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Indybay Feature

No Borders Landscape

by Radi
Physical description of landscape along the border wall and nearby land.
Pedaling out of the No Borders Camp (U.S. side) on Thursday afternoon, I saw a landscape carved and manipulated. Multiple efforts at controlling the flow of movement are evident. Aside from the actual border wall, which is indeed an ugly metal imposition on the land, the system of control includes a dusty, barren road, dotted with observation cameras and star occluding street lights. Trees push up along some sections of the Mexican side, but the U.S. side offers only oppressive patrolling opportunities for border control and homeland security. No respite for animals in the heat. No space for desert plants to execute their unique survival strategies.

Land in proximity to the border wall also reflects the mentality of separation and demarcation. North of the wall, canals manipulate not only rivers, but dry land as well. Salinated farm land lies vacated. Dirt roads separate a canal system that robs Mexico of the Colorado River. Just as the appropriation of the Colorado River affects the ecosystem of this desert, the border wall fragments habitat for plants, animals, and people. An arbitrary boundary hinders the freedom of movement of families and workers, breeding animal populations, and even seed dispersal.

Among all of these scars on the landscape, some natural movements persist. After today's action at the I.C.E. detention center in El Centro, we saw a flock of birds migrating south. They cross the border with same demands of freedom that fills this camp. Singing passionately and with intense unity, the flock thwarted the border, as do we.
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