Commentary: In Solidarity with Bekah Hinojosa Against SpaceX

Words by Josue Rawmirez

On February 14th 2022,  in what can only be assumed as a romantic gesture, an anonymous suiter left a Valentine’s day gift for the Rio Grande Valley. The message, “gentrified stop SpaceX” was scribbled in black below the Pepto Bismol pink mural adorning the side of downtown Brownsville’s historic Capitol Theatre. The mural painted by California artist Ted Kelly was commissioned by the Musk Foundation and was the subject of much public discourse. Days after, Brownsville’s Mayor, Trey Mendez, took to social media to dox local activist Rebekah Hinojosa (Bekah), who was arrested and charged with a Class B Misdemeanor for, allegedly, the “vandalism of city property.” Almost a year later, Bekah is scheduled to make her first appearance in court in February.

 

Since her public attack by the Mayor, Bekah has provided insight into the violent manner that the Brownsville Police Department broke into her apartment to arrest her for what most would consider an alleged minor infraction. When arrested she was not allowed to properly dress, was not provided a warrant, her eyeglasses were withheld from her and she was interrogated without a lawyer during the 26 hrs she was imprisoned. Supporters think that Bekah was targeted for her activism since she has been a leading voice in publicly organizing against and opposing the encroachment of environmental disasters.

 

Many community members see it as retaliation and a violation of her 1st Amendment conduct against SpaceX. Some will be rallying outside the CourtHouse when Bekah is scheduled to appear. Supporters are currently gathering signatures for a petition to drop all charges against the activist and to open an investigation on Mayor Trey Mendez for what they call an abuse of power. The petition and signatures will be presented to the Brownsville City Commission at their next meeting on Tuesday, February 7th at 4:00 pm. People are encouraged to wear green in solidarity as well as to sign up for public comments and speak against the dangers of astro-capitalism locally. 

 

It is important to stand in solidarity with Bekah given the extreme lengths that were taken by people in power to attack and demean a fellow RGV resident who has repeatedly stood for their community. The brute force taken against her shows the vindictive actions that people in positions of authority are willing to take to show loyalty to outside capitalist powers. 

 

Sign the petition! Show up! Donate to her legal fees!




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