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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels across country in my mobile billboard truck as I attempt to engage in dialogue with people in hopes to wake us up and inspire action to change our country and communities and selves. And it is froth with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society and life we want

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Day 2: Puente y SOAW Nogales

After leaving my ‘spill’ behind, I find my way to the hotel in Nogales where activists are gathering to march to the border. I realized last night that I left home without my passport – how crazy was that? I thought about bringing it, but not in conjunction with the action, but in case I wanted to fly somewhere. Not wanting to be tempted – by my daughter or anyone – to leave the country during my truth-spreading mission, I left it home. Grrrrr which means I cannot cross the border and support or participate in the actions happening on the Mexican side.

It is already over 80 degrees when I pull into the steamy crowded hotel parking lot. I drive around to the side and secure that last space that is probably only semi-legal, but where the sun will keep my solar in fine shape and the truth will still be visible to passers-by.

I see many folks that I recognize, but none that I’m ‘friends’ with. Today, this morning, will begin with a march from the hotel to the border wall right down from the border crossing. There will be a rally and speakers again, but this time both sides of the border will be connected by amplified sound. Then there will be a ‘nosh’ for jews and allies around noon, and workshops from 1-7pm at the hotel. The day will end with another concert at the border, both sides again.

Weaving thru the crowd, someone calls out my name. It is a professor from Wisconsin who marched on the same 95 mile anti-police brutality and anti-drone march from Madison to xxx airforce base last year. About 7 or 8 students are gathered around in a semi-circle when I’m asked to repeat the Salmon story.

So I do, ending up telling these eager, young, white-appearing faces THIS (sweeping my arm to encompass what we’re doing this weekend) is the only work that is important in their lifetime, no matter what they are studying, THIS and ending violence of war, racism and misogyny, and protecting the Mother Earth while we heal her – THIS is the ONLY thing they should be doing.

Maybe one or two will believe me, drop out and become full-time activists.

By the time we begin to march, I’m sure the temperature is pushing 100. Although I’m wearing the t-shirt I painted at the rest stop while pumping that challenging veggie oil that says “DEATH to Racism” on the front, and “ABOLISH Police, Prisons! DISARM ALL MEN” on the back, a friend has pushed a sign into my empty hands: “NO to Trump’s racism! NO to Clinton’s war machine!” in English and Spanish. It’s not until I’m stopped for several photo opps later do I realize it is the Workers’ World Party presidential candidates’ poster.

We are instructed to stay on the sidewalk, to walk two-by-two, which I of course complain about – there must be a thousand people here, at least half or more at people of ‘faith’, who should be taking over the streets. Grrrrr. But I haven’t been involved in the work to make this action happen so I’ll begrudgingly stick at least close to the sidewalk.

There are no police on foot – probably way too hot for them – but several in vehicles behind dark tinted windows sporting darker still mirrored sunglasses. We chant and sing all the way to the crossing, where the march splits: those crossing into Mexico continue on the left, those staying on the ‘u.s.’ side, veer off to the right.

We march a few blocks further and get a close and personal view of the wall. Although we’ve been told the police want a three foot barrier – actually demand such from others hanging the threat of death or at least arrest onto their commands – we stumble incredulously up to this unbelievable 20-some foot structure of iron and cement to gape thru the slats at our compañeras on the other side.

It is surreal how the stripes of the wall transcend not just the vertical barrier but are reflected on the surrounding ground, trees, cars, houses – a constant slatted reminder we lucky privileged ones on the right can skip thru the lines the whole length and back again. It is impossible to see how far the ‘wall’ goes but its rigid harsh callous form malevolently taunts anyone to try, try, try to find the end.

I have seen the wall on the border in California – although not its ‘new’ extension out into the ocean – and when driving I10 from New Mexico into Texas, I’ve seen from the raised height of my front seat the twisting checkered mass snaking below the highway and have proclaimed its unfathomable existence to many deniers, this is the first time I’ve been able to touch the monstrosity, to peer thru and see life happening on the other side, to hear and smell Mexican existence but not to dare reach out and touch those humans on that side.

After a couple of rousing songs and even more inspiring speeches, once again, individual names are being announced over the loud speaker: this time, the humans who have been killed attempting to flee violence in their homes – whether the violence of u.s. trained and armed soldiers, of u.s. corporations, of the ensuing poverty and desperation laying ruins to their lives and families – to be met with continued violence of u.s. trained and armed border police, sheriffs, vigilantes willing to shoot and kill rather than risk sharing a glass of water or a loaf of bread.

We hold our fists high and chant fiercely “presente” after each name, for as the speaker says, these people are still with us, we can feel their beings, and we will pummel this wall into dust as well. Hundreds of names are read, but hundreds of thousands more are left unspoken, many many too many unknown but dead. The speaker again says fuck a minute of silence, ROAR for a minute for the bravery of these humans, for the courage of their lives, for recognition of their tremendous struggle, to acknowledge their presence on earth and still with us now.

I can’t stop weeping, spotting the unbending lines of shadow and light, as I think about these human beings, the ones so easy to forget about, to not know about, to turn away from, as most of us in the u.s. go about our frantic pursuit of the amerikkkan nitemare, uncaring that our nitemare is inflicting such hurt and destruction on so many. But worse, unwilling to ‘give up’ our pursuit of the amerikkkan nitemare for the good of those and all people including ourselves, for the love of the Mother Earth, for the survival of the 7th generation.

Carry on.


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