To All Communities in Resistance to Exploitation and Oppression.
To All Communities in Struggle for Indigenous Peoples’ Dignity and Self-Determination.
To All Communities of the World.
We are the Frente Contra las Redadas del Condado de Ventura. We are a network of organizations, collectives and individuals that was formed in 2007, when Union del Barrio, one of the oldest Mexican Liberation organizations north of the U.S./Mexico border called for broad unity and organized resistance against the increased racist laws and Migra-terror against migrants.
Today, January 1st 2008 the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) enters its final stage of implementation. NAFTA, since its inception, was designed to help the rich U.S. Agriculture and Industrial Corporations take over the markets of Mexico and destroy the small farms and national industries. It has caused millions of displaced or unemployed Raza to move to the cities or migrate to what today is the United States and Canada.
According to America’s Policy Program analysts, “Every hour, Mexico imports $1.5 million dollars worth of agricultural and food products, almost all from the United States” While, “In that same hour, 30 people—men, women, and children—leave their homes in the Mexican countryside to take up the most dangerous journey of their lives—as migrants to the United States.” (America’s Policy Program Congressional Briefing, “Standing Up to NAFTA”)
For the rich this is good news, but for us, the working poor, it signals more poverty, more repression, and more death. This is why we resist. We resist the oppression and exploitation of our work, our lands, our community, and of our dignity.
Every year over 400 people die crossing the U.S./Mexico border, a border that each day is more militarized. Every day this Wall of Death stretches onward, inch by inch, and everyday more Migra agents are added to the ranks, signed up to terrorize and chase down workers like hunted animals. Every day, some racist politician or their lackey, conjures up new legal ways to implement their laws of oppression against migrants, against the workers that come across the Wall of Death.
The Migra has unleashed a wave of repression against migrants, against workers, men, women and children with laws and plans like Operation Gatekeeper, a plan that forces migrants to cross the border through the deserts to die. At the same time, another vicious plan to repress us is Operation Endgame, a plan that aims to deport 12 million undocumented workers out of the United States by the year 2012.
The cycle of fear and death continues and now the very same campesinos that are forced off our lands in Oaxaca, Guerrero, Chiapas, and other areas of Mexico, are here in the barrios of the United States, waking up at 4 a.m. everyday, to go pick the same crops that are shipped off around the world, making those at the top richer, while we at the bottom get poorer.
Just as our brothers and sisters, the Zapatistas, descended down from the Chiapas Lacandon Jungle on the eve of 1994 when the first phase of NAFTA was implemented, we today, fourteen years later, on this eve of 2008, in one of the oldest Mexican barrios in California, el Barrio de La Colonia, declare Ya Basta! Enough is Enough! We call on all those that stand on the side of humanity to join us and fight for justice and dignity.
We will organize for the next four months in preparation for our March for Dignity that will take place on International Workers’ Day, May 1, 2008 in Colonia Park, here in the city of Oxnard. Meet us here, march with us. If you cannot come, organize a March for Dignity in your community, wherever you are.
But as we march, we must understand that we cannot just march for one day or believe that politicians will solve our problems. We must organize ourselves. As our Zapatista sisters and brothers said in the First Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, we must organize and struggle for work, land, housing, food, health care, education, independence, freedom, democracy, justice and peace.
We are in the same struggle as our Chiapaneco brothers and sisters, because we are, as we said loud and clear in the Mega-Marchas of 2006 against the racist law HR-4437, One People Without Borders!
Stop NAFTA! Stop Migra-Terror!
El Pueblo Unido! Jamas Sera Vencido!
Frente Contra Las Redadas del Condado del Ventura
January 1, 2008
Chumash Peoples’ Territory
This post is also available in: Spanish