Border of Lights
at the barricades -- no way through
Because of this casualty and explosive situation (fed not just by accidents but the human rights violations which continue), the guardias on the Dominican side did not let us procession to the border with our lights but stopped us at their barricade. We finally gave up trying to talk them into letting us go further and instead handed over our white flowers and some of our candles and the soldiers walked them to the border for us. Later, we heard that a couple of the young guards (look at some of those faces: BOYS with guns) kept relighting the candles when they went out. They also prayed with us -- though one did take that moment of silence to check for text messages!
DeAndra handing over flowers . . .
. . . guards pray with us -- as well as check text messages
the crowd at border grows
online vigil at restuarant with wifi . . .
. . . may the circle be unbroken
Over the course of those four days, we had a successful panel with the students and community members at the border university UTESA, a delivery of school supplies on the bridge to Sor Alexandra who runs the orphanage in Ouanaminthe, an online vigil, and a Social Justice symposium to close BOL 2015 with representatives from organizations on the ground, MUDHA and RECONOCI.DO, that are defending the rights of denationalized Dominicans of Haitian descent, as well as Haitians being deported without warning or an opportunity to notify their families, collect their belongings and salaries due them. We were able to gift these organizations funds because of your KICKSTARTER donations. Do note the photo of the check shows a sizable donation, but no, we did not make two USA $15,000 checks, those checks are pesos, conversion rate 45 pesos to the dollar. You do the math!
panel with the students and community members at the border university UTESA . . .
. . . Kickstarter donations to orgs defending rights -- checks we could give orgs because of your donations
(We also used your KICKSTARTER donations to buy supplies for the orphanage in Ouanaminthe, paint the firehouse in Dajabón, rent the space for the symposium, buy lunch for all the symposium participants -- we made your money s-t-r-e-t-c-h! BTW, we did pay for our own online vigil meal at RistoArte, including the wine and rum which made fielding some of the nastier xenophobic comments a little easier. I must say that every time a face I knew posted with a light, I had to blow my nose on my paper napkin! What a thrill -- it really is a chill feeling to see what we already know, but it's easy to forget: we are connected!)
delivering school supplies . . .|
. . . Sor Alexandra & helpers picking up supplies
Next year, join us at the border. You are a luminous bunch and BORDER OF LIGHTS needs all the lights we can get!
CD: Rise Up, Brothers
Visit our website: borderoflights.org.
Please be sure to follow us on Facebook: facebook.com/BorderofLights.
Twitter handle for BOL is @border_oflights.
Our Kickstarter campaign goes through September 18, 2015.
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