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  • Mary L. Hanna

Protective Accompaniment for a joint Muslim and Deported U.S. Veterans' Event

On our final day in Tijuana, the MPT Border Team was asked to don vests and serve on a peace team at a rally and march sponsored by Unified U.S. Deported Veterans and the Latina Muslim Foundation and joined by members of Veterans for Peace and Tijuana Propone. The day began on the El Chaparral plaza where a “Hands Off Venezuela” rally and prayer service for the people of Venezuela was held. From there, marchers carrying brooms and plastic bags spread out around areas not far from Avenida Revolución. The march and clean-up event, Eco-Project for a Clean Tijuana - One World, Two Communities, One Humanity Without Borders, was lively and included many young people. The march concluded with a big clean-up at a park next to the wall. MPT accompanied the marchers throughout the streets of Tijuana. At one point, the team encountered a very agitated and inebriated man from the U.S. who was alternately screaming profanities and claiming he was God while letting everyone around him know that he killed James Brown. The team was concerned about the presence of so many children in the vicinity and worried about his safety, given the strong police presence in the area. While two of our affinity teams (subsets of our Team as a whole) stayed with the march, one affinity team stayed back and de-escalated the man by finding areas of common ground. He may have been drunk, mentally ill, and loud, but his humanity shone through when he spoke of his beloved mother. Although the rest of the march had moved on, the decision was made to stay with this man because of out of concern for his safety. After the two team members accompanied the man to a local dental clinic, the entire Team was available to escort marchers back to their starting point. After that, we said our farewells to our veteran friends over filtered water and packaged almonds before heading back across the border. Serving on this accompaniment team was the perfect way to end our time in Tijuana.

The Team meets at the Deported Vets office

Heading off to the rally site

Gathering for the joint rally & clean-up effort

Team members in place

Community working together

VFP member harassed by police

"Humanity without Borders"!

everyone pitched in

Humanity at its best

EVERYONE working together

Stop the War on Immigrants

The event flyer

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