“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

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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

 

 

 

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

Bird-Dog the New Congress! Take a look at our “How To” guide.

Bird-Dog Your Representatives

Bird-dog (bûrd’-dôg), v. To follow, monitor and/or seek out a subject of interest, such as a public official, with persistent attention to get answers to questions or influence the subject.

Bird-dogging is a tactic that many organizations, and concerned citizens, use to pressure public officialsto take a public stance on an issue, or to question a stance that a candidate has already taken.It usually consists of one or more bird-doggers who go to a public event where a public official will appear. The bird-doggers ask the candidate pointed questions about issues they care about in order to elicit a response. Because members of the media often attend candidate events, bird-dogging plays an important role in getting candidates’ positions “on record.” This is a vital part of holding politicians accountable to their constituents after the elections.

The highest office in America is at stake. Now is the time to ask the candidates what they are going to do about the issues we care about.

Tips for Successful Bird-Dogging

• Know where they stand. Before you bird-dog, check for the latest information about the candidates. Have they taken a stance on the issue? The more you know about where the candidate stands the more specific your question can be. To find out their voting record on certain issues go to www.votesmart.org

• Be assertive. Candidates have very busy schedules and may only take a few questions from audiences during public appearances. In order to be heard, be sure to get in line or raise your hand immediately when it’s time for questions. You also don’t have to wait for public speeches or town hall events. Try for a quick question during a meet-and-greet session or other public appearances.

• Be polite. Most candidates will not take rude people or questions seriously.

• Be direct. Don’t give a long explanation of your question. While you will want to set up your question, the goal of bird-dogging is to force a candidate to respond to an important issue on the record.

• End with a very specific question. Politicians love avoiding difficult issues, so make sure to ask a clear and specific question to ensure that they address the issue you are interested in. Ask open-ended questions that cannot be answered with a yes or no answer. If you feel like your question was not answered, politely ask it again. Here are some sample questions:

Cuba: 

It is estimated that lifting the travel ban on Cuba could create as many as 20,000 new jobs and over 1 billion in revenue for the U.S, and that two-thirds of all Americans including Cuban Americans support lifting the travel ban on Cuba. Will you support efforts in congress to lift the Cuba travel ban and work to normalize relations with our island neighbor?

Trade:

It is estimated over 600,000 U.S jobs were lost after the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement while two-thirds of all undocumented migrants in the U.S today came as a result of NAFTA. In the last 2 years during one of our worst recessions the US congress passed 3 more NAFTA style free trade deals. Now a new trade deal is proposed under the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement including 8 pacific rim countries. How will you vote on this next new free trade deal and will you work to re-negotiate the trade agreements we already have?

Drug War:

This year alone the U.S will spend 52 billion on the War on Drugs, mostly on military aid to corrupt foreign governments like Mexico and Colombia and on incarcerating drug addicts here in the U.S. With this strategy we have only seen more drugs on our streets, more drug cartel violence and more people in prison. While 20 million Americans needed drug treatment last year and never received it.  In the next congress will you work to shift Drug War spending away from corrupt foreign militaries and domestic prisons and spend more money on curtailing the demand side of drug abuse by providing community services, drug treatment and de-crimilization of drug addiction?

Work in teams of two or more people and disperse. Bird-dogging can sometimes make people nervous so it’s best to go in teams of two or more for support. Also, if you have two people in a team, one can ask the question while another writes down the response. It’s best if you can get the candidate’s response on camera, but either way, get an accurate quote of what was said so you can pass the information on. The website http://www.birdogger.org is a good place to post candidate responses.

When you ask a question, be prepared with a follow up question – you might just get the opportunity to ask it. And, this way if someone else asks your question you’ll have a backup. If you have a group of people at the event, split them up. Dispersing at the event might allow everyone in the group to ask a question.

Keep it cordial. You are likely to get more of a response from candidates, and make a positive impression on the media, if you are calm and respectful in your demeanor. Hardly anyone is 100 percent opposed to your views, so try and come up with a compliment on a candidate’s position that you can mention before you ask your question.

For a list of congressional races and how much money they have raised go towww.thegreenpapers.com

To find out who contributes to their campaigns go to www.opensecrets.org

For Bird-dogging help contact southwestwfp@gmail.com or call (805) 421-9708.

