Update from the Border: CCI Member Jan Wann reporting

The following post is from CCI Action member Jan Wann from Clear Lake, IA. Jan is currently in Texas joining the resistance to Trump’s border wall. Jan is no stranger to going where the fight calls her – having trekked to Standing Rock during the DAPL fight numerous times.

Jan sent along a GoFundMe link to contribute to Somi-Se’k Village. Give here.

January 24, 2019

Hey Hugh,

I am in Texas at a base camp for border resistance. Just thought I would share. You can share as you like. 

It’s nice and warm here: 66F yesterday, which makes for nice camping weather. We are basically in a backyard of several acres, 35 miles south of San Antonio. It is Juan’s place and there are three houses: Juan and his two sons and their families. I will call their tribe Somi’Sek but that is only a rough try at a new name for me. 

People come and go. One group went to the border yesterday just after I got here. I was asked to fill in here. The border is about 4 hours from here. I will go before I leave.

The plan is to put up three camps at the border to resist the bulldozers as they break ground for the wall right through a butterfly sanctuary and veteran cemetery. One camp is manned already.  

I am, as usual, the oldest. There is a cooking tent. There seems to be no cook so I will pick up that task this week. Joe Plough from CamosARising set up shower and laundry facilities. Very primitive. There are maybe 10 tents and a sweat lodge, port-a-potties, and sacred fire.

There are people from all over, Ohio, Virginia,  Houston, Oregon, and locals. People have many interesting stories. One woman works on death row with inmates, another travels the globe getting kids to make documentaries. Many of these people have been working with the caravan.  

There is a border resistance summit next weekend in Arizona. But there is so much more going on here: 3 LNG [liquid national gas?] plants going up on Sacred Ground near Brownsville; death row inmates; tribes unlisted; hurricane relief in Houston, UNICEF throwing out activists in Tijuana… 

Good water though! And donkeys, not factory farms! I will be here for another week, maybe. More later. 

January 26, 2019

I got to the base camp near Floresville TX on Monday Jan 21. I had tents and personal supplies to hand off and indeed within an hour they were loaded and off they went to the forward camp near the cemetery on the border. I stayed to help hold down the camp with Di and to organize the supply tent. There will be three forward camps. 

Tuesday 1/22: 

People come and go, preparing for the border resistance summit in Tucson. people are from around Texas, Oregon, Virginia, Ohio, Kansas, Nebraska,  North and South Dakota, and Iowa.

Tucker is putting together binders for work with undocumented persons along the border. These will be handed out to other camps to provide unity of data collection. Nate and Tucker have been in Tijuana working with the caravan.

Di is inventorying supplies and counted 87 blankets that were collected for handing out to people crossing at the border.

Hearing about the people convicted of felonies for leaving water for people crossing the dessert made this project take on a new urgency.

Heavy blowing rain and lightning has washed out my tent, so moved to my car.

Wed 1/23: 

Rain ended about 3AM and  the camp fire is nearly got down to coals. Not on my watch, logs are added.

Found my way to Floresville for propane, tent stakes, groceries, laundromat.

Texas in winter is gold and green, with small shrub oaks, cactus, palms, a few flowers and many birds that are new to me.

Di told me of her work with death row inmates and The Prison Show on the radio. 

Thurs 1/23: 

Drove Di to San Antonio for R and R in Houston. This camp plans to rotate people in and out of the forward camps. I attacked the supply room and used my taxonomy skills to organize soap, shampoo, blankets, emergency water, towels, dental supplies, as well as kitchen equipment, hardware such as heaters and lanterns, and tools. Scored a used rain poncho.

Since I have the pick of the camp for sleeping I tried out a cot in the supply tent. Never again, that bar about wrecked my spine. Give me a flat spot on the ground.

Miguel, who lives here and is Juan’s son in law came with his young son Enrique. Being a grannie, we hit it off and found lots of interesting things around camp. 

Fri 1/24: 

Just me here during the day; finished the organizing. The three camp dogs tore through the camp in pursuit of something and all four ended up in the supply tent, knocking over the cots and blankets. All went back in place.

Tried out the solar shower and after much turning of knobs and checking of hoses I feel human again.

The unity of purpose amongst this family compound is touching. Miguel’s family plans to go to the forward camp this werkend, a four hour drive each way. Some protectors from the cemetery camp will come here. I also will go to that camp, but am waiting for the list of supplies to bring along with Di’s duffle bag and cot.

More rain after midnight, but light and short lived, the fire is built up and as I end this, Michael Allen from Houston arrives. 

January 28, 2019

I am at a laundromat washing the camp towels. There is a small hand powered washer at camp but towels are bothersome. Then the clothes line serves to dry. 

I have been able to informally interview the people that pass thru camp. 

Tomorrow I go south to Mission where a six-mile section of the wall will bisect a butterfly sanctuary and then plow right through a cemetery with the graves of indigenous people and civil war veterans. 

I am hearing about eminent domain abuse. Of course it is irritating that many people support Trump but are up in arms when that blessed wall goes through their yard, or in some cases is like Gaza where their whole homestead is on the wrong side of a wall that is miles from the actual border. And well, the government just has to take the whole bit to keep us safe. So there is a possibility for 4 camps plus this base camp. 

There is word of a series of concerts all along the border and Roger Waters is interested in joining in. I had to ask who is he?

I am blessed to be able to be here , and not JUST because it us 71 F… I mean, someone needs to keep the fire burning.