Press conference to announce border-wide Revitalize Not Militarize campaign launch.
(via The Southern Border Communities Coalition)
SOUTHERN BORDER REGION: The next few weeks promise to be a critical moment for immigration reform. Last week, President Barack Obama once again encouraged the House of Representatives and Congress to prove to the American people that Washington can get this done.
In light of this window of opportunity, the Southern Border Communities Coalition (a coalition with representatives in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas) will launch the Revitalize Not Militarize campaign, which is a platform for border communities and others affected by border policies to weigh in. The message, Revitalize Not Militarize expresses the need to invest in border communities and improve the quality of life for border residents while improving trade for the nation. This approach, together with a comprehensive immigration reform, will stimulate the U.S. economy, helping us all move forward together.
Organizations participating in the campaign include the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium (CA), the Border Action Network (AZ), the Arizona Sonora Southern Border Coalition (AZ), the ACLU of New Mexico (NM), the ACLU of Texas (TX), the Rio Grande Equal Voice Network (TX) and the Campaign for Accountable, Moral, Immigration Overhaul (CAMBIO based in Washington D.C.) among others.Two projects will be launched along the southern border simultaneously as part of this campaign.
“The border is more than a line, it is the home of 15 million people, it is a cornerstone of the U.S. economy, and it is a unique cultural and historical space that is sacred to many who live here. The border enforcement bills that have been proposed as part of immigration reform would result in nothing more than a militarization of our communities, and is not what we need or want” states Pedro Ríos, Director of the American Friends Service Committee’s San Diego office which is a member organization of the SBCC.
“Through this campaign, border residents will tell the nation what it means to live in the border region, how militarization has negatively impacted families and residents here, and why we must broaden our perspective about the border,” states Elizabeth Maldonado Robinson who speaks for the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice which is also a member of the SBCC.
Project 1: The Border Quilt
Inspired by the AIDS Quilt, the Border Quilt will express how militarization has resulted in losses for border residents. On 2’ x 4’ cloth panels, border residents will tell stories of lives lost, loss of civil rights, loss of security and loss of humanity. Cloth panels will be created across the four southern border states and will be sent to Washington D.C. to be installed during the third week of November. A manual has been created for all who want to participate which can be downloaded here
and a sample panel will be on display at the press conference.
On Friday, November 1st, Alliance San Diego will host the community and provide space and materials for producing quilts from 4-7 pm.
Project 2: Flower Power Social Media Project
Border residents are being asked to use an orange Gerbera daisy as a symbol of revitalization to contrast with examples of border militarization in their communities. The objective is to take a picture either holding the daisy or placing the daisy near an example of militarization such as Border Patrol vehicles, agents, checkpoints, signs or whichever form it is manifested in their communities.
Participants will be asked to send the photo to email@example.com and to mention details about where the photo was taken so that the extent of militarization can be documented on a webpage. A manual is also available for more details and can be downloaded here. Two large Flower Power images will be unveiled at the press conference, including one with a border agent who has participated in this action.
The progress of these two projects will be documented and shared through the campaign website RevitalizeNotMilitarize.org and the campaign’s social networks: