Register for These Upcoming Travel Delegations in 2020!

Witness for Peace Southwest is partnering with Altruvistas to bring you three new solidarity delegations in the next year.  The delegations will be put on by the Altruvistas team in support of Witness for Peace Southwest and the work happening on the ground in each delegation location. You can register for any of these delegations here:  https://altruvistas.com/registration/

Cuba – April 26-May 3, 2020

Solidarity and Socialism: May Day in Cuba

Learn about the Cuban people’s revolutionary history and cultural resilience, while also celebrating May Day! Expect to learn about the importance of organized labor in Cuba. Explore the fruits of the Cuban Revolution: education, health care, sports, and the arts. Examine Cuban socialism and the impacts of the US embargo on the nation. Plus, enjoy an incredible culture!

Tour Price
$1780 double occupancy in 3 star hotels
$300 single supplement
Limited space is available—Apply early! Application with a non-refundable deposit of $500 is due by February 1st, 2019.

Puerto Rico- June 14-23, 2020

Puerto Rico’s status as a US commonwealth leaves the island without a vote and voice in their nation’s political future. Stand in solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico as they continue their fight for their independence against US occupation and militarization. We will learn about the history of Borinquen and its people’s history of resistance. We will explore the movement for independence and also statehood, while enjoying vibrant culture, some bomba y plena,  and extraordinary cuisine, of course.

Tour Price
$2875 double occupancy in 3 and 4 star hotels
$450 single supplement in 3 and 4 star hotels

Delegation fees cover all set-up preparation, 2 meals per day, accommodations, interpreters, transportation within the country, all entrance fees, donations to sister organizations, a $200 donation to WFPSW,  honoraria to speakers and a trained delegation coordinator. The fee also covers extensive reading and activist tools before and after the delegation. Limited space is available—Apply early! Application with a non-refundable deposit of $500 is due by April  1st, 2019.

Hawaii- July 25-August 2, 2020

Aloha aina, love of land…life. This is the way in which Hawaiians experience the world. Kīpaepae is a ceremony involving the stepping-stones for entering a house, and through this definition, travelers are recognized for reaching the lands sustained for thousands of years by native Hawaiian ancestors–from modern day contemporary times. This huaka`i, or “travel with an informed purpose,” is a journey to understand the Hawaiian nation before it was colonized and militarized by the US and became the 50th State. Through meaningful exchanges you will learn about cultural and ecological resilience, the status of current the Hawaiian sovereignty movement, and the inspirational successes of community organizing from Makua to Makai–while enjoying the beauty and the the aloha that the islands are known for.

Tour Price
$2740 double occupancy
$490 single supplement
Limited space is available—Apply early! Application with a non-refundable deposit of $500 is due by May 1st, 2019.

Two Webinars on Border Imperialism and the Border-Industrial Complex

Witness for Peace Southwest in partnership with the Alliance for Global Justice and No More Deaths presented two educational webinars on the current state of private profiteering on the US/ Mexico border and border imperialism. If you missed the chance to catch them live, you can watch the recording below!

More Than A Wall Webinar:

Featuring acclaimed author and journalist Todd Miller and media coordinator for No More Deaths, Paige Corich-Kleim. In this webinar Paige and Todd discuss the report More Than A Wall in order to examine the role of the world’s largest arms, security and information technology in shaping and profiting from the militarization of US borders.

Empire of Borders Webinar:

In this second webinar Todd Miller spoke on his new book Empire of Borders, about the expansion and imperialism of the US border regime, along with Nellie Jo David J.D., an activist and educator and  co-founder of the O’odham Anti-Border Collective who spoke to the ways this ongoing colonialism is playing out in the traditional Tohono O’odham lands of the US/Mexico border.

