The Southwest Catholic Worker Network has been meeting in
Tucson for a few years now. Our third gathering was November 2009 during the
weekend of the Ft. Huachuca demonstration against torture. Members of
Trinity House Catholic Worker (from Albuquerque) and the Las Vegas Catholic
Worker joined with three communities in Tucson (Casa Maria, Rose of the
Desert Catholic Worker, and the Restoration Community) and their friends
for a wonderful gathering at the Pima
Friends Quaker Meeting House @ 931 N 5th Ave. This was our agenda/schedule:
Discussing Immigration: Bob Carney & Maryada Voillet
Solidarity & Violence on the Border
Nuclear Abolition: 2010 is the year: Retire the Bomb! Come to New Mexico with the Pacific Life Community, Think Outside the Bomb and Trinity Nuclear Abolitionists
After all that, on Saturday, we then shifted into the larger group, joining the Ft. Huachuca Teach-In on Human Rights @ Southside Presbyterian Church (317 W 23rd St)
NOTES from the day in October:
We gathered at the Restoration Community house in Tucson on Sunday the 3rd of October 2010.
Throughout the day we had 12 participants. The two big roundtable discussions were on Immigration and on the militarization of outer space.
In the roundtable discussions of migration issues, we did a historical overview. Not many people traveled the Sonoran Desert in the 1980s—it was easier elsewhere. In the 1990s thousands were using this desert near here to get integrated into the US. In the late '90s the cauldron of angst/fear/hatred/racism was brewing so that vigilantes started showing up less than 10 years ago. They started in TX and then moved to AZ in 2009. The ranchers are a powerful political force in Phoenix. Now, 2010, SB1070 went into partial effect. We identified many problems and anecdotal stories in which we have been involved. Some groups working on solutions to the human rights problem (and the years they were formed are: Borderlinks, Humane Borders (2000), NoMoreDeaths (2004), Derechos Humanos, Diocese w/o Borders, Samaritans, Pan Left.
As Catholic Workers, we know that the ONLY SOLUTION IS LOVE.
Love in this case is further delineated as compassionate action, personalism in practice, kindness, charity, support, generosity, giving, service, the works of mercy and the works of resistance
And we discussed a few potential tactics for helping stop the fear and hatred against immigrants:
1.education—including highway signs such as “Arizona Law requires you to give water to anyone who needs it.”
2>>> direct experience/immersion trips with immigrants
3>>> indirect experience: a video summary of immersion experiences
5>>> help transport people back to Mexico who WANT to go there (who have given up)
In the roundtable discussion on the militarization of outer space, including drone warfare, we took note that the increase of drone usage in all branches of the US military. We identified the fact that the US military IS the “US jobs program” (to use socialist dogma that a nation creates jobs programs to keep the people occupied in meaningful work). Drones/robots are used for surveillance as well as weapon-delivery. Satellites are other pieces of equipment used for surveillance and weapon-guidance, as well as to help the drones/robots function. The use of robotic/automatic/drone warfare has serious moral, legal and spiritual implications. Joyce spoke about the WILPF letter-writing campaign, fliers, banners, etc. They do such resistance regularly. We also made plans for the next day's vigil/action, and made placards for it.