ALL THE WALLS
March 25-28, 2022 : Tucson, AZ / Nogales, Sonora
Explore the realities, the struggles, and the vision we must mobilize around, so that walls indeed fall!
We invite you to join us in "All The Walls Must Fall Conference" on March 25-28, 2022, to explore the realities, the struggles, and the vision we must mobilize around, so that walls indeed fall, connecting our lives and similarities despite the thousands of miles of distance.
From the US/Mexico border to the borders around Palestine - walls and militarization, dispossession of lands and cultural genocide, brutality and murder, mass detentions and lack of rights, forced migration and criminalization, environmental damage - these and other shared abuses, have all defined these experiences.
Walls expel, exclude, oppress, discriminate and exploit. Walls cause thousands of deaths every year and destroy lives on a daily basis. For many, the logic of security seeks to justify the construction of walls separating territories and states. The creation of borders often conceals racist logics and is based on the idea of the external enemy in order to place a stigma of otherness on people and not recognize them as people with rights.
When both the US/Mexico border and the Palestinian struggles are the most maligned and misunderstood, it is our place from the Arizona/Sonora region to join in the efforts to expose the truth, the deep connections between our "separate" struggles, and the costs these lies perpetuated by both media and government have on our lives.
We cannot wait to dismantle the systems that create these walls; our own shared lives depend on what we do in dealing with the deadly militarization gripping the entire US/Mexico region, and the devastating attacks on the political, economic and cultural autonomy of the Palestinian people.
We invite you to reflect on how we can confront the border walls. It is necessary to make visible, now more than ever, through concrete actions, these walls that systematically violate human rights and to create solidarity among the people affected through the construction of collective resistance.
Please join us!
Chomsky is also an incisive critic of the ideological role of the mainstream corporate mass media, which, he maintains, “manufactures consent” toward the desirability of capitalism and the political powers supportive of it.
Over the past five decades, Chomsky has offered a searing critical indictment of US foreign policy and its many military interventions across the globe, pointing out that the US’s continued support for undemocratic regimes, and hostility to popular or democratic movements, is at odds with its professed claim to be spreading democracy and freedom and support for tendencies aiming toward that end. Indeed, as Chomsky argues, the current concern from Washington with so-called “Rogue States,” as much as the stated goal of aiding democratic movements in other countries, is not supported by successive administrations’ support (either direct or indirect) for political and military dictatorships across Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia. As Chomsky stated: “As the most powerful state, the US makes its own laws, using force and conducting economic warfare at will.” It also threatens sanctions against countries that do not abide by its conveniently flexible notions of “free trade.”
On the role of the mass media, Chomsky argues that the vested corporate interests controlling newspapers, television, and radio, no less than the content of what these outlets offer, form what he and Edward Hermann in their seminal study Manufacturing Consent call a “propaganda model” supine in the service of power.
Chomsky has described his own politics variously as anarchist, anarchosyndicalist, and libertarian socialist, allying himself with both classical anarchism and the critical libertarian Marxist and left communist traditions equally hostile to orthodox Marxism and Leninism. Chomsky maintains that these currents represent the logical development of the Enlightenment precepts of rational and critical inquiry engaged with the social world of which they are part. Chomsky’s position on achieving small victories in the short term which “expand the floor of the cage” — for example, struggles to defend universal public services from privatization — has not been without controversy, with some anarchists accusing him of reformism and in some cases “statism.” Chomsky has countered such accusations with the response that short-term victories aimed at expanding the cage in which we are trapped by capital and state should be seen as “preliminaries to dismantling it.”
SEE ALSO: Anarchism; Anarchosyndicalism; Anti-Vietnam War Movement, United States
References and Suggested Readings
Barsamian, D. & Chomsky, N. (1997) Expanding the Floor of the Cage: Noam Chomsky interviewed by David Barsamian. Available at www.chomsky.info/interviews/199704.htm.
Chomsky, N. (1970) Notes on Anarchism. Available at www.zmag.org/Chomsky/other/notes-onanarchism.html.
Chomsky, N. (1998) The United States and the “Challenge of Relativity.” Available at www.chomsky.info/articles/199811.htm.
Herman, E. & Chomsky, N. (1994) Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media. London: Vintage.
As the spokesperson for the Coalicion de Derechos Humanos, Isabel has been instrumental in calling attention to the deadly and inhumane consequences of US militarization of the US/Mexico border, particularly the Arizona/Sonora region.
