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Communique from the No Borders Camp

by Mexicali participants
NO BORDERS CAMP - Mexicali-Calexico, 7 Noviembre del 2007

Today approximately 200 people, including activists, migrants, workers, indigenous Cucapá people from Baja California, students, people from Mexicali, all over México and the world converged in Mexicali-Calexico's centres to create the first ever Bi-national No Borders Camp.
The No Borders Camp is an autonomous space created by people who are fighting for a world where no one is illegal, and part of a global movement that is growing stronger day by day. This camp is a space to share cultural and political work and experiences, without divisons of color, class, gender or nationality, an experiment in living in a way that is not determined by the state or by capitalist relations. The structure of the camp is horizontal. It is self-organized by those participating in the camp, without leaders, rulers or protagonists. It is an opportunity to direct our anger and analysis at these walls that divide people, these walls that are closed for some while open for others, these borders where only capital can travel freely.

Mexicali and Calexico are not sister cites, they are one city divided by a hyper-militarized line, where each year hundreds of migrants die trying to reach the other side and the so-called “american dream”. The borders are a method of segregation. These walls are the product of imperialism and invasion, products of those in power's desire to dominate and oppress. The border represents the separation of families and the imposition of racism, frustration, xenophobia, and death. The borders are opened for capitalism, and it is capitalism that is responsible for the world's poverty and also forces so many people to migrate in order to achieve a so-called decent standard of living. Seeing and living so much discrimination and injustice, we feel the need to show our contempt for all borders, what they represent and their consequences. Not only in México but also in many other parts of the world many people are dying, many people are divided and many people segregated by these walls that only exist to defend the interests of corporations and businesspeople, politicians and presidents.

You are invited to participate in the creation of this free and autonomous space, along with the forums, film screenings, talks, art, and music that will take place from 7 to 11 November, 18 years after the fall of the Berlin wall. Daily communiqués will be published via independent media, detailing the events that take place throughout the camp.

In solidarity,

Wednesday 7 November 2007
Mexicali, Baja California, México.
No Borders Camp
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by autonomous anonymous contingent
Open letter to the Minutemen, their friends and sympathizers

author: an autonomous, anonymous contingent at the No Borders Camp

To those who call themselves the Minutemen, their friends and sympathizers- we have a question for you. Do you support the North American Free Trade Agreement? Maybe like many Americans you are not quite sure what NAFTA is. It is an agreement between the leaders of the North American countries to formalize the program of "structural readjustment" that has been in various stages of implementation for some time now. This readjustment is in truth vast and complex but we can narrow it down to a basic concept and a concrete reality.

To those who call themselves the Minutemen, their friends and sympathizers- we have a question for you. Do you support the North American Free Trade Agreement? Maybe like many Americans you are not quite sure what NAFTA is. It is an agreement between the leaders of the North American countries to formalize the program of "structural readjustment" that has been in various stages of implementation for some time now. This readjustment is in truth vast and complex but we can narrow it down to a basic concept and a concrete reality.

The basic concept is nullification of tariffs, social support laws, those concerning labor rights or defending citizens from unscrupulous corporations, or dealing with benefits, programs of land reform or social security- namely because those laws are (or were) intended to help keep citizens "in the green-" at the potential expense or decrease in profit growth of big corporations. And the concrete example? Well there are many good examples, so lets just start with INMECAFE, the Mexican coffee institute that helped to stabilize and keep reasonable coffee prices in the world market for Mexican growers, that was proclaimed to be restrictive and unfair to free trade- a hindrance for those who only care for maximum profit. That program was disbanded, due to NAFTA, at a time when coffee growers were already suffering from a deep price reduction due to previous moves towards free trade. Another example might be the "reform" of article 27 of the Mexican constitution. This article provided legal means for peasants farmers and indigenous Mexicans to request the granting of communal living and farm land from the government, to be protected from seizure or purchase once created. This too was a hindrance to unfettered economic growth, and under pressure from multi-national corporate elites and influenced by NAFTA, the government eliminated this legal means of community subsistence. Maybe the reality of small farms loosing tax and market incentives and thus becoming less profitable sounds familiar to you or some of your family members. Big farms, employing fewer people and paying lower wages have the advantage now and buy up huge portions of land, once communal and family owned. Where do these families go? They don't just vanish. Perhaps you have heard about some of the problems associated with Genetically Modified corn? Aside from the fact that if any seed happens to contaminate your land by air or any other means then you can be held liable for "stealing" this often patented life-form, it is also weak and needy, requiring huge and constant inputs of expensive fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides. These harsh chemicals actually make pest infestation more likely over time. GM seed of any type can rarely be saved, making a once manageable expense a constant burden. In Mexico, traditional farmers in the past used to plant beans, squash, greens and other supplemental food crops in and around their older varieties of corn, thus providing a richer, healthier diet from a smaller space. The herbicides and fertilizers that now popular "green revolution wonder-corn" requires, however, makes this practice impossible as other plants are killed off; overall production actually falls and families are faced with the choice of going hungry or looking for sources of income elsewhere. It's not the fault of these small farmers that demands for corn in other parts of the world prompted multinational corporations and agencies to sell and give them this seed, but rather those who control the economics of "free trade" that benefit us in the north and force those in the south into endless cycles of cheap and destructive export.

