This past weekend, Food Not Bombs Las Vegas came together to provide fresh vegan food and an outreach table at UCIR’s 2nd annual Living Without Borders / Viviendo Sin Fronteras encuentro at UNLV. We had pamphlets and handbills; we had banana bread and fresh fruit; we provided four hot vegan meals to the over 100 participants at the three days of workshops, keynotes, and conversation.
Living Without Borders is an activist and community meeting devoted to freedom and dignity for all immigrants, to envisioning and working to build a world without government borders, and to radical social transformation that tears down all the walls, including both the coercively-imposed boundaries of nation-states and also all the other, interconnected forms of oppression, exploitation and domination that confine and constrain us. The encuentro is organized by the United Coalition for Im/migrant Rights in Las Vegas. As part of the encuentro, UCIR provided tabling space for community and activist organizations to reach out to the conference-goers about their projects and their issues; there was also a free breakfast and a free lunch provided to the participants at the encuentro on Saturday and on Sunday. Food Not Bombs provided vegan food for the meals along with compostable/biodegradable plates, cups, and utensils.
The meals on Saturday were prepared by Vegas FNBers Charles and Gail, with logistical help from Nelson, and with a lot of help from UCIR food committee volunteers Irina, Joanna, Jorina, and Adan. For breakfast, there was a fruit salad, fresh bananas, apples, pears, grapes, cut melons, and bread with fig jam. For the lunch, Charles, Jorina, and Adan prepared a baked eggplant marinara, banana berry smoothies, and fresh watermelon. Gail made some of her famous salad, along with a bowl of fresh strawberries. Nelson made a food pickup to make sure we had all the food that we needed. Irina delivered the breakfast to the conference site, and Joanna picked up the salads from Gail and delivered the lunch over to the lunch site at La Casita, as well as coordinating the set-up and break-down for the serving area once the food had been delivered.
The meals on Sunday were prepared by Charles and Kelly, with logistical help from fellow FNBer Daniel, and with a lot of help from UCIR food committee volunteers Joanna and Nolo. For breakfast, there were bananas, apples, grapes, banana bread, and bread with fig jam. For the lunch, Charles, Joanna, and Nolo prepared baked eggplant marinara, a vegan green bean casserole, home fries, and fresh watermelon. Daniel delivered the lunch to La Casita, and Joanna coordinated the set-up and break-down for the serving area.
At the outreach table, we had pamphlets, handbills about our weekly free picnic in Baker Park, a sign-up sheet, a donation bucket, and some literature about veganism kindly shared with us by the folks at Vegas Veg*. We had banana bread made by FNBer Kelly and cookies brought by FNBer Vanessa. We also shared some table space with Southern Nevada ALL, who provided literature and buttons about anarchism and grassroots mutual aid. Kelly coordinated the outreach tabling; Vanessa, Charles, and Daniel helped out with staffing the table. We also got to set up right next to our friends and fellow workers with the Industrial Workers of the World, who had the next table over.
The conference was great. Over 100 people pre-registered (with most of them coming to the events on Saturday, and some who only made it to events on Sunday). There were inspiring keynotes by Hilda Garcia (from La Mujer Obrera autonomous women’s community in El Paso, and from author Rinku Sen); there were 14 great workshops, including a presentation by Vegas FNBer Charles Johnson on anarchism and immigration freedom. Through the outreach table we made a lot of new connections (8 new contacts on the sign-up sheet) and raised $46 in donations. I hope that this will be only the first in a long series of Living Without Borders events, and the first of many chances for Food Not Bombs to work together with UCIR in supporting this powerful event.
See you all at the organizational meeting this Saturday!