Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Arizona Machine: Reflection on Tucson Kidnapping

By Raúl al-qaraz Ochoa

It's true. Life in pre-BS 1070 Arizona is the same as post-BS 1070 Arizona.

I saw the video of yesterday's kidnapping where young people in the south side of Tucson were forcefully separated from their dad and mom, they were taken away by Border Patrol.

Watching this violent assault on youtube got me sick. My stomach turned into a clenched fist. The blood circulating throughout my body probably stopped flowing for a bit and it turned into boiling lava erupting from my sad and outraged heart. and all i could do was cry, cry like a baby... for those children, for that family, for my family, por mi tia, por las mamas y papas de Tucson con los que organizo, por l@s jovenes que estan tan dentro de mi corazon y rezos. Por todas ellas y ellos, y los millones que no conozco.

Almost reaching 400,000 deportations (250,000 of those being 'non-criminal'), the Obama administration is on course to deport more people than any other president in u.s. history. His administration is following a disturbing government plan titled "Operation Endgame", which outlined since 2003 their goal of deporting all "removable illegal aliens by the year 2012". This kidnapping does not represent an accident in the system, it is an intentional part of the larger plan.

The video made me feel disempowered. so overwhelmed. Imagine how it can destroy a mother and her children. It's a trauma that never goes away. This nightmare is all too familiar to me and my family. Rage is too little of a word to describe my body's reaction. In fact, there are no words in the english or spanish languages that can express the tremendous sense of indignation that not only shatters my every bone, it also shatters my spirit and essence as a human being in this community.

I wonder... when are we going to end powerlessness in the face of such a monstorous system? We're up against law enforcement agents that operate under an evil state apparatus. Despite a court decision to temporarily block the "papers please" part of BS 1070, it still happens. and it will continue to happen with or without BS 1070. Clearly, if we are ever to achieve meaningful change, this oppressive machine must be entirely and completely dismantled. No court decisions, no laws or lawsuits, no elections and no public policies will ever be enough. Think of this unsuspecting family's struggle in the larger context of white supremacy, colonization, capitalism, war and empire.

There comes a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part, you can't even passively take part, and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all.
(Mario Savio of the student movement of the 1960's)

This quote rings true right now.

Mothers are being kidnapped. Fathers are being taken away on their way to work. And money is being made from their detention. CCA (Corrections Corporation of America, a private prison corporation) has infiltrated the corrupt AZ government forces and helped push for BS 1070 to pass! Deaths at the u.s.-mexico border continue to increase year after year after year as the national machine apparatus is scheduled to pour $600 million for even more border militarization!

Does this apparatus smell rotten to you? Does it make you sick at heart? Can you passively stand by as this is taking place on your clock, in your community? How would it look like for us to put our bodies upon the gears and wheels of this machine? What will it take to interrupt and completely shut down this machine? Somehow, somewhere, someday this empire machine will be taken down. It's only a matter of perseverence and time.

I have hope. I have faith. I will continue to organize... for this machine to fall. I will continue to pray... for all of us--past, present and future.

IRN Note: Raúl al-qaraz Ochoa's "The Arizona Machine: Reflction on Tucson Kidnapping" was originally published at

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At 11:58 AM, Blogger info said...

Thank for sharing your thoughts and feelings about the current issues and events surrounding Arizona. Your words are truly inspirational.

For those who wish to do something, start by signing the petition linked below to tell Obama to intervene in Arizona.

and if you wish to get involved and go to Arizona to help with organizing efforts please follow the link to Alto Arizona's Summer of Human Rights

Thank you again for spreading the word of these injustices. We continue with the struggle together.


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