In the mid-90's, she helped form "Stop the Wall" in Douglas, Az., and then in the early 2000's collaborated with the Center for Biological Diversity and the Alianza Indigena Sin Fronteras to form the "Coalition to Bring Down the Wall," to highlight the impact of militarization on Indigenous People's rights, on our environment, and on the human rights of migrants.
Isabel received the 2006 National Human Rights Award from the Comision Nacional de los Derechos Humanos de Mexico. In 2008 she was awarded the Lannan Cultural Freedom Award for "Border Justice/Immigrant Rights Work."
3000 years until it was completely bulldozed by the Israeli military in 1967. Emwas has been replaced by a public park for Israelis only called Canada Park. Mohyeddin is happily retired after working for the University of Arizona and the Arizona Court of Appeals
for more than 30 years. Mohyeddin has been an activist for justice, equality, human rights and peace all of his life. He serves on the board of directors of Borderlands Theater, the Asylum Program of Arizona and Arizona Palestine Network. Mohyeddin is a cofounder
of the Arizona Palestine Solidarity Alliance and an active participant in other peace and justice organizations. He enjoys life with the grandchildren, organic gardening and playing tennis among other things.
Patriotism can manifest in many forms, and has for Mary Ann Wright. She has been a career military woman, a State Department diplomat, and for the past few years an influential spokesperson in the anti-war movement.
Ann Wright grew up in Bentonville, Arkansas, and attended the University of Arkansas, where she earned a Master's and a Law Degree. She also has a Master's Degree in National Security Affairs from the US Naval War College. In her junior year at the University of Arkansas, she attended a three-week Army training program after meeting with a visiting Army recruiter. That experience helped inform her decision to join the service.
For 13 years Wright was an active duty soldier. She spent another 16 years in the Army reserves, retiring as a Colonel. Part of her Army work was special operations in civil affairs. In the event of invasions into other countries, Wright helped to develop "plans about how you interact with the civilian population, how you protect the facilities – sewage, water, electrical grids, libraries…It's our obligation under the law of land warfare." After Wright was released from active duty, she joined the State Department. For the next 16 years, she served as a foreign diplomat in countries such as Nicaragua, Somalia, Uzbekistan, and Sierra Leone. She was on the team that reopened the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan in December, 2001, after the fall of the Taliban to US forces.
In all those years, Ann Wright was proud to represent America. However, on March 13, 2003, the eve of the US invasion of Iraq, Col. Ann Wright sent a letter of resignation to then Secretary of State Colin Powell. She felt that without the authorization of the UN Security Council, the US invasion and occupation of an oil-rich, Arab Moslem country would be a disaster. Only two other State Department officials resigned at that time in protest of the imminent invasion. In an interview, Ann explained that, in the Foreign Service, "Your job is to implement the policies of an administration…if you strongly disagree with any administration's policies, and wish to speak out, your only option is to resign. I understood that and that's one of the reasons I resigned – to give myself the freedom to talk out."
Talk out she has. Since resigning, patriotism for Ann Wright meant becoming an anti-war activist. She worked with Cindy Sheehan organizing Camp Casey, and appeared in the documentary "Uncovered: The Truth About the Iraq War". She travels and lectures on foreign policy issues. She has been arrested five times in the past year for protesting Bush's policies, and has referred to herself cheerfully as a "felon for peace". This retired Army Colonel has also recently been temporarily banned not only from two military bases for placing postcards there announcing a showing of the documentary "Sir, No Sir", but from the US Capitol area (her case is still pending), and the National Press Club (this a lifetime ban), for voicing opinions and questions concerning Bush Administration policies and the Iraq war.
Pedro Rios serves as director of the American Friends Service Committee’s U.S./Mexico Border Program and has been on staff with AFSC for 15 years. A native San Diegan, Pedro has worked on immigrant rights and border issues for over 20 years. He became active on immigration issues in the early 1990s, when California was debating the passage of Proposition 187, the anti-immigrant initiative that was later ruled unconstitutional.
Pedro oversees a program that documents abuses by law enforcement agencies, collaborates with community groups, advocates for policy change, and works with migrant communities. He is a member of the steering committee for the Southern Border Communities Coalition and is Ex Officio representative for the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium’s Advisory Committee. He holds a master’s degree in Ethnic Studies. Pedro has been widely interviewed and published by the Washington Post, CNN, Los Angeles Times, KPBS, NBC7, and the San Diego Union-Tribune, among others.
