Support Solidarity Across the Americas

Witness for Peace Southwest Speaker’s Tour! Three weeks until we take off!

This year’s annual tour is slated with María Gabriela Pilar del Blanco, member of the Venezuelan Sex and Gender Diversity Revolutionary Alliance (ASGDRe). We will be touring 3 states: California, Arizona and New Mexico. We will visit at least 10 cities and towns across the region. We have organized public events and organizers’ exchanges at more than 20 organizations, schools and community spaces combined. If you’re interested in hosting an event with us please contact me as dates and locations are filling up. Our tour begins October 1st and we close out October 29th.

To achieve all this work, we need your support.

Witness for Peace Southwest is a grassroots donations’ driven organization. Speaker’s tour is vital for our region to thrive, inspire and sustain solidarity across the Americas. 

Your donations three weeks before the tour starts on October 1st, will go toward logistical support for the tour:

Transportation:

Bus fare – tickets range in price from local buses to inter-regional buses. Help move us around Los Angeles County and from Phoenix, Arizona to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Flights – because of the geographical expanse of the tour, we will need to make at least one domestic flight! One way tickets average at approximately $120

Food:

Help keep our speaker’s tour team nourished! We’re asking our home-stays and co-sponsoring organizations to help cover most major meals but snacks, on the road pit stops and occasional meals we need help to cover.

Honorarium:

For all our tours, we make a contribution to our speakers and the organizations they come from. While WfPSW is not a charitable organization, we do believe that grassroots solidarity through economic sustainability initiatives is important and often times, necessary.

In the long term:

Your donation helps facilitate organizing to build and strengthen solidarity across the Americas. You’re supporting face to face exchanges between communities in the US and Latin America and the Caribbean at the forefront of transformative political, social and economic change. Your dollars fund organizational development to build campaigns against detrimental US foreign policy and destructive US corporate practices.

How to make a donation: 

You can make an online donation here or by calling in your credit card number to (805) 669-VIVA (8482). Donations can also be mailed to WFPSW PO Box 1781 Ojai, CA 93024.

You can donate online safely and securely through our PayPal account. You do not need a PayPal account to donate. Click on the Donate Button and follow the PayPal instructions for your donation. Any questions contact wfpsw@witnessforpeace.org or jcharles.wfpsw@gmail.com

Who is this year’s speaker? What organization does she represent? 

ASGDRe is a collective spread across Venezuelan national territory focused on building consciousness about the LGBTQ struggle in Latin America and the Caribbean. Their organization recently celebrated 7 years since its founding and has worked with a wide variety of national and international grassroots movements. Their work spans political education workshops, cultural events, literary publications, social consciousness raising, food sovereignty projects and movement building within the Bolivarian process.  Gaby will also discuss the current status of legal rights for the LGBTQ community and current campaigns to continue transforming Venezuelan society supported by the inclusionary political framework of the Bolivarian Process.

Gaby is originally from Higuerote, Venezuela an Afro-Venezuelan town. Currently, ASGDRe has membership in Lara, Táchira, Mérida and Miranda states. Gaby will speak to the current political, economic and social climate in Venezuela and share her personal experiences as an organizer within the Venezuelan queer community. The framework for her presentations, exchanges and talks will focus on people’s power, popular movement narratives and the realities that communities face on the ground – their achievements, their challenges and their alternatives. Gaby’s presentations will also include multi-media materials including video clips, photo stills and other references showcasing the collective’s wide variety of projects.

Any contribution helps from $1, $5, $10, $20 to $100. We need all the support folks can share as we build connections across borders.

In solidarity and in gratitude,

Jeanette, Regional Organizer

Join Us on Delegation!

STAND IN SOLIDARITY AND SEIZE INCREDIBLE DELEGATION OPPORTUNITIES WITH WITNESS FOR PEACE!


Honduras
July 16-25, 2016
Learning from Indigenous and Afro-Indigenous Leaders in the Face of Ecological, Economic and State Violence  

Accompany, learn from, and stand with Honduran social movements resisting violence and oppression by U.S.-backed Honduran state security forces, U.S.- and internationally-funded “development” projects, and neoliberal “free trade” policies since the 2009 U.S.-backed coup d’état.

