This short video about the No Borders Camp is the best general overview of the camp that I've seen so far. It's by Jeffrey Berringer, also known as the electopop bilingual musician Mono Mono. The video is unfortunately all in Spanish, but it's really good and I hope he makes a subtitled english version. I really like how it doesn't focus on the Border Patrol beatdown, it fairly and humanistically presents all the little successful inspiring times at the camp. It's great.
There's an online petition set up by the No Borders Camp legal defense team, asking the District Attorney to drop the charges against Juan Ruiz, the only No Borders Camper still facing charges - charges that he assaulted Border Patrol agents during the closing rally in Calexico Sunday November 11.
Please sign it. The video, which I've linked to before from this blog, shows pretty clearly that Juan was no danger to any federal agent present there. At the most, he was dancing a bit too enthusiastically for their unfunky souls.
And in other news, a lawyer in San Diego is starting to lay the groundwork for a civil suit against the Border Patrol on behalf of all the protesters they beat up that night.
It's too bad he can't file a class-action suit against the BP for all the migrants that get beat up, starved, denied water and medical attention, drugged, unfairly locked up, shot in the back, and other abuses all along the border all the time.
Because it's actually really chilly here in Tucson it's hard for me to think about mojitos right now, even though they're my favorite cocktail and I really enjoy making them for others. But as my friend Mykle said when telling me about this, I'm being replaced by a mojito -making robot. The video doesn't really show whether I can be satisfied with the robot's mixing methods, and the criteria are exacting with a mojito, so, we'll see, but it is pretty cool to watch all the pipes and tubes and limes rolling around and stuff.
So if you're somewhere that's still warm, have a mojito to celebrate. Me, I'm boiling water for green tea.
I just finished a short video piece that I'm pretty proud of about the border wall being built down at the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area.
A lot of people around here in Tucson love the San Pedro. It's really a special place. More than that, now it's a symbol of how little the Department of Homeland Security cares about anything but it's own powermad ambitions and empty gestures of pretending to secure our "homeland".
Watch the video here:
Another related bit of media is the audio recording I made of an ecology walk/talk given at the No Borders Camp, with lots of interesting information about the history of the Calexico/Mexicali area as it relates to water use, irrigation, Colorado River diversion, and the implications of the border and nationalism on the ecology and agriculture there.
I got back from Calexico late Sunday night, but in a way the No Borders Camp is still going on for me and many others. Myself, I spent a large part of the following 3 days working on media tasks related to getting the news out about the camp and the Border Patrol brutality on Sunday night. I worked with some other folks in Tucson to write a press release and compile a clip montage for mainstream TV stations, showing scenes from the camp all week in order to show that Sunday night's police riot was a surprising event compared to the calm and respectful negotiating and dealings that the migra had with us.
As it stands now, 2 of the 3 arrestees have been released with no charges. Guess which one is still in custody, sitting in a jail in Imperial County? That's right, the brown one. The non-U.S. citizen. He's a legal permanent resident, but any little crime is a good enough reason for the stormtroopers to throw your ass out.
It's lucky citizenship isn't revokable. Yet.
Meanwhile, other projects and aspects of life go on and I'm juggling a crazy schedule and trying to figure out how to get some kind of break. I - O and I - really need a vacation... and Turkey Day doesn't look like it's going to count...
But enough about me. The camp is still a big success. Yesterday was a bit intense in the morning when la migra objected to gringo campers giving breakfast to the mexican side, but eventually things got worked out.
The sun is rising in Calexico and I can't sleep. It's my third morning here and every morning I wake up shortly before sunrise, on the floor of a bedroom of a house that we've turned into an independent media center. Every morning I can't sleep too much later than this, despite the fact that I'm sick, have been fighting a cold for the last 3 weeks or so.
Sin embargo, nevertheless, I am happy. Even excited (maybe this is the real reason I can't sleep) - because the camp was successfully occupied yesterday. Like it's looked and felt for months, it was extremely uncertain and worrying for quite a while yesterday, with massive presence of various law enforcement agencies. But somehow, things went off relatively according to plan. Homeland Security and the cops were completely fooled by the ruse the organizers set up - to pretend to be going to a pick-up point where marchers would get on a bus to take them to a cemetary vigil, but actually, the pick-up point was the site for the camp. Some cops were even overheard to say, basically, "I don't know what they're doing, their bus just left."
Amazingly enough, there's even internet at the camp. A 45-foot tower with a wireless internet antenna is sitting in the backyard of the media house and beaming our connection 3 miles out into the desert to another tower that the campers have set up. Also, there were people getting in and out, bringing in water and food and supplies, for quite a few hours into the night, even with cars, although no one is sure if this will last and some reports were that the police later tightened things up so that people could get out but not in.
I was shooting some out there but for the end of the day found myself back in the media center uploading photos and doing radio. There are 2 streams, one from here and one from the Mexicali side, and the possibliity of another that will be the broadcast FM signal from the camp, if that gets set up.
We returned from our 5-day trip to Portland with a video projector and DVD player courtesy of Free Geek, which gave it as a hardware grant to Dry River Radical Resource Center here in Tucson. We got it back via the plane fine and used it at the space for the first night of the Dry River 2-year birthday celebration. The event was attended pretty well and got good advance press in both the Arizona Daily Star and the Tucson Weekly, although I'm not sure if the good attendance was because of that or because there's a zillion bands playing and that brought in all their fans.
We premiered my just-finished documentary about Dry River first, and after a few more bands played we showed a short video about Free Geek and the rough cut of a doc about squats in Spain that my compa Lotus is working on. Later, at midnight, John Carpenter's "They Live" was shown as well, but O and I were too tired from our day of travelling to make it till then. The party went on and we went to bed.
Later this morning the festivities continue with brunch and more bands and stuff. Yay. Happy Birthday, Dry River, this is also roughly the anniversary of my move to Tucson. It's been a good 2 years.