Humanitarian Aid on the Border talk

    November 6, 2019 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
    Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church
    2331 E. Adams. St. Tucson

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    Carolyn Classen
    Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, (since Jan. 2013).


    1. Full house tonight at this church to hear from these 2 activists. Rector Steve Keplinger said it was about “humanity on the edge, faced with courage and determination”. Haidi Sadik of Sea Watch spoke first about their German organization doing rescue & monitor work (via boat and plane) on the Central Mediterranean Sea for refugees fleeing Libya for Italy (mostly), many of whom are unwelcome in Europe. She showed a 7 minute video of asylum seekers in a inflatable raft being picked up in the open sea by Libyan Coast Guard, who take them back to captivity & torture back in Libya. There is also a “culture of nonassistance” by other commercial boats, so people are dying, drowning. She said it was because these are mostly Blacks migrants.
      Dr. Scott Warren who is facing re-trial on aiding Mexican migrants in Ajo next week, spoke of the dispossession of native people from that land, and gave history of Ajo from copper mining days to current stationing of 500 (up from original 10) Border agents after the mine closed in the 1980’s. He called it a “border security industry” with a new gated Border Town on native land, and the building of the 30 foot tall fence in Organ Pipe monument.
      Questions from the audience were about how has 500 Border agents changed life in Ajo; as Sea Watch is bearing witness, how are the asylum seekers treated in Europe; how can people influence legal system in favor of Dr. Warren at trial; who has the plan to fix the border with the Election of 2020 coming; has migration situation to Greece improved; what is the personal toll on the activists with their work; does this policy on immigration in Mediterranean and in Mexico have wider impact onto other areas; has UA Geography Dept. been supportive, how has T.O. Nation encountered this new 30 foot wall; why are the President & policies not to be mentioned at Warren’s trial; and finally why not an uprising/civil disobediance against these border actions as in the Vietnam War?
      Humanitarian Aid is Not a Crime yard signs were given out after the talks. Note Stop Organ Pipe protest on Saturday (see Calendar).

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