Past Highlights and Pictures

Highlights and Accomplishments

Southwest Region Witness for Peace

Moving Congress: In theSouthwest region secured 6 of 87 congressional signers on a Dear Colleague letter condemning human rights abuses in Honduras. On the Colombia Free Trade Agreement 4 congresspersons were swayed to vote NO through Southwest region efforts in October. WFPSW rallies were held at 3 Southern California undecided congressional offices a day before the free trade votes. 2 of the 3 reps voted against the free trade agreements the next day. Through grassroots pressure, this December Rep. Berman CA-28, ranking Democrat in the House Foreign Relations committee sent a public letter to Secretary Clinton questioning US funding of state sponsored repression in Honduras. This next year we will be bird-dogging congress during election campaigns to make sure they address the failed Drug War, Honduras human rights violations, the Cuban Embargo and immigration reform. (pictured WFPSW members at Rep. Henry Waxman’s office)

Honduras– The Southwest Region joined protests at the Honduran Consulate in the spring when there was a brutal military/police crack down on teacher/students protests that lead to the death of elementary school teacher Ilse Ivania Velásquez Rodríguez. In March the Southwest region hosted Gerardo Torres, leader of the Honduran Resistance Front, for several speaking events in Southern California. In September the Southwest region sent a nine-person delegation to Honduras that visited the campesino movements of the Aguan Valley, 4 political prisoners, served as international observers for the Sept 15 Resistance marches and met with the brand new US Ambassador to Honduras. The Southwest hosted Afro-Honduran Garifuna Doctor Luther Castillo for a workshop on Honduras at the School of the Americas vigil in Ft. Benning, Georgia. The Southwest continues to be an active member of the Honduras Solidarity Network. In 2012 we plan to send more protective accompaniment delegations to Honduras, push for more cuts in US funding and get a Dear Colleague letter circulating in the Senate.(pictured: delegate Sara Kohgadai with former Honduran President Mel Zelaya.)

Trade- Three free trade agreements came to a vote  for Colombia, Panama and South Korea. The Southwest held face to face meetings with several congressional offices in the spring in which reps committed to vote against the FTAs. During the final votes many reps spoke out strongly against the FTAs on the floor of the Senate and House. In the end 80% of House Democrats voted against the Colombia FTA and most significantly against a specific ask by President Obama to pass the trade agreements. In 2012 election season we will be holding reps accountable for their votes on the FTAs and will push for more congressional co-sponsors for the Trade Act, a bill that will stop any new FTAs and renegotiate all current FTAs. (pictured: rally at Rep. Karen Bass’ office. She voted against all 3 FTAs)

Colombia- In the Spring the Southwest hosted events for the Days and Prayer and Action on Colombia, in July we sent an accompaniment delegation to the humanitarian peace communities of Uraba, Colombia and in the fall we lobbied against the Colombia FTA and hosted Jani Silva, campesina leader from Putumayo, Colombia on a speaking tour that reached over 1000 people. In 2012 we will send protective accompaniment delegations to Uraba, Colombia and continue to raise awareness in the US of the failed drug war model. (pictured Southwest delegates in Uraba, Colombia)

Migrant Rights- In January we hosted the first domestic delegation on immigration and migrant rights in Ventura County, California. We co-sponsored multiple migrant rights forums and participated in campaigns to stop ICE’s Secure Communities Program. In the summer the Southwest sent volunteers to deliver water and humanitarian aid at the Arizona/Mexico border with the human rights group No More Deaths. In 2012 we will return to volunteer on the border, flight for an end to ICE’s S-COMM program and participate in migrant rights forums and Know Your Rights Trainings. (pictured: volunteers with No More Deaths take a break in the Arizona/Mexico desert.)

