ARIZONA/SONORA: Barbecue and cinema on the border

April 29, 2005

ARIZONA/SONORA: Barbecue and cinema on the border

On Thursday evening, April 21, seventeen people (including children) from
Douglas and Bisbee, Arizona as well as from Agua Prieta, Mexico attended the
first ever Border Barbecue and Cinema Night. It took place on Border Road
west of Douglas atop a hill overlooking the barbed wire fence that marks the
U. S. Mexico border. Among attendees were five CPTers, who contributed to
food preparations. The site was also visible to several of the vigilante
Civil Homeland Defence--CHD (formerly Minuteman Project) vehicles deployed
there for the night to watch for undocumented migrants that might cross from
Mexico into the United States. In fact one CHD man in his truck arrived just
after the team and remained for most of the evening. He declined to join the
party when invited.

Participants prepared hamburgers and S'mores on the tailgate of a pickup
truck while a laptop and projector, powered by a gasoline generator, were
set up for the film. A screen was attached to a barbed wire fence and camp
chairs were placed in front.

The feature selected for the first showing was the film "Hotel Rwanda" which
graphically depicted how citizens of Rwanda in 1994 suddenly lost their
personal security as people from the Hutu ethnic group began to kill people
of the Tutsi ethnic group as well as Hutus opposed to the slaughter.

About halfway through the film, the CHD man decided to leave and shortly
thereafter the generator ran out of fuel, ending the film for that evening.

But all who attended considered the event a success, in that local citizens
were able to take back the border in a friendly, entertaining way from the
increasingly intrusive and confrontational seizure of the area by the
vigilantes who have been occupying the space along the U.S. border since the
beginning of April.

Rumours spread quickly along the border. The next day a reporter told a
CPTer, "CHD are saying that you folks had set 'diversionary fires' so that
migrants could slip pass the CHD."

With the first Border Barbecue and Cinema evening a success, the event has
now expanded into a weekly cinema series.