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March 15, 2024 42 mins

James talks to John and Heval about the changing situation at the border in San Diego county, new outdoor detention sites, and how you can organize to solve problems in your area. 

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:01):
Also media.

Speaker 2 (00:05):
Hello, and welcome to it Could Happen Here podcast about
things falling apart and people putting them back together. I
am back after after a lengthy court battle, have been
allowed to return to the podcast, which I'm very grateful for.
And I'm joined today by John and Haval, two friends
of mine who volunteer out here in Cucumber a lot,
a lot more than I do. And we're going to
explain some developments that have happened, give you all an

update on the situation here and let you know how
you could help. So welcome to the show, both of you.

Speaker 3 (00:33):
Hello, thank you going to be back.

Speaker 2 (00:35):
Yeah, welcome back. If you'd like to just introduce yourself,
like your name, like whatever role you play out here, pronouns,
and any affiliation with any organization you feel is relevant.

Speaker 4 (00:47):
So my name is John. I'm someone that lives in
the area. This situation just kind of showed up in
my backyard. I was kind of forced into it rather
than volunteer into it, and I've been dealing with it
NonStop since the beginning. Yeah, I'm one of the main
sets of booths on the ground.

Speaker 3 (01:07):
Have all I used them pronouns and I organized with
direct Action Drumline and Zene Distro doing a lot of
mutual aid, which is how I got involved in all this,
and also with Alocholato helping out on the ground since
the beginning with John, pretty much just a little after
John started.

Speaker 2 (01:25):
So yeah, so that's what nearly six months, so if
you're not counting me, yeah, yeah, wow, yeah.

Speaker 4 (01:34):
So yeah. It started in May and then it stopped
during the summertime. It picked up again in September, and
we've been dealing with it NonStop since then.

Speaker 2 (01:42):
People will have heard briefly from John's father Sam in
in our May episodes about title forty two, which we did. Yeah,
it seems like forever ago. It also doesn't seem like
very long ago. It's just one big, weird collapsing of time.
So last time we spent last time with HAVAL, we
had this situation where we had three distinct concrete camps

right adjacent to gaps in the wall, which volunteers were
servicing with food, water, warm blankets, were building shelters, and
we've heard a lot about those camps. Does one of
you guys want to explain how things have changed since then,
and really particularly in the last six weeks.

Speaker 4 (02:25):
So yeah, it's changed quite radically. Actually, So between the
months of September and December, we were servicing these three
camps kind of more or less in our immediate area.
It was pretty straightforward. Our routine would consist of stopping
at each camp two times a day and feeding people,
providing them with all of the different things that the

US government was not and I kind of wish things
were simpler like they were back then. Yeah, So at
the end of the month of December, Secretary Blinken made
a visit to Mexico, and I suspect that he pressured
the Mexican government to police our border for US. One

of the immediate changes that we saw as a result
of that was the foundation of two Mexican National Guard
camps at two of the gaps that feed into those
camps in our area, and that has basically stopped any
people coming through those areas. This has not made any

less people come into the country. Actually, the numbers have
been fairly consistent. It's just that people have been forced
to go in through other areas. So there have been
many many new oads that have popped up west of US.
We have to drive quite a bit further towards San
Diego to go and service those areas, the main one

being Sliders, which we're seeing about two hundred people come
in sometimes in a night. It's not a good scene.
Whereas those three ones that we were originally servicing had
dumpsters and porta potties at the very least, Yeah.

Speaker 3 (04:05):
They still do.

Speaker 4 (04:05):
They still.

Speaker 2 (04:07):
Still there exactly, Yeah, moving at the speed of government.

Speaker 4 (04:10):
The new ones don't have that, and people are having
to spend Well, how long were the people there most
during that crazy, crazy time, just like a few days ago.
I think they were up They were there for up
to like nineteen hours.

Speaker 2 (04:24):
Yeah, going on a day right now. Yeah, because we
first to backtrack to people, like we we heard from
a member of the community that there have been people
seen held there right at Sliders, And then we went
out there and we kept finding like warm fires, like
where people hopefully been there and built fires. We could
see where people have scavenged to brush, and a.

Speaker 3 (04:47):
Lot of documents ripped up around there, the Mill Hill signs.

Speaker 2 (04:51):
Yeah, yeah, all these signs, and so we were able
to use that to suppose that that was a place
where people were and then I guess was it. Eventually
someone stayed the night there, and that was what we
bumped into people there. Someone bumped into people there.

Speaker 4 (05:03):
Well, we have an acquaintance that's been very helpful towards
the cause that lives just close by to there, and
he's kind of one of the one that sounded the alarm.

Speaker 2 (05:13):
And from there, it's like you said, it's a lot
more difficult, right, Like it's probably a thirty minute drive.
It's a steep off road, so like when it rains,
it's hard to get to. So that makes it more
difficult for us to provide stuff for people there. And like,
I guess people should realize that we didn't find out
about this because Border Patrol called us and said like, hey,
there are people here without food, water show they don't

do that, but yeah, that's not the thing that they do.

