Immigration reform is a hot topic again following the announcement on January 28th of a bipartisan proposal on the
subject--an announcement enthusiastically welcomed by the White House. However, there are many flaws--among the worst
is that it would continue the growth of border militarization. It is also troubling that this reform proposal moves
forward at the same time the White House is trying to secure ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, "NAFTA on steroids"-what
would be the largest Free Trade Agreement in the world. From our office in Tucson, Arizona, we can affirm that the combination
of FTAs and militarization has been a recipe for marshall law, economic disruption, displacement and deaths in the desert.
along with our partners at the Coalición de Derechos Humanos and the Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras, we are pleased to announce the Border Militarization Study Guide, a 12 lesson course in the effects of border militarization with a focus on action components for each and every lesson.
will be releasing the various chapters one by one, every Sunday, over the next 12 weeks, starting February 3rd. With
each release, the new chapter will be added to our website. Each chapter will include an online action and suggestions
for community mobilizations. However--none of the lessons is "final". The guide will remain a work in progress--an
ongoing draft. The study guide can never be truly done until border militarization has been stopped.
means that we very much want and need to hear from students of the guide so that we can continue to adapt and improve it.
Do you have suggestions? Questions? Comments? Reviews? Criticisms? Contributions? What
are your experiences teaching or attending classes? How about the online experience? Please contact us with your ideas--send
an email to email@example.com or call 202-544-9355 ext. 3.
WHY A BORDER MILITARIZATION STUDY GUIDE?
- Photo by Daquella Manera
Border militarization kills—as simple as that. The combination
of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), a racist culture of fear, and border militarization has created a situation that funnels
undocumented workers into the harshest desert terrains. The result: more than 6,000 dead, most from thirst, exposure or
dysentery, some shot and killed by the Border Patrol or armed vigilantes. All are casualties of US militarism. We demanded “Troops Out Now!” in Iraq and Afghanistan--we must demand the same for the borderlands.
Unfortunately, there are many willing to compromise on border militarization in order to get some kind of
immigration reform. But here in the desert, we find the bodies, we count the dead. That is why the Alliance for Global Justice
has prepared this 12-unit Border Militarization Study Guide. We hope this guide will be help people around the country as Congress and the White House consider border policy and immigration
reform. It is vital that we educate ourselves and take this struggle to the streets. Without popular pressure, we know what
we can expect: half-measures and more troops, weapons and walls.
For the year 2013, immigration reform will be a hot
topic. We must also talk about border militarization, and do everything we can to resist it and end it.
And we must talk about and take action to stop the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a huge new FTA that would include the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) signatories (Canada, Mexico
and the US) along with Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Under NAFTA,
as bad as it is, any of the member countries can withdraw with six months notice. The TPP has been described as "NAFTA
on steroids" and does not include this option. The TPP would be the largest FTA in the world.
- Photo by SF Pride At Work
It is the one-two punch of neoliberal FTAs and militarization that leaves
our borderlands strewn with the bodies of undocumented workers and their families. More than anything else, the goal
of this study guide is to education and inspire new activists in the struggle to end the militarization of the borderlands
and to defeat the TPP and to repeal NAFTA. So, no, this study guide is not meant to be a dry and artificially objective
exercise in academic discourse. The goal is action--action to end this cruel War on the Border--a war against workers
everywhere, especially the undocumented; against Chicanos and Chicanas and indigenous in their own native land and against
Latinos who are subject to racial profiling in the name of "border security"; against border communities and culture; against
the land. Each chapter will include an internet action component and will include ideas for action and movement building
in local communities.
HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE
The Border Militarization Study Guide is an adaptable
and evolving project. We have decided to put it out online, rather than publish it in book form, because as conditions and
issues change, we will update the material. Likewise, we want to hear from those using the guide—what ideas you have
to make it better, what points need clarification, how you are using and teaching it and other considerations you may want
to let us know about. If you have any questions or comments, please send an email to James Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-544-9355, ext. 3.
This guide can be used both for group or individual study. It could be part of a high school or college curriculum.
It could be used at neighborhood centers, Sunday Schools, book clubs, union study sessions—anywhere where people come
together to discuss the important issues of the day. For those studying as individuals, there is space for online discussion.
guide is as adaptable as one needs it to be. Some may choose to take each lesson unit by unit, others may combine lessons,
and some may skip sections altogether. For instance—a study by an organization of the non-religious may feel no reason
to study the Faith and the Border chapter.
We also recognize that students of this guide will have different levels
of time and attention to devote to the lessons. For instance, someone who works 40 hours a week and more, with a family
to take care of, will probably not be able to give as much focus to this course as a student who has woven it into the semester's
curriculum. Therefore, we have highlighted one or two components of each chapter as BASIC MATERIAL that covers the
major points being discussed. That will be followed by additional resources for more in depth treatment of the subject.
Finally, at the end of each lesson, there will be suggestions for further study.
Each chapter includes a Preface, Video
and/or Audio Testimony, Feature Articles, Discussion and Group Exercises, Take Action section, Online Discussion Forum,
Suggestions for Further Study and a Glossary. Scattered throughout the guide will also be photographs and poetry to augment
The Study Guide is broken down into the following ten chapters, or lessons:
NOTE: The various chapters of the study guide will be released on a weekly basis starting February
4th, 2013. As chapters are published, links will be added to the list below.
to Border Militarization
- Free Trade, Labor and Forced Migration
- Border Repression
and Human Rights
- When the Border Crosses a Family
- Border Militarization
- The Border as Marshall Law
- Splitting the Land in Two:
Ecological Effects of Border Militarization
- Border Culture versus the Culture of Fear
and the Border
- The Border is Everywhere
- The United States Has a Drug Problem
Northern Frontier: US Militarization of the Americas
Epilogue: How Do We Resist?
If you are interested in teaching or attending this class in your school, labor union, church
or home community, please send an email of inquiry to email@example.com .
If you would like to study this course independently and want to be able to post comments on the discussion forum
at the end of each chapter, please send an email of inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org . Of course, those studying the guide in a classroom setting are also authorized to participate in online discussions.
to all the many contributors, organizers, thinkers, staff and others who have supported the development of this guide. Especially
we wish to thank the three primary organizations behind the effort: the Coalición de Derechos Humanos, the Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras, and the Alliance for Global Justice.
This project simply would not have been possible without the support of the Earlham Border Studies Program
and the three interns they provided, who have really shepherded and midwifed this whole thing into being. The word “intern”
does not adequately describe what they brought to this project because they were not here just to learn and help out. Indeed,
they did more than anyone to develop the concept for this guide and to coordinate all the disparate parts and people and
efforts necessary to its completion. Specifically, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to Sophie Kazis, Nasim
Chatha and Will Wickham. Even before the Earlham Border Studies interns, there was Duke Feldmeier, of Prescott College,
who helped conceive and initiate this project.
We also want to extend a special thanks to
Chelli Stanley, who produced several of the original videos included in the guide and who has helped oversee the organization
of all the video components contained herein.
Click here to watch this short, informative video of a visit to the border by the Alliance for Global
Justice Board of Directors to learn about the impacts of border militarization.
Like the work AFGJ is doing?