In 2000, she was a Green Party candidate for the California Senate. During the 1990s, Medea focused her efforts on tackling the problem of unfair trade as promoted by the World Trade Organization. Widely credited as the woman who brought Nike to its knees and helped place the issue of sweatshops on the national agenda, Medea was a key player in the campaign that won a $20 million settlement from 27 US clothing retailers for the use of sweatshop labor in Saipan. She also pushed Starbucks and other companies to start carrying fair trade coffee.
Since the September 11, 2001 tragedy, Medea has been working to promote a U.S. foreign policy that would respect human rights and gain us allies instead of contributing to violence and undermining our international reputation. Medea has also been on the forefront of the anti-drone movement, publishing Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control in 2013. She organized the first-ever International Drone Summit, led delegations to Pakistan and Yemen to meet with drone strike victims, and directly questioned President Obama during his 2013 foreign policy address. The campaign against weaponized drones has helped reduce the number of civilian casualties and force the government to compensate the families of innocent victims.
Medea’s work for justice in Israel/Palestine includes taking numerous delegations to Gaza, organizing the Gaza Freedom March in 2010, participating in the Freedom Flotillas and opposing the policies of the Israel lobby group AIPAC. In 2011 she was in Tahrir Square during the Egyptian uprising and in 2014 she was detained, beaten and deported by the Egyptian security forces. In 2012 she was part of a human rights delegation to Bahrain in support of democracy activists; she was tear-gassed, arrested and deported by the Bahraini government. In 2015 and 2018 she participated in Women Cross the DMZ, an international delegation of women calling for peace in Korea.
Her groundbreaking work on the negative consequences of the US-Saudi alliance include the 2016 book Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection, and the 2016 International Summit on Saudi Arabia. Her latest book, Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran, is part of a campaign to prevent a war with Iran and instead promote normal trade and diplomatic relations.
Medea is the author of ten books. Her articles appear regularly in outlets such as The Guardian, The Huffington Post, CommonDreams, Alternet, and The Hill. Medea can be reached at: email@example.com or @medeabenjamin.
If you'd like to book Medea Benjamin for an event, please contact Brienne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Medea Benjamin is the co-founder of the women-led peace group CODEPINK and the co-founder of the human rights group Global Exchange. She has been an advocate for social justice for more than 40 years. Described as "one of America's most committed -- and most effective -- fighters for human rights" by New York Newsday, and "one of the high profile leaders of the peace movement" by the Los Angeles Times, she was one of 1,000 exemplary women from 140 countries nominated to receive the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the millions of women who do the essential work of peace worldwide.
She is the author of ten books, including Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control and Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection. Her most recent book, Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran, is part of a campaign to prevent a war with Iran and instead promote normal trade and diplomatic relations.
Her articles appear regularly in outlets such as The Guardian, The Huffington Post, CommonDreams, Alternet and The Hill. Medea can be reached at: email@example.com or @medeabenjamin.
Halper has written several books on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and is a frequent writer and speaker about Israeli politics, focusing mainly on nonviolent strategies to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is a supporter of the BDS movement and the academic boycott of Israel, and considers Israel to be guilty of "apartheid" and of a deliberate campaign to "judaize" the occupied Palestinian territories.
In 1997, Halper co-founded ICAHD to challenge and resist the Israeli policy of demolishing Palestinian homes in the Occupied Territories and to organize Israelis, Palestinians and international volunteers to jointly rebuild demolished Palestinian homes as political acts of resistance (ICAHD has rebuilt 189 Palestinian homes). Halper was nominated, together with the Palestinian intellectual and activist Ghassan Andoni, for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize by the American Friends Service Committee for his work "to liberate both the Palestinian and the Israeli people from the yoke of structural violence" and "to build equality between their people by recognizing and celebrating their common humanity."
In 2013 Halper initiated, with a group of international activists, The People Yes! Network, intended to provide an "infrastructure" that will enable left and progressive groups to find each other across issues and geography, communicate, coordinate, share analyses and materials, and plan joint campaigns, especially around global issues. The ultimate goal of TPYN is to generate a conception of a just, inclusive, pluralistic and sustainable post-capitalist, "human-centric" (or "life-centric") world system and to help create the global movement that would bring it into being.
