Friday, February 29, 2008

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

At our recent meeting in Presidio I mentioned my idea of a 16 ft. high wall to dramatize the proposed border wall. Dave Long suggested it be portable. I have taken some of his ideas and some of my own and am prepared to build one this weekend with the following specifications:Frame constructed of 3/4 inch black steel pipe and measuring 8 ft. wide by 16 ft. high. Off the shelf threaded fittings would be used to fasten the sections together. The frame would be filled with extruded metal lathe such as used in stucco wall construction. It could be easily folded in half, width and length wise to fit in a pickup bed. It would be mounted on a frame of 2 by 6's which would also be carried in the truck bed. The frame would be anchored with sand bags to keep the wall upright in strong winds. It could be dismantled easily with small pipe wrenches.Unless people object I will build it this weekend in my garage and cover the cost of materials myself. I do not think the cost will exceed $250. Clarence Russeau and Eve Trook have volunteered to help. Volunteers would be needed to arrange demonstrations and locations to protest the wall and make people aware of the visual impacts the border wall will have. Photos or diagrams showing the impact of virtual walls would also be desirable. They will require wide swaths of cleared land, roads, and lights with cameras on 100 ft. towers.If anyone objects or thinks it is a lousy idea they should email me immediately. It has been 1.5 weeks since our meeting and this weekend is my last chance to help. I can be reached at or 432-364-2399.Roger Siglin

(each needs more people to work with it; many can be replicated in other towns than the town where each is beginning; let the digest ( know where YOUR project is happening; new projects will be posted here Mondays and added to the website as a way to link with other other NO WALL activists who seek to collaborate with a group)

BORDER WALL WALKS PROJECTS (COMBINED WITH MOBILE WALL PROJECT) by Mexican/U.S. citizens on or as near as possible to the levees where the wall sections are planned for spring 2008 construction: 6.1 miles at Presidio and 4.7 miles in Hudspeth County.

David Long, Roger Siglin , Eric Hernandez, Father Mel: MOBILE WALL FOR NO-WALL RALLIES: LOCALLY, REGIONALLY and NATIONALLY. Build a sample of what the wall will look like: light weight and trailerable - easy to travel around with - have several panels of it - put the panels along the highways as a demonstration between towns - use it with a walk through Presidio - plans on the NO WALL website to encourage others to do the same - take it to demonstrations along the River to show exactly what a wall will be (specs for the wall are in the Environmental Assessment on line and distributed at the Marfa Open House: two types will be used in the Marfa Sector, one in Presidio and the other in the Sierra Blanca wall section). This project was decided on instead of a border wall walk, an expensive and logistically difficult feat for the hundreds of people wishing to do something against the border wall; the group decided that the Mobile Wall Panels Project provides publicity which efficiently educates the public visually, often, and well about the Wall.

Julie West : ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENT PROJECT. Students in Presidio and Ojinaga will create environmentally related posters about the wall and write student editorials.Roberto Lujan : KNOW YOUR RIGHTS PROJECT. Create a back pocket flyer based on TRLA designed brochures which spell out immigration and border rights for all citizens, in English and Spanish. Printing, distribution along the border communities.

Lee : OJINAGA STUDENT WALL PROJECT - Mexican students will design posters showing their bonds across the border; it is not just US students who feel one with the adjoining Mexican communities


- BORDER HOTLINE PHONE / VIDEO PROJECT: documenting border crossing interactions as well as checkpoint interactions to keep the, border feeling safe for citizens of both nations, see

Clarence Russeau : BUSINESS CARD PROJECT - wide distribution of cards with BORDER HOT-LINE number for documenting harrassment

David Shane Duke, Nat Stone, Cynta de Narvaez : BORDER VIDEO PETITION PROJECT - production of video clips on both sides of the border, all walks of life, interviews re the border wall, posted on YouTube, (three of Nat Stone's videos are posted there now), national/international distribution, teaching people to use video cameras for documentation

Father Mel : REDFORD CITIZENS GROUP PROJECT (begun with the death of Ezekiel Hernandez) reactivating

Barbara Baskin (432-384-2396) : NO WALL ORDINANCE/RESOLUTION PROJECT - Alpine is considering a no wall resolution. Berkeley CA has passed one. Presidio Mayor requested language for one. Project will collect and make available resolution language for governments to consider and pass.

Martha Stafford : DOOR TO DOOR PROJECT (Terlingua-Study Butte-GhostTown) Distribution and discussion of TRLA Know Your Rights brochures.

Adrienne Evans : NO WALL STRATEGY CONFERENCE, SAN ANTONIO PROJECT - Adrienne will provide 12 riders space in her van. Southwest Workers Union will provide housing with members. Or motel rooms can be shared. No cost for conference. February 22-24 (Begins Friday evening, ends noon on Sunday, so home that evening).