Speaker 3 (05:36):
We actually did one another volunteer, Brendan and I were
driving out and we stopped on the road. I don't
think you were with us, John, but we started talking
to one of the agents because there was two or
a group of people from I think Egypt. That was
the day everyone did the mass exodus from one seven seven.
So we stopped and we're talking to one of the
agents and he did slip that there was another camp.

He didn't name it, didn't say where it was, he
just said it was that way. And that was around
the same time that Morgan had mentioned it to us.
So it's you know, we kind of pulled it out
of this agent because we were talking very nonchalantly with
him and he was being generally nice. But yeah, they
don't tell us about this stuff.

Speaker 2 (06:14):
Yeah, and we have to find him myself. And what
I think that brings up is that there are potentially.

Speaker 4 (06:19):
More, right we think, we know for a fact there are.

Speaker 2 (06:22):
We know that there are more. And like I think
it's obviously people and people think of California and they
think of LA and they think of San Diego and
they think of the beach and like pleasant weather. But
can you explain, like it's been really cold out here.
I'm pretty miserable right with the wet weather we've been having.

Speaker 4 (06:37):
This is a pretty unknown part of southern California. You know,
we're a mountainous region just just east of San Diego,
within San Diego County. It's I mean it's not it's
not crazy high, it's you know, it's about on an
average of three thousand and four thousand feet above sea level.
But yeah, it gets very windy over here, gets very unpleasant.
It often drops down to freezing.

Speaker 2 (07:00):
Yeah, and that's if you're out there all night and
you have any shelter and anyway to get warm, and
you're potentially wet from crossing a river or crossing a
stream that often pops up in the desert, can be
a really miserable situation. So, like, it's important that these
people receive help. And right now it's just through word
of mouth and the local community that we're able to
find them right and give them the help.

Speaker 4 (07:20):
Yep. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (07:21):
So going forward, like we've seen like this movement of
migration west, what does that mean for the ability of
volunteers to provide services to migrants and what does it
mean for the safety Like you said that the push
factors haven't changed, right, So people are still coming here.
They still have things to get away from that lead

them to come here, but they're not coming the same
way where we could so easily help them in these
three concrete sites.

Speaker 4 (07:50):
So like what does that mean, Well, it's takes a
lot more time out of our day just to drive there.
For one, the main one sliders is up a very
shitty road.

Speaker 2 (08:02):

Speaker 3 (08:03):
So I think they call it sliders because it's so
muddy and slidy over there when you're trying to be.

Speaker 2 (08:07):
Yeah, I put someone's head into the roof of my trucks.
That's so long ago.

Speaker 4 (08:12):
Yeah, And uh, you know, we're not the only ones
that are displeased with this. It's more it makes the
life for the border patrol more difficult, makes life for
the emergency medical services more difficult, and of course it
makes life for the migrants more miserable. And the owner
of the property and the owners of the property in
which they're hosting these you know, detaining these migrants.

Speaker 2 (08:31):
Yeah, I think if every single one has been on
private property so far, right, and I think we spoke
to most of the property owners at this point, and
it just seems to come out of the blue at them.
It's very strange.

Speaker 4 (08:43):
Permission has never sought.

Speaker 2 (08:44):
Yeah, and I think I know one of them is
suing the Border Patrol for it, but fake months. But
obviously it does have an impact on a landscape as well.
People understand to be a coal so they're cutting down
whatever they can to burn to make shelter, to make
their experience a little bit less miserable.

Speaker 4 (09:00):
So that's the Yeah, that's that's kind of a bargaining
tool that we try and use when trying to convince
the property owners to allow us to build shelters over there.
It's just to try and convince them that it'll be
good for them to have migrants not be in a
position to be forced to have to cut down the
vegetation on their land and trash their land, and you know,

by allowing us to build shelters on their property and
give firewood to the to the to the migrants that
are being held on their property, it's better for them
in the long run. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (09:32):
And the first time we went out there, they had
created these shelters by just ripping brush and creating these
like semi circles that were maybe about a.

Speaker 4 (09:39):
Foot or some of them are very impressive.

Speaker 3 (09:41):
Yeah, yeah, two three feet high and it was nice,
you know, and enclosed, so they had some sort of shelter.
But yeah, they had to rip all that from the
vegetation around the area, which just ruined the ecosystem there,
I'm sure.

Speaker 4 (09:53):

Speaker 2 (09:53):
And it must tear up your hands as well, lost
of thlny bushes and stuff. Yeah, it's it's not desirable
for anyone talking of things aren't desirable. We unfortunately have
to take an advertising break, so we will do that.
Hit some stuff that you don't need. All right, we're back.

Those are some products and services. Now we're going to
talk about the way John being very local to hocumber right,
how it is like organizing in a rural community, and
the way that obviously you have people of very disparate
political leanings in the area, and like how you've managed
to like phrase what we're doing and to organize in

such a way that the very least people aren't like
actively pissed off at you.

Speaker 4 (10:46):
Yeah. So, first of all, I'm a Quaker, come from
a Quaker family, and first and foremost I am doing
this for religious reasons, and I like to try and
remind people of that. So when people try and come
at me with high immigrants sentiment, I just try and
remind them that you know, this is this is basically
what you're supposed to do according to the Bible. And

you know, to hate on any of these people is
very Unchristian. And when I do so, it's very hard
for them to come at me with any of that stuff.
But still, yes, For the most part, the community over
here have not been very helpful towards this. They have
not been very enthused with all these migrants coming in,
and you know, they've been very regrettably misinformed about it all.

