“Cold War Truth Commission” Event: Saturday, December 9, 2017 10AM-8PM in Los Angeles

“Are you now or have you ever been”…discounted and ridiculed for your ideals and activism, or called a “Red” or a “Communist” or a “Socialist” in order to intimidate and discredit your ideas or your solutions to today’s domestic or international problems?…You are not alone. In fact, you are part of a 150 year-long drama of U.S. red-bating, illegality, and anti-communist hysteria. A history, that if understood, can help us unravel and understand both today’s domestic and international events.
Come spend the day while we film putting “The Cold War on Trial!” Scholars and citizen testimonials will help us learn the history of the Cold War, and its relevance to U.S. political corruption and to today’s global chaos…Robert Scheer will be our Keynote Speaker. Distinguished panelists on: CIA-backed global interventions of the Cold War; McCarthyism and the crushing of labor and the left in the U.S.; the Cold War nuclear legacy; Hollywood and the blacklist; the “Red Scare” of the 1930’s; and the red-baiting of social activists as far back as 1850! Please contact us if you are interested in tabling or in providing citizen testimonial. https://www.facebook.com/events/1447719891973195/

We’re putting the Cold War on trial…

Saturday December 9, 2017

10am – 8pm

Pico Union Project
Distinguished Panelists
+ Citizen Testimonials
KEYNOTE SPEAKER:
ROBER SCHEER, TRUTHDIG

We consider the Cold War to be our nation’s 3rd, and as-of-yet,unspoken crime, after the genocide of Native Americans and the enslavement of African peoples. Our mission is to begin exposing U.S. crimes of the Cold War, and to show how today’s foreign and domestic violence and injustice are intimately tied up in the historic perpetration of the Cold War.

“I think it’s a great idea! Ideologically, it’s right on.”

–Oliver Stone on the Cold War Truth Commission

FB page: coldwartruthcommission2017 #coldwartruthcommission

 

Proposed endorsements:Veterans for Peace, Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador, Witness for Peace Southwest, Party for Socialism and Liberation, ANSWER Coalition LA, National Network on Cuba, Green Party of Los Angeles, Berners United, Long Breach Progressive Alliance, CODEPINK, Random Lengths News, LB Progressive Alliance, Rosenberg Fund

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“Across the Americas” Nov 4th Event Program – Join Us!

Across the Americas: A Toolkit for Change – Sponsored by Witness for Peace Southwest

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Saturday November 4th, 2017 – 2 – 6pm, L.A. Workers Center, 1251 S. St. Andrews Place, Los Angeles, CA 90019

2:00pm -2:15pm – Registration and Refreshments

2:15pm – 2:30pm “Across the Americas: A Toolkit for Change”, Latin American and Caribbean struggles for self-determination and sovereignty in context by Witness for Peace Southwest. How can we strengthen our movements against US economic, political and social aggression? How can we build solidarity between grassroots movements across the Americas, Diasporas and other migrations? How can we be accountable to movements across Latin America and the Caribbean from our community spaces in the US?

2:35pm – 3:05pm “Demanding Nature: How natural resource issues and climate change are pushing social change in Latin America” – workshop facilitated by Rachel Brunhke, high school educator and Witness for Peace Southwest Regional Board Member  

3:05pm – 3:15pm – Announcements and icebreaker – WFP Mexico International Team 2017 Report on Mexican grassroots movements in Oaxaca, roots of migration, organized resistance to US economic models and US solidarity from team members Saraí Jiménez and Laura Krasovitzky

3:15pm -3:45pm“Cuba: Impacts of US Foreign Policy on Cuba” – presentation with Lee Schlenker and Cat Walker, Witness for Peace International Team Members in Cuba w/ Q&A moderated by Malia Everette, founder of  socially responsible travel company Altruvistas and Southwest Regional Board Member

3:50pm – 4:50pmDocumentary screening of “Berta Vive!” with Honduran filmmaker Katia Lara, the documentary follows the life and work of Berta Caceres, Lenca indigenous leader of Honduras and co-founder of the Civic Council of Indigenous and Popular Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), in the wake of Berta’s assassination March 2016 w/ Q&A moderated by Melissa Cox, WFP National Delegations Coordinator, long-time filmmaker and former WFP International Team member in Colombia.