Colombia Sept. 6-15, 2016.
“Post-Accords is Not Post-Conflict” : Support a Just and Inclusive Peace Process

Despite a historic peace accord, progressive social movements in Colombia advocate for a more integral understanding of peace: sustainable peace with justice, the deconstruction of systems of inequality, impunity, and injustice.

Puerto Rico Nov. 4-12, 2016
Boricua: The Hidden Colony

The fight for Puerto Rican sovereignty is centuries’ old. Currently Puerto Ricans are facing bankruptcy and alarmingly high rates of unemployment. Their status as a U.S. commonwealth leaves them without a vote and voice in their nation’s political future. Learn more about the devastating effects of US foreign policy and colonization in Puerto Rico. Stand in solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico as they continue their fight for their independence against US intervention and militarization.

Cuba  Dec. 27, 2016-Jan 4, 2017
New Years in Havana: Cuban Socialism and Cultural Resilience

Come and learn about Cuba’s social institutions like schools, hospitals and cultural centers on the Revolution’s anniversary of and celebrate their cultural resilience and the New Year! Engage with organic farmers, community organizers, educators and artists. This delegation will also visit museums, galleries, studies and attend Cuban performing artist shows. Expect to learn about the important of arts and culture in Cuban society and its revolutionary development.

TAKE ACTION: 

Youth Delegation Scholarship Fund: If you’d like to contribute to help a young organizer participate in a delegation, you can donate online here.

For more delegation info and/or an application: Please contact either Jeanette Charles or Malia Everette. For additional information about scholarship opportunities and fundraising assistance email jcharles.wfpsw@gmail.com.

Stand in Solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution and Learn More about the Afro Venezuelan Struggle this May!

 

AfroVenezuela: History and Culture Delegation

May 21-30, 2016

Before the Bolivarian Revolution, Afro-Venezuelan people and their history were marginalized and erased from Venezuelan society. Along with International Workers’ rights, May also celebrates Afro-Venezuelan history and is full of commemorative events marking the significant political, cultural and social contributions of the African Diaspora and the specific struggles of Afro-descendants in Venezuela. Delegates will meet with grassroots Afro-Venezuelan organizers, cultural leaders and participate in local events while also learning about state institutions that work toward challenging institutional racism. Learn how Afro-Venezuelans have secured significant rights with the Bolivarian Revolution and continue to build an anti-racist Venezuelan society today.

Cost: This delegation fee covers all set-up preparation, 2 meals per day, housing accommodations, interpreters, transportation within the country and a trained delegation coordinator. The feel also covers extensive reading and activist tools before and after the delegation. $1950 excluding international airfare. Deadline: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $150 is due by March 14, 2016. Limited space available—Apply early!

For more information: Jeanette Charles, Witness for Peace Southwest 805-669-VIVA or jcharles.wfpsw@gmail.com or Malia Everette at 415-735-5407 or malia@altruvistas.com. For additional information about scholarship opportunities and fundraising assistance email jcharles.wfpsw@gmail.com or Tanya Hartley at southwestwfp@gmail.com.

 

Celebrate May Day in Cuba!

TRAVEL TO CUBA!

w/ Witness for Peace Southwest

Celebrate May Day in Cuba: Labor and Community Organizing from the Ground Up!

APRIL 24-MAY 4, 2016

This delegation will engage participants in the history of Cuba’s progressive politics favoring the poor. Since the historic concurrent announcements by Presidents Obama and Castro on December 17, 2014 that both countries would undertake a new course on the path towards normalized relations in no other time has there been more interest in Cuba, its history, cultural and political landscape. With Witness for Peace Southwest celebrate alongside the Cuban people on International Worker’s Day in Havana. The Cuban people are at the forefront of people’s movements in the Americas and we invite you to come to Cuba and see this reality first-hand.

While on delegation, you will meet with a variety of organizations that have worked over the last several decades to build a new society which favors the poor, encourages participation and offers opportunities for all Cuban citizens. Learn more about Cuba’s commitment to education, healthcare and social justice. This is a historic time to bear witness to the dramatic changes taking place in our hemisphere. Please join Witness for Peace Southwest for what promises to be a remarkable time to celebrate Cuba’s revolutionary spirit, past and present!

This delegation is sponsored by the human rights organization Witness for Peace Southwest and Altruvistas, a socially responsible and philanthropic travel company.  

