University of New Mexico mock wall highlights human rights issues in Israel/Palestine and the US-Mexico border

ActivismIsrael/PalestineMiddle EastUS Politics
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Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of New Mexico had the honor to work with twenty other social justice organizations on our campus for our first ever Mock Wall Week. The coalition formed almost a year ago after seeing what the University of Arizona did with collaborating human rights issues with the US-Mexico Border and the Israeli Apartheid wall.

We started off with meetings starting last semester, and continuing on until the day before the mock wall was erected on campus. The coalition of social justice organizations have also been working with the Association of Architects for Design & Urbanism, a graduate [email protected] architecture group on campus who helped us come up with the plan for how the mock wall would look like. We worked closely with each other which made this an enriching experience. We were all learning from each other during this time, about different human rights issues that face our community and our world.

For instance, I’ve learned so much about the issues that undocumented immigrants face in our communities. Working with Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA) has really opened my eyes to a problem that really does affect the Albuquerque community. Throughout this process we exchanged stories from Palestine and stories from Mexico. We worked with a student theater group called SCRAP productions who spent time with us on formulating monologues, rehearsing mock checkpoints and giving us an opportunity to express ourselves. I spoke of stories of Palestine that I’ve experienced, and witnessed while my friends would speak of stories they’ve experienced in their life. It was a way of us all connecting together and learning from each other.

We hope to make the Mock Wall Campaign an annual project that we can add more social justice groups onto. I feel it’s important that we learn to build bridges, and really stand up for human rights whether it’s local or global; it’s our duty as human beings to continue the struggle for freedom, justice, and equality for all people, no matter who they are or where they live.

Next semester, UNM Students for Justice in Palestine will be launching a BDS campaign, and we hope to get some of the same groups that helped us with the mock wall, help us with the BDS campaign. What people aren’t aware of is that many of the corporations giving money to the Israeli occupation are also affecting communities here in New Mexico and across the border in Mexico. We want to make more connections, so then we can be a stronger movement and force to push for human rights around the globe.

The Mock Wall Coalition consists of these organizations: Students for Justice in Palestine, Raza Graduate Student Association, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán, Free Alvaro Now, Amnesty International, Association of Architects for Design & Urbanism, (Un)Occupy Albuquerque, SCRAP Productions, Food Not Bombs, A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, Out Queer Grads, KIVA Club, Queer Straight Alliance, Fair Trade Initiative, African Leadership Opportunity Team, GetEQUAL NM, Students Organizing Actions for Peace, Muslim Student Association, One Million Bones, and Student Dharma Association.

About Danya Mustafa

Danya Mustafa is a Palestinian American second year undergraduate student at the University of New Mexico majoring in Human Development & Family Relations and pursuing a minor in Peace Studies. She is currently the U.S.co-coordinator for Israeli Apartheid Week. She is also currently the co-president for the UNM chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine.

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4 Responses

  1. OlegR
    April 23, 2012, 7:42 am

    I hear your border guards shoot people attempting to jump the US/Mexico border .
    How many get killed each year anybody has a reliable statistic?

    • Fredblogs
      April 23, 2012, 3:30 pm

      Much as I hate to come down on the side of Mondoweiss, that rarely happens, and when it does, it is a major scandal and often results in criminal charges against the border patrol agent. Unless their lives are threatened, border guards are not supposed to shoot at illegal immigrants crossing the border. Of course, the border crossers from Mexico to the U.S. are just looking for work, not trying to blow up a schoolbus full of kids after they get across.

      • Inanna
        April 23, 2012, 11:37 pm

        Stop lying Fred. In fact, Palestinians routinely sneak into to Israel for work and sometimes medical treatment.

        http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iKaA_b9gosUt4ZMXA3lTFc27Oj7w

        JERUSALEM — Every day they sneak into Israel by the dozens under the eyes of the soldiers at checkpoints — a stream of Palestinian labourers from the occupied West Bank desperate for work.
        “We are always looking for new methods — if the Israelis crack down on refrigerated lorries we use ambulances, if they start stopping ambulances we use hearses,” says Abu Ali, a smuggler who granted a rare interview to AFP on the condition his real name and the name of his village be kept quiet.
        Sometimes it’s a simple question of timing — Abu Ali claims he once sneaked 97 workers across in the luggage compartment of a bus because it passed through a checkpoint at dusk, when the sun was in the soldiers’ eyes.
        The covert commute testifies to the economic despair in the occupied West Bank and calls into question Israel’s claim that its controversial separation barrier keeps Palestinians from entering clandestinely.

        http://www.btselem.org/press-release/army-set-dogs-palestinians-trying-enter-israel-work-without-permit

        B’Tselem has written to the OC Central Command and to the judge advocate general, demanding that they immediately terminate the use of attack dogs against Palestinian workers who enter into Israel without permits. In the last month alone, at least three Palestinians were bitten as a result of the practice. B’Tselem is looking into two additional cases that raise serious suspicions that dogs attacked Palestinians who tried to cross the Separation Barrier.

  2. Pixel
    April 23, 2012, 11:25 am

    Danya,

    Very proud of you guys.

    May the Land of Enchantment become a land of enlightenment.

    The truth shall set us free. Love is the only way forward.

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