Friday, April 07, 2006


First Week Back in the Desert

It's been quite exciting down here in Southeastern Arizona. We're only 40 minutes southwest of Tucson, but it sometimes feels like we are years away from reaching civilization.

As we sit late at night observing the Minutemen, the lights emanating from Tucson give off a sense that the sun is setting to the east, and I know that what is currently considered 'civilization' is only a few miles away. When I say it feels like we are years away from reaching civilization I am not referring to paved streets, corporate chains, and shopping malls, but a truly civilized society that respects human rights and upholds human dignity.

While the day-to-day life continues to occur in city areas the phenomenom of migration continues through the desert as it has for thousands of years. Only difference is that now people have to look out for Border Patrol agents, sensors in the ground, helicopters, pissed off ranchers, and crazy vigilantes.

While the migrants now have to bare the physical brunt of suffering, it is also those who are documented that suffer. We don't have to walk through the desert for days and fear asking for food and water, but we do have to fear aiding someone who is in need.

Imagine seeing a person so dehydrated that they are carrying a jug half-full with their own piss. Skin so burnt that you couldn't even guess their ethnic background and their feet are so blistered they can neither walk or run, but only waddle. Imagine seeing blisters on the persons feet the size of softballs and then when the person asks you for a ride, you say no.

The mental and moral anguish from a privileged person should not be the main focus of this growing human rights movement, but it certainly should be part of the discussion. Whle many animals migrate, humans are the only ones who go through great pains to keep the migration of their fellow beings from occuring.

You don't see a group of butterfly Minutemen trying to keep more Monarchs from flying into Cananda from Mexico.

Trying to follow a bunch of armed people who don't really like you is pretty absurd, but not quite as absurd as the thousands of deaths in the desert and the call for more militarization that will only increase the number of deaths.

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