The post provides a reminder to make a contribution to a local non-profit today, provides a summary of the New Mexican Our View on gas & oil industries wanton disregard for regulations protecting the land, a student-developed Chaco exhibit, our coming Roundhouse organizing meeting, and a powerful plea from Allegra Love, on the ground in Mexico followed by an excellent video report from the US-Tijuana border.
Before we get to Allegra, some important Actions and Opportunities
I wrote about this yesterday, but want to remind all of you to participate in Give Back Tuesday. Click here to get to the Tithe Tuesday page. It will provide links to about 8 local non-profits very worthy of your contribution. Each of the agencies in this list does remarkable work to empower, support and/or serve populations that are most impacted by US policies designed to maximize profit at the expense of our planet and our people. Most of the agencies are also involved in policy development and advocacy on behalf of the populations So their work is two pronged: directly support the people they serve and work to address the conditions under which they live, in order to make it easier for disenfranchised people to thrive. So, take this opportunity RIGHT NOW, to click the link above and make a donation or two. Thank you.
And as you do this, consider my other suggestion yesterday. Reach out to your family and friends before they reach out to Amazon and buy you that sweater you don’t need. Tell them that this year you’d prefer they make a donation in your name than send you some pajamas, a tie, or anything else.
Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn Steps Up for NM Lands. Not a typo. Not known as an environmentalist, indeed this is the guy who lugged an oil rig to Santa Fe to celebrate the benefits derived from gas and oil. But as noted in Tuesday’s Santa Fe New Mexican’s editorial page, Aubrey Dunn is challenging the Oil Conservation Division for not doing its job—or rather for doing gas and oil’s bidding. From the New Mexican Our View: “Dunn sent a letter to Ken McQueen, secretary of the state Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, alleging hundreds of violations by oil and gas operators on state lands. These include Dunn’s concerns about more than 500 nonoperating wells that companies have plugged without cleaning the surroundings. The fault, Dunn wrote, is that the state Oil Conservation Division is failing to enforce environmental regulations. What’s more, Dunn claims that oil and gas companies are disregarding state trust lands and trespassing on public property without proper permits. He lists a number of alleged violations, including putting down pipelines without authorization, damaging archaeological sites, dumping produced water (the water used in drilling) and illegally selling water.” Don’t expect instant results from that letter to McQueen as he is a former gas and oil executive, a fox in the hen house kind of thing. He is also responsible tor approving the doubling of the number of fracking operations in Rio Arriba and San Juan counties, so he won’t be racing out to inspect any leaks or other gas and oil violations. Still, it is heartening to see that Libertarian Aubrey Dunn is not afraid to advocate on behalf of NM land. Dunn is quoted as saying: “The rush to make a quick buck is coming at the expense of New Mexico’s environment. Our agency and the OCD need to step up to protect our state and its lands from being damaged by the California-style gold rush happening in Southeast New Mexico.” Click here to read the New Mexican’s revealing Our View. Stephanie Garcia Richards is going to have her hands full, ridding New Mexico’s environmental and land protection agencies of the former lobbyists and executives from gas and oil and install people with other priorities.
Monte Del Sol Students Opening for their Saving Chaco Exhibit. Saturday December 1, 3 to 5 pm, at Java Joe’s, 1248 Siler Rd, Esther Kovari’s 11th grade history class at Monte del Sol Charter School will be presenting the opening of their exhibit “Saving Chaco.” Students will be showing photographs and writings based on their recent 3-day trip to visit the ancient ruins at Chaco Canyon, and to learn first-hand about the impact of the energy industry on the Four Corners region. Students toured several fracking sites near Chaco, as well as the coal-fired Tri-State Generating Station near Grants. It is good to know that some of our youth understand the delicate balance in nature. Sad how few adults seem to grasp it and instead reach for increased profits. Look for Saturday’s blog focused on the US and the world’s addiction to coal. But in the meantime, put this Saturday’s opening in your calendars as youth who take the initiative like this should be rewarded.
Update on Bill to Decriminalize Abortion in NM. Last Saturday I wrote about a 1969 NM statute that essentially makes it illegal to get an abortion in NM except under the most narrowly defined conditions. Since 1973 and in the advent of Roe v Wade, it has never been enforced. But with our courts veering right, many feel that we must protect a women’s right to choose in NM by rescinding the statute in our 2019 Roundhouse Session. The ACLU and it’s many partners in this fight are collecting both paper and electronic petition signatures to be presented to the legislature when the battle begins in January. Their online petition is accessible here. Feel free to share in on social media.
