fran ilich on 10 Sep 2000 04:45:14 -0000

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<nettime> Transcending Borders

Transcending Borders,9975,10408,00.

Festivities got off to a rather slow start on Friday, with organizers
scurrying to get an ISDN line connected. At one point there seemed to be
more phone engineers than attendees, but eventually the lines were connected
and people began to arrive.

On Friday night the police showed up, threatening to confiscate all of the
equipment. After a few tense hours, however, the police chief arrived to
announce that they had found the permits allowing the festival and they
weren't going to take everything away after all. 'Freedom is not just here
with a click of a mouse.'
-- Tamra Ford, festival attendee

On Saturday the festival started in earnest and the speakers described the
border situation. People who had crossed or were trying to cross the border
were invited to tell their stories.

Hundreds die each year trying to cross the border. The wall at the Playas de
Tijuana is covered with the names, ages, and origins of the dead. There are
many under the age of five and many are simply labeled "unidentified."

A Tijuana billboard tallies the body count of the dead. By early fall 1998,
it had reached over a hundred. Event organizer Fran Ilich explained that
many who try to cross the border starve in the mountains or freeze in flash
snowstorms. Some are killed by vigilantes.

A few American attendees came from as far away as Texas, having read about
the event through email or activist groups.

"I think this event is important because people need to see what the border
physically looks like," said Tamra Ford, from Austin, Texas. "The thing with
new technologies is that we can transcend borders and this is a very strong
reminder that we've got a lot of material borders and that freedom is not
just here with a click of a mouse."

As the event unfolded, photos were posted on the Web. A chat was set up to
allow those who couldn't make it to participate virtually. A phone was set
up to let festival-goers call anywhere in the world and Emmanuel Goldstein
from 2600 magazine was contacted. No one seemed to know who was going to
foot the bill.

The organizers projected a slide show and videos on the wall of death. The
bands on the stage ranged from techno to Mexican punk. Saturday night was a
rager and a chance to release some tension with a good slam dance. A group
of young punk kids kept sliding in and out of the border fence border,
taunting the border patrol - defying the lines that keep us apart.

nos vemos en el futuro.


┐alguna vez so˝aste un borderhack?

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