position. The Mexican government and the state of Sonoran Goverment officials denounce SB 1070 on grounds of racial profiling, safety and overall humiliation towards its citizens. Do they expect a standing ovation, a round of applause?
Hmmm? While at the same time, the human right violations that they denounce, the Mexican State carries out towards the indigenous of Mexico everyday. Ask the Zapatistas and other autonomous indigenous communities that are resisting the Mexican State oppression. The recent news of the Mexican paramilitary attack in Oaxaca is just another example of that.
For our people, we are now restricted in a 12 mile "cage" between the international line and the 12 mile area "granted" to us by the Mexican State. Our tribal ID's are still "respected" (even though are highly questioned when re-entering the U.S.), but with Mexico's new regulation of movement, we are left wondering how long that will continue.
The U.S. could further violate our right to free movement by dismissing our tribal IDs due to Mexico's new regulations. OSABC is left to wonder if this is the first steps towards that. The U.S. could have the attitude that since Mexico is requiring everybody to have U.S. passports to travel more than 12miles, then ALL must have a U.S. passport to re-enter the the U.S.
Regardless of what the State views as "proper" paperwork in international travel, these policies by both the U.S. and Mexican State undermine and attack indigenous autonomy/sovereignty. SB 1070, U.S. Border Patrol on T.O. Nation (overall presence and check points), and internal Mexican check points are all the same, a control on movement. In our case, also a attack on religious freedom due to the requirement just to embark on our pilgrimage to Malina. These requirements now put our elders in an position where they must plead with the state by applying for passports, but without birth certificates, this makes this process a huge task, to say the least. OSABC feels we should not submit to these requirements. We as O'odham should have the right to free movement. This is still our jewed.
OSABC would like to highlight this contradiction so it will hopefully lead to a better understanding of the U.S./Mexican State attack on free movement. Deeper economic policies are into play, that lead to such regulation. If capital can move freely across borders (NAFTA), why can't people?
The last contradiction out of the Mexican State's new regulation is that it will not apply to travel towards Rocky Point. So, free movement for American tourists, but not for indigenous people.
We hope this article below gives some perspective in our struggles to maintain our free movement for cultural autonomy.
(note: the article takes a very complacent stance in the new restrictions.)
Plan to Journey to Magdalena? Get a Passport
ORIGINALLY POSTED IN THE TOHONO O'ODHAM RUNNER
APRIL 16, 2010 V.17 NUMBER 18
The Tohono O'odham Nation's Executive Office issued a travel alert in early March, informing tribal members that Mexican law now requires U.S. citizens traveling south of kilometer marker 21 to have a passport.
A handful of inquires about that requirement reveals that some Tohono O'odham are still unclear about the change in Mexican law.
Brenda Cruz, Executive Assistant to Tohono O'odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris Jr., said the travel alert is very clear, and the change in Mexican law in no way affects the use of tribal ID cards issued by the Tohono O'odham Nation.
She said official tribal ID cards issued by the Nation are accepted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Border Patrol when O'odham traveling in Mexico are returning to the United States.
The need for a passport is something required by the Mexican government for U.S. citizens when traveling in Mexico. Why the Mexican government passed the law is unknown to her, Cruz said.
Nonetheless, she said, Magdalena, Sonora, the destination of an annual pilgrimage made by hundreds, even thousands of Tohono O'odham every October, is well below the kilometer 21 marker in Sonora. Because of this, those making the pilgrimage next October will need a U.S. passport, she said.
To get one, a person must fill out and file an application for a passport, and one of the required documents to show evidence of U.S. citizenship is a birth certificate. While this is not a problem for young and middle-aged Tohono O'odham, it could affect elders, many of whom were born at home and never got a birth certificate, Cruz said.
If this is the case, other secondary evidence such as baptismal and early hospital records can be used, and in some cases even testimony by someone who witnessed the birth, she said. But if a person is an elder, it is unlikely someone who could offer such testimony is alive.
Cruz said there may be no relief for elders in this predicament, and some may not be able to make the pilgrimage to Magdalena.
For those Tohono O'odham who will be applying for a U.S. passport, they will need their birth certificate and Social Security card. The cost for a regular passport is $100, and the cost for a smaller, wallet-sized passport is $45. The passport card can be used only for travel to Mexico and Canada. For other international travel a regular passport is required.
