Tag Archives: Borders


Community Members Rally for Removal of Border Patrol Checkpoint

On Sunday, December 8th, 2013 community members from Arivaca AZ marched two miles down Arivaca Rd. to deliver a petition to the United States Border Patrol, calling for the immediate removal of the checkpoint on Arivaca Rd. Arivacans and their supporters from Amado, Tubac, Green Valley, Tucson and the surrounding communities converged on the checkpoint from either side to rally for its removal. To read more about Arivaca’s anti-checkpoint campaign and to sign the community petition visit: phparivaca.org.


Challenging the Roots of Norway’s Tragedy

The horrific murder of 76 people in Norway on July 22nd underscores the fact that, much like in the United States, migration is a giant issue facing Europe. The 1,500 page political manifesto released by Anders Behring Breivik, the confessed killer, blends together racist, anti-feminist and anti-marxist rhetoric with islamophobia and anti-immigrant vitriol. Yet Breivik’s diatribes are not such a far cry from the political tide gaining strength in many countries of Europe. New laws in France and Belgium banning the veil and the burqa and the rise of anti-immigrant political parties have served to strengthen an extreme right wing agenda on the European continent.

One of the goals of Uprooted is to draw connections between migration and other social / economic phenomena. What are the forces in the contemporary world that push people to leave home, family, neighbors, the familiar to cross barriers of mountains, oceans, deserts and language to go to other, often hostile countries?

Why does the extreme right focus on immigration? How does xenophobia reinforce the imperialist, white, male hegemony, so blatantly promoted by politicians and much of the media? And most chillingly of all: are attacks, like those perpetrated in Norway, the logical next step to arise from the political ideologies espoused by the far right – little examined,  frequently underplayed or even at times rationalized in the corporate media.

Deep Dish TV and the Uprooted team are working with European filmmakers and activists to develop a series of short documentaries that focus on the dimensions of the migration conflicts in Europe, including No Borders a group that challenge the very concept of nation-states and borders.

The following video is from a 2007  No Borders camp on the California/ Mexico border:

Uprooted will help to create an alternative to the mainstream medias discourse on immigration, which finds expression in and  fuels the rise of hate groups and the extreme right.

In their search for a narrative through which to filter the tragic attacks in Norway, many media outlets framed the bombing and shootings in an all too familiar way. Many outlets first pointed fingers at “Islamic terrorists” before anything was even known about the cause for the attacks. The Sun and the Washington Post, not only assumed the tragedies were the result of Muslim militant groups, but that they were attacks on “Western values,” tactical strikes in the so-called “Clash of Civilizations” between “the West” and Islam. In reality however, it was those very theories that state that Europe or “the West” is at “war” with Islam that drove Breivik to his actions. Those actions that he claims were a preemptive strike against the “Islamization” of Europe.

As Glen Greenwald points out in an article for Salon.com, the news media immediately stopped calling the attacks “terrorism” when they learned that the perpetrator was a white European nationalist. This is because, as Greenwald puts it, “Terrorism has no objective meaning and, at least in American political discourse, has come functionally to mean: violence committed by Muslims whom the West dislikes.” With attitudes like this perpetuated by the so-called “liberal news media” is it any wonder that members of the ultra-right have stated that they ideologically agree with Breivik, even if they don’t condone his violence?

The mainstream media has labeled Breivik a “madman,” an “extremist,” and even a “psychopath”. By dismissing him as a crazy individual they neglect to place his racist and anti-immigrant rhetoric in its rightful context: within the rise of right-wing extremism and white supremacy in Europe. The “lone madman” interpretation of events ignores the fact that in the past few years the anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant hatred of the so-called “extremists also finds congruence within mainstream “reasoned” political discourse . Last year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel commented that multiculturalism had “utterly failed.” Shortly before these comments, a German politician released a book criticizing Germany’s immigration policy for engendering the same “Islamization” of Germany and Europe that Breivik feared. Both British PM David Cameron and French President Sarkozy have cast multiculturalism as a threat to their societies.

In his manifesto, Breivik listed Dutch anti-immigrant politician Geert Wilders as one of his greatest influences.  Wilders has compared the Quran to Mein Kampf. While Wilders has hastily denied any connection to Breivik, his influence, and that of others like him cannot be denied. As author, journalist and professor Jeff Sharlet stated in an interview on Democracy Now!, the right wing politicians and pundits “are engaging in a rhetoric that sort of walks right up to that step of violence, and Breivik took the step. And it’s a little disingenuous for them to say, ‘Well, we never imagined anyone would do that.’ Painting Islam and immigrants as a threat to ‘western society’ that cannot be reasoned with and must be stopped at all cost paves the way for violence.”

In a well reasoned argument on Democracy Now!, renowned Norweigian peace activist and scholar Johan Galtung, compared Breivik’s philosophy to Nazism in no uncertain terms. He also stated however, that, ” This is exactly the ideology of the Washington-led attack on Muslim countries.” Citing the bombing of Libya and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as policies that take the same philosophy used by Breivik to its logical conclusion. These are scary realities to confront.

Nevertheless, Galtung did offer some words of hope for a solution. He stated that what is needed is a renewed call for dialogue; with the extreme right as well as with those groups which they so fear. “What a fantastic symbol this would be” he said, “leaving these rightists behind, saying, “You are not a part of our history. You belong to the past. Come and join us in this endeavor. Talk with the Islamic people you are so afraid of.” And you will find them 99.99 percent very, very reasonable.”

