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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Open Letter from Tucson: Arizona is burning

Arizona is bleeding - Arizona is under full-scale assault

In this God-forsaken state, Ethnic Cleansing (SB 1070 and related measures) is the order of the day. Cultural genocide (HB 2281) is also under way. For an update on what has been occurring here lately, go to:

This letter, in particular is about a very special community in Tucson: Calpolli Teoxicalli.

They have been at every protest, at every march, rally and every vigil over the past several years. They have been there when our community has been arrested and assaulted. More than participate and more than being present, they have gone beyond responding, as that is but one small part of their work.

The Calpolli, while relatively young, has taken the responsibility of providing the cultural and traditional foundation for this community. Most people don’t know this, but it is students who have led the movement to defend Mexican American Studies since 2006. And it is the students who have time and again, turned to the Calpolli. A large part of the effort has involved ceremonial running to strengthen our community in struggle.

In June 2009, when all seemed lost, students and our community turned to Calpolli Texicalli to lead us in a run from Tucson to Phoenix in 115-degree heat. That run was for ourselves, to give us internal strength. That run resulted both in victory (the bill was dropped that same day that we arrived to the capitol), but more importantly, it is when we began to understand our own [spiritual] power.

Ever since then, the barrio runs have continued in support not just of Mexican American Studies or Indigenous Studies, but also in support of the overall health of the community. We have had runs to promote health (combating obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer… including also against domestic violence).

In the process of all this, two vans have been used for this work. One van, has been used at every run without ever compensating the driver for gas or use (or broken windshields). The other vehicle has involved the family vehicle(s) of Chucho Ruiz and Maria Molina. Their van recently broke down.

This letter is to see if our larger community can help the Calpolli (our local community has been bled dry by all our battles). We know that others might instead want to donate to Save Ethnic Studies, and people should and are welcome to do so, but it is important that the Calpolli also be supported as they carry out invaluable work in this community (I am not a member of the Calpolli, but I do run with them). Please consider supporting the Calpolli.

Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez
Prof. University of Arizona

If you would like to assist you can make a donation through one of the following:
1. Donate Using PayPal

If link not active, copy and paste:

2. Get your car washed on Saturday, November 5th starting at 9am at Pepboys on 6th Ave and 23rd St Tucson

3. Or contact Norma Gonzalez-

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