They're still looking at various crazy sources for their news,
like YouTube channels and stuff like that, and it's kind
of kind of hard to believe. It's like, you guys
live in the area. You can just drive straight out there.
You can talk to me a person that you guys know,
Yet you still choose to look up all these various
whack jobs on YouTube.

Speaker 2 (11:52):
Yeah. Yeah, we've had something of a problem with the
YouTube people. Right, there's a whole info, wholely ecosystem of
right wing you tubers that I think probably most folks
don't know about, even if you take an interest in
other like right wing conspiracy stuff, as a whole ecosystem
of right wing border YouTubers who have been I mean,
describe what you've seen, right, We've had like a new

right wing fascist out every day.

Speaker 3 (12:15):
It seems there's Oreo Express, Anthony Aguero has been out here,
JLR Investigation JLR.

Speaker 4 (12:22):
Roger Ogden was out here the other day. Classic it's
kind of calmed down though in the last last couple
of days. But there was a period in late February
where it seemed like they were coming out every single day.

Speaker 2 (12:34):
Yeah, just a different guy in a different lifted jeep.

Speaker 3 (12:37):
Yeah, exactly, just after that whole border what was it.

Speaker 2 (12:40):
That take back our Border?

Speaker 3 (12:42):
Yeah, I got them all rouled up to come out.

Speaker 4 (12:45):
Actually, what really set them off to be aware of
all of this is when Fox did their big piece
out here and they were out here for multiple days. Yeah,
that's what kind of like turned on the tap.

Speaker 2 (12:54):
Yeah, and that's very common anyway you go on the border, right,
Like Fox has a border report to Bill Malugan. People
will be familiar with Bill Malugan from publishing a story
in twenty twenty which suggested the police officer had a
tampon used tampon put in his Starbucks coffee, which was
demonstrably false and didn't really very much look like a tampon.

You can google more about that if that's interesting to you.
But like someone who preps should have lost their journalistic
credibility at that point. It's now doing border reporting for Fox.
And this is like when I speak to people all
along the border right here, Arizona, Texas. Yeah, the stuff
that Fox puts out very strongly correlates with anti migrant sentiment,
both both locally and with like these these folks coming

in and streaming, and they're always asking for donations, right,
Like it's not a then they're they're not like advert
funded or like publicly funded like that, they're funded by
donations for what.

Speaker 3 (13:47):
Yeah, well, I forget the channel there Aguero is on,
but he's constantly asking for the nations and like, oh,
thank you, you just dropped ten dollars, thank you for
the five spot the other like they're sitting in his car.

Speaker 4 (13:58):
That's that's what their grift. That's what they're out there for.
Every It seems like a third of their broadcast time
is spent asking for donations.

Speaker 2 (14:07):
Right yeah. Yeah, it's like a like a charity stream,
except it's the opposite of charity, I guess exactly, so
pay me to do hateful things streams. Yeah, And I
think like that as we get as we look between
now and November, I think it's really important that like
the border will be a topic that people who never
come to the border will argue about constantly between now

and November, right, Fox News will have reporting on it,
NBC will have reporting on it, like and both of
them will have reporting that isn't anchored on what we
see every single day out here, which is a whate
variety of people from all over the world who are
having a very difficult time right here and need a help, right,

and we're doing what we can to help them. So
I guess what, Like people who are listening to this
will in the next I don't know how long it
is to a November, what six months, they'll have conversations
with their family members, with their friends, with people in bars, whatever,
regarding the border. What do you think they should know about,

like what we're seeing and like what because there's this
whole border invasion narrative, right, and like, this is not
an invasion. We were just out joking with some people
and helping them get the firewood prepped. Like these people
are not a threat.

Speaker 4 (15:26):
I think people often make the mistake of considering this
issue to be a political issue. It really is just
a humanitarian issue. Vast majority of the people that I've
talked to have very legitimate reasons for needing to come
into this country, whether they're from Ecuador, you know, you
know the situation over there recently there were gangsters that
took over a TV station right Or in Guatemala, where

I spoke to a man who told me that his
children with college degrees can make enough family money to
feed their families. Or even in Afghanistan where people have
literally had the talib and threaten their families' lives.

Speaker 3 (16:02):
The same with and the Iatola escaping, all.

Speaker 4 (16:05):
The Kurdish people in Turkey. I mean, the list goes on,
or you know, climate refugees like the Mauritanians that we
just spoke with earlier. Yes, they're they're coming, and they
have really reasonable grounds for asylum over here.

Speaker 3 (16:21):
Yeah, and it wouldn't be such an quote unquote invasion
if they were just allowed to walk through the port
of entry. This it's this process is so silly because
they cross They could just do this all at the
port of entry. They really could be safe. The policies
just choose not to do this.

Speaker 4 (16:37):
Yeah, but that's the part that really doesn't make sense,
is like we're letting them in anyways, Why do we
need to make their lives so uncomfortable you know and dangerous?