Cuba– the Southwest has participated in the efforts to protect Cuban family travel. Hardline Cuban Americans in congress twice this year have tried to roll back travel for Cuban Americans to Bush era policy. In December the Southwest sent 28 delegates to Cuba ranging from ages 24-76 and representing 18 states. This coming year we will support the campaign to Free the Cuban Five, organize delegations to Cuba and lobby to end the travel ban and embargo on Cuba. (pictured: International Workers Day march in Havana, Cuba)

Delegations– The Southwest sponsored 4 delegations to Honduras, Colombia, Cuba and Ventura County, CA. A total of 55

delegates participated and the Southwest Region awarded $3,175 in delegation scholarship assistance. In 2012 we have delegations planned for Honduras, Colombia, Cuba and domestic California and Arizona delegations on migrant rights. We also will be facilitating more short term and long term volunteer accompaniment teams in Uraba, Colombia and the Aguan Valley of Honduras. (pictured: Southwest region’s first domestic delegation focused on farmworkers and migrant rights in California.)

La Gotita Sobre el Acero: a poem in English and Spanish

By Franciso “Chavo Romero”

They call me El Chavo, and I was born and raised on the coastal city of Chiques (aka Oxnard, CA), territorio ocupado del Pueblo Chumash.

I am an organizer in the barrio… organizando spaces of resistance with la gente de abajo y a la izquierda against repression in all its forms. Soy indigena, descendant of various pueblos orginarios on this continent, Guachichile, Juchipila, Coahuila roots. Mexicano, cien porciento. Aqui estamos..y no nos vamos.

I taught middle school math and reading for 10 years, now I currently am the Events Coordinator at the Acuña Gallery and Cultural Center at Cafe on “A” in Downtown Oxnard.

As part of my commitment as a community organizer and activist I organize with Unión del Barrio and serve on the Raza Press and Media Association Editorial Board and on the Witness for Peace Southwest Regional Board and an active participant in the Todo Poder al Pueblo Collective.

The following poem was inspired by a report published last week by the organization No More Deaths. It is a report that details the “abuse, negligence and dehumanization of migrants as part of the institutional culture of the U.S. Border Patrol…”

I would like everyone to read this report, called Culture of Cruelty
. I hope it makes us think, get together, organize and fight these catastrophic violations. We are one people, Without Borders!

-Chavo
From the occupied territories of the Chumash People

El siguiente poema fue inspirado por un reporte que se publicó la semana pasada por la organización No Mas Muertes. Es un reporte que detalla sobre el “abuso, negligencia y deshumanización de migrantes que es parte de la cultura institucional de la patrulla fronteriza…”

Quiero que todos lean este reporte, nombrada Cultura de Crueldad
 – Espero que nos ponga a pensar, después a reunirnos, organizarnos y luchar contra estas violaciones catastróficas. Somos un pueblo, Sin Fronteras!

~Chavo
Desde los territorios ocupados del pueblo Chumash

La Gotita Sobre el Acero (English translation below)

Tranquilamente penetra el acero,
Las gotitas de sus llantos,
Oxidándose sobre los siglos,

Cultura de crueldad e impunidad.
Los agentes brutales maltratan,
Gritándole y burlándose con abuso psicológico,

“Que se muera!”

Tirada y entumecida sobre la celda,
Manos detrás sintiendo el frió del metal,
Penetrando y picando sus huesos,

Una gotita de sangre,
Penetra el acero.

Despierta con estómago retorcido,
Come galletitas insípidas y sin sabor,
Asquerosas condiciones apestan a heces y orín,

Aire frio congela su alma,
Sin cobija y sin dignidad,
Descalza con ampollas en el corazón,
Enroscándose como un bebe,

Lagrimitas chocan con el concreto,
Cierra sus bellos ojos,
Soñando de su querido pueblito,
En el pie de la montaña.

Una gotita de sangre,
Penetro el acero.

Penetrates the steel.

Video

Organizing Communities with “Chavo” Romero – part 2

Part 2 of interview with Francisco “Chavo” Romero, community activist, and Tanya Cole, Witness for Peace organizer. Discuss immigrant rights and workers rights, including militarization of the border and our communities. Also discuss active organizing work.

Filmed at CAPS TV in Ventura, CA on Mar. 5, 2011.

Video

Organizing Communities with “Chavo” Romero – part 1

Interview with Francisco “Chavo” Romero, community activist, and Tanya Cole, Witness for Peace organizer. Discuss immigrant rights and workers rights, including militarization of the border and our communities.

Filmed at CAPS TV in Ventura, CA on Mar. 5, 2011.