4:50pm – 5:00pm – Announcements and icebreaker – WFP Colombia International Team 2017 Report on Colombian grassroots movements, US based solidarity and recent civic strike in Afro-Colombian and Indigenous majority territory in Buenaventura, Colombian Pacific Coast from team members Gilberto Villaseñor and Samantha Wherry

5:00pm – 5:30pm“Resistance to State Repression and Corporate Privatization in the Context of Honduran 2017 National Elections” and congressional updates on HR 1299 Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act with Bryan Rogers, WFP International team member in Honduras

5:35pm – 6:05pm“People’s Power and Participatory Democracy in Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution: Solidarity in Times of US Intervention”– Robin Garcia, Ph.D candidate at Claremont Graduate University in Cultural Studies and WFP Southwest regional board member and Jeanette Charles, WFP Southwest Regional Organizer and Decolonial Delegations Program Coordinator

6:10pm – 6:15pm – “Across the Americas: A Toolkit for Change” closing

6:15pm – 10:00pmDia de los Muertos Celebration: conversation, dinner, dance, music and food

WFP invites all community members and participants to partake in the LA Workers Center’s annual Dia de los Muertos celebration honoring ancestors from across the Americas, African Diaspora and Indigenous nations. There will be a variety of community food vendors with traditional dishes for sale accompanied by live musical acts, dance and follow-up conversation with our event speakers and workshop facilitators.

“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

 

 

 

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

In the Spirit of Giving, support WFPSW

 

Dear WFPSW supporter,

Mil gracias. Thank you so much for your accompaniment, contribution to and unwavering solidarity with Witness for Peace Southwest (WfPSW) and our partners throughout Latin America. As WfPSW Regional Organizer I am very excited to share the work we have done this last year. As we begin 2017, we ask for your continued support at this critical time for solidarity across movements in the US, Latin America and the world.

I write you from Central America, Honduras specifically. Here, over the last two years, I have accompanied an unique process with WFP to launch our international program. For us, and our partners, it has been a difficult yet beautiful and necessary struggle to make this happen.  We currently have two international team members on the ground and have organized four delegations in the last year opening opportunities for US based organizers, people of conscious and other interested individuals to engage with Honduran indigenous, African descendants, women, youth and union leaders among others. Next year, WFPSW will host two delegations to Honduras: Radical Organizing Across Difference (March 17th-26th) and The Fight for Reparations (June 25th-July 7th).

I began as WfPSW RO late summer 2015. Since then, I have worked alongside our international teams, national staff, national and regional board members as well as with our grassroots membership to re-build our region from our 2014-2015 hiatus. At WFPSW, we look to take down the walls that divide our peoples, challenge policies that repress our communities and build just, humane societies.

Throughout the year, we have hosted several events from our 2016 inaugural dinner with report backs from Cuba, Venezuela, Honduras, Colombia and Mexico in addition to participating in initiatives against US militarism and occupation such as International Peace week in San Pedro, California. We have also supported campaigns in solidarity with greater Cuba-US relations and commemorative events honoring the people’s driven Cuban Revolution.

Since the spring, our region has also supported larger cross-organizational campaigns for justice. The assassination of Berta Cáceres on March 3rd devastated millions across the globe. We have continued to accompany the Lenca people even more and have campaigned in favor of the Berta Cáceres and Human Rights in Honduras Act (HR 5474) calling for US military divestment in Honduras – similar congressional demands have not been made since the late ‘80s.

Over the summer, we have added one new member to our growing regional  board: Robin Garcia, long-time activist originally from Los Angeles, California. Robin’s work spans across the Americas where she has dedicated her time to working in grassroots journalism and alternative media such as teleSUR and working with Venezuela’s multimedia movement. Robin started in July and we look forward to building more with her in the future.

In the fall, we organized an impressive five state, 11 city tour with two young Venezuelan queer organizers: Maria Gabriela del Pilar Blanco and Paola Martucci Gomez. They witnessed firsthand the harsh realities facing Black and Brown communities across the greater US West region and shared their tales of triumph with the Bolivarian Revolution. Moreover, they gave their own accounts of the challenges currently facing the revolutionary process including: a violent opposition bloc, international media manipulation, economic blockade, sharp drop in global oil prices and the truest hurdle of all, building XXIst century socialism. Their talks were beyond inspiring and engaged autonomous community spaces, universities and grassroots organizations in needed conversations about imagining, creating and sustaining alternatives.

While we are uncertain what the political and economic future holds for our communities and our countries, here at Witness for Peace Southwest, we are certain that our commitment to social justice and solidarity must not waver. Now, more than ever, we depend on your continued support in all facets of our organizing.

We hope to see you on our delegations in Honduras, Cuba, Venezuela and Colombia next year!

We want to make a stop in your community during our next speaker’s tour!

And, as always, your continued financial support is received in the deepest of gratitude and greatest appreciation. Make a donation today! Become a sustaining donor!

Every contribution makes a difference, from $5 to $100. Make a donation once a month or one time.

You can make your tax-deductible donations via our PayPal account using the following email address: southwestwfp@gmail.com or mail a check to Witness for Peace Southwest @ PO Box 1781 Ojai, CA 93024.

In solidarity, peace and justice,

Jeanette

WfPSW Regional Organizer: jcharles.wfpsw@gmail.com & wfpsw@witnessforpeace.org, 805.669.VIVA (8482)