Featured Stories – From The Border to “Close the Camps”
The Border Region
2017 & 2018 – Rallies brought communities together, along with hundreds of activists, a brass band and assorted musicians, on both sides of the border wall in Nogales, AZ and Nogales, Sonora. These “Border Encuentros”, along with night rallies in the desert outside Eloy Detention Center, an ICE facility north of Tucson, were organized by School of the Americas Watch (SOAW).
In 2019, numerous volunteers with the humanitarian aid group No More Deaths, faced trial at the US District Court in Tucson, AZ. The charges against the volunteers ranged from federal misdemeanors for leaving aid (water, food and socks) for undocumented immigrants on a National Wildlife Refuge, to harboring undocumented immigrants, which is a felony. In the first trial, 4 women were found guilty of entering the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge without a permit and abandoning property (water and food). This verdict was overturned a year later by a federal judge. Another 4 volunteers were also criminally charged, but prosecutors dropped the charges and they were instead fined $250. The third trial was against No More Deaths volunteer Scott Warren, who was acquitted of harboring undocumented immigrants.
Close the Camps
In 2019, as the administration of 45 doubled down on its policy of family separation at the US southern border, Close the Camps rallies erupted across the country. In San Francisco, numerous rallies attracted big and sometimes spontaneous crowds and closed down major streets.
In August, rallies were held from noon to 1pm every single day in front of ICE’s SF field office. Each rally was organized by a different community or group (librarians, adoptees, health workers, queers, lawyers, jewish communities etc) representing a powerful and unique view of the cruelty happening along the US border.
Check out the video below- Month of Momentum: 30 Days of Action to Close the Camps