Date: Mon, 27 Oct 97 08:46:18 CST
From: "Workers World" <email@example.com>
Organization: WW Publishers
Subject: Arizona march on Border Patrol HQ
"No human is illegal": Arizona march on border patrol HQ
By Gery Armsby, Tuscon, AZ, in Workers World
30 October 1997
On Oct. 12, about 150 people met in the Mission Library
Park in Tucson, Ariz. They sang songs of protest in Spanish
and English as they painted signs declaring the "war on
drugs" a phony and demanded justice for immigrants, Native
peoples and all oppressed communities in the United States-Mexico
One sign read "¡Ningun Humano Es Illegal!"--no human is
illegal. Another read "No Justice? No Peace!"
This was not just an ordinary Sunday picnic in the park.
The protesters marched to U.S. Border Patrol Headquarters.
There they held a speak-out and erected a symbolic cemetery
to commemorate the lives of victims of the Border Patrol's
brutality and racist, anti-immigrant, anti-Native policies.
Speakers were local activists and community members, many
of whom have experienced the brutality first-hand. Many
passersby honked and cheered in support of the
demonstration, and hoisted angry fists at the Border Patrol
Since 1993, more than 1,200 deaths have been linked to
border crossings, making the United States-Mexico border the
most dangerous terrain on the North American continent. Why
so many deaths?
Because the area has been militarized by the heavily armed
wing of the U.S. Immigration f Naturalization Services. The
government has declared a phony "war on drugs" that grants
the use of deadly force against anyone the racist Border
Patrol deems suspect.
On paper, many Native nations have migratory border rights
and are free to cross the border wherever and whenever they
chose. But in reality the Border Patrol denies these rights
to Native people on both sides.
The patrols are vicious throughout the 2,000-mile stretch
of border territory, from Brownsville, Texas, to San Diego,
Calif. They do not target cunning and dangerous "drug
smugglers." They target the unarmed poor, the desperate, and
the workers who are driven toward the United States by
oppressive social and economic conditions created in large
part by the U.S. ruling class and by NAFTA.
In the more than 1,200 deaths in recent years, not one
Border Patrol agent has been charged with any wrong-doing.
The Oct. 12 protest was organized by Isabel Garcia and
Derechos Humanos, the Arizona Border Rights Project. The
demonstration was representative of a broad coalition of
community residents and activists, members of unions
including the Farm Workers, Food and Commercial Workers and
AFSCME, student and youth groups, lesbian/gay/
bi/transgender groups and others.
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