An anti-war, fronteriza perspective: global issues, local lens
Border Peace Presence (BPP) is a collective of activists in the El Paso that mobilized for political action in the wake of Bush's illegal, inhumane, and unnecessary invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 2003, we have held a weekly Peace Vigils in downtown El Paso to increase awareness about the United States' imperialistic foreign policy.
The United States is an empire--by nearly every sense of the definition. America's domination-based, capitalistic foreign policies are not centered around "bringing freedom to the world." They do not promote democracy. In fact, history irrefutably demonstrates that our foreign policy prefers right-wing fascist dictatorships over democratic people's movement; aggression over diplomacy; war over peace; death over life.
It is our responsibility as "Empire babies" living within and benefiting from the American empire to change the our country's foreign policy philosophy.
We believe in the power of educating our fellow community members--including active-duty military personnel. Learning the truth about American empire is a radicalizing act. But it is our duty. Through understanding, we can empower each other to mobilize for transformative justice.
Father Peter Hinde, Co-Founder
Father Peter Hinde is a 96 year old who served in World War II as a fighter pilot in the Pacific although fortunately he says he didn’t see much action. He flew over the Japanese city of Nagasaki just days after an atomic bomb leveled it. He has been protesting war and working on social justice issues most of his life. Having lived and worked in Central and South America, he has seen the results of US policies. Returning to the US, he worked to educate our government while living in Washington, DC, and taking part in the civil rights movement. Today Peter ministers to migrants and the poor in the El Paso/Juarez region. For the past 15 years as a founding member of the Border Peace Presence, he has participated in a weekly peace vigil in downtown El Paso and is a member of Veterans for Peace. He also hosts Border Awareness Groups from around the US and is a founding and active member of CRIZPAZ promoting peace in El Salvador.
Mary Gourdoux, Co-Founder
Mary Gourdoux has been a member of the Border Peace Presence for over 15 years. While still teaching elementary school in NE El Paso, she was disheartened to see how friends and colleagues were so readily supporting the 1990 Persian Gulf War as they believed everything the mainstream media were reporting. In retirement, she watched in horror as the US invaded Afghanistan then Iraq. She sought out other anti-war activists in El Paso and joined them to protest George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003. This group of activists formed the Border Peace Presence which continues weekly anti-war vigils as the US has continued invading or interfering in more countries directly or through proxy. Early in the 2000s, Mary began following alternative media on the internet for more reliable world and US news. She works now to encourage others to do the same. Today through the BPP, she strives to educate others about the realities of US wars and imperialism, the climate crisis plus stand for social justice for all in our country and the world.