Speaker 3 (16:46):
Right? Dangerous?

Speaker 2 (16:47):
I mean, John, you and I were on a water
drop maybe two months ago, now six weeks ago in
slightly west of here, right, do you remember we were
driving down to where we're going to get off and
we met that family from Guinea. There was like do
you and you want to just describe what you saw
because I think it was like, at least for me,
there was like I've seen it a lot, but it

still emotionally affected me.

Speaker 4 (17:10):
So, yeah, there was a there was a Guinean woman
and her kid. I think he might have been like
what four or something three? Three? Yeah, and uh, and
there was also a Nigerian woman and you know, Nigerian
speak English and Guineans speak French. They weren't really able
to communicate with one another, and yet they were still
traveling side by side because they they just teamed up

because they were in a desperate situation together. One of
them was was she and sandals.

Speaker 2 (17:39):
One of them didn't have shoes tois didn't.

Speaker 4 (17:40):
Have shoes at all. Right, Yeah, yeah, it's six weeks
is a long time, you know what you're doing?

Speaker 2 (17:45):
Yeah, well, you see horrible things every day.

Speaker 4 (17:47):
Yeah, it's been a very eventful time. Yeah, every day
feels like a news story. Yeah, and they just kind
of sat on the side of the road and were
out of breath, and they were just basically asking us
to help them. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (18:03):
I remember the little girl because we were obviously concerned
with the lady who didn't have shoes and trying to
help like bandage her feet and stuff. But then I
remember the little girl just wasn't saying anything, and I
suddenly realized, oh, this little girl is probably very cold.
She was like, you know, early, like mildly hypothermic. Yeah,
So I had her wrapped up in a little mylaud
blanket with me to warm her up. And it's just,

I know it just for one reason or another, that
was a moment where I was like, why on earth
are we doing this to a three year old? Like
what possible reason could there be this three year old
girl to have hypothermia here in like the richest country
in the world.

Speaker 4 (18:39):
Who could possibly agree that this is a good thing?

Speaker 3 (18:41):

Speaker 4 (18:41):
Yeah, Or another experience I had in the beginning of
February where there was this Colombian man who was in
tears who approached me and told me that his daughter
was very very ill, and he dragged me over to
a porta potty and she was there bundled up with
like nine blankets or something, not really responding to my questions.
He was trying to contact nine to one one, but

the responder on a nine to one one or the
dispatcher didn't speak Spanish, so I had to communicate with
them and navigate the whole situation. Turns out she did
have hypothermia. Yeah, but the ambulance would not take him
along with the mother and the child to the hospital.
So again it's another case of family separation. Who knows

what might have happened. They would have gotten processed separately.
He could have ended up in Louisiana and she could
have ended up in Riverside or somewhere.

Speaker 2 (19:34):
Yeah, And at that point, once again, it's not the
government or your taxes that will pay for those people
to be reunified. Right, that's work that's done by NGOs
and moderntary organizations exactly. Yeah, despite the massive amount of
money we spend on And we were just talking the
other day about how the architectural marvel of sections of
the border wall right where they've poured concrete at like

a forty five plus degree angle and spent millions of
dollars for every yard that and we don't have enough
money to give this three year ogue out a blanket
or to get that family back together.

Speaker 4 (20:06):
It's pathetic, it's it's yeah, it's mind boggling. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (20:10):
Even today with that dude from Brazil. He came up
to me when we first got here there was starving,
wanted food, water, and he was like, I'm sick, I
have a fever. So I hooked him up with some
cold medicine that we had in our medkit, and then
later when we went back to do the second round
of feeding, he got more food and he was like,
thank you so much. We're starving. We were told to
when we were dropped off to wait in the mountains
at six pm to six am, so they were just

hadn't really I don't know if they were on the
American side yet or how that worked. Didn't really describe it,
but had to wait in the mountains before crossing, and
so people are getting sick out there. We ran into
that dude with the dog bite at at one seven seven.
He was just so we always go check this one
camp because there hasn't been out since Squaddi and Snal
have put their camp on the other side. There hadn't

been a whole lot of people crossing in this area,
but we go check it periodically. In one morning, yeah,
we saw this man hobbling up towards us as we're
driving down the road with a stick, and we're like,
why is he walking like this? Pulled over and he
was bitten by a dog. He said he went to
take a drink of water and some dogs attacked him
to dogs, I think.

Speaker 2 (21:11):
Yeah, he'd described it to the wolf, right, Yeah.

Speaker 3 (21:14):
Yeah, So we called the MS and they picked them
up and took them to the hospitals.

Speaker 2 (21:17):
Right, but you hadn't been there. It's a long way
to walk with a dog bite in your leg.

Speaker 3 (21:21):
Yeah, And who knows bordevitom n even even if ems
him out. They might have just tried to process them
with the dog bite. Yeah, could get it, could have
gotten infected.

Speaker 2 (21:30):

Speaker 3 (21:30):

Speaker 4 (21:31):
But just to go back on the mutual aid question
that you had earlier, it hasn't all been negative. It's
actually been a really great experience in which I've met
really great people from all kinds of walks of life
who have just joined together because they see a problem
and know that they're the only they're the only ones

that can make a difference, and it is a sure
easy way to be really important and make a difference
in other people's lives. We don't really need to have
much more than a good heart and a willingness to work.

