Breaking Free

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God bless the Palestinian people.

Which brings me to a new definition of "border" as put forth today by Luis Alberto Urrea:

BORDER, n. 1. An imaginary line imposed on an indigenous landscape by men who are not from that landscape; 2. A line that unites two different cultures and forms an unbreakable bond between them.

The first definition seems the most accurate, and helps explain why borders can be so dysfunctional for the people living at odds with them.

The second presents an invitation and a challenge to see the people on the other side as connected rather than separated from our reality on this side. The more familiar you are with someone, the more commonalities you can find between the "other" and you, the less likely you are to fear them, and much less likely to see any need to hate them.

We all need to break free from something. For the Palestinians, it was hunger, need, and imprisonment. Perhaps we need to break down the walls in our mind that define our views of borders, and look at the real purposes they serve, reject the divisiveness of the line and embrace instead the unity that can come from meeting there.

Speaking of meeting at the border, John Moore of Nonviolent Migration is organizing a walk to show support for landowners along the border who are resisting the fence. If you feel like being civilly disobedient, or would just like to spend a few days walking and talking with some passionate people in the gorgeous Texas sun for a just cause, sign up and get on down there.

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Jo said:




John Moore said:

Thank you for mentioning this in your post. Here is the press release.

In October of 2006, Border Ambassador Jay Johnson-Castro walked from Laredo to Brownsville in fifteen days to protest the Secure Fence Act of 2006. His walk, which he undertook basically alone, was covered by BBC and other international media, national and Texas press, radio and television.

Since that time, Homeland Security has moved forward without regard for the Rio Grande’s natural habitat and human rights to retain land held in families for generations prior to their property being in the United States. Additionally, the Texas Border Coalition, individual cities, elected representatives and others have attempted, mostly in vain, to negotiate with Michael Chertoff and the DHS in their blatant disregard for those who live along the Texas-Mexico border.

From March eighth to sixteenth, educators, students, religious and civic leaders and other Valley residents will walk 126 miles in nine days from Roma to Brownsville with Johnson-Castro as a non-violent protest—an alternative spring break. Courageous landowners are facing litigation by the U. S. Government. This No Border Wall Walk will bring the attempted segregation of our community to the attention to the rest of the nation in this election year. Concerned citizens are invited to join No Border Wall Walk and may sign up to participate at

For further information, contact John Moore at 956-203-1499 or

George said:

Your celebration is naive, as you fail to understand that not only are friends and relatives being reunited, militants are at this very momemnt smuggling weopons and explosives into Gaza. We can look forward to hearing of rockets being launched at the people of Israel. As to the case of the U.S.-Mexico border, you neglect to consider the rampant border violence, and MS-13 gang members and criminals fleeing Mexican justice, and all of the U.S. citizens who've died as the result of our authoritie's negligence in preventing the criminal element who accompany other migrants north. To callous open borders folks, this shameful activity is merely collateral to their agenda of continuing the free flow of migrants. Who mourns for the thousands of citizen victims killed every year? As citizens, aren't they the true constituency of their elected leaders? Shouldn't their welfare be considered before that of migrants when it comes to defending our borders from incursion?

janna said:

What celebration are you referring to, exactly? All I said was "God bless the Palestinian people." As Egypt moves to re-close the border, I fear for the safety of the innocent.
Arms smuggling goes on through the tunnels that run beneath the fence, and everything I have seen and heard points to hungry people, including many women and children, crossing to buy food, medicine, and other supplies that are either lacking or prohibitively expensive in Gaza. As usual, non-militant civilians are the ones suffering the most from the political and military bullshit imposed on them by Israel and by extremists living among them.
As for the U.S./Mexico border, the increase in drug trafficking and increasing firepower on the part of the narcos and the border patrol means greater danger for migrants as they get caught in the crossfire.
Militarizing the border is not the answer. "Open borders folks" is an overly simplistic and inaccurate description of those of us who see militarized borders as a bad thing. There are people who articulate the hopelessness of oppressive borders far better than I ever could; for example:

Changeseeker said:

I always find it intriguing the way some people perceive boundaries as other than humanly drawn figments of somebody's over-active need to control somebody else. The earth didn't come with boundaries. And the U.S. government snatching a third of Mexico and just putting the border where they wanted it (not that many generations ago) is a great example of how those aligned with unmitigated power like to blur the truth while they carve the lines deeper according to their own agendas. The problems at the Mexican-U.S. border have been greatly exacerbated and, in some cases created entirely, by the NAFTA. This "Agreement" tidily leveled the border for corporations to go INTO Mexico, bringing great suffering to tens of thousands of Mexican citizens. Despite watching their families brought to the brink of starvation by the NAFTA policies, however, Mexicans are forbidden to cross the border even to do jobs no one in the U.S. wants to do. Not even the Bush administration is suggesting that the bulk of those who cross that border have anything to do with drugs. And as for the wall in Gaza, it wouldn't have been downed if Israel hadn't been allowed to seal the Palestinians in what amounts to a death trap. The same U.S. powermongers that set up Mexico as a vampire closet for their corporate buddies have also, interestingly enough and not surprisingly, given the Israelis carte blanche to do as they will to the Palestinians, including seal them off from even the most basic supplies, such as food and medicines. Expecting the Palestinians -- or any people in a similar circumstance -- to just sit quietly while they watch their children and elderly wither away and die is the naive perspective.

kyledeb Author Profile Page said:

Hey George,

First of all I just want to officially welcome you to Citizen Orange. Is there anyway that you can tell us a little more about yourself so that we can get an idea of where your coming from and perhaps work towards some common ground?

Second, I want to personally apologize to you. You wrote a great comment on my entry about how citizens have to be looked out for over non-citizens and you brought up an argument that I've waited for someone with your point of view would bring up for years, regarding the whole "all humans are created equal" argument that I layed out. Anyway that you could write that again? My apologies.

Lastly, regarding this most recent comment, if you think militants needed to blow up this wall to get weapons your mistaken, and if you think starving the Palestinian people is the way to get Hamas to renounce violence, your not only mistaken your heartless.

You're characterization of gangs is also ridiculous. The reason MS-13 has been spread all over the hemisphere is because of U.S. deportation policies.

kyledeb Author Profile Page said:

This is the first time I've seen a random pro-migrant comment in all caps like this. I'm almost misinterpreted it for a second.

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This page contains a single entry by janna published on January 24, 2008 12:27 AM.

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