Updated: Jan 14, 2019
By Alex Yanish
On December 1, at nine in the morning the Coalition Against the Militarization of the Border met with allies at the Swan entrance to the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson Arizona to protest US military forces at the Southern US Border, some of which fired “less-than lethal” projectiles at children and their families attempting to seek asylum outside Tijuana the week prior.
All four corners of the intersection were occupied with protestors chanting and holding homemade signs and printed signs; “Troops off the Border” among others. A man with a mobile sound system was allowing anyone to speak across the street but only one counter protesters attempted to speak and he was shouted down by a group of young adult protestors.
At 10:30 a number of local activists and organizers spoke through a PA to traffic and the small audience of military watching from the base, describing their work, the horrors of the U.S. military intervention on the border and what could be done by the 100+ people occupying the sidewalk. Police were present within 25 feet of the speaker and around 20 military personnel stood and watched from behind barbed wire.
Just before 11 am the announcement was made that the organizers were planning to take the intersection and within minutes there were over 50 people blocking the three crosswalks non-adjacent to the base. The police were quick to try to route cars through the turning lane people moved their bodies to end this. People in their cars tried to push their cars through yelling expletives and honking as they were stuck behind the collective protestors. The protesters held, chanting “no justice no peace,” “Troops off the Border, Defy Trump’s Orders” “No Hate No Fear Immigrants and Refugees are Welcome here.”
Around 11:15 police gave up negotiating cars through and had people turn around on the street, or driving over the center median, the intersection was held till 11:25 when the protesters collectively walked down the middle of Swan Road with no cars in sight.
The organizers and speakers associated with the original action were the Alliance for Global Justice, Coalición de Derechos Humanos, Jewish Voices for Peace, LUPE, Nuclear Resister, People’s Defense Initiative, School of the Americas Watch, Southern Arizona National Lawyers Guild, Tucson Anti-War Committee, and a new media collective pushing indigenous, queer and women’s voices called Hecate Society.