Speaker 2 (22:05):
Yeah, Like, I think we should talk about that more
because not that some of us had some like prior
life experience right working with refugees or migration, But I
think most of us just were people who were like, Yeah,
this isn't right, and I am able to help, and
so I'm going to help. So can you talk about
like how people can help? And then, like you said,
I think I've actually got a lot out of this

and that I feel more affirmed in my belief that
like we can look out after each other without the
need to control each other, and like we don't necessarily
need people with guns and badges to create a society
that cares for people who need taken care of. And
so perhaps you could describe like how people can help,
and then what it is that you've got out of
this that keeps you wanting to do this.

Speaker 4 (22:45):
Well, First of all, yeah, we don't have a clear
structure of authoritative structure over here. We take ideas as
a collective. Different people have contributed different things. There's a
woman that really nailed down the PB and J making
system and we've all just been following her lead. There.
Some people came up with the idea of having a

cell phone charging station that was you, and it's just
the list goes on and if you wanted to help,
you could just come by to the border, come to
one of these sites and just start distributing food or
teaming up with us somehow, or by donating to the GoFundMe.

Speaker 2 (23:28):
Yeah, what's the good fund me?

Speaker 4 (23:29):
John, So let's go fund me that was set up
by by my dad. I don't actually know what it's Cumba.

Speaker 2 (23:36):
Migrant Aid, So go fund me. Ha, Cumba Migrant Aid.
It comes up.

Speaker 3 (23:40):
Samuel Schultz I think is Samuel Schultz.

Speaker 2 (23:42):
So you'll know because it has like fifty thousand dollars
on it and like maybe seven woods as a discription
GOOGLEMA because not much else is going down here, I guess.
But yeah, people can help that way, and we've had
people come who listen. We had two people this morning
right who'd heard about it on the podcast and come
and helped. Yeah, and made a really really great difference.

Speaker 3 (24:03):
Yeah, they camped out at the Sliders and really held
it down, which is really important. I mean for some
of us, we you know, like John and I, we
kind of do like a morning shift where we get
up really early and make sure to do everything that
we need to do, prepping sandwiches, checking on all the camps.
But a lot of people come in in the middle
of the night. Sliders had people come in what at
midnight or one am?

Speaker 4 (24:23):
Oh yeah, all throughout. A group came at midnight, a
group came at like one am, and then there were
also more that came at four am.

Speaker 3 (24:30):
Yeah, So like having someone on site camping, you know,
making sure that people's needs are met and that if
any emergencies take place, that they're taken care of, and
it's just that smiling face when they get here. It
makes a huge difference. Like that dude from Brazil, like
earlier he was saying to me, he was like, thank
you so much, Like this is like this is humanity
right here, Like I'm a human and I'm like, yes,

we will treat you like yumans here.

Speaker 4 (24:53):
Like at the end of the day, you know, these
people coming through Central America and Mexico, they go through
so much, you know, extortion, people, ripping them off, just
feeling unwelcome throughout that whole voyage. Just having a group
of people welcome them into the country and treat them
with dignity is worth more than any bottle of water

sandwich that we can give them. And you know, that's
that's the main thing that we're doing. I would say, I.

Speaker 2 (25:30):
Want to emphasize that people can help in so many
ways that you can send us stuff, you can send
us money, or you can just show up. If you
just have a weekend, that's totally fine, or a day,
it's totally fine, or if you just want to come
and make sandwiches, that's totally fine.

Speaker 4 (25:42):
Like it.

Speaker 2 (25:44):
We're a very diverse group of people, and some people
have had more time than others. But yeah, everyone I
think is valued, and like you said, I think like
we're the way that we organize without anyone, like we
organized horizontally, has allowed us to be so much better.
Like could you remember the day there was a day
when we ran out of plates and we were we
were like down in Willow and it was just.

Speaker 3 (26:06):
It was like chaos.

Speaker 2 (26:08):
And then someone who just arrived that day was like, oh,
what if we put the beans in a sandwich bag
and give people that was actually Peter, who's back now
after going on Rumptinger for a while. But yeah, like
if we had been like, no, I'm in charge, We've
been doing this for longer, then those people wouldn't have
got fed, right, But because we were like willing to listen,

then the people got fed, And like we were all
happier because the people got fed, right, Like, it worked
better that way, So like as things change, because it
like it border patrol have said explicitly that they're trying
to push people west, right, what do you think, like,
what do we need going forward? What do you see
like the situation being and like it it would be

good to explain the context of like the changing seasons
here as well.

Speaker 4 (26:56):
Yes, so I think what we're going to see more
of is people that are crossing in unorthodox areas, more
people that are hopping the fence, more people that are
cutting holes in the walls, just popping up all over
the place. So yeah, it would be great to have
eyes along the border, people that are willing to travel
up and down along the border to find out where

these people are coming through, because for the most part.
We don't know a lot. Oftentimes where these people are
coming through. There are a couple of new oads open
air detention sites that are relatively close to us that
we can't find even.

