The following media release was shared on Tuesday:
EL PASO, Texas — A group of renowned artists have announced they will join El Paso communities and grassroots organizations in a march and day of cultural resistance against white supremacy planned for September 7. The event, planned as a response to the El Paso shooting and rise of white supremacist violence and political activity, follows over 50+ local #ElPasoFirme vigils held last Wednesday.
“We are calling on our sister communities across the country to join us in an exercise of collective compassion and solidarity on September 7,” said said Fernando García, Executive Director of the Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR).
The September 7 #ElPasoFirme actions will include a march, call to action, and performances from artists, including Rebeca Lane from Guatemala and Grammy-Award winning La Santa Cecilia from Los Angeles, California; other artists, including Residente, are joining the call to action and speaking at the event.
“El Paso Firme means we are united as we move forward, with firm steps and clear vision. We know that as long as we continue fighting for our rights, we will prevail against the reactionary and racist views strangling our country,” said Erika Andiola, Chief Advocacy Officer at RAICES, who are co-anchoring the effort.
“El Paso was not just another shooting. This was fueled by a climate of hatred, white supremacist beliefs, and anti-immigrant bigotry motivated from the highest office in the nation, the White House,” García added. “Donald Trump’s words incited this violence. His hands are tainted with blood and he must be held accountable.”
Investigations have confirmed that the shooter was inspired by Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric, writing in a manifesto that he feared a “Hispanic invasion of Texas,” words that Trump has repeated in his speeches, tweets, and campaign material. After the shooting, President Trump read a milquetoast rebuke of racism but said nothing about his role in demonizing immigrants, inciting violence, or the GOP blocking numerous efforts to limit access to weapons of war used repeatedly in mass atrocities.
“Immigrants in this country are suffering,” Andiola added. “Long before Trump, we have faced harsh crackdowns at the hands of immigration enforcement, all emanating from a notion that we do not belong in this country.”
Even before the tragic shooting, border communities such as El Paso have grappled with the effects of policies criminalizing immigrants and border militarization for decades. For them, the new wave of violence is the foreseeable result of a rise in white supremacist activity, most visible in the Trump administration’s immigration agenda.
#ElPasoFirme is anchored by Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR), Refugee And Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance (RITA), Repairers of the Breach, and Poor People’s Campaign, and is endorsed by a broad array of faith, immigrant, civil rights, and grassroots organizations.