Latinos For Texas Blog

2005-Aug-24

Camp Casey, Crawford, Texas

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 10:04 pm

You cannot miss the Crawford Peace House from HWY 185. Blocks of parked cars, a Pastors for Peace Bus, and volunteers directing traffic welcome you to the grounds. The house is surrounded by tents, furniture, a make-shift mess hall, and people. Young mothers, a bossy blonde from San Diego :) , families, friends, film people, “hippies” and veterans all spilled out from the house and onto the lawn.

The camaraderie was evident – we were pitching a tent within 10 minutes of our arrival and 4 others were helping us, a teenage boy later pointed us to refreshments, and dozens of handmade signs told you where to recycle and where to find a restroom. And that bossy blonde from San Diego would get you on a shuttle out to Camp Casey.

Donna from Temple, TX drove us the 6 miles to Camp Casey. She gave us a “tour of the neighborhood” recalling the events of the past few days. Six hundred white crosses lined the south side of the road beginning a few hundred feet from the campsite ending on a corner across from Ms. Sheehan’s Camper. That corner is marked by a metal cutout of the U.S. – it reads “America In Iraq” and a count of the killed and wounded is updated daily on it with chalk. Tents, cars, and people line the ditch just off the road. Glo, best friend of 20 years to the blonde lady from San Diego, drove us back to the Peace House. Along the way she shared the details of their cross-country drive and mutual determination to “stay as long as the Peace Mom does.”

Cindy Sheehan and Anas Shallal of Iraqi Americans for Peaceful Alternatives spoke at a lunch time meal as veterans, families, and friends crowded under a tent to listen. We ran into Carlos Guerra of the Express News who has written several articles about his time in Crawford. He quotes her as saying:

This is not about politics, it’s about right and wrong and life and death, and we’re not going to let the White House throw up smokescreens… This war was wrong to begin with, and it’s wrong to stay there. Let’s end it now before any more families join us, more Iraqis are killed and before your babies have to go fight it.

_____

I was in Crawford less than 2 weeks ago, but a series of unfortunate events kept this post from going up sooner. You can view pictures here.

Sgt. Joel Gomez

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 9:15 pm

ABC reports his truck rolled into Iraq’s Tigris River leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. Army Angel Michelle Senatore, who volunteers to help injured servicemen, visited the Sergeant at his apartment and knew it wasn’t fit for his recovery and new life after war. The community rallied to build him a great home with the latest technology and the Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Wheaton is providing free care – things that Senatore says the VA could never provide with its current funding. She said:

Why do we have to do this? Why does the community have to do this? Why isn’t the system prepared for this?

The Complexities of Immigration

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 8:45 pm

The International Herald Tribune is running a story about Herndon, Virginia (pop. 22,000). During the 90’s the small town’s Latino community increased by 264 percent and nearly 4 in 10 current residents are foreign born. A sometimes heated debate on immigration began in this small city when a 7-11 became a make-shift day labor site and its neighbors got nervous. The city council proposed spending $170,000 to build a center, but the project was met with protests.

As in Herndon, illegal immigrants are a growing presence nationwide - perhaps 11 million of them, roughly equaling those legally present. The costs of their presence tend to draw more attention than the economic boost their cheap labor provides (they help moderate inflation, says Alan Greenspan). People complain of paying for immigrants’ social benefits - although these have been sharply pared - and, increasingly, of crime and insecurity.

Crime is a problem in all communities, but I would venture to say that the vast majority of immigrants are here to make a living.

A recent NBC News poll found that nearly half of those surveyed in this nation of immigrants thought that immigration made the country weaker. Yet, studies show immigration is a net economic plus, worth perhaps $10 billion yearly.

“These guys work twice as hard,” Joe Schilling, a Virginian who hires Latino laborers for yard work, told a local newspaper. “I get a lot more work done for my money.”

Despite opposition the project passed, but the criticism hasn’t stopped.

At a recent council meeting, someone read a letter from Rep. Tancredo which “noted that two state governors this week have had to declare a State of Emergency in eight border counties to deal with the impact of illegal aliens in Arizona and New Mexico.”

What did the Mayor say?

“Tell Congressman Tancredo that Virginia is not on the Border.”

LFT’s Spanish for Políticos part 2

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 7:30 pm

Yo soy voluntaria para condado de Travis.
¿Está registrada para votar?

Last night LFT hosted a voter reg en español workshop. The debut class had a great turnout that included guests from Williamson County, West Austin, Vote Rescue, the TDP, Sen. Rodney Ellis’ office, and the John Courage for Congress and Andy Brown Campaigns (including the candidate himself who shared some of his Spanish con nosotros). The Honorable John Coronado candidate for the 3rd Court of Appeals and his campaign manager also joined us.

The class began with a bunch of icebreakers and introductions. Everyone received a workbook, additional materials with other helpful info, and a clip board cheat sheet. The lesson plan:

Vocabulario
“¿Y tú, quien eres?”
“Registración de Voto”
“¡A sacar el voto!”
“Tengo una pregunta.”
Y Más

Stay tuned for education and issue focused workshops.

Thank you to everyone who attended and please send your feedback to spanish@latinosfortexas.com.

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