“Por las Américas: Un kit de herramientas para la transformación” – Evento de Acción Permanente por la Paz – 4 de noviembre

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2:00pm – 6:00pm, talleres y presentaciones
6:00pm – 8:00pm, cena y música
Sábdo 4 de noviembre 2017

La Casa Roja – 1251 S. St. Andrews Place – Los Angeles, CA 90019

Está listx para una revolución? Quiere aprender de otros movimientos a nivel local e internacional? Acción Permamente por la Paz estará organizando un día de actividades, talleres, intercambios y foros sobre las luchas populares por las Américas. Nuestros equipos internacionales, miebros de la mesa directiva y aliadxs presentarán sobre las luchas de los pueblos indígenas, afro-descendientes, mujeres, jovenes, trabajadorxs, campesinxs y otros movimientos en Cuba, Colombia, Haití, Honduras, México y Venezuela entre otros. 

Analizaremos como nuestras comunidades en Los Ángeles y la región (California, Arizona y Nuevo México) están moblizandose en diferentes frentes desde la lucha para enfrentar el cambio climático, la lucha por los derechos migrantes, la violencia del estado y la brutalidad policiaca. Aprenderemos de las luchas a favor de las dietas saludables y decoloniales, recuperación de tierras y derechos humanos. 

Todxs saldarán del evento con más información y más “herramientas” para construir un movimiento dinamico e inovador en contra de las violaciones de derechos humanos que estamos enfrentando en todas nuestras comunidades. 

Donación sugerida para la conferencia: $10, para la cena: $10, para ambas actividades $15. Nadie será rechazadx por falta de fondos. 

Habrá cuidado de ninxs por pedido. Evento bilingue. 

Rifa, libros y artesanía a la venta!!!!

Para más información: jeanette@witnessforpeace.org o southwestwfp@gmail.com or call 805-669- VIVA (8482)

Website: http://www.wfpsw.org Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WFPSW

Join WFPSW for “Across the Americas: A Toolkit for Change” this November 4th

 

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2:00pm – 6:00pm, Workshops
6:00pm – 8:00pm, Dinner and Music
Saturday November 4th, 2017
The Red House
1251 S. St. Andrews Place
Los Angeles, CA 90019

Ready for a revolution? Want to learn from other movements organizing locally and internationally? Join Witness for Peace Southwest for an afternoon of discussions, presentations and engaging workshops on grassroots organizing across the Americas. Our international teams, board members and allies will present on current issues facing Indigenous, African-Descendants, women, youth, workers, farmers and other communities in Colombia, Cuba, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Venezuela and more.

We will also look at how our communities in Los Angeles and the greater region (California, Arizona and New Mexico) are organizing in the areas of climate change, immigration rights, against state sanctioned violence ad police brutality, and in favor of decolonial and healthy diets, farming and land rights among others. Everyone will leave with more information, more “tools” to build a dynamic and innovative movement against the onslaught of human rights violations being committed against our communities across borders.

Witness for Peace (WFP) is a politically independent, nationwide grassroots organization of people committed to nonviolence and led by faith and conscience. Witness for Peace’s mission is to support peace, justice and sustainable economies in the Americas by changing U.S. policies and corporate practices that contribute to poverty and oppression in Latin America and the Caribbean. WFP was founded in 1983 as the US backed Contra War in Nicaragua was underway.

WFP organizes: international delegations to document human rights abuses ties to US government funding and US corporate practices; speaker’s tours across the country with grassroots voices from Latin America and the Caribbean; hosts local events and solidarity gatherings and, collaborates on congressional work to shape US policy in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Suggested donation $10 for conference, $10 Dinner or $15 for both. No one turned away for lack of funds.

Child care available upon request. Bilingual event.

Raffle, books and artesania for sale!