Fighting dehumanization in this way is the best strategy for challenging the largely white, straight, male political and cultural establishment that so fears the power of a more culturally integrated generation. That is why Uprooted is devoted to reclaiming the humanity of migrants both documented and undocumented. By telling their stories and giving them a place to have their voices heard Uprooted hopes to contribute to this dialogue for peace. By examining how migration relates to labor, imperialism, patriarchy and globalization Uprooted will contribute to the arguments that stand against xenophobia and racism. We hope that this project will be a tool that can be used to help stem the flow of hatred and challenge the pathological path advocated by those like Anders Breivik.

To learn more about Uprooted and how you can get involved just click here!

After Deportation: Portraits of Migrants

This first video production of Deep Dish TV’s Uprooted series examines the issues of Deportation and crossing the border from Mexico to the United States. The U.S.- Mexico border is the most frequently crossed international border. Many of those who traverse it, do so without travel documents, risking their lives to reach the other side. These five portraits, filmed in June of 2009, are the stories of five such Mexican migrants, recently deported to Nogales, Mexico; right across the border from Arizona.

[blip.tv ?posts_id=4947044&dest=-1]

Immigration Panels at the Left Forum

This weekend New York City hosts the largest annual conference of left minded people and organizations, the Left Forum. Among the many panels scheduled to take place, several will address issues related to migration and immigration politics.

North of the Border: Organizing migrant workers in Canada will take place on Saturday from 12:00 pm to 1:50 pm.

This session critically reflect on theory and action in migrant worker organizing in Canada. Drawing on personal experiences as organizers and allies of migrant farm workers and temporary foreign workers,the panelists will engage on theoretical insights in a number of fields including immigration, political economy, popular education and law. the panel strives to bridge the gap between theory and practice in migration studies. In particular, they interrogate recent academic claims that an impasse exists within migrant farm worker organizing: a ‘rights-based’ approach stands in direct and explicit conflict with a ‘direct action’ approach. Through this intellectual engagement, panel participants aim to build a common understanding of the opportunities and challenges confronting ‘low-skilled’ migrant worker organizing in Canada and to provide lessons learnt for organizers, academics and activists from the Canadian experience.

Racism and resistance in the immigration debate will take place on Saturday from 5:00 pm to 6:50 pm.

This panel will address how racist, dehumanizing terms such as “illegal” play a crucial role in generating and reinforcing racial animus toward immigrants. This harmful and colonizing language, which is too often granted an unchallenged platform in the media, underpins policies that violate human rights, and hurt immigrants and all communities of color. On this panel, media activists, organizers and journalists discuss strategies of resistance and reflect on the lessons of their own work at the front-lines of the immigration debate. From the movement of “Dreamers”–the immigrant youth who have “come out as undocumented, unafraid and unapologetic” in the media, especially during the Dream Act campaign; to the Nation’s expose of immigrant-bashing former CNN host Lou Dobbs’s reliance on undocumented labor; to a new campaign calling on journalists to “Drop the i-word” (illegal) in their coverage of immigrants.

Creating a Fair Food System: Solidarity Between Farmers and Farmworkers will take place on Sunday from 10:00 am to 11:50 am.

This workshop will focus on labor on farms in New York State and efforts to create better conditions for farmers and workers through domestic fair trade, new opportunities for recent immigrants and immigration policy reform. Farmers in NYS are heavily reliant on migrant workers, both documented and undocumented. We will explore who these workers are, where they come from, and the challenges faced by both farmers and workers. Raids from immigration officials are on the rise in New York, resulting in deportations and extreme anxiety for both farmers and workers. This panel will discuss how we can address these challenges through support for domestic fair trade and reform of our immigration policies. Panelists will describe the New Farmer Development Project which supports immigrants in establishing their own farm businesses and the work of the Agricultural Justice Project (AJP) to create a new label, Food Justice Certified, with the goal of changing relationships in the food system.

Pass the Dream Act: How the student immigrant youth is leading the immigration debate will take place on Sunday between 3:00 pm and 4:50 pm.

This panel reflects on how in 2010, immigrant youth & children of immigrants across the nation took destiny into their own hands & united at the local & national level to galvanize support & pressure legislators to pass the DREAM Act. Risking their lives & livelihoods, undocumented youth came forward & openly declared themselves “undocumented and unafraid.” In NY, immigrant youth carried out a 10-day hunger strike in front of Senator Schumer’s office, dozens of rallies, vigils, marches & die-ins. At the national level, there were acts of civil disobedience staged on congressional buildings, hunger strikes, protests, a mock graduation ceremony, & DREAM University in front of the White House. Undocumented youth demonstrated how a national movement with minimal funding & infrastructure can shift the discussion and bring the Dream Act to the political forefront.

Asalto al Sueño Trailer

A film by Uli Stelzner about the struggles of Central American Migrants passing through Mexico to cross the U.S. border:

Check out scenes from the film and an interview with the filmmaker:

Two Americans- A Documentary Film

A new documentary film by Dan De Vivo and Valeria Fernández, ,a href= “http://www.twoamericans.com/”>Two Americans, juxtaposes the experience of an Arizona girl as her parents face deportation to Mexico and Arizona’s infamous Anti-Imigrant Sheriff Joe Arpaio as he faces criminal charges himself. You can watch the trailer on our videos page.

Putting Arizona in Context

The new documentary series Under Arpaio from Pan Left Productions looks at the repressive measures and abuses of Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, and examines the significance of Arizona to the national immigration debate.

Click here to watch clips from the film and read a statement by the producers, Jason Michael Aragón and Mary Charlotte, about the urgency of the struggle against discrimination and hatred in light of the SB1017 anti-immigrant law and the current political climate of Arizona.