Contact:  For more information and applications contact: Witness for Peace Southwest Regional Organizer Jeanette Charles at 805-669-VIVA or jcharles.wfpsw@gmail.com and/or Malia Everette at 415-735-5407 or malia@altruvistas.com. For additional information about scholarship opportunities, sliding scale costs based on income and fundraising assistance contact Jeanette and/or Tanya Hartley at southwestwfp@gmail.com.  

Cost: The price of this delegation is $2350 without international airfare and $2950 with airfare included from Miami. The deadline to apply with a non-refundable deposit of $200 has been extended to March 14, 2016. Limited space available—please apply early! The fee covers all set-up preparation, 2 meals per day, 3 star housing accommodations in double rooms, interpreters, transportation within country, a trained delegation coordinator, and honoraria for our speakers.  

 

In Solidarity with the People of Haiti

 

Below, Witness for Peace Southwest shares the following statement circulated by the Haitian Grassroots movement via Oakland based Haiti Action Committee. Tens of thousands of Haitians have taken to the streets demanding the annulment of the fraudulent elections. Haitians have poured out into the streets braving police brutality, tear gas and assassination. As the Haiti Action Committee writes “the struggle for the right to vote and for all Haitians to participate in the political process continues.”

Register for our Latin American Liberation Webinar Series!

Witness for Peace Southwest presents a six session webinar series highlighting movements across Latin America and the Caribbean that are fighting for their self-determination, autonomy, peace and human rights. Speakers will include members of Witness for Peace Southwest, International Teams and partners on the ground throughout the region. We hope you will join us for these discussions. When possible, sessions may also be available in Spanish.

We have confirmed the following sessions on: Colombia, Cuba, Venezuela, Honduras and Latin America’s defense of the Earth.

For additional information, please contact Regional Organizer Jeanette Charles at: jcharles.wfpsw@gmail.com, (805) 669.8482

You can register here: http://goo.gl/forms/xAIO3rpUW7

Angelinxs Call for U.S. Guantanamo Base Out of Cuba!

On January 24, a Witness for Peace Southwest delegation protested outside of Fort MacArthur, a former U.S. military air force base in San Pedro, California.

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The action came one day after WfPSW’s 2016 opening event, Latin America 2016: People’ Power and Popular Democracies in the Face of US Imperialism.

Here are some pics documenting the night’s events:


Please keep posted for upcoming events, actions and delegations.

In peace and solidarity,

Jeanette

On behalf of Witness for Peace Southwest

 

 

WfPSW Welcomes a New RO!

WFPSW welcomes a new Regional Organizer!

Introducing Jeanette Charles!

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Jeanette comes to WFPSW with loads of Latin America and Witness for Peace experience. For 2 years now Jeanette has served on the Witness for Peace Southwest board of directors. Jeanette is a journalist, organizer, popular educator and queer woman of color raised in working class Black and Brown Los Angeles. The basis of her continued work draws from histories of resistance and revolution across the Americas especially from the legacy of the Haitian Revolution and other Black maroon led rebellions. Members of Jeanette’s paternal family left Haiti during the Duvalier dictatorship as part of a great exodus of Haitians in the 1960s and 70s. Jeanette self-identifies as Black/African descent and specifically as a daughter of the Haitian diaspora. Jeanette is fluent in English and Spanish and grew up in a largely Mexican/Central American neighborhood. In the last five years Jeanette has lived in Venezuela and has extensive travel and cross cultural experiences throughout the Americas.

Most recently, Jeanette worked as a journalist for the Latin American based international news channel, teleSUR in Quito, Ecuador. Much of Jeanette’s analysis is attributed to the delegations and political exchanges she has organized with the Chiapas Support Committee to Haiti, Colombia, Venezuela, Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras with grassroots movements. Jeanette’s senior thesis was on the Honduran Resistance to the Coup in 2009-2010 where she spent several months on the ground researching and establishing relationships with organizers and community leaders documenting people’s struggles. Jeanette is currently pursuing a PHD from the Bolivarian University of Venezuela.

In the United States, Jeanette’s work has focused primarily on building Black and Brown unity and organizing against mass incarceration as well as state violence.

