SOUTHWEST WORKERS UNION
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
FREEDOM SUMMER: Liberation of Arizona
The Battle for Arizona
National Day of Justice and Action Against 1070 in Arizona, a racist and apartheid law!
May 29th is National Day of Action in Phoenix, Arizona’s, capitol building; shut down the illegal governor and 1070 racist law!
Just over 40 years ago, African Americans struggling for freedom and against Jim Crow racism in the South, organized the ‘Freedom Summer’ that SNICC just celebrated a remembrance conference to mark this important watershed in the civil rights movement.
Lets organize the Freedom caravans to liberate Arizona from this hate and racism against Latinos and brown people in general and specifically against Mexicans. We will not abandon our brothers and sisters living in the police state of Arizona, now more than ever they need to know they are not alone.
Arizona, Sonora or what ever we call this land and people, it is clear that historically, the story of origin of many original people of the region starts here in the Chaco and Grand Canyon. The people of the canyon’s came out after the glaciers, and went in four directions; the Dine, Hopi, the Aztecs (Mexhica), and northern Ute. Remember that Arizona was Sonora under the Spanish Empire, New Spain, for nearly 300 years. Sonora was free and sovereign as a state under the newly created Mexican United States in 1821. Within 25 years the Sonora territory became a state of northern Mexico, and the southeastern territory of Arizona under the United States expansionist war against Mexico over Texas.
Arizona under the US rule, mirrored the Spanish empire system, in having European-Americans take the place of Spanish Europeans, including government, economy and land included the less privileged, oppressed and landless native peoples, slaves and mestizo populations. Arizona under US rule became ‘Ground Zero’ in the Wars to exterminate the Indigenous peoples, incarcerate them, forced removals and reservation captivity.
The Confederate States of America and their Civil War to preserve the slave plantation system expanded into Texas (Slave Republic annexed in 1845 as slave state), New Mexico (Defeated at the pass), and settled several cities in Southern Arizona. The cities banded to proclaim the territory under the Confederate States of America. The goal was to annex it to the United States as a slave state. Union forces defeated the Confederates but the rebels stayed in their settlements and became the seed of ‘racist’ institutions joined later by John Birch Society and Eugenics groups, finance and population. Arizona became the 48th state! A Republican right wing power base for the Barry Goldwater right wing revolution, is now McCain-Palin base for launching the Republican strategy to win over Obama in the 2012 elections.
Arizona (Sonora) was also the center of resistance and struggles against colonialism and for poor and working class peoples since the arrival of the first Europeans. The struggle of the miners is synonymous with the territory, rich in minerals and metals. Joaquin Murrieta fought against Spanish and later US rule over his native lands. Cochise and Geronimo, Apaches, fought a war against the Spanish and later a ten-year war against the European WASP’s invading their lands. The Dine was forced marched out of their homeland by the infamous Kit Carson. The Yaqui were removed by force and sent to plantations in Yucatan. Indigenous people were removed and relocated even as far as Puerto Rico.
The miners in Arizona fought several general strikes in the copper mines of Clifton-Morenci together with the miners of Cananea at the start of the Mexican Social Revolution 100 years ago. In modern times the Phelps-Dodge strike and social movement struggle by workers seeking justice. The movie ‘Salt of the Earth’ demonstrates this struggle vividly. The Flores- Magon movement was strong in Arizona with the miners and the people in Douglass-Bisbee area.
Today ARIZONA is GROUND ZERO of the struggle against COLONIALISM, SLAVERY, and WORKERS RIGHTS, in the struggle for Migrant rights because it encapsulated the historical, and the present reality and struggles into one. From uranium poison, mining operations, to environmental racism, to indigenous sovereignty, to gender and sexual orientation equality, to creating a JUST state and society where we all fit and have rights. Another World is Possible; another US is Necessary, another Detroit is happening…and ANOTHER ARIZONA IS BEING LIBERATED SHAPED BY THE POOR, INDIGENOUS, WORKERS AND PEOPLE WHO STAND FOR LIBERTY AND HUMAN RIGHTS!
Southwest Workers Union