The Second Cooler Movement

The Platform for Comprehensive Migrant Justice is different from all current Comprehensive Immigration Reform packages coming out of Washington, D.C. The Platform is rooted in the belief that we must change the conversation surround immigration from a focus on political expediency to a focus on justice.

Posted by on Jan 28, 2014 in The Second Cooler Movement | 0 comments

Comprehensive Migrant Justice Orientation The orientation of the platform for Comprehensive Migrant Justice is towards justice rather than political expediency. It is the belief of those of us who framed this platform that justice can be done only when the injustice of the current system is exposed carefully and completely. We emphasize that we must work in concert towards clearly articulated goals. These goals are listed below in a “plan for redress.”  Preamble The United States’ Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, US Supreme Court, and the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights guide us in our thinking about systems which tend toward the marginalization, dislocation, and oppression of peoples. The United States’ Declaration of Independence says that part of what it means to be free is to have the ability to pursue “life, liberty, and happiness.” The Declaration of Independence makes it clear that governments only exist in order to protect these God-given “unalienable” rights. It also says that governments derive their authority only from the consent of the ones being governed. The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution provides for “equal protection under the law.” In interpreting this principle, the US Supreme Court has said that “the amendment disable[s] a State from depriving not merely a citizen of the United States, but any person, whoever he may be, of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or from denying to him the equal protection of the laws of the State. . . . [This pertains to] all persons who may happen to be within their jurisdiction.” In 1948, the United Nations’ General Assembly, in its Universal Declaration of Human Rights, clarified what it means to speak of freedom and inalienable rights in the modern world. In particular, the UN addressed what may not happen if we are to live together “in a spirit of brotherhood.” No one, it says, “shall be held in slavery or servitude.” No one shall be “subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” No one shall be “subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.” No one shall be “arbitrarily deprived of his property.” The UN Declaration of Human Rights also articulated of what freedom consists. It consists of the right of a person to “leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country,” the “right to a nationality,” the right not to be “arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality,” the right “to own property alone as well as in association with others,” the “right to take part in the government of his country,” the right to “the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.” Everyone, the UN goes on to say, has the right to “work, to free choice of employment, to just and favorable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment,” the right to “equal pay for equal work” and to “just and favorable remuneration for himself and his family.” Everyone has “the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.” In 2006, recognizing “the urgent need to respect and promote the inherent rights of indigenous peoples which derive from . . . their lands, territories and resources,” the United Nations adopted a special Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It stipulated that indigenous peoples have “collective” as well as individual rights to the full enjoyment of “international human rights law” including the “right to self-determination,” the individual “right to a nationality,” and the right to “live in freedom,...

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Building a Network and a Plan for Justice

Posted by on Sep 12, 2013 in The Second Cooler Movement | 0 comments

Paula Dempsey, of the Alliance of Baptists, wrote on the Alliance’s website that “The Second Cooler is more than a movie. It is a movement.” That’s what I want The Second Cooler website to become: a crucial source of critical thinking and serious conversation about illegal (or undocumented, if you prefer) immigration. I want it to be a place where we can evaluate such things as the US Congress’s proposed Comprehensive Immigration Reform packages. I want this to become the go-to website where we can think together, struggle together, and reflect together. What I want, and what so many others who have not yet made it to the national conversational table want, is a way to imagine justice rather than give in to political expediency. The Second Cooler is, I believe, an important tool. The Platform for Comprehensive Migrant Justice, which I wrote, is another tool. Much of the platform is amplified in The Second Cooler. There are many of us who want justice, not compromise with unjust systems. The more than 300 people who gave me interviews, music, art, translations, encouragement, money and many other things are among them. The hundreds of fans are others. What I want to do here is to expand the dialogue about unlawful immigration through blog posts and images. And, with “spotlights,” I want to introduce you to some of the courageous and gifted people who made The Second Cooler possible–including the fans. We need your help! Please visit this website often, “like” The Second Cooler Fan Page to join the movement, and ask your friends to do the same. This is how we can build a justice movement!! This is how we will build a justice movement!! Thank you! Ellin...

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Reflecting on the Migrant Trail Walk

Posted by on Sep 12, 2013 in The Second Cooler Movement | 0 comments

“Reflecting on the Migrant Trail Walk” September 19, 2010 Weatherly Heights Baptist Church Texts Genesis 1 John 1:1-14 A lot of water. A lot of light. And a God of the cosmos who changes ZIP codes. Here is something I bet you didn’t know. In the original Greek, John 1:14 reads: “And the Word became flesh and “tabernacled” among us. Do ya’ll know what a “tabernacle” was? It was a tent used by the Hebrews to worship God in while they wandered in the desert during the Exodus. A lot of water. A lot of light. And a God of the cosmos who changes ZIP codes by pitching his tent among aliens on the run from Pharaoh, wandering in a foreign desert. And that gets me to the Migrant Trail Walk. For those of you who don’t know, I have been an advocate for illegal migrants for a number of years now. And what I have come to realize is that migrants are not being pulled by America, they are being pushed by economic policies which are far bigger than they are. And that because of the militarization of the border which began in conjunction with those policies, they are being pushed far away from the safety of crossing through the urban areas and into treacherous desert areas where to date the remains of around 5,000 migrants—men, women, children, and babies—have been recovered. And that these deaths were anticipated by the Federal government which thought they would act as a “deterrent” to illegal migration. If you want to, you can go online and read about this policy of deterrence in the U. S. Immigration and Naturalization Service’s document called the Southwest Border Strategy. I’ve talked a lot about these things. For the past seven years, a coalition of groups which advocate for migrants has gotten people to go on a 75 mile long walk through Arizona’s Sonora Desert to call attention to migrant deaths. In May of 2010, I decided to stop talking for a little while and join the walkers. We began by driving from Tucson to a place called Sasabe. Sasabe is at the end of a section of border wall, and there is not much there other than a few lonely Border Patrol agents. For symbolic reasons, we walked from the station a few steps over into Mexico, turned around, came back, showed our passports and began our six days of walking, much of it through the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. The temperature was in the 90s. And when I say we walked, that is what we did. We walked. And we walked. And we walked. We walked as many as 15 miles a day. And every day the temperature rose. By the time we walked into Tucson, 75 miles later, the temperature was a deadly 108 degrees. We had been cautioned to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants and hats on our heads so that we wouldn’t succumb to the treacherous Arizona sun. And to wear sturdy hiking shoes so that we wouldn’t twist an ankle stepping over rock after rock. And we were on the constant watch-out for cactus, especially little barrel shaped cactus called cholla which has evil fish-hooks on the ends of numerous spines and which jumps on you as you pass by. And when we would see those little, evil cacti we would call out: “Cholla!” When we reached our campsite for the day, we would put shade up over our heads and lay a plastic cloth on the ground and sit very close together and wait—for hours—for the stifling...

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Orientation

Posted by on Mar 20, 2013 in The Second Cooler Movement | 0 comments

The orientation of the platform for Comprehensive Migrant Justice is towards justice rather than political expediency. It is the belief of those of us who framed this platform that justice can be done only when the injustice of the current system is exposed carefully and completely. We emphasize that we must work in concert towards clearly articulated goals. These goals are listed below in a “plan for redress.” Preamble The United States’ Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, US Supreme Court, and the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights guide us in our thinking about systems which tend toward the marginalization, dislocation, and oppression of peoples. The United States’ Declaration of Independence says that part of what it means to be free is to have the ability to pursue “life, liberty, and happiness.” The Declaration of Independence makes it clear that governments only exist in order to protect these God-given “unalienable” rights. It also says that governments derive their authority only from the consent of the ones being governed. The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution provides for “equal protection under the law.” In interpreting this principle, the US Supreme Court has said that “the amendment disable[s] a State from depriving not merely a citizen of the United States, but any person, whoever he may be, of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or from denying to him the equal protection of the laws of the State. . . . [This pertains to] all persons who may happen to be within their jurisdiction.” In 1948, the United Nations’ General Assembly, in its Universal Declaration of Human Rights, clarified what it means to speak of freedom and inalienable rights in the modern world. In particular, the UN addressed what may not happen if we are to live together “in a spirit of brotherhood.” No one, it says, “shall be held in slavery or servitude.” No one shall be “subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” No one shall be “subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.” No one shall be “arbitrarily deprived of his property.” The UN Declaration of Human Rights also articulated of what freedom consists. It consists of the right of a person to “leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country,” the “right to a nationality,” the right not to be “arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality,” the right “to own property alone as well as in association with others,” the “right to take part in the government of his country,” the right to “the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.” Everyone, the UN goes on to say, has the right to “work, to free choice of employment, to just and favorable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment,” the right to “equal pay for equal work” and to “just and favorable remuneration for himself and his family.” Everyone has “the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.” In 2006, recognizing “the urgent need to respect and promote the inherent rights of indigenous peoples which derive from . . . their lands, territories and resources,” the United Nations adopted a special Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It stipulated that indigenous peoples have “collective” as well as individual rights to the full enjoyment of “international human rights law” including the “right to self-determination,” the individual “right to a nationality,” and the right to “live in freedom, peace and security as...

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