Cruz said she gets from one to two inquires a day about passports, and she cautioned that since it can take up to two months to process and received a passport, it would be wise to get started now.
For more information about getting a passport, contact Cruz.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
We just wanted to share a flyer put together by our good comrade Chaparral Respects No Borders, it sums up not just SB1070, but the overall threat that this bill represents. These threats are not new, but now bring to surface the global context of these threats: neo-liberalism. Border security is needed to ensure neo-liberal projects (NAFTA!), and really should be read for what it is: border "regulation/militarization" of indigenous land to ensure capital exportation of people and resources .
As you have seen, and will continue to see, politicians from both parties and reformist immigration activist organizations, push for "Immigration" Reform" which, directly or indirectly, calls for border "militarization". . As cited in an earlier piece, the "political" solution will bring forced removal and relocation of the many indigenous tribes that span "their" borders by means of a reinforced physical barrier. Regardless of the politics, pseudo-calls for movement unity and Pan-American Indigenous "Perspective" (the use of indigenous themes/imagines/icons of liberation, while ignoring the indigenous of the land they organize on), it must be clear that the immigration struggle is also an indigenous struggle.
In order for the state to pass immigration reform, it has called for the "securing" of the borders first, in order to manage the flow of migration. This securing includes and is not limited to a physical wall to be made on indigenous land (Tohono O'odham/Lipan Apache to name a few). The state's power to waive pre-existing laws ( such as NEPA, NAGPRA) in the name of security, directly attacks indigenous autonomy/sovereignty. We understand that our voice, the O'odham voice, is greatly undermined by the mainstream media, state/national politicians and sadly, even self proclaimed immigrant/human rights activists. Regardless of their politics, our voice will stay strong in the face of 21st Century marginalization/colonization.
Our people have survived and kept our him'dag (O'odham way of life) strong through three waves of colonial settlers (Spain, Mexico and United States). OSABC feels, in order to move forward, and attack the State's new wave of colonization, we must understand "where we are at". The very land we all walk on. This has, is and always will be O'odham jewed. If others cannot acknowledge the indigenous people of the land, and call for policies that attack them (O'odham! Yaqui!), such as Berlin Wall-like barrier, in the name of "reform/security", then we will witness the cycles of capitalist imperialism continue long into the 21st Century!
ATTACK THE ROOT, NOT EACH OTHER!
Migration is a natural thing, while the necessity of obstructions such as border walls are rationalized by those in power to deal with threats to security against a fortress built on the backs of other people. This fortress is the US, taken and secured by force, built up by slavery and attacks on liberation movements throughout its history. The border is therefore illegitimate and we need not and must not regard migrants as helpless victims to justify their crossing. Everyone should have the right to freedom of movement. Of course migration from south of the border has increased due to the economic and political impacts of neo-liberal projects such as NAFTA.
Homeland Security has nothing to do with making sure we all have homes. Especially when so many people are losing their homes, security should mean shelter, food, health care, safety. The governor is pushing for more National Guard on the border and Comprehensive Immigration Reform will likely include increased militarization. Communities, such as the Tohono O’odham, on the border are already severely impacted by militarization, while many migrants die crossing. This will only get worse. It needs to be opposed at all costs.
What is the threat? The first border patrol and physical barrier on the border are less than one hundred years old, yet some act like we’re doomed if we’re without a border wall. The billions upon billions of dollars to build a wall, buy border security technology, pay border patrol agents, detain hundreds of thousands of migrants, and deport them is hardly justified by the alleged costly impact migrants have on the economy. The impact of supposed over-population is nothing compared to the impact that big corporations- especially weapons manufactures- have on the planet.
Why we oppose the latest anti-immigrant bill, SB 1070:
It allows all police to enforce federal immigration law, allowing them to arrest someone without a warrant if they believe that the person is in the country illegally
Would create the additional crime of trespassing with which any undocumented immigrant could be charged in this state
Would penalize all migrants (legal or not) who don’t carry “an alien registration document”
Criminalizes day laborers and those who pick them up to hire them
Makes it a crime to conceal, harbor, or shield a migrant, including transportation, and also may include renting to migrants
No to increased border security! No to the created divisions between us and our brothers and sisters based on immigration status! No to continued invasions on native land! No to destroying the environment to build a wall! End NAFTA! We need alternatives to police and jails!