Friday, March 7, 2008

Roma to Brownsville Walk

Border Fence Protest Walk
Starts Saturday

March 6, 2008 - 8:26PM
For more information:
More information about the protest is available by contacting event organizer and Border Ambassadors member John Moore at (956) 203-1499.

A South Texas group plans to protest the federal government’s construction of a security fence along the U.S. border with Mexico by embarking Saturday on 126-mile walk across the Rio Grande Valley.

“We have been talking about it for a long time, trying to get the picture across that it is not just Brownsville, but there is a lot of cities that are going to be affected,” said Crystal Canales, a 20-year-old University of Texas-Brownsville student who plans to take part in the nine-day walk. “The main thing is we are trying to support the people who have been sued.”

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has filed lawsuits throughout South Texas in recent months to gain access to private property to construct a fence intended to halt illegal immigration. In Hidalgo County, the federal government is constructing a concrete wall that also will serve to reinforce the area’s dilapidated levee system.

Canales said the protesters hope to grab the federal government’s attention with their protest march from Roma to Brownsville.

“We don’t want a fence built in our backyard,” she said.

Border Ambassadors, a grassroots network devoted to opposing the border fence and responsible for organizing the upcoming protest, has hosted five protest walks in the Rio Grande Valley, said John Moore, who helped organize the upcoming trek.

The walk, which is open to the public, is expected to start at 9:30 a.m. daily Saturday through March 16. Walkers will begin at the historic plaza in downtown Roma near City Hall and end up at UTB, where a rally is scheduled.

Each leg of the walk is between 10 and 16 miles. Walkers will stay overnight at Catholic churches along the way, or they can arrange for their own transportation between their homes and the starting and ending points each day.

Walkers also are free to participate in as little or as much of the trek as they want, even if that means walking just a portion of one of the legs.

Border Ambassadors has arranged for vehicles to follow along the protest route to carry walkers’ supplies. Participants are advised to bring a change of clothes, a sleeping bag, a water bottle and any necessary medications. Vehicles will also be close by in case of an emergency, Canales said.

Food and water will be provided throughout the walk.

“We think that it would be a great idea to get the community involved,” Canales said. “We think it will be a great way to get not just local attention, but national attention. We are going about this in a peaceful way to get people to listen.”


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