Urging the State to Drop the Charges Against the Tornillo Activists / by Karie Luidens

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Monday morning—two hours later. (The week is off to quite a start.)

After checking my email I clicked over to Facebook and found this post at the top of my newsfeed.

Tornillo: The Occupation

Monday, May 13, 2019 at 8:45 AM
Facebook video and press release

BREAKING: The sixteen activists from seven different states including California, New York, Missouri and Texas have been charged in connection with a Feb. 16 protest at the Border Patrol Museum in El Paso, Tx. Three individuals were charged with misdemeanor trespassing and thirteen were charged with felony criminal mischief. 

El Paso Police Department announced warrants have been issued during an April 4 press conference. Today at 8:30 a.m. four of the activists Amanda Tello, Nicolas Cruz, Monica Chan, and Skylar Ruch, are preparing to self-surrendered following a march from Aztec Calendar Park to El Paso County Jail. The activists read personal testimonies about what calls them to this work and are joined by supporters who carry signs urging the state to drop the charges. 

About seven minutes into the video, activist Monica Chan reads this statement:

Our young people who are fleeing from the south are devastatingly criminalized as they live in detention. They are incarcerated by design of our settler colonial society. The world has witnessed the spirit-crushing conditions of pop-up detention centers that separate families and ignore the dignity of people with darker skin. […]

There are many innocent people in prison. It weighs heavy on me that black women are imprisoned at twice the rate as white women. It weighs on me that U.S. policies such as the North American Free Trade Agreement devastated the livelihoods of Mexican farmers and forced many to flee their homelands in the first place and come to the U.S. out of survival. They’re only to be met here by hieleras and paramilitary white supremacists with guns. […]

In the revolutionary and loving words of Assata Shakur, “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and protect each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”