Saturday, January 10, 2009
FROM EL PASO TO BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS BORDER COMMUNITIES CELEBRATE THE RETIREMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY MICHAEL CHERTOFF
BROWNSVILLE & EL PASO, TX —
On January 10th communities along the Texas border will be throwing Retirement Parties to celebrate the end of Michael Chertoff’s tenure as Secretary of Homeland Security. During his illustrious career, Secretary Chertoff has driven a wall through the borderlands, condemned the property of hundreds of Texas landowners, waived the laws that protect us, imprisoned immigrant families, and set a new low in the response to Hurricane Katrina.
Border residents will gather in Brownsville and El Paso, where Chertoff’s concrete and steel legacy is being erected along the Rio Grande, to remember the man who has done so much to our communities.
“This is not a protest disguised as a party - this is a party. Chertoff has only been Secretary for three years but he has managed to do a tremendous amount of damage. Texas will be glad to see him gone, and it can’t come soon enough,” said Scott Nicol of the No Border Wall Coalition.
In Brownsville Chertoff’s Retirement Party will be held at Galeria 409 starting at 6pm, within spitting distance of the coming border wall. Chertoff’s retirement is like Christmas morning and the day after you get over the flu all wrapped up together..
So the party will blend a corporate retirement party and Carnival. Poets and artists will contribute their thoughts on the man who has so profoundly impacted the border; Ensamble la Mision (and possibly other bands) will play; a retirement cake and piñata will bear his likeness; Chertoff’s Wheel of Fortune; a raffle; and still-President Bush may even stop by to give Chertie a send-off.
“We’re having a party for Michael, but he’s not invited,” said Bill Guerra Addington from No Wall – Big Bend.
At the other end of the state, El Paso’s Chertoff Retirement Party will be held at the Chamizal National Memorial starting at 2pm. The memorial commemorates the harmonious settling of a century-long boundary dispute between the U.S. and Mexico, providing a counter-example to the militarization of the border that Chertoff has worked so diligently to put in place.
Games and the traditional breaking of the Chertoff piñata will greet the dawning of the post-Chertoff era. Galeria 409 is located at 409 E. 13th Street in Brownsville, between Levee and Elizabeth, a block from the Gateway Bridge. Call gallery owner Mark Clark at (956) 455-3599, or Scott Nicol at (956) 532-5983, for information, or email No Border Wall at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To reach the Chamizal National Memorial near El Paso, from I-10 exit at Hwy 54 and follow the brown Chamizal National Memorialdirectional signs. If traveling south on Hwy 54, take the exit marked Juarez, Mexico, turn right onto Paisano Street, and continue to follow signs towards Chamizal. For more information contact Bill Guerra Addington at (915) 539-4158 or mailto:aguavida%40valornet.com.