For more information and to rsvp email: jeanette@witnessforpeace.org or southwestwfp@gmail.com or call 805-669- VIVA (8482)

Website: http://www.wfpsw.org Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WFPSW

 

 

 

Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine – 10 years since his kidnapping and disappearance (Solidarity with Haitian Grassroots)

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THIS AUGUST 12 MARKS TEN YEARS SINCE THE KIDNAPPING AND DISAPPEARING OF HAITIAN REVOLUTIONARY LOVINSKY PIERRE-ANTOINE
On the eve of Bwa Kay Iman (Bois Caïman, Aug. 14), and on International Youth Day (Aug. 12), we dedicate this forthcoming issue of Haiti Solidarity to this remarkable, powerful brother.  Father, husband, friend, psychologist, human rights activist, Lavalas leader—Lovinsky loved his people, and they love him.  Not a year has gone by that he hasn’t been sorely missed.

On July 28, 2007, just three years into the 2004 coup and the 92-year anniversary of the first US occupation of Haiti of 1915-1934, a crowd of protestors and witnesses watched Lovinsky lead a demonstration in front of UN headquarters in Port-au-Prince.  We listened to his speech, in which he made the connection between the current occupation and the first US occupation. Lovinsky invoked the Haitian revolutionaries, like Charlemagne Péralte, who fought to end the 1915 invasion, and he said that that legacy of revolutionary struggle lives on in the people today. He said the people would always fight to uproot neo-colonialism and exploitation—they would always fight for their freedom. Two weeks after this speech, Lovinsky was kidnapped.

Lovinsky dedicated his life to fighting against the restoration of the Haitian Army.  Today and into the future, we honor his work with victims of the Haitian Military, police forces and of the United Nations troops, who have occupied Haiti since 2004.  We must hold the UN occupying force accountable for the disappearance of Lovinsky under their watch and for all the crimes it has committed against the Haitian people.

As we echo his voice against the violence of the police, occupation forces and the restoration of the Haitian military, let us also demand justice for Lovinsky https://www.facebook.com/HaitiActionCommittee/posts/10155591278684886

Lovinsky, and all of those who have fought, suffered, and died in the struggle—in Haiti and elsewhere—leave us a legacy.  To honor that legacy, we too must struggle to build a new society in which humanity, justice, empathy, and love are the prevailing values.  Little by little, we must have faith, like Lovinsky, that we will make progress.  But we must help each other.  We must follow the example of our Haitian brothers and sisters who say, “Nou pap obeyi!”  We do not obey!  We resist!  We believe in the power of collective struggle.  Little by little, together, we will make a difference.

In solidarity,

Haiti Action  Committee

www.haitisolidarity.net

@HaitiAction1 and on Facebook

Honduras: The Fight for Reparations Delegation Returns!

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Delegates gather with the community leadership of San Juan, Tela Bay. San Juan is currently in the process of their own international court case against the Honduran state for violating their rights as Indigenous peoples with rights to their ancestral territories including the land and sea. (Photo: Raul Medina Ceballos)

The Witness for Peace delegation “Honduras: The Fight for Reparations” just returned from a nearly two week long Black and Brown exchange with Garifuna communities located along the North-east coast and organized by OFRANEH, the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras. Throughout the delegation, the Garifuna spoke about their legal victories demanding the return of their ancestral lands from the Honduran state and transnational corporations as well as their communities’ struggles against the ongoing coup.

“The Garifuna are descendants of the African Diaspora as well as Indigenous peoples across the Caribbean and the continental Americas. They have historically fought to repair the colonial and imperial wrongs perpetrated against their nations for centuries. In Honduras, the Garifuna have won two unprecedented cases at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in defense of their ancestral rights to land, inherent rights to cultural preservation and their livelihood. These landmark cases have resulted in clear demands for the Honduran state to guarantee the return of all the Garinagu ancestral territories and financial restitution.” (WFP’s website)

Currently, the Garifuna people are under fierce attack from the government, narco-traffickers, and transnational corporations. Honduras is “Open for Business”, as a banner in English proclaims in the San Pedro Sula airport, and its politicians are taking the lead in new varieties of colonialism that intend to sell off resources, rivers and even cities to foreign bidders who would establish sovereignty with no fetters in those chunks of territory.

