Oct.7-10: SOA Watch Vigil at the US/Mexico Border in Arizona

For immediate release
October 6, 2016

Contact: Hendrik Voss, 202-425-5128 hvoss@soaw.org
Eduardo Garcia, 484-663-1163, eduardo@soaw.org


29577039304_9f77f4f92c_oHuman Rights Activists, Migrants, Religious Communities, Veterans, Students and others from Across the Americas Are Now Arriving in Arizona to Highlight U.S. Foreign Policy as One of the Root Causes of Migration, and to Stage Protests and Nonviolent Direct Action against Militarization.

Photos and video footage will be made available to the media throughout the convergence here: SOAW.org/media

For a list of interview partners and their contact information, click here.

Nogales, AZ – After holding an annual vigil at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia, the human rights group SOA Watch is moving its convergence to the U.S./Mexico border in Nogales, Arizona/ Sonora Mexico. Activists throughout the U.S. and Mexico will gather on both sides of the US/Mexico border from October 7-10, 2016, in the lead-up to the November elections to protest against militarization, and to shine a spotlight on U.S. foreign policy as one of the root causes of migration.

Border Convergence Highlights (for a full schedule of events, see SOAW.org/border):

Friday, October 7
•    5pm – 7:30pm – Vigil and rally at the Eloy Immigrant Detention Center (1705 E Hanna Rd, Eloy , AZ, 85131)

Saturday, October 8
•    8:30am – 9:30am Veteran-led march in Nogales (Sonora/Arizona)
kick off on the U.S. side: Hotel Americana, 639 N Grand Ave, Nogales, AZ 85621
kick off on the Mexico side: Plaza Ochoa, Nogales, Son., Mexico
•    9:45am – 11:45am – Rally at the border wall in Nogales, Sonora / Arizona with speakers and musicians from across the Americas
featured speakers will include deported U.S. veterans, human rights activist and Green Party vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka; Isabel Garcia from the Coalicion de Derechos Humanos, Indigenous Community Defender Nestora Salgado; Maudí Tzy from the Alliance to Break the Silence and End Impunity from Guatemala, and others
•    8pm -10:30pm – Cross-border concert at the Mexico/U.S. border wall in Nogaes Sonora/ Arizona with Charlie King, Colleen Kattau, the Peace Poets, emma’s revolution, Natalia Serna La Muna, Olmeca, Pablo Peregrina, and Son Jarocho

Sunday, October 9
•     9am – 1:30pm – Vigil at the U.S./Mexico border wall in Nogales, Sonora/ Arizona to commemorate those whose lives were lost as a result of state violence.
Speakers will include Shannon Rivers, a member of the Akimel O’odham tribe; Padre Prisciliano Peraza, coordinator of CCAMYN in Altar, Sonora; Hector Aristizabal, Colombian human rights activist and torture survivor; Uriel Gamaliel Guzmán, Las Patronas; Marleny Reyes Castillo, Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), and others

Communities are being targeted for assassination and state repression throughout the Americas by U.S. trained military and police forces.  People from Latin America continue to be forced to flee from U.S. trained repressive security forces, only to be confronted with a militarized border, racist immigration laws, and xenophobic rhetoric in this election cycle. Black and Brown bodies in the U.S. continue to be targeted and systematically imprisoned and killed in the same way.  We can no longer separate the issues and today we say enough!  We cannot look at immigration reform without looking at its root cause.  We cannot discuss police brutality or the prison industrial complex in the U.S. without discussing its root purpose. State violence is used to exert control and oppress our communities in order to maintain an exploitative racist system.

The demands of the Convergence at the Border are:

•    An end to the destructive U.S. military, economic, and political interventions in the Americas.
•    De-militarization of the borders. We need to build bridges with our neighbors, not walls.
•    The dismantling of the racist and sexist systems that steal from, criminalize, and kill migrants, refugees, natives, gender non-conforming people, communities of color, and others throughout the hemisphere.
•    Respect, dignity, justice and self-determination for all communities, especially the poor and most vulnerable
•    No more profits over people! Private military, prison, oil, mining, and other corporations should not determine our future or that of the earth, the people should.

“We need to build broad-based grassroots power across borders, and push back against neoliberal politics of privatization of the commons, the militarization of our communities, and the upholding of profit interests over life, that permeate today’s political discourse.” said SOA Watch founder Father Roy Bourgeois. “We will stand on the side of mutual aid and solidarity, and build power for a culture shift.”

Human rights activists across the United States and Mexico mobilize their communities to take a stand for justice and against militarization from October 7-10, 2016 at the border wall in Nogales, Sonora / Arizona. The convergence will include workshops and events on both sides of the U.S./ Mexico border, as well as art, music, and resistance. To learn more about the SOA Watch Convergence at the Border, visit SOAW.org/border

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