And the examples don't end there- these are just a few that stand out- the list of problems that cause not just inconvenience but extreme poverty , homelessness, hunger or death is a long and growing once. OK you say, maybe NAFTA isn't all it's cracked up to be. So what? Well let us put it this way; if you support NAFTA then you support conditions that force Mexicans to immigrate into the more prosperous North. If you support NAFTA then your anger is completely unjustifiable and you should go home and get used to that particular byproduct of greed-based economics.
If however you understand that NAFTA is bad policy, then STOP fighting the impoverished people who are themselves forced by NAFTA to travel in search of work.

This is one reason why people know your organization is a racist one- aside from the fact that most of your members are white or in some cases self-hating and harbor strong racist sentiments, it is because you choose to harass and make life hard for those people of color forced to relocate instead of those comfortable white people who are doing the forcing in the first place. Do you really believe that so many from places farther south want to break up their families, endure hardship, ridicule or death in this racist country and work hard, dangerous jobs under the constant threat of trouble with the authorities or your vigilante groups? Do you think they do this for fun, for the thrill or maybe for a good laugh once deported back to home? If so then you are all hopelessly out of touch with reality. Most people believe the truth is that, despite your claims to the contrary, you simply like whiter people and don't care much for browner people- you fight those who themselves suffer from the symptom, instead of those who create the cause. If then you sincerely hope to correct some wrong situation that really does exists with this system then you are going to have to turn around, look up and north instead of down and south, and stand up to some powerful white people.

Perhaps cynicism (or just realism) causes us to think that this is not the path you will choose, because really you just want to make trouble instead of justice. Furthermore, putting an end to the conditions that make immigration a dangerous or deadly necessity for millions is only one part of process- one that you could potentially rally behind while maintaining your feelings of fear and hatred. The other part of the process is making movement from one part of the world to another a feely made and supported decision. This requires a capacity for love and understanding that you have shown no evidence of having. We will carry out this task with or without your resistance and would prefer not to have do deal with your stupidity and lies. A few things have been pretty clearly laid out for you. Consider yourselves educated- but also warned.

from an autonomous contingent of anonymous individuals
drafted November 9th 2007
No Borders Camp, Calexico/Mexicali

above article appears in original format @;

This article is great in identifying the source of majority of undocumented immigration into the U.S. from South America. Standing up against WTO, NAFTA and other imbalanced free trade policies will indeed bring together two camps split over immigration. In addition, indigenous people of Mexico, Guatemala, and elsewhere support a repeal of WTO?NAFTA free trade policies that threaten their sovereignty and economic independence at home.

On the issues of common ground, both marginalized candidates (Ron Paul Repub., Dennis Kucinich, Democ.) are oppossed to NAFTA/WTO and cite this as the source of the current immigration crisis. Neither of the above candidates is given their full voice time at their respective party's debates. It goes back to overly permissiveness (let them all come here to work for our economy) vs. overly restrictiveness (let's build a giant fence to keep "them" out), with neither side even mentioning a peep over WTO/NAFTA..

This is a microcosm of the debate between perceived "anti-immigrant" and "pro-immigrant" hassle lines, imagine if all that energy used to yell at one another was joined in (multilingual) unison against the corporate profiteers of WTO/NAFTA globalization policies (ADM, Cargill, Monsanto, ConAgra, etc..) and the USDA that looks the other way??

This from Food First;

"Wiebe, who recently traveled to meet with Mexican farm leaders, said "the NAFTA has devastated the Mexican countryside with rural impoverishment reaching a crisis point with over 75 percent of rural Mexicans living in poverty."

An estimated 600 peasant farmers are being forced off their land every day, Wiebe said.

A Public Citizen report in 2001 projected that up to 15 million small farmers will be displaced in the next 10 years because of NAFTA's agriculture provisions.

"As bad as NAFTA's seven years has been in the United States, the results for poverty-stricken Mexican farmers and consumers is horrific and puts to rest that myth that these trade deals benefit people in developing countries," she said.

The big NAFTA winners are large agribusinesses, many of which have had record profits, reports Public Citizen. Under the NAFTA time frame, Archer Daniels Midland's profits nearly tripled - from $ 110 million to $ 301 million - and ConAgra's profits grew from $ 143 million to $ 413 million dollars.

An NFU study last year clearly shows NAFTA hurt farmers in all three countries. Wiebe wants to end the "forced" trade of food and replace it with "the right of all people to produce their own food in culturally appropriate ways." "

article cont's @;

The Minutemen/SOS appear the most resistant party to opening any discussion of WTO/NAFTA as the source cause of undocumented immigrations, possibly a result of their heirarchal organizational structure and possible propaganda infiltration into the upper echelon of the psuedo-patriotic "right" coming from the CIA psy-ops themselves. Education and dialogue about NAFTA/WTO policies are the remedy to the "curse" of the Minutemen/SOS campaign of ignorance..

We can agree to disagree on choices of language, culture and music, while standing united against the imbalance and ineqality created by WTO/NAFTA free trade policies. Join Dennis Kucinich, Ron Paul and many others from both sides of the political spectrum when demanding the repeal of WTO/NAFTA policies..
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