Garífuna and also Lenca people stand at the forefront of building justice from the ashes of the 2009 coup, that was backed by the U.S. government. The coup halted a vast people’s movement headed toward changes in their constitution that would allow genuine rule by and for the people. Due to a current wave of repression led by the state and other conservative forces, Honduras has statistics of murder among the general population, murders of journalists, murders of trans people, murders of organizers at some of the most alarming rates of any country in the world not officially at war.

Delegates came from Belize, Peru, Ecuador and represented different migrations and Diaspora including: El Salvador, Haiti, Mexico, Zimbabwe, Mali and Tanzania.

Keep posted for more information!

In solidarity,

The Honduras Fight for Reparations Delegation

Letter from SW Board Member to LA Times on US Right Wing Legacy in Latin America

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Protest against Donald Trump in downtown Los Angeles, California this January. (Reuters)

The following text was submitted by regional board member  Rachel Bruhnke to the Los Angeles Times denouncing President Trump’s pick for Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorusch on the weekend of Ronald Reagan’s birthday. The statement reads…

The irony of President Trump announcing, on the weekend of Ronald Reagan’s birthday, judge Neil Gorsuch as his pick for a Supreme Court Justice does not escape those of us in the Latin American Solidarity community in the United States. Ronald Reagan was wrong in the 1980’s to side with the power elites in Central America, against the will of the common people. Mr. Gorsuch was an unapologetic defender of Reagan, no matter the illegality of the case.

Mr. Gorsuch staunchly defended the Reagan administration during the Iran-Contra scandal in the 1980’s, and dismissed as “a superficial issue” the illegality of Reagan’s covert operations to overthrow the Nicaraguan Sandinistas. Indeed, his senior yearbook quote was from the infamous (in Latin America) Henry Kissinger: “The illegal we do immediately, the unconstitutional takes a little longer.”

As someone who has lived many years in Latin America, including as a Peace Corps volunteer, a university student and a sustainable development engineer, I know firsthand, as Mr. Gorsuch cannot, that he was wrong to oppose necessary changes to unjust political and economic systems in Latin America. The Reagan Wars in Central America began a generation of unnecessary tragedy in the region, and caused hundreds of thousands to flee…Where, ironically? To the U.S.!

The nomination of Mr. Gorsuch strengthens our understanding that President Trump is not interested in the law, nor equality. We can only hope that in this tumultuous process in America, those who are only now just “waking up”-on both sides of these issues-take the time to learn about what those of us have known for decades.

Welcome to the debate, America. Let the education begin.

Rachel Bruhnke

Witness for Peace Southwest Regional Board Member

San Pedro, California

Conversatorio sobre Cuba, Venezuela y México, 15 de enero de 2017 (+ volante en español)

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Más de 200 Zapatistas participaron en el Encuentro Internacional (Con)ciencias en San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas para interrogar y retar a la comunidad científica y también buscaron cómo infundir a sus tradiciones ancestrales con estrategias científicas para vencer los efectos negativos del cambio climático en sus comunidades y el mundo (Radio Zapatista).

Procesos revolucionarias por las Américas – volante oficial

Evento bilingüe

DOMINGO 15 de enero de 2017

4:00 a 6:00pm, las puertas abren a las  3:30pm

La Casa Roja, 1251 S St. Andrews Place Los Ángeles, CA 90019

*Donación sugerida de $5 a 20, nadie será rechazadx por falta de fondos *

*Libros, artesanía & más a la venta* & *Refrigerio* 

Bienvenidxs a nuestro primer evento de 2017 con charlas sobre los procesos revolucionarios en Cuba, Venezuela y Chiapas, México. Aracely Barboza Cabral es una mujer de color y queer de Los Ángeles del Este con raíces mexicanas y 14 años de experiencia de organización. El noviembre pasado, Aracely participó en una delegación de personas de color a Cuba con WFP. Aracely y otrxs delegadxs aprendieron sobre los logros de la isla y su movimiento en los contextos de justicia social, educación, salud y su transición del capitalismo a otra economía más justa basada en el pueblo. También, lxs delegadxs asistieron eventos con el pueblo cubano de luto después del fallecimiento físico del líder revolucionario Fidel Castro. Este evento celebra el espíritu revolucionario de Cuba.