- CHILDREN ON THE BRIDGE PROJECT: exchange on the bridge itself, pictures that the children draw and letters that they write about the border wall

Eve Trook : NONVIOLENT PEACEFORCE PROJECT - nonviolent workshop for communicating with Border Patrol, available in each regional community on request


-Local Government resolutions against the wall -Talking to your neighbors and friends -Video petition/documentary -Youtube videos that we collect and send to local officials- -Make the politicians aware of the border culture, educate the politicians.


-Get the land owners connected -Human rights observers
-What is a virtual wall - information-REAL ID ACT workshop/education - "ANY AND ALL" laws may be waived by Chertoff if they impede building the wall - therefore no environmental laws will protect the river - 19 laws waived in just one Arizona park

MEXICO'S CONSUL SPOKE ABOUT HIS GOVERNMENT'S VIEW OF THE WALL - "this is not the way to sort out these problems, especially in the 21st century"... In reference to immigration - border between the developing world and highly developed world - US has taken immigrants as contribution to its power - the contributions of immigrants, not just Mexican, have been large - immigrants are not terrorists (poster with famous american immigrants) - Mexico - the environment will be severely affected by the wall. Along the border - cooperation is on both sides of the border - the sides depend on each other. There is a lack of knowledge nationally of what is happening on the border - development and cooperation reach through the border and contribute to existence on both sides of the border. Yes, we have to stop drug trafficking - where there is a market there are sellers and in BOTH countries we do not deal with that. There are international groups (gangs, mafia) who are working against both Mexico and the United STates - we have to fight that, not divide communities. -Is the govt. of Mexico willing to sue the US over environmental damage? Consul does not know.


Rodriguez calls on Chertoff to liaise with border communities about border wall By María González-Escareño

U.S. Rep. Ciro Rodriguez

LAREDO, February 6 - U.S. Rep. Ciro Rodriguez has written to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff requesting enforcement of a new law that requires formal consultation with border communities affected by the proposed border wall.
Public Law 110-161 was a provision written into the Omnibus Appropriations Bill passed in December by U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, R-Texas, and Rodriguez.

Aside from requiring DHS to consult with local governments and communities, it also stipulates that no funds will be released for border security fencing, infrastructure, and technology until DHS has complied with P.L. 110-161.

Last week, Rodriguez, D-San Antonio, wrote Chertoff to emphasize the importance of the legally-mandated consultation.
“The consultation process was not intended as a hollow requirement, but as an essential element in the Department's efforts to implement a sound border policy,” said Rodriguez. “The input from these stake holders who live and work in the border region can serve as a valuable and necessary asset in achieving the ultimate goal of border security.”

In the letter, Rodriguez referred to the “open house” meetings held in border communities as part of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. He said that while opportunities for public input on environmental issues associated with the proposed fence are crucial, there are other concerns that must also be addressed under the consultation mandate.

“As stated in P.L. 110-161, in addition to environmental concern, the consultations should involve discussions of efforts to minimize the impact of fencing on the culture, commerce, and quality of life of the affected communities,” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez said he is interested in the manner by which DHS will implement the remainder of the consultation requirements. He requested a list of the dates and locations of past public meetings and meetings previously held with local officials regarding new border fencing and infrastructure. The congressman also asked for a schedule of planned consultation meetings.

Rodriguez asked Chertoff to provide this information no later than Feb. 08. Angela Barranco, Rodriguez's press officer, said that several TBC members will visit with their respective congressional leaders in Washington D.C. on Thursday, and that Rodriguez's letter will be a topic of discussion in the meetings.
Border leaders had concerns regarding DHS's willingness to comply with consultation requests by local communities. In early January, DHS sent a letter to the Texas Border Coalition stating that the department would not suspend work on the construction of the fence to hold additional consultation meetings. Chad Foster, chairman of the coalition, responded DHS with a letter requesting for more consultation for the local communities.

Tensions also ran high among border leaders when the federal government filed a lawsuit against the City of Eagle Pass for access to city-owned land. The hearing was held without city representation, and the ruling granted the government access to more than 200 acres for land surveys to determine if border fence construction was feasible.

Del Rio Mayor and TBC member Efrain Valdez said that he hopes his federal elected officials will put some pressure on Chertoff to comply with the consultation mandate, but that he is skeptical of the secretary's intentions.

“Sometimes he appears to be interested, and sometimes he doesn't. When the border mayors have met with him he seems to be sensitive to our needs and to what would work here. Then all of a sudden, he turns around and does the opposite of what he's telling us,” said Valdez.

Valdez also said that the border mayors are not against border security, but that they need to provide input on the border fence construction because they know what works and what doesn't in their communities.

“Here in Del Rio, a fence at the port of entry would work because we are just about one mile from the city limits and need something to funnel in the traffic and pedestrian traffic,” said Valdez. “But in Eagle Pass and Laredo, the fence won't work because it cuts through their downtown areas. What Ciro is saying is to listen to the different communities because they know what works and what doesn't.

“I hope Chertoff listens to Congressman Rodriguez's letter because he does represent the biggest area that borders Mexico and he has a lot of good input to provide,” said Valdez.


Photos below taken outside Paisano Hotel, Marfa, Texas, prior to the DHS Open House on that same afternoon.