Friday, August 2, 2013

Tucson in the Streets: The Vibrant Struggle for Social Justice in Tucson, Arizona; Snapshots from 2012-13

Tucson has a monthly Peace Calendar packed with events and meetings. It is published by the Tucson Peace Center, which doesn't have a physical space, but does peace really need an office? Regular protests/vigils are held Wed.-Fri. (on some days more than one). There is a wide selection of things to do the rest of the week, with everything from discussing Marx to leaving water in the desert for desperate migrants (details at end).

Since 1981 a peace vigil has been held every Thursday in front of the Federal Building downtown.

Every Friday afternoon since 2001 the group Women In Black has held a vigil in Tucson.

Since the start of the Iraq invasion in 2003 a protest has been held every Wednesday morning outside the military recruitment offices in Tucson.

Tucson lies within the border zone where the U.S. constitution barely applies and the Border Patrol is the highest authority in the land. Groups like Derechos Humanos, No More Deaths, Border Action Network, and Tucson Samaritans hold regular vigils and protests such as this one on International Human Rights Day and a candlelight vigil every Thursday evening to remember migrants who die crossing the desert.

One of the most dramatic protests in Tucson in 2013 was the heroic action of Raúl Alcaráz Ochoa, a community organizer with the Southside Worker Center and Corazón de Tucson,  when he placed himself under a Border Patrol vehicle to try to prevent officials from detaining and deporting his friend René Meza Huertha, who had been stopped by Tucson police for a traffic violation. This protest calling for the release of Raúl and René happened the day Raúl was released from custody. 

The Nuclear Resister folks in Tucson hold regular protests outside Raytheon missile makers and Davis Monthan Air Force Base and in support of Bradley Manning, one of our nation's greatest heros.

On the labor front Tucson Jobs With Justice holds regular meetings and actions in support of organized labor and other social justice issues. Occupy Tucson is a vital partner of Jobs With Justice and it supports every other cause mentioned here.

And just for fun, I can't resist posting this promo/trailer I did for Jobs With Justice, Raiders of the Lost Ark style. I'll be glad to do one for your group, favorite cause, family, birthday party, pet, etc. (I charge much less than Hollywood too!)

Other groups that have a long-standing presence and history of struggle in Tucson include the Communist Party-USA, PanLeft (video production), Casa Maria (soup kitchen/Catholic Worker Community), Humane Borders (water stations for migrants), GUAMAP (Guatemala Acupuncture Project), Center For Biological Diversity, Sky Island Alliance, Marxist Discussion Group (they meet at the great coffee shop/bookstore Revolutionary Grounds), Salt of the Earth Labor College, the Alliance For Global Justice (AFGJ) which will be based along with several other organizations at the brand new Center For Global Justice, just across from the Gloo Factory, Tucson's great print shop for the peace movement. And of course don't miss the annual Peace Fair held every February.

Want more or interested in some other issue. You're bound to find it here. 
  Tucson Peace Calendar 

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