Taking these notes on a radio interview but I gotta go to the library! Then I’ll do a little research on this work.
- Listening to an interview with an indigenous woman from the Arizona/Mexico border on the radio.
I missed her first name, last name isOphelia Rivas.
- Lives on Tohona O’odham reservation, US is currently building border wall through the reservation, 1/4 mile from her house.
- Told a story about being stopped by INS agents for being brown, she said she was born on rez & this was her land first, agent put a gun to her head in front of her grandchildren. Her grandson then started playing cops, pretending his finger was a gun & holding it up to ppl’s heads.
- Building vehicle barrier along border meant US dug up burial grounds, put ancestors’ remains in boxes instead.
- Tribal council tried to ban her for protesting US gov building wall.
- Border wall means nation has been divided on diff. sides of border, border patrol is supposed to give them clearance for travel for ceremonies but doesn’t always.
- Has started documenting harassment by Homeland Security, gives know your rights trainings, Homeland Security is retaliating by beating & arresting ppl including elders, unwarranted searches of homes & cars.
- Reservation on US side is as big as Connecticut.
- Homeland Security goes thru stopping ppl for papers under SB1070 on reservation, ppl have to show papers even tho they obviously are tribal citizens not US citizens, many elders don’t speak much english.
- Very high unemployment, poor roads, 3 casinos but money still isn’t getting put into infrastructure. Didn’t have electricity & running water til 1970s.
- Drug & human trafficking happening thru reservation, scapegoat for government to use for harassing ppl.
- working on solidarity with EZLN, indigenous ppl around world, sees work as global issue. Went to Bolivia for climate change talks.