A Woman’s Place is in the Struggle (2012)

Melanie Cervantes
18″ x 24″ One layer screenprint design

Image design requested for use on the Undocubus- No Papers No Fear Campaign. http://nopapersnofear.org/

From the website:

Every year the Department of Homeland Security removes 400,000 people from the United States. Over the last four years, president Obama has deported over 1 million people. There is a rise of collaboration between local police and immigration agents through programs like Secure Communities, implemented in over 98% of counties in the country. And in June, the Supreme Court gave permission to police officers in Arizona to ask people for their immigration papers, if they are suspected of being undocumented.

Meanwhile, both parties have turned the suffering and life of undocumented immigrants into political football, passing the responsibilities to each other.

On the other hand, we have also witnessed how actions led by our own communities have the power to change policies and to create alternatives to defend the rights of immigrants. In Arizona, Barrio Defense Committees have organized to share information about how to fight against deportations, and against those who seek to criminalize immigrant communities.

Actions by undocumented students, such as coming out of the shadows, civil disobedience, and occupations of electoral offices have shown what happens when our community acts for itself, it changes everything. 

We can’t wait for anyone else any longer. We’ve come too far to allow this country to be turned back.

This summer a culmination of this work will be manifested during a Bus ride, through key states in the southern part of the United States, that will continue to confront power with the stories, voices, and actions of those directly affected by these immigration policies. Riders are undocumented people from all over the country, including students, mothers and fathers, children, people in deportation proceedings, day laborers, and others who continue to face deportation, harassment, and death while simply looking for a better life.

The tour began on July 29th in Phoenix, Arizona, following a week of action calling for ¬†Sheriff Arpaio to be brought to justice and for the federal government to stop collaborating with Arizona’s crisis. We will head through key states, including New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. The tour will end in North Carolina at the Democratic National Convention.

Riding the bus alone is a great risk because of the checkpoints and profiling that has become so common. But the ride is also arena for mobilizing, where we will build with those who have a story to tell, who have realized the only secure community is an organized one. We have overcome our fears and are ready to set a new example of courage. We hope this country and its officials will be brave enough to follow.

In my haste to prepare this image I didn’t include a attribution for the quote. It should have credited Assata Shakur for these words.