Jeanette is starting off as part time staff with Witness for Peace Southwest until funds are raised to increase Jeanette’s hours as a full time organizer. Jeanette is exited to plan a full calendar of events, delegations to Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Honduras and Cuba and bring speakers from Latin America in 2016. The board of directors of WfPSW welcomes Jeanette!

Feel free to welcome her and ask her how you can get involved. Jeanette’s email is jcharles.wfpsw@gmail.com or call 805-669-VIVA.

 

Want to lead a WfPSW Delegation?

 

Do you want to lead a delegation with WfPSW? We are currently looking for delegation coordinators for some of our delegations next year and in 2017.

If you have experience with popular education pedagogy, solidarity with Latin America and organizing group travel please consider working with us!

Contact Jeanette Charles at jcharles.wfpsw@gmail.com or at 805-669-VIVA for more information.

WfPSW Announces 2016 Delegations

Consider joining Witness for Peace Southwest on one of our international and national delegations in 2016!

Delegation fees cover all set-up preparation, 2 meals per day, housing accommodations, interpreters, transportation within the country and a trained delegation coordinator. The feel also covers extensive reading and activist tools before and after the delegation. Limited space is available—Apply early!

For more information and an application please contact: Witness for Peace Southwest Regional Organizer Jeanette Charles at 805-669-VIVA or jcharles.wfpsw@gmail.com or Malia Everette at 415-735-5407 or malia@altruvistas.com. For additional information about scholarship opportunities and fundraising assistance contact Jeanette Charle or Tanya Hartley at southwestwfp@gmail.com.

WfPSW has experience organizing delegations to countries throughout the region including Honduras, Colombia and Mexico. If you would like to organize a delegation for your organization, school or community group through Witness for Peace Southwest, please contact Jeanette Charles, Tanya Hartley or Malia Everette (information provided above).

 

MEXICO-U.S. BORDER March 19-26, 2016: Impacts of US War on Drugs on the Mexico/US Border

Learn more about the Impacts of the US War on Drugs in Southern California and along the Mexico-U.S. border. We will meet with organizations challenging the prison industrial complex, fighting against massive deportations and creating alternatives to free trade. Contact Jeanette Charles for more information regarding this delegation’s overall cost.

Deadline: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $150 is due by January 18, 2016

 

CUBA April 24- May 3,  2016: Celebrate May Day in Cuba:  Labor and Community Organizing from the Ground Up

Join the Cuban people on International Worker’s Day in Havana, Cuba! Join us for what promises to be a remarkable time to celebrate Cuba’s revolutionary spirit, past and present!

Cost: $2350 without international airfare and $2950 with airfare included from Miami.

Deadline: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $200 is due by February 28, 2016.

 

VENEZUELA  May 21-30, 2016: Afro-Venezuelan History and Culture    

May is Afro-Venezuelan history month and is full of events marking the significant political, cultural and social contributions of the African Diaspora and the specific struggles of Afro-descendants in Venezuela. Learn how Afro-Venezuelans have secured significant rights with the Bolivarian Revolution and continue to build an anti-racist Venezuelan society today.

Cost: $1950 excluding international airfare.

Deadline: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $150 is due by March 14, 2016.

 

VENEZUELA  July 21-31, 2016: The Bolivarian Revolution: From Simon to Hugo  

From Simon Bolivar to Hugo Chavez, the Bolivarian Revolution has evolved into building an inclusive society where all Venezuelans participate. Delegates will learn first-hand the ways and means of Venezuelan democracy, providing a unique opportunity to witness how public policies and grassroots organizing come together.

Cost: $1950 excluding international airfare.

Deadline: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $150 is due by May 16, 2016.
PUERTO RICO  Nov. 4-12, 2016:  Boricua: The Hidden Colony $1850 

Their status as a U.S. commonwealth leaves them 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.

Cost: $1850 excluding airfare.

Deadline: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $150 is due by August 15, 2016.

 

CUBA  Dec. 27, 2016-Jan 4, 2017: New Years in Havana:  Cuban Socialism and Cultural Resilience  

Learn about the Cuban people’s revolutionary history and cultural resilience while also celebrating the New Year! Expect to learn about the importance of arts and culture in Cuban society and its revolutionary development.

Cost: $2850 without international airfare and $3450 with airfare included from Miami.

Deadline: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $200 is due by  September 26, 2016.