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Indybay Feature

Blogger's Dispatch from a Borderless World

by kilroy
It's been two and a half days at the No Borders Camp, where around 200 radicals have seized a temporary autonomous zone in the middle of the low-intensity war zone known as the U.S. / Mexico border.

we've got water, we've got wallsIt's been two and a half days at the No Borders Camp, where around 200 radicals have seized a temporary autonomous zone in the middle of the low-intensity war zone known as the U.S. / Mexico border.

Surrounded at different times by the la migra, local police and sheriffs, U.S. participants have erected dozens of tents, two kitchens, toilets, a pirate radio station, and an in-the-field independent media center under the glaring desert sun. On the other side, Mexican anarchists have set up camp just across the fence from their companer@s to the north--but the two remain separated by a thin line of border patrol pigs armed with humvees, billy clubs and automatic weapons.

The half of the No Borders Camp originating from the U.S. side was seized on Wednesday at the end of a 3-mile march through the streets of Calexico, California. Originating at the pedestrian border crossing between Calexico and its would-be sister city Mexicali, a contingent of Mexican and U.S. anarchists converged on the fortified wall between their two nation-states, speaking and cheering through metal mesh and steel posts.

choppers overheadIt was a beautiful site: participants kissed through the grating of the border fence and banged on the wall with sticks and hands, chanting Queremos un mundo sin fronteras! and No borders! No Nations! No deportations! A few participants scaled the wall and hoisted a black flag on top of it (to the elation of the crowd below) before setting out on a long, dry march to a campsite whose location had been kept secret.

The march passed through the streets of Calexico with a minimal police escort, eventually making its way into Calexico's surrounding farmland. When we finally made our move, pulling off the road and into a sandy, triangular patch of land where a canal meets the U.S.-Mexico border fence, a mad rush ensued to set up tents and secure a perimeter before law enforcement could disperse the participants. Brush lines were hastily erected in front of a group of canine units, and a brief lockdown ensued behind a bicycle barricade, while backpacks and tents were hurled from the backs of pickup trucks and spread across the area.

keep back, effersWhen the dust settled--and that's not a figure of speech, it's very dusty here--a militant encampment had been seized on either side of the border fence, while a line of border patrol agents remained between U.S. and Mexican anarchists and their dream of a borderless camp.

Two days later, the situation remains largely unchanged, with alternatingly heated and lackadaisical standoffs taking place where the two camps would meet. In the meantime, insurgent art has overtaken the portion of the border fence which now divides the camp; its entire length is adorned with banners, spraypainted slogans and several ladders which allow participants to communicate with one another despite the boundary enforcement.

The situation remains, paradoxically, both jovial and tense. By day the No Borders Camp pirate radio station broadcasts music and camp announcements on 98.9 FM as helicopters fly overhead; by night participants meet in spokescouncils and discuss under the the glare of government floodlights.

we sleep under border patrol floodlightsCheck noborderscamp.org and San Diego Indymedia for a plethora of media from the No Borders Camp, and click here to listen live to No Borders Camp radio.

Crossposted from Lines of Flight

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