Speaker 2 (27:32):
Right, Yeah, like maybe if we had a super fancy
drone we could find them, or just boots on the ground, a.

Speaker 3 (27:37):
Nice off road vehicle.

Speaker 2 (27:38):
Yeah, yeah, yeah, then these are all things that cost
money that we don't have. But like we've all put
lots of miles on our trucks and lots of miles
on our boots to trying to help out.

Speaker 3 (27:48):
My exhaust is falling off all these bumps.

Speaker 2 (27:51):
Yeah, my transfer case to competing. But like, yeah, if
we had more people, some of us could focus on
feeding people here because there was how many people were
there when we just left, now, one hundred and twenty
something like that.

Speaker 4 (28:02):
Yeah, oh no, actually probably more if you count the
new group. I think you know what a conservative estimate
would have been maybe one hundred and forty.

Speaker 2 (28:10):
Yeah, So that's we'd made one hundred and forty sandwiches
to feed them today, and we'd chopped firewood and taken
that out, and we'd be given all that out right.
That was after the same thing at breakfast time that
doesn't need much time to go meander along the border
and look for another site. So if we have more people,
we could do that and that would be really valuable.

Speaker 3 (28:29):
Also, if you have connection to firewood, yeah yeah, yeah,
if you're a person who can bring us a lot
of firewood. We have one homie right now and he's
breaking his back wood for us. So yeah, that's a
definite big need out here.

Speaker 4 (28:44):

Speaker 2 (28:44):
Is there other stuff like that that people who maybe
aren't here but have connections to or they could they
could send that's particularly needed.

Speaker 3 (28:51):
A nice off road vehicle I got one lying around.

Speaker 4 (28:55):
Firewood is definitely a big thing. That's that's a huge need. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (29:00):
Really cold up here, and especially in like sliders too.
I think it's higher in elevation.

Speaker 2 (29:05):
So exposed to there's nothing between you and the wind. Yeah,
I think it's very cold out there.

Speaker 4 (29:10):
Yeah. But and and just other things that are that
are easier for us to get, but we just constantly need,
such as breads, blankets, bread.

Speaker 2 (29:18):
Yeah, yeah, yeah, tents, all these things. Right. The wind
and the sun destroys everything that we've stokepiled after a while,
and we have to keep reinventing the wheel. And then
sometimes border patrol destroys our stuff as well, or sometimes
some chubs come and destroy our stuff, which which.

Speaker 3 (29:36):
Oh the chuds destroying our stuff.

Speaker 2 (29:37):
Yeah, we should talk about the destruction of the shelters
before we finish, I guess, just to end on a
sad note. Well was happy because we built them again
and the fine. So there were some shelters I think
mostly they were ones that had been built. Well, they
were ones that have been built volunteers and John, you
saw what happened to the shelters, right.

Speaker 4 (29:55):
Yeah, So we built some shelters at one of the sites,
at one of the main sites. You know, it was
very simple, just by having a plywood as the frame
holding it up and then nailing down some tarps on
it with batons. It was. It was a nice thing.

It stood up to the heavy winds that we have
here very well.

Speaker 2 (30:19):
It's incomparably better to not having a shelter.

Speaker 4 (30:22):
Oh yeah, it's a it's a completely different.

Speaker 3 (30:24):
They're instantly use once people cross, and it's awesome to
see like adults that are alone, we'll get out and
force family shelters like yeah, you get it first for sure.

Speaker 4 (30:34):
Yeah, and yeah, we built those. It was working out good.
Then one day the Border Patrol showed up or a
company that was subcontracted by them, and demolished them all
using skiploaders and bulldozers and such. We showed up the
following day we rebuilt all the shelters and we're really
happy about it.

Speaker 2 (30:53):
You know.

Speaker 4 (30:54):
It was kind of a big fuck you to them.
You can tear down our stuff, but we'll just come
back and build more.

Speaker 2 (30:58):

Speaker 4 (30:59):
But then what was it like a three four days
later or the next.

Speaker 3 (31:04):
Day maybe i'm not the next day, two days it
was close.

Speaker 4 (31:08):
Yeah, some guys just showed up and they tore it
all up with hammers.

Speaker 3 (31:13):
They are finishing a tiny little finishing.

Speaker 2 (31:17):
Yeah. Luckily they didn't really come equipped like maybe with the.

Speaker 3 (31:21):
With the tools.

Speaker 4 (31:22):
They didn't really know what they were doing.

Speaker 2 (31:23):
Yeah, I think it's fair to say that. But still
it's it's annoying when you've put the time into building it, right,
and Border Patrol didn't destroy our contractors didn't destroy the shelters. First,
we were like, oh, maybe they're not using this, but
there are one hundred and forty people there right now,
like in the shelters that got rebuilt for a third time,
so like, I guess even we do appreciate people donating,

and we understand that people's resources are scarce, and like
the economy is bad and the rent is too damn high,
et cetera. But like every time we build up enough stuff,
we have to like we're always running uphill because like
stuff just gets destroyed either by the weather or by
the border patrol or by volunteer Border patrol judge, Like

we could, I guess desperately need your help. And like
at some point the news cycle will move on from
the border, and that doesn't mean that we will be
able to move on from having people to help here, right,
because like don't said, there were people and people always
deserve to be treated with dignity. Is there anything else
that you guys think that people should know about the situation?

