Monday, May 19, 2008

Protest El Paso's Sham "Community Forums" on the Border Wall

Border walls are currently under construction in the El Paso sector, but the Border Patrol claims that they want to hear from the public. Just because they have no intention of making any changes to their plans apparently doesn’t mean that they are not ready to listen. According to the Border Patrol agent given the thankless task of staffing their “SBI Information Hotline” ( 1-866-215-6551 ) public comments received at “Community Forums” will be compiled in after action reports and passed along to the El Paso Sector Chief. They will NOT be released to the public or the press.

Since the public comments received at the “Community Forums” will be lost in a bureaucratic black hole, we need to make our voices heard outside these events. Protest outside and let the Border Patrol, the press, and the rest of the public know that we do not want a border wall. Make it clear that sham “Community Forums” are not enough. Let them know that asking for comments about a wall that is already under construction is a bad joke. Tell the press that this is nothing more than a cynical attempt by DHS Secretary Chertoff to pretend that there is public input so that he can get construction funds from Congressional Appropriations Committees. Send the message that we are not falling for it.

While you can carry signs and banners outside, they probably will not be allowed inside. If you choose to go in and give a comment wear a No Border Wall t-shirt. You can order one from
and all proceeds go to the fight to stop the border wall.

Here are the times and locations for the “El Paso Sector Border Patrol SBI Community Forums”:

May 24
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Chamizal National Memorial Park
800 S. San Marcial St.

May 27
5:30 pm – 8:00 pm
El Paso Community College
9050 Viscount Blvd.
Administrative Services Center

May 31
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
El Paso Community College
Mission Del Campo Campus
10700 Gateway East

If you want to know what to expect inside, read the following article describing one in Arizona:
Border fence plans subject of feds' open house in Arizona
Arizona Daily Star May 14 2008

The Omnibus Spending Bill requires that DHS Secretary Chertoff convince the Appropriations Committees that he is listening to public input before they will release the funds that he needs to build the border wall. These meetings are nothing more than a cynical attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of members of Congress. Show him that we are not fooled!

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