WHY WE ARE RUNNING/WALKING (AGAIN)
By Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez
Why would a community gather at 5a.m., walk across the city of Tucson, then run 120 miles to Phoenix in 115 degree heat? We ran in 2009 because the assault against Ethnic Studies was the final straw.
In Arizona, the assault against democracy, against equality and against education is etched into this backward state’s motto. And yet, no one is targeted more than the red-brown peoples of this state, who are treated simply as being part of an inconvenient past and in the way. Here, thousands of migrants have been found dead in the desert due to intentional governmental policies and racial profiling is business as usual. Here, Operation Streamline sees some 70 migrants daily in Federal Court, where they are charged, tried, convicted and sentenced in one hour…and then shipped to private prisons.
Problem is, most peoples of Mexican descent in this state cannot be deported and thus, the assault on the culture, history, identity, language and education.
When we ran in 2009, the highly successful Raza Studies program was targeted for elimination. On that exhilarating 120-mile run, we ran to defeat a bill [successfully] that would have criminalized the teaching of Ethnic Studies. Though we won that day. The following year, Gov. Jan Brewer signed the now infamous HB 2281 on May 12, 2011, a bill right out of the Inquisition.
After numerous battles and legal struggles, and the outright banning of Mexican American Studies earlier this year, we again prepare to once again run through the desert. But this time, it will be 165 miles.
We know that HB 2281, which we will never recognize as a law (as well as the racial profiling SB 1070), is unconstitutional. What we want to tell the world is that both measures also violate at least 9 international human rights treaties & conventions, particularly, the 2007 UN Declaration on the rights of Indigenous peoples.
Since that first run, our community has been assaulted non-stop. TUSD recently suspended Mexican American Studies, banned the curriculum, banned the books (some are being stored in the book depository)… but most importantly, TUSD and the state have banned a worldview. In effect, that view originates with maiz – with the teaching of In Lak Ech (Tue res mi otro Yo-You are my other Me) and Panche Be (Buscar la Raiz de la Verdad-To seek the root of the Truth). This has been deemed to be un-American. Our community begs to differ. We will run not to ask for rights, but to assert them, as guaranteed, by both the U.S. Constitution and international human rights law.
If you cannot join us for at least part of the run, at least help support us. We fight, not for the rights of a few thousands of students in Tucson, but for the rights of all of humanity. That they can ban a peoples’ history means they can ban anyone else’s history.
Here’s the schedule and directions on how you can join us and support us. You can also use same contact info for information.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 (28 miles)
XINACHTLI (Indigenous Peoples Studies Session) @ 8:30 am* @ Aztlan Boxing Gym 1631 S. 10th Ave. 85713
Continuing to XINACHTLI @ TUSD 1010 Offices 1010 E. 10th St. @ 10:30 am
Continuing to Joaquin Murrieta Park 1400 N. Silverbell Rd. for lunch @ 12:30 pm
Continuing to Yoem Pueblo in Marana for Indigenous Peoples Studies Session, dinner and lodging (arriving around 6:30pm, 7pm)
Thursday, March 15, 2012 (77 miles)
Sunrise from Marana continuing to Chantlalli Izkalotecah (Maricopa, AZ) for XINACHTLI, food, and lodging (arriving around 6:30pm, 7pm)
Friday, March 16, 2012 (50 miles)
Sunrise from Chantlalli Izkalotecah to Arizona Department of Education 1535 West Jefferson Phoenix, AZ
Expecting to arrive at 3pm and close at 6 pm
*All times approximate
PURPOSE OF RUNNING/WALKING:
Submission to the United Nations
Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
May 7-18, 2012 UN Headquarters New York
Impact of the Doctrine of Discovery
“Colonization and Cognition,
Human Rights and Education”
A Pilgrimage of Purpose and Self Determination
Transportation will be provided for supporters to join Caminata on Thursday and Friday. Support for Friday in Phoenix is critical. If you believe you can commit to one, two or three of the days, contact the following number. If you are on spring break, please give it some deep thought. It will be historic akin to when we ran to Phoenix in 2009. For info or questions, please contact Calpolli Teoxicalli 520.551.5229 or write: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to support via Paypal, go to UNIDOS page at: http://unidostucson.wordpress.com/donate-to-youth-voice/http://unidostucson.wordpress.com/donate-to-youth-voice/
Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez