The Ancient Greek playwright Sophocles wrote a short tragedy about the daughter of Oedipus, who battled with the state over the right to bury her brother who had fallen in war. Episode 2 of Polarities examines a grim, real-life, meta-version of the story of Antigone, playing out in the deserts of southern Arizona.
This episode covers a lot of ground: it’s about the work of volunteers from the organizations No More Deaths and Tucson Samaritans, who provide not only water and aid for migrants crossing the border from Mexico, but a continuous, persistent voice reminding the government of the human costs of a punitive approach to border control. It’s also about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a legal mechanism long used by right-wing Christian groups, but recently put into the service of more progressive and humanitarian causes. Finally, it’s about how the most seemingly-mundane and absurd criminal trials can create a sea change in civil rights.
For more info about the organizations depicted here, including updates on the trial of Scott Warren:
An interactive map of all migrant deaths in Arizona:
Keep Tucson Together, a free weekly, bilingual legal clinic for undocumented migrants:
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