Frequently Asked Questions for the No Borders Camp, to take place in Calexico and Mexicali from November 5-11, 2007
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What is the No Borders Camp?
No Borders Camps are action camps and temporary autonomous zones meant to challenge neo-liberal capitalism, border militarization, and migration controls. The first No Border Camp took place in Europe in the late 1990s, and there have been many No Borders Camps since in Europe, Oceania and elsewhere. In 2007 there were No Border Camps in Ukraine in August and in the UK in September. There is a No Borders Camp planned for the 5th – 11th of November in Calexico, California and Mexicali, Mexico. This will be the first No Borders Camp in North America, and the first one to take place simultaneoulsy on both sides of an international border.
What is the goal of the No Borders Camp?
The goals of the camp are multiple. This is an experiment, a spectacular intervention in a discourse that at times ignores and at other times justifies the systematic violence and exploitation experienced by migrant and indigenous peoples the world over. The No Borders Camp is not just about the U.S. / Mexico border, but all borders that divide and control people. It is about a regime that allows the free flow of capital while dividing families, forcing people underground and limiting their movement.
At the No Borders Camp we intend to manifest our resistance to this regime, as well as share and develop strategies for the long haul. We intend to learn from one another, from the struggles that are already underway and the ways these can be supported and expanded. We intend to have fun, to develop alliances and friendships. We intend to dream together, and transform our ideas about what is possible. We intend to create a world without repression, without exploitation, and without borders.
What is going to happen at the No Borders Camp?
The No Borders Camp will be an action camp, but the camp itself is an action. Both the camp and other events throughout the week will be taking place on both sides of the line between the U.S. and Mexico. The camp is a building process, an autonomous space, a place for sharing, learning, and dreaming. While it is intended to be part of a platform for developing strategy and facilitating movement, it is not a conference. There will be marches, actions, forums, workshops, music, independent media, art and circus every day of the camp. An events calendar and framework of themed action days is available on the website, www.noborderscamp.org.
There is no single group in charge of or organizing the camp. Accordingly, groups and individuals are encouraged to come to the camp prepared with their own ideas, actions, workshops, dreams, and projects. If you would like to list an event on the online calendar send an e-mail to noborderstech(at)riseup(dot)net.
Who is organizing the No Borders Camp?
There are many collectives, individuals and organizations who have been involved in planning the No Borders Camp. The organization of the camp has taken place through thousands of conversations, at workshops, encuentros and other events all across North America. The process began more than a year ago and is still developing. We are working together from both sides of the border, sharing and learning and collectively working toward this mobilization. If you are planning to come to the No Borders Camp, then really the answer to the above question is you are. To become more actively involved in planning for the camp contact one of the working groups on the website. A partial list of regional contacts as well as working groups can be seen at http://www.noborderscamp.org/en/noborderscampcontactinfo.
What will be the camp setup, and what should I bring to the No Borders Camp?
Yourself, your friends, your dreams. Bring your tents, dishes, a sleeping bag, some food and water, and everything else you’ll need to be self-sustaining. There will be more than one community kitchen, and there are plans to serve two large hot meals a day. Everyone will have to pitch in for cooking, sanitation and security. Bear in mind that we are going to be in the desert. It will be hot during the day and cool at night. Bring structures for shade, sunblock and a good hat. Bring plans for workshops, art and actions.
Although we will be in the city, the layout of the camp will be rustic. A water filter will be helpful. Toilet paper and other toiletries are important. Bring comfortable, loose-fitting clothes. Bring paper-mache, puppets, paint, banners, drums, bagpipes, trumpets, tubas.
If you have tech gear, video cameras, computers, large tents, a bullhorn, a battery-powered PA, a projector, a huge stove, propane tanks, large water containers, outdoor lights, folding chairs, solar ovens, medical supplies or solar panels, bring them too! If you are able to provide any of these resources – and for more information, please contact noborderslogistics(at)riseup(dot)net.
We ask that you not bring firearms, drugs, or alcohol.
Will there be translation, medical and legal support during the camp?
Yes, yes, and yes! If you would like to help in any of these areas, contact noborderstranslation(at)lists(dot)riseup(dot)net, nobordersmedics(at)riseup(dot)net, and noborderslegal(at)riseup(dot)net respectively.
Is there an airport near the location of the camp? If I am coming from elsewhere how can I get to Calexico?
There is an international airport in Mexicali. You can hire a taxi or take a bus from the airport to get downtown. The closest major airport in the United States is in San Diego. Organizers in San Diego are planning shuttles to and from Calexico during the week of the camp. If you have made travel arrangements and/or need help finding a ride, check the rideboard on www.noborderscamp.org, contact others in your region who are going to the camp, or contact noborderscamp(at)gmail(dot)com.
Both Calexico and El Centro, CA have a Greyhound station. Buses can be taken from San Diego, L.A., Phoenix, Tucson or elsewhere. If you are coming from elsewhere in Mexico there is a large municipal bus station in Mexicali with numerous carriers.