The Roundhouse Advocacy Team, Thursday Nov. 29, 6-8pm at the Center for Progress & Justice, 1420 Cerrillos. Rescinding the 1969 abortion prohibition bill is one of Retake Our Democracy’s MUST PASS bills. If you want to be part of a growing team of people who have decided to get involved at the Roundhouse, either by attending sessions and providing comment, by researching bills and developing summaries, or simply by being a part of the Roundhouse Rapid Response Network, receiving action alerts and pressing your elected representatives to vote for good bills, coming to this meeting would be a very good idea. For newcomers, we will provide a 30 minute orientation at 6pm, followed by a 30 minute training on how bills are created and move through the Roundhouse process. The training will be offered by Clifford Rees, a 13 veteran at the Roundhouse serving as a senior legislative analyst last year providing that analysis for Democratic Party leadership. We will then have a demonstration of how to make calls to people who might be interested in being involved in the Roundhouse Response Network, followed by breaking into groups to lay out in more detail how to research bills and then to write up bill summaries, how to work the floor at the Roundhouse, and how to help us expand our base in other parts of the state. Longtime Retake supporter, Andy Ferta.l will be on hand to videotape the orientation and training, so we will be able to use it to orient and train people in other parts of the State. If you want to learn more about Retake Our Democracy’s 2019 Roundhouse Strategy and our developing Roundhouse Rapid Response Network, click here. And please, if you are planning to attend on Thursday, shoot me an email to RSVP. It really helps us prepare. paul@RetakeOurDemocracy.org.
An Urgent Message from Allegra Love Outside Tijuana
I got this email from Allegra Love last night. I provide it verbatim, except for adding a few paragraph breaks. It is, at once, heartbreaking and inspiring. I encourage readers to provide comment after reading this. What can we do as a community to stand against this outrage? After Allegra’s commentary, you will find a 5 minute video on the situation at the border.
“I have been hanging for the last little while with a small group of asylum-seekers on the desperate side of the border. We are nowhere near Tijuana. But watching on the news today, I completely understood why someone would rush the border. This group I am with is lawfully seeking asylum in the US, just like the thousands in and around Tijuana. And just like everyone there, they want to present themselves for custody at the border, but they are not being allowed. Because of this, they are camped out, luckily in a walled encampment protecting them the streets and with matts on which to sleep, but also with little water, no food and in freezing weather.The threat of violence against them is real.
Yet, somehow this all feels fortunate when I think of what it must be like in Tijuana. The desperation of migrants seeking asylum legally but being met with US violence should not be a surprise to anyone who has been following the news. Our government is quite literally baiting these immigrants into desperate acts just to justify still more brutal US violence.
If you are wondering when the time might have come to be more than just concerned, but to become involved, that time is now.
- Raise money for the groups providing legal and other support to those seeking asylum, that work can’t be done without funding.
- Join meetings and attend events that will expand your understanding of the situation (action follows increased knowledge, that is how it works);
- Consider what civil disobedience means in your community;
- Learn to be a legal observer,
- Go to the border and help.
- Get with Al Otro Lado, they need you. [PG: click here for more on Al Otro Lado’s Border Project]
- Do something inconvenient as true service is never convenient
- And above all else, reject all ways in which OUR government is criminalizing refugee-seekers. As we have seen on TV our government is heaping shameful violence upon desperate people.”
Allegra Love, Director, Santa Fe Dreamer
Santa Fe Dreamers is an agency that is listed on our Tithe page, click here, make a donation, and then provide comment below about what we as a community can do to oppose what is an utterly shameless response to the legal acts of people fleeing horrific conditions, conditions that have been created wholly or in part, by US policy. Yesterday, when confronted about the violence being perpetrated on refugee children, Trump’s terse reply: “No children, just terrible people,” in yet another callous comment bereft of truth. The photo above does not look like really terrible people. It looks lie a Dad desperately towing his children to what he hopes is the safety of asylum. What is the US becoming? How can we resist?
If you have ideas for a coordinated community response to the border crisis, please provide your thoughts in comments below. Let’s explore what kinds of inconvenient acts we might do together.
Paul & Roxanne