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Act of passive resistance: Checkpoint Refusal

 

This is the issue with border militarization. When we permit these kinds of racially-driven, governmental impositions into our lives, it disrespects and degrades all involved. For some in Arizona and towns within 100 miles of the border in many states, this kind of harassment is unending. People are being harassed and detained on the regular. In this video, we see a powerful act of passive, non-violent resistance against military presence in our every day lives.

Continue Reading →

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Border Patrol Scrutiny Stirs Anger in Arizona Town

 

…only 2 percent of the unauthorized immigrants captured by the Border Patrol in each of the past four fiscal years were apprehended at checkpoints, according to statistics provided by Customs and Border Protection. There were 9,510 such apprehensions in fiscal 2013, out of 420,789 apprehensions by the agency.

Read more at: Border Patrol Scrutiny Stirs Anger in Arizona Town in the New York Times.


#AZDispatch is a Netroots Nation project created to expose some of the most unjust practices in our current immigration system and to elevate the stories and voices of local activists fighting back against those practices. Click here to sign up for our AZDispatch Action list.

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The humanitarian crisis in the Arizona desert

Provide water and supplies to a migrant in the desertOver the last 10 years, the number of deaths in the Arizona desert has skyrocketed. Increased militarization of our borders has done nothing to deter people from crossing; it only makes it more treacherous to do so.

There’s a massive humanitarian crisis happening within the boundaries of our own country, but you can do something to help.

Tucson-based No More Deaths (No Más Muertes) is one of several great organizations in Arizona working to mitigate the number of deaths in the desert by placing water and supplies at heavily traveled spots along the way. Continue Reading →

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The Things They Carried

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“The Things They Carried: A Memorial to Lives Lost on the Border” is a hand-drawn poster created by artist John Stobbe for the Colibrí Center for Human Rights depicting the personal items carried by more than 2,000 migrants who died during their attempt to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Continue Reading →

Migration immersion tour of the U.S. / Nogales, Sonora, Mexico border
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Why we’re doing #AZDispatch

Recently, I was sitting with a woman who opens up her home just outside of a detention center in Colorado to families visiting family members in immigration detention. When I asked her why she does this work, her response was, in essence, that there are galvanizing moments people have in their lives, and one of hers was prompted by a trip to the border. The stories of things she saw and people she spoke with there paint a picture illustrating how important it is to bear witness to injustice and how that can forever change the path one is on.

Last year in Detroit, we, the Netroots organizing staff, made a conscious decision to direct media attention toward uplifting our brothers and sisters fighting the water shutoffs and working on other economic issues in Detroit. It was a chance to use our unique position in the movement to shine a light not just on the issues facing Detroit residents, but also the inspiring and powerful activism that was happening there.

So, we encouraged the nearly 3,000 activists, organizers and professionals attending our annual convention to attend the Turn on the Water, DETROIT! Tax Wall Street! March & Rally that was held Friday, July 18, 2014. It was a historic example of the power of intersectional organizing. Members of other movements from across the progressive realm turned out to support who we all feel are our folks on the ground in Detroit—not corporations, not government, but the people.

I had a distinct opportunity to go to Arizona several months in advance of this year’s convention. While I was there I went on a trip to the border with an amazing group called Borderlinks that works to educate groups about the realities of communities on both sides of the U.S. / Mexico border. For me, it was a chance to see what I had no idea I’d see: The harsh realities of the border and how our policies literally and directly affect people’s lives. Other members of our staff and board had this same experience and came away with the same sentiment: Netroots Nation is an amplifier, and as part of that gig, we choose to amplify stories from Arizona that need to be heard.

I went back in March 2015 with several other staff members and a camera crew to capture some of these very stories. The products of that trip include the four videos featured here, as well as much of the other content we’ll be sharing between now and July.

There’s a responsibility in shining a light into dark places that is centered in making sure the light is shone not on ourselves, but on issues and people in the struggle. It’s our honor to uplift and introduce to the Netroots community the strong, dedicated, and hard working grassroots organizers in Arizona and the region who are fighting for progressive things. That’s what this site is all about.

This is the #AZDispatch.