Tuesday, September 20, 2011

TONATIERRA Festival de Resistencia Press Statement

Manu Chao

 Press Statement
Tuesday September 20, 2011

Comités de Defensa del Barrio
Primer Festival de Resistencia
September 21, 2011

In 1967 after the battle of Selma, Alabama Dr. Marin Luther King stated:

“We have emerged from the era of Civil Rights into the era of Human Rights.”

In 1967 Dr. King delivered this message and in 1968 he was assassinated.  If he were alive today, he surely would be one of those who would give voice in denunciation of the ongoing systematic discriminatory policies of state sanctioned racial profiling which have come to be the norm for police practices across Arizona since the passing of AZ SB1070 just over a year ago.
September 20, 2011 in front of Sheriff J. Arpaio's office - Wells Fargo Bank Center Phoenix

Human Rights are expression of the inherent responsibilities we all share as global citizens, as members of the public whether or not we have status as citizens or nationals of any particular state or country.  Accordingly, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states in Article 23:

Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.

Just like in Selma in 1967 we are being called to the Bridge of History.  And just as then, we are reminded by all those who have gone before across that Bridge, people like John Ross of the Cherokee Nation, Dr. Martin Luther King, Mahatma Ghandi, and Cesar Chavez, and the Parihaka Maori of Aoteroa that:

“Justice is always compelling, not always popular.”

It is not the popular position in Arizona today to stand for the principle that “Everyone has the right to work” yet this is the law of the land.  The US is after all a signatory to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.

The issue is not the right to work, the issue is the criminalization of our families and communities that has resulted from the pogrom of persecution which was ignited by AZ SB1070, and exploded in sequences engineered by the lobbyists of the private prison industry into the 287(g) Program of the Immigration, Customs and Enforcment (ICE) Secure Communities regime across the entire country.

The issue is the criminalization of our communities via labor policies that are derivatives of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) across North America which are designed to callously restrict the opportunities for lawful employment, and thus provide a disposable and marginalized work force for the regimes of the corporate class of elites.  We are facing a corporate-government-police state conglomerate that is driven by the profit margins of some $5 billion dollars a year for  the private prison industry.

The Bridge is before us.  We shall pass.  We shall pass over this gruesome and dehumanizing era of Manifest Destiny disguised as the “Rule of Law” and continue on our journey to achieve our global humanity.

As Nican Tlacah, as Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala, Mother Earth we have traveled the furthest in this journey and we have come a long way.  Yet, we have a long way still to go.

Let us begin once again, in Celebration of the Struggle to defend our Civil Rights, Human Rights, Indigenous Rights, and the Rights of Mother Earth.


Phoenix, AZ – Manu Chao, internationally renowned global music artist will perform on Wednesday, September 21 in solidarity with the Comités de Defensa del Barrio (CDBs) and other organizations from Arizona and across the country that have been fighting against the policies of state sanctioned racial profiling and discrimination such as AZ SB1070, the Secure Communities program of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE), and the federal 287(g) program.

The National Day Labor Organizing Network (NDLON) and other allied organizations including Alto Arizona and TONATIERRA will join with the CDBs to celebrate the movement of community resistance over the past year which brought over 100,000 people to march in Arizona against SB1070 last May 29, 2010.  The CDBs are now actively organizing at the grass roots and regional levels to implement a series of boycott actions against the financial supporters of the policies of persecution and racial profiling resulting from the immoral collusion between private prison industry lobby groups with ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and state legislators across the country.

SB1070 was crafted in the bowels of ALEC and then imported into the Arizona State legislature by Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce.

On Wednesday, September 21 during the Festival de Resistencia, the Boycott Commission of the CDBs will conduct a COMMUNITY CONSULTATION to identify the priority targets for the ongoing La Huelga del Pueblo - Boycott of Arizona, calling for transparency and accountability for the economic interests that have been profiteering through contracts with the private prison industry in cahoots with law enforcement personalities and financial institutions across the state.

Simultaneously, the Comités de Defensa del Barrio have been an constructing an alternative grass roots Community Commerce economic infrastructure based with the goal of driving Arizona into a Just and Sustainable economy.

The Festival de Resistencia is being organized as a family focused event of celebration of the fight for Civil Rights, Human Rights, Indigenous Rights and the Rights of Mother Earth.  The festival is will be free of charge. It will be an alcohol and drug free event, and a peaceful celebration of the Spirit of Resistance, Rebellion and Regeneration.


No comments:

Post a Comment