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Activists Protest Drownings In All American Canal

The All American Canal, the main water conduit from the Colorado River into the Imperial Dam, Imperial Valley, 6 August 2009.
Brent Stirton
The All American Canal, the main water conduit from the Colorado River into the Imperial Dam, Imperial Valley, 6 August 2009.
Activists Protest Drownings In All American Canal
Immigrants rights activists dove into the All American Canal Tuesday to protest migrant drownings. Activists strung buoys across the canal to honor the dead and to ask for new safety measures.

Immigrants rights activists dove into the All American Canal Tuesday to protest migrant drownings. Activists strung buoys across the canal to honor the dead and to ask for new safety measures.

Immigrants rights activists jumped into the canal east of El Centro in an act of civil disobedience.

They strung a cable with 17 buoys attached to it across the canal. It is the kind of cable they say people can use to pull themselves to safety.

Activist John Carlos Frey says he risked arrest to pressure Imperial water officials.

"Fifteen months later, 17 drownings later, our concern is that the board has not added one single safety feature," he says.

Fifteen months ago, Imperial Irrigation District officials agreed a new cement lined stretch of the canal must be made safer. But officials still can't say when they will install safety features.

The canal runs along the U.S.-Mexico border, from Yuma to just east of El Centro, and carries water to Imperial Valley and San Diego.