Better Worlds, Brighter Futures

Ecology, Humanity, Idealism |

Thousands March Against SB1070: What Now?

September 2018 Preface

Originally posted to what became the precursor blog to Better Worlds, Brighter Futures, this was written in support of the now-defunct project “Social Ecology Sonora.” This post was created to share a flier that was distributed at a march to the Arizona capitol. It was an attempt to start a dialog and introduce social ecology and possible radical alternatives to the community, which was still recovering from the “Great Recession.”  

Having turned out for the Phoenix march to the capitol on Saturday, I am left to wonder — what now? Though there seem to have been the numbers predicted (in the tens of thousands), the entire display consisted simply of an uninterrupted march to the capitol in the heat, where people were left to mill about, listen to speakers talking of reform and voting, and slowly disperse.

Indeed, the crowd seemed docile in the heat and the whole event ended with a whimper.  Perhaps worn down by the sun, or frustrated by the elaborate “policing” strategies of organizers and their organizations, the mood of the people on Saturday contrasted sharply with the loud, empowered, and energetic students that defiantly and spontaneously walked out of their high schools earlier in May.

However, the message of Saturday’s march largely paralleled that of the student rallies from earlier in the month. With chants such as “reform is not enough,” the demands of the people seem increasingly frustrated with unresponsive political, electoral, or reformist compromises.

Social Ecology Sonora was represented, passing out a few hundred fliers with a social ecological analysis urging our neighbors to come together for the defense and improvement of our communities.

Below is the text of the flier.

The Government and Economy have Failed Sonora

In Arizona, home to part of the Sonoran Desert including Phoenix and Tucson, police roam the streets, checking the documentation of passerby, occupying our communities and taking our neighbors in the night. People are being thrown out in the street by foreclosure and economic hardship in record numbers, as  unfinished condominium towers rot in the heat. Increased taxation of working people, and reduction of health, transportation, and community services worsen an already dire situation.

With the passage of SB1070, Arizona has increased its isolation. City councils from across the nation have condemned the bill, as have international heads of state. Boycotts have taken the role not simply of gesture, but of economic sanction. As Arizona grows increasingly more isolated, it is clearer than ever that the Arizona legislature does not represent the average person here.

A radical new vision is needed to overcome our failed economy, take back our neighborhoods from government occupation, and restructure our communities to meet our needs in a way that is egalitarian, ecological, autonomous, and directly democratic.

Enter social ecology. An exciting response to our most pressing concerns – specifically humanitarian and ecological crises – social ecology notes that our present economic and ecological dislocations are rooted in deep seated social issues.

Social Ecology Sonora is a practical manifestation of a social ecological analysis of our Sonoran Desert bioregion. It seeks to radically transform our communities in ways that meet and improve our material needs with the resources from within our neighborhoods, in a way that is egalitarian, sustainable, self-reliant, and independent of capitalism and the state. This includes:

  • * Decentralizing metropolitan areas into constellations of humanly-scaled communities centered around the neighborhood, transforming society:
    • * Allowing neighborhoods to seize control of the resources of their community and administer them directly democratically.
    • * Provide for the material needs of the inhabitants from within the neighborhood itself in sustainable, self-reliant, and autonomous ways
    • * Incorporate nature into the “built” environment, break up the urban heat island, and harmonize the municipality with the bioregion to which it is intimately connected
  • * Stopping the sprawl of metropolitan areas in the Sonora and protecting existing open spaces
  • * Inspiring an ecological consciousness and a sense of place, educating our neighbors about the transformative potentials of our neighborhoods, and reviving the concepts of solidarity, mutual aid, and “neighborliness.”

Social Ecology Sonora is looking for people with visions of a better world to begin improving their neighborhoods in solidarity with those who also struggle. Together, we can build a radical, transformative movement for a liberated, ecological society.

For more information on social ecology:

Institute for Social Ecology:

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