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Tucson protests arrival of U.S. troops on the border

By Jim Byrne

Tucson, AZ – On November 13 around 50 people gathered in front of the Federal Building in downtown Tucson to demand that President Trump remove over 5000 troops deployed to the border. With chants of “Say it loud, say it clear! Refugees are welcome here!” the crowd generated many honks of solidarity from passing cars, tractor trailers, school buses and city buses.

Organized by the Tucson Anti-War Committee and the People’s Defense Initiative, the protest had politically powerful speakers. Sara Mae Williams, a member of the Tohono O’otham Nation, shared how Border Patrol routinely violates the sovereignty of their nation and harasses tribal members in the pursuit of crossing immigrants. Gabriel Sleighter, a military veteran, shared his experiences “as a soldier of an empire that terrorizes the planet.”

As the troops on the border continue their preparation for the arrival of the caravan, Tucson organizations continue to prepare demonstrations to protest the wasteful, racist and illegal deployment of the military for civil law enforcement. On December 1, from 9 to 11 a.m., demonstrators will be outside the gates of the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base to demand: “Troops Off the Border! Asylum for the Caravan!” The groups organizing the protest include Derechos Humanos, Alliance for Global Justice, Tucson Anti-War Committee, LUPE, Nuclear Resister, People’s Defense Initiative, and School of the Americas Watch.

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