Speaker 1 (32:27):

Speaker 2 (32:29):
We wrap up.

Speaker 3 (32:32):
It's kind of chill.

Speaker 2 (32:35):
It is really nice, Like I like being here. I
come here because it makes me happy, and my friends
are here.

Speaker 3 (32:39):
Yeah, And like the slider's location is located in a
really awesome like you can see down just past the
border wall. There's like a nice little train track that
used to go from us into Mexico, I guess. And
just beyond that there's like sheep on a farm in
the distance, like rolling hills, the clouds come through, and
like say, it's a really beautiful place to be and

to hang out. And a lot of the locals that
don't hate what we're doing are very nice. The people
at the hotel are very supportive.

Speaker 4 (33:08):
And yeah, we're a great group, really good people. It's
always really fun to do anything like this. People are
generally enamored by our project and want to be involved
and come back a second time. I mean we're kind
of like cowboys. I mean, we're doing this all on
our own. We're driving up and down, looking at the sites,
looking around, and that whole responsibility is on our shoulders.

Speaker 2 (33:30):
Yeah, it feels good to take responsibility.

Speaker 4 (33:32):
It definitely does.

Speaker 3 (33:33):
We're doing this.

Speaker 2 (33:34):
It's like no one else will, so yeah, just do it.
Like that's fine. It's very like it reminds me of
the punk scene growing up, but like it's a big
important thing. Get Like you said, every national news network
has been down here, every drifting streamer has been down here.
But the end of the day, it's a few dozen
random people who are actually the ones making sure that

people don't die here. For all the government attention and
for all the millions, they don't have spend it, it's just.

Speaker 4 (33:59):
Us, Yeah, working on a fraction of the butt. I mean,
it costs them more to fly a helicopter for a
few hours than we've.

Speaker 2 (34:07):
Ever spent in our entire GOFUNDB. Yeah, and yet like
we get it done. We're very efficient, I guess in
that sense. But yeah, we would love more people. People
have come because I listen to podcasts, and that also,
like just for me personally means the world to me.
Like most of the time we just talk into a
microphone and then you can't really see who you're talking
to unless unless you go on like social media, and

that's not always the best reflection of humanity. So like
it really means the world to me that someone like
listens to this when they're driving to work or you know,
going on a jog or whatever they're doing, and it's like, no,
I will I will go and I will help, because
I think that is how we solve so many of
our problems. Like there is a massive problem with people
not being able to afford rent living on the street
in this country, and we solve it in the same

way by just showing up for each other.

Speaker 3 (34:53):
And there's also different ways to get plugged in, like
if the desert's not your thing, it doesn't. I mean,
this is like where the process as starts as far
as like the spectrum of the whole border crisis or
not crisis, but the whole border humanitarian situation we have
going on here. So this is what we're doing out here.
But there's also airport runs. A lot of them get
ditched in the airports, so I think we all we

got SD and maybe M Death and at last center
kind of hold down. They do airport runs border patrol
just I guess at night they don't drop them off
like after ten or something. They don't drop them off
at the IRIS station. They'll just drop them straight off
at the airport. So they need help being fed. A
lot of them don't have plane tickets. They need to
kind of some you know, people need blankets because they
have to sleep there. So well, I mean, we all

we got is great for that you can plug in
with them, and I think Alo Torolado and who else
is it M Deaf as well, that's doing the Irish
street releases. So when the Border Patrol just releases them
on the street. Like a lot of people just get
in a cab and go. They have the resources, they
can do that, they're already planned. But some people don't
have any money, or they got robbed on the way here,
so they have nothing. They need a lot of help.

They need to figure out where to go, they need
a place to stay. So there's the street releases, there's
the airport, there's I think that's kind of.

Speaker 4 (36:05):
Or or by just helping with shelters and organizations in
whatever city you happen to be living in. You know,
the majority of the Migroan well not the majority, but
a very typical answer migrants give me when I asked
them where in the United States they're going to? Is
New York City or Chicago or any of these major cities.

Speaker 2 (36:24):
Yeah, Lincoln, Nebraska the other day. Yeah, yeah, it's gonna
be Idaho.

Speaker 4 (36:31):
Have fun. Yeah, it was beautiful.

Speaker 2 (36:35):
There was a guy Havel and I met, from a
minority ethnic group in Russia. We met in September. I
remember one of those first really cold nights and I
was talking to this person and they were in Pennsylvania
and I checked in with him a few weeks ago
and they're like happily living in Pennsylvania. Can't understand a
word anyone else is saying. It's nice to see and yeah,
you can help those people in whatever community you're in.