There will be housing available in both Calexico and Mexicali for those who arrive early. If you are planning to arrive early, contact one of the organizers in either city for more information, and stop by the convergence center in Calexico when you arrive.
Is there some sort of pre-registration and fee?
The No Borders Camp is an action, not a conference. There is no pre-registration or fee for attendance. There will be, however, a lot of cost and work that go into creating a successful camp. Fundraising and donations are essential, as are organizing and logistical support during the camp and beforehand. For ways to plug in and contact information for working groups visit http://www.noborderscamp.org/en/noborderscampcontactinfo.
How will special needs be handled? Will the camp be accessible to everyone?
Our goal is to make the camp as physically accessible as possible. This will necessarily be a collaborative effort. If you have special needs that might affect your ability to attend and participate in the camp, please be in touch with folks beforehand – write to noborderscamp(at)gmail(dot)com. The No Borders Camp should be a space where everyone is included.
What if I am traveling alone to the camp?
Everyone is welcome to attend the No Borders Camp. If you are traveling alone to the camp, be sure to link up with some buddies once you arrive (you won’t be the only one coming alone; if you don’t know anybody, make new friends!). You do not need to be planning your own action or event before the camp, although everyone is encouraged to do so. There will be multiple ways to participate in various activities throughout the week.
If I am unable to attend the camp, are there other ways I can support it?
Yes! There are many ways to support the camp. The first way is to plan and take action in your own community. The border is not a line in the sand – it is an ideology and it exists everywhere people are marginalized and excluded. In addition, we are in great need of funds, and fundraising is a great way to support this effort. For more information or ideas get in touch! noborderscamp(at)gmail(dot)com.
What kinds of legal issues may come up? What kind of police presence should we expect?
There will be many different actions, marches, etc. during the week of the camp – some of which will happen on site, others away from the camp itself. The best way to prepare for any legal issues or police presence during the camp is to know your level of risk beforehand, and to discuss this with your comrades.
The border region is among the most militarized in the United States. There are multiple law enforcement agencies that operate and claim jurisdiction. The protocol for police activity is different than elsewhere in the country – expect that you may be searched, whether you consent to it or not. You may need to present ID when asked. Otherwise do not answer any questions from the police; if you are detained or under arrest, ask to speak to an attorney. The behavior and protocol of law enforcement, as well as legal ramifications of different activities may vary drastically depending on whether you are in the United States or Mexico.
We cannot guarantee the security of anybody who does not have papers; however, we will not allow ourselves to be divided based on peoples’ legal status. We encourage everybody to travel in groups to and from the camp and during any actions. If you are stopped by the police, do not allow individuals to be isolated based on their legal status or appearance – our best defense is always sticking together. It is important, however, that we all take the risks seriously. If you or your comrades do not have papers, consider ways to take action in your own community.
The No Borders Camp is about claiming autonomous space. We are not seeking confrontation with the police, but the camp itself is a refusal to live in a world of repression and fear. The tactics we will employ in response to police repression will be based on the principles of sticking together and conflict de-escalation. We will be discussing camp security in greater detail leading up to and during the camp. For more information on legal issues and what to expect, see the binational No Borders Camp legal guide (to be released soon).
If I do not have papers, should I come to the camp?
Will there be an Independent Media Center at the camp?
There are several groups organizing independent media and tech projects. We are planning on having at least one IMC space, and encourage people to come prepared to make their own media. For more information contact nobc-media(at)blac(dot)detritus(dot)net.
If I am an independent journalist, how can I get information about the camp? Am I invited to attend?
The No Borders Camp welcomes independent and alternative media. In addition, we will be releasing a daily press release to the corporate press. Otherwise the corporate media are not invited into the camp. Every participant in the No Borders Camp will have their own story to tell; however, there is no spokesperson for the camp. If anybody claims they are speaking as a representative of the No Borders Camp, they are lying. We are asking all participants not to speak to the corporate media.
If I want to show my film or play with my band, is there some way to set that up?
We are working on setting up infrastructure for multimedia art and performance, but we will need help making it happen. If you are able to help, contact the tech crew at noborderstech(at)riseup(dot)net.
The events calendar says that November 11 is the day for artistic expression. Do I need to wait until then for my art project?
November 11 will be the last day of the camp, and we have envisioned that it will be a day devoted to creative expression and for the culmination of all of the art projects that develop throughout the week. By no means should our artwork and creativity wait until Sunday. We anticipate that such creative action will be the backdrop through which the entire camp will progress, and we encourage folks to bring projects, collaborate with others and develop ideas beforehand. The convergence space in Calexico will be opening on October 13, and it will include an area devoted to art making. Anyone is welcome to come and work on projects during the month leading up to the camp.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Frequently Asked Questions for the No Borders Camp, to take place in Calexico and Mexicali from November 5-11, 2007
Posted by admin at 8:52 AM