No Border Wall Walk- Day 1 or A Lesson in Solidarity

    No Border Wall Walk- Day 1

The pins were white with red sequins. A junior high-school student at Rivera High School made them to show the unity between the United States, Canada, and Mexico throughout the common colors of their flags. The pins were worn today by everyone walking the 14 miles from Roma to Rio Grande City, Texas. Overalls and cowboy shirts looked great with these ribbons sparkling on them. Button-downs and floppy fishermen hats looked unified with these ribbons flapping solidarity in the westerly wind.

The response from communities along the Rio Grande was phenomenal. With nary a permit, police forces from Roma and Rio Grande City escorted us as we left the scenic birding bluffs by the international bridge (a section of historic downtown and environmental treasure which would be cut off by the Secure Fence Act of 2006). The Rio Grande City police force crossed town lines in order to tell us they would be waiting just inside the city limits. For much of the march in their city, we had 3 police cars. Shutting down an entire lane of traffic through the gorgeous downtown district, cars were honking as the entire group chanted “We don’t need no border wall, we are people one and all” and “No al muro!” Every honk, every hand wave was interpreted as a positive gesture because we were intent on conveying a thoroughly nonviolent message in opposition to the border wall. As Titus 1:5 states, “To the pure all things are pure.”

After a long day of sunburn, calloused feet, tired eyes, and bloated bellies thanks to Father Amador and his wonderful welcome at Immaculate Conception Church, we sat down to discuss the purpose of our walk in terms of opposing the border wall and advocating for immigration. We came to realize that we are looking at a Rubik’s Cube, a single facet of a much larger immigration issue with global repercussions. We in the Rio Grande Valley are a pivot point for real immigration reform. This border wall, while it can be defeating and discouraging, is our golden opportunity to show the golden rule to those seeking the land with streets “paved with gold.” Esther 4:14 states, “…who knows but that you were have come to [this] position for such a time as this.” U.S. Congressman and former SNCC chairman John Lewis put it this way.

“…I began believing in what I call the Spirit of History. OtSmart Borders › Edit — WordPresshers might call it Fate. Or Destiny. Or a Guiding Hand. Whatever it is called, I came to believe that this force is on the side of what is good, of what is right and just. It is the essence of the moral force of the universe, and at certain points in life, in the flow of human existence and circumstances, this force, this spirit, finds you or selects you, it chases you down, and you have no choice; you must allow yourself to be used, to be guided by this force and to carry out what must be done. To me, that concept of surrender, of giving yourself over to something inexorable, something so much larger than yourself, is the basis of what we call faith” (Walking with the Wind 64).

Few people raised concerns when parts of the wall were constructed in Arizona and California. That is our fault, and we are guilty for our complicit acceptance of this immoral action. We must raise our voices now, because this is on our watch. Victor Hugo wrote, “There is no force more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” Our backs are against a wall – the time is here, and we have a united community with which to nonviolently oppose the Secure Fence Act and all it symbolizes.

This is our chance to show solidarity on all fronts, to show the image of God and the spark of the divine in all peoples, both these residents with lands and lives on la frontera endangered by physical walls and also in the lives of displaced peoples and refugees the world over who are being denied a fair chance at citizenship. Perhaps the ribbons that high-school student made for us to wear should be rainbow-colored, to reflect the wide array of immigrants in every nation queued in quotas and waiting refugee status. Come join the walk tomorrow as we walk to Holy Family Catholic Church and have a rally as we arrive at 5:00. We have a ribbon for you as well.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 Responses to “No Border Wall Walk- Day 1 or A Lesson in Solidarity”

  1. No Border Wall Walk- Day 1 or A Lesson in Solidarity Says:

    […] kenji wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptThe pins were white with red sequins. A junior high-school student at Rivera High School made them to show the unity between the United States, Canada, and Mexico throughout the common colors of their flags. The pins were worn today by … […]

  2. kiel harell Says:

    Great post! It’s a pleasure walking with you.

  3. Mark Says:

    I’m encouraged by the walk and compassionate, non-violent approach to seeking immigration reform. I cannot help but think Dr King would be proud of what you’re doing. As you refernced the previous immigration blunders, and every country has some, I’m reminded that the best time to plant an oak tree was 50 years ago…and the second best time to plant one is today! I’m glad you’re using this very day and remainder of the week wisely, seeking to make a difference in so many peoples’ lives.
    May God bless you with safety, solidarity and may you meet some wonderful people all along the way, all made in the image of God. As I am reminded in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, it’s what happens along the journey that matters. Enjoy the journey!

  4. Lauren Says:

    “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

    Love you Matt. muah.

  5. Tomorrows Trust - A Review of Catholic Education » “…don’t need no border wall, we are people one and all” Says:

    […] No Border Wall Walk- Day 1 or A Lesson in Solidarity (blog) […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: