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Únete 1 year later, border wall construction begins

Logo by Erika Briones Insta: @ericabriones_

By Jonathan Salinas

I cannot believe it's already been one year since a group of radicals in the Rio Grande Valley (Delta) published stories and poems about our shared struggle against border militarization.

One year later, our struggle remains the same.

Our mission was and still is to maintain a radical, revolutionary critique of this system under which working people toil. We critiqued the two party system, focusing on Democrats, who speak the language of justice and love but whose votes say otherwise.

We find ourselves in the same predicament because just this morning, as journalist and documentary film maker Krista Schlyer reported seeing construction begin at La Parido National Wildlife Refuge Tract near Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park. She was told to leave the premises under pain of arrest.

The construction underway was made possible by the 2018 Omnibus bill. Democratic politicians like Beto O'Rourke and Henry Cuellar, who represents Texas' 28th congressional district, voted in its favor. For residents of the Rio Grande Delta, this is what bipartisanship looks like.

Just two days ago, the particulars of a bicameral, bipartisan funding bill, which includes $1.3 Billion for border barriers in the Valley, was leaked. Congressman Cuellar sat on the committee and was reported to have recently led a tour of areas where the barriers are set to be built. Yesterday, a group of us descended upon Cuellar's office to demonstrate our resistance.

It is self-evident that this two-party capitalist system cannot provide for the needs of working people. As the latest arguments over government shutdowns have shown us, border militarization will be used as a bargaining chip for much-needed government programs that working people rely on, thus pitting working people (in one case migrants, in another case border residents and federal workers) against one another.

We believe that as a class, workers must unite to form and devise an alternative model for society which transcends the two party system and capitalism—private ownership over means of production. As we move forward this year, be on the lookout for works by new contributors to Únete on issues of RGV statehood and alternative economic models.

Únete will be a platform for discussion over how working people can unite in the Rio Grande Delta and self-organize to bring about the changes we need in order to build a society where all peoples can live in dignity and peace.

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