And like, if you're further along border, there's Paha Samaritans,
there's no mass worth days, there's humane Borders, two Song
Samaritans as well, right, yeah, all along the border, you know,
there are the there are lots of good people in Texas, right,
there's a sidewalk school and Blainoso Matamoros, the people at
the National Butterfly Center who are very nice people who
we've heard from before. Like all along the border, and

like all around this country, there there are things you
can do to help. And I want to reinforce it.
It's not like this penurious thing we do that's miserable
and we all get together and cry every night. Like
we do have a nice time, even though we have
seen some really stressful things. Like we all look after
one another and hold space when people do need help
or extra time to process something. But it's a very

supportive community and we support each other through lots of
other things, like aside from this, and I think a
lot of people in general in the twenty first century
America struggle with isolation. And that's a thing that that
capitalism does to people, right, it isolates us from each other.
And so hopefully, like I think this is a solution
for me. This this has been a really positive thing,

but like generally my sense of hope.

Speaker 3 (38:06):
And yeah, and like what we're doing this kind of
does it's disaster humanitarian relief effort. It's kind of with
the way the climate is going in the world in climate, uh,
climate are going to.

Speaker 2 (38:18):
Get less common.

Speaker 3 (38:19):
Yeah, this will just be getting more common. And like
this kind of like preparing and building community and like
this disaster scenario is going to yeah, definitely be more
in commons.

Speaker 4 (38:30):
And it's not that easy to do. I mean, it's
not that hard to do. You know, you just got
to have the intention and then you just got to
get together and do it. That's all. That's all you
really need to do.

Speaker 2 (38:40):
Don't think that it's like this. If someone had said
to us, what plus or minus fifty thousand people probably
have come through. I have no idea on the numbers, but.

Speaker 4 (38:47):
Somewhere around there, yeah, probably more than that.

Speaker 2 (38:49):
Yeah, if we like I remember in May when we
cleaned up the first o ads, when we were like
when I first met your mum and dad, John, we
were cleaning up the first o ads and were wow,
that was a horrible thing that happened. That was really fucked.
If someone had said, right, well, between now and next March,
fifty thousand people will come through here and it's mostly
going to be you guys who are here picking up trash,

and that's that's what it's going to be.

Speaker 3 (39:11):
Like, it's on you.

Speaker 2 (39:13):
It would have been it would have seemed overwhelming, right,
But I don't think people should feel afraid to confront
these big problems because like between the group of people
who we've assembled here, we've been able to confront this
problem and make it survivable and treat people with dignity
and bring some dignity and humanity into a situation where
there wasn't any right.

Speaker 3 (39:32):
No, Yeah, and there's a role for everybody. No matter
what you do, you can find your niche of what
you know, you makes you feel good, or something that
you're good at, you know. Yeah, it's finding the little
fascists that destroyed our things online and doing all that
online footwork, or it's building shelters, or it's making PB
and J's.

Speaker 2 (39:52):
Or our friends made our website, they made a really
good website.

Speaker 3 (39:55):
Website, yeah, or even yeah, just being someone that speaks
multiple langs whiges is a huge need out here, especially
I mean Spanish is pretty common, but the harder languages,
like I mean Mandarin.

Speaker 4 (40:09):

Speaker 2 (40:09):
Yeah, if you speak Mandarin and then you reach out
to us and we can call you, then that will
be huge, right. That really in a medical emergency, that
could be a life or death thing. So there were
there were a ton of ways to help and re
encourage people to got to go to the can Where
can people follow along with YouTube? Do you have like
social media or anything that you want to plug?

Speaker 4 (40:28):
I don't.

Speaker 3 (40:28):
I'm gonna keep mine priding the world such beautiful. Yeah.
One of the how I got involved in this is
through members of a drum line that I am part of,
So we show up for protests, have been since twenty
twenty Direct Action drum Line on Instagram. We post a
lot of different stuff from organizing for Palestine to you know,

we were doing a lot of Black Lives Matter stuff
early in twenty twenty and now it's you know, kind
of cross mixed with border aids since I've been out here,
so we occasionally will make posts so you can follow
along there. Alo Gelato is a good one to follow
on social media inco Paul Wellness on Instagram Borderlands Relief Collective.

I'm sure a lot of the people listening already follow
a lot, yeah, of these people, but yeah, there's a
network through all of that. And so once you start
following one or the other, we all tag each other
and reshare each other's stuff, so you can get involved
that way and figure out what's going on. Yeah, and
the is it bored? What's the website for? That's a
great resource.

Speaker 2 (41:29):
Borderay, don't get helped io. I think if you give
it a Google somewhere or somewhere around that you'll find it.
It is a good website. And like, if you are
facing similar issues in your community, wherever you are, whatever
it is, Like, we've definitely made a lot of mistakes
and we've learned a lot, and so we've tried to
document the things that we've learned so that you guys
don't have to reinvent the wheels somewhere else, right, Like,
you know, you can be an efficient PB and Jmker.

Speaker 3 (41:51):
Just like us, learn Surely's technique.

Speaker 2 (41:57):
All right. Thank you so much, guys. I really appreciate
your time.

Speaker 3 (42:00):
Aquets, Thank you, Jess.

Speaker 1 (42:06):
It Could Happen here as a production of cool Zone Media.
For more podcasts from cool Zone Media, visit our website
coolzonemedia dot com, or check us out on the iHeartRadio app,
Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. You can
find sources for It Could Happen Here, updated monthly at
coolzonemedia dot com slash sources. Thanks for listening.

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