Jeanette Charles, organizadora regional de WFP, volvió recientemente de Venezuela y Chiapas, México donde los movimientos están combatiendo al capitalismo e intervención estadounidense. El pueblo venezolano sigue definiendo la Revolución Bolivariana y Socialismo del Siglo XXI en sus propios términos a pesar de los ataques de la oposición derechista apoyada históricamente por los EEUU. Las comunas, cooperativas y colectivos trabajando a nombre de la soberanía alimentaria, iniciativas dirigidas por trabajadorxs y en pro de prácticas populares y no capitalistas siguen creciendo en todo el país.

El 1 de enero, 2017, el Congreso Nacional Indígena (CNI) y el Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN) anunciaron su nueva campaña para crear un gobierno paralelo y lanzar una campaña presidencial independiente para el 2018 con una mujer indígena como su vocera. Estas noticias llegan 23 años después del levantamiento del EZLN y marca un capítulo nuevo en su proceso autónomo y en su construcción del poder popular. El EZLN organizó también un encuentro internacional, (Con)Ciencias lo cual retó directamente a científicxs a nivel global a buscar soluciones para resolver los efectos del cambio climático y cambiar la ciencia y tecnología actualmente sometida al sistema capitalista y militarizado.  

Para más información: Jeanette Charles, 805.669.8482, jcharles.wfpsw@gmail.comwfpsw@witnessforpeace.org

Report Back Event on Cuba, Venezuela & Mexico, Jan. 15th, 2017 – Los Angeles, CA (+ English language flyer)

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More than 200 Zapatistas participated in the (Con)ciencias International Gathering in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas to interrogate and challenge science while also looking to infuse their ancestral ways with scientific strategies to overcome the negative effects of climate change in their communities and the greater world (Radio Zapatista).

Revolutionary Process in the Americas (English language event flyer)

Bilingual Event (English/Spanish)

SUNDAY January 15, 2017

4:00-6:00pm, doors open at 3:30pm

La Casa Roja, 1251 S St. Andrews Place Los Angeles, CA 90019

*Suggested donation of $5 -10, no one will be turned away for lack of funds*

*Books, Artisanal Goods & more for sale* & *Light refreshments will be provided*

Join Witness for Peace Southwest for our first 2017 event with a special night of report backs focusing on the revolutionary struggles in Cuba, Venezuela and Chiapas, Mexico.

Aracely Barboza Cabral is a queer woman of color from East LA with Mexican roots & 14 years of organizing experience. Last November, Aracely participated in a people of color delegation to Cuba with Witness for Peace. Aracely and other delegates learned firsthand about the island nation’s achievements in social justice, education, healthcare and the transition from capitalism to another, more just people based economy. Delegates also mourned alongside the Cuban people after physical loss of revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.  This event celebrates Cuba’s revolutionary spirit.

Jeanette Charles, Witness for Peace Southwest regional organizer, recently returned from Venezuela and Chiapas, Mexico where movements are challenging capitalism and US intervention. Venezuelans continue to define Bolivarian Revolution and 21st Century Socialism on their own terms amidst historically US supported right wing opposition attacks. Communes, cooperatives and collectives based on food sovereignty, worker-led initiatives and focused on people rather than profit have taken shape across the country.

On January 1, 2017 the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) made an historic announcement to create a parallel government and launch an independent 2018 presidential campaign with an Indigenous woman as their representative. This news comes 23 years after the EZLN uprising as well as this new chapter in their autonomy and people’s power. The EZLN also organized an international gathering, (Con)ciencias (With the Sciences/Consciousness) which posed a direct challenge to scientists globally to find solutions the world needs to resolve climate change and militarized, capitalist science and technology.

For more information: Jeanette Charles, 805.669.8482, jcharles.wfpsw@gmail.com or wfpsw@witnessforpeace.org