Border Activists Against US State Violence

By Steve Pavey, you can see more of Steve's work at www.stevepavey.com, and you can donate to Steve's prophetic ministry here. 

“There are many things that can only be seen through eyes that have cried.”   

- Óscar Romero

Traveling for the last two weeks through local communities in North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas on my way to the Border Convergence, I have been listening and learning from the voices of those directly affected by this US state violence based on racism, greed and fear of the “other.” The main goal of my storytelling journey of acompañamiento was to bear witness to US state violence beyond an abstraction, to its lived experience in real bodies and communities. State violence, like all other forms of violence, is a visceral experience embodied most potently as death, but also as racial profiling, incarceration, deportation, labor exploitation, sickness, depression, fear and much more.

Read More About the journey to the Border Convergence here:

It has been said too often by well meaning people that "we who have a voice must speak for the voiceless." My trip to the Border Convergence has given me a different perspective and urgency. The “voiceless” have a voice and they are screaming with it in their struggle for justice and liberation. The urgency is not to speak for the voiceless, but for those who have ears to learn to hear. The School of the Americas watch movement began in part from the inspiration of the murdered Archbishop Óscar Romero of El Salvador, who broke from following the hierarchy of the institutional church as he began to listen to the cries of the oppressed Salvadoran campesinos and moved to accompany their struggle for liberation. 

The tragic reality facing the US church today is this:

“For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.”  - Matthew 13:15

Small metal markers throughout a cemetery near a Border Patrol checkpoint have recently been discovered and hide the unknown remains of thousands of migrants who have died attempting to circumvent the checkpoint.  The Texas Human Rights Center in partnership with university forensic teams are working to identify the remains and advocate for policy to prevent these deaths in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. 

 

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