One Democratic State Campaign: https://onestatecampaign.org/en/
Dora currently resides in Tucson, AZ with her husband and is a mother of five children and three grandchildren. Today she is the Director of the non-profit Salvavision Rescue Arizona, an organization that provides aid and support to asylum seekers and detainees in Arizona and border towns, as well as to returnees in El Salvador.
Mik and his son Laiken traveled all over Palestine and Israel in 2017, meeting with Palestinians and Israelis and human rights investigators. He realized the two state “solution” was dead, human rights and political abuses even more entrenched and a permanent apartheid system had become a reality.
On his return to Arizona, he found a new state law required him to sign a pledge that he would not to boycott Israel in his contract renewal for the represention of inmates on civil rights matters. Mik refused to sign and filed suit against the State of Arizona. He worked on the contract for one year without pay until a federal judge issued an injunction against Arizona law citing is violation of the 1st Amendment. Realizing they were losing, the Arizona Legislature amended the anti-boycott law raising its application to only companies with more than ten employees and contracts valued at more than $100,000. This mooted out Mik’s case.
As an attorney he has helped strike down three other unconstitutional Arizona laws. These included Arizona’s prohibition on same sex marriage (2014), a law prohibiting peaceful begging (2013), and a state law preventing cities from raising their own minimum wages (2015). He has also represented Central American refugees in their asylum claims. He was director of Coconino Legal Aid as is a former member of the Navajo Nation Bar Association.
The site is about one-eighth of a mile from Quitobaquito Springs, an ancient watering hole that’s sacred to the O’odham.
Bassam has been a member of the Israeli Palestinian Bereaved Family Forum since 2007, when he lost his 10-year-old daughter Abir, who was killed by an Israeli border policemen in front of her school in Anata on January 16, 2007. Two years before he lost his daughter, Bassam was a cofounder of Combatants for Peace in 2005 As spokesperson and ex-co-director for the Parents Circle–Families Forum, Bassam devotes his time and energies bringing about a peaceful, non-violent end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine and to Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation.
His area of focus is the borderlands on both sides of the US-Mexico border; supporting local organizations, facilitating trainings for site and social design, and using water harvesting techniques to support food production.
His first community project was in Bocas del Toro, Panama. The experiential education center was based on Permaculture principles, offering international travelers the experience of growing food in the tropics and learning about community building.
After that, he and his family moved to Jalisco, Mexico. There, they created a second experiential education program, this time focusing on natural building and animal husbandry.
He currently lives in Tucson, Arizona with his family at their urban Permaculture site.
Besides teaching with the Sonoran Permaculture Guild, he has worked as the education coordinator at Las Milpitas Community Farm, a project of the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. He also does private consultation on Permaculture projects in the borderlands of Arizona and Sonoran, Mexico and he now works as Sierra Club's border program coordinator.
Jenn Budd was one of the first agents who was hired as part of Operation Gatekeeper which turbocharged the militarization in the southern border in 1994 with walls, thousands of agents and checkpoints in the interior.
During her time at the border patrol she witnessed firsthand the cruelty, racism and violence that we now know to be cultural pillars of the U.S. Border Patrol, the most corrupt and unaccountable agency in the federal government.
“I couldn’t wear that uniform, carry that badge with honor that never existed," wrote Jenn in a blog post titled I used to detain immigrants at the border. Now I help them. “I refused to ignore the corruption I witnessed on a daily basis or pretend that the wall wasn’t pushing people out to dangerous terrain and leading to their deaths. I declined to do as ordered and looked the other way as agents smuggled in drugs and assaulted migrants. So I left.”
Jenn went on to become an ambassador for the Southern Border Communities Coalition, and one of the nation’s most outspoken critics of the Green Monster.
BREAKING THE GREEN LINE
In a video for SBCC, Jenn Budd talks about why she left the Border Patrol, and shares her first-hand experiences.
What Jenn realized from her time as a Border Patrol Agent is that militarization and enforcement-only policies don’t make us safer, despite what politicians say. In fact, they lead to more violence, corruption and death. From the moment she left the Border Patrol, Jenn vowed to speak out against their culture of corruption and impunity. In her new life as an advocate against militarization and for immigrant rights, Jenn Budd is atoning for the abuses her former agency has committed, and is asking that all current border patrol agents lay down their guns and badges and join her.
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