Converge on the U.S./Mexico Border

by on August 3, 2016

Border Convergence

SOA Watch

We are moving our annual convergence this Fall from the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia to the militarized US/Mexico border. The Border Convergence is going to take place from October 7-10, 2016 in Nogales, Arizona/ Sonora. The change of the location goes along with the broadening of the issue and our expanded fight against U.S. militarization at home and abroad.

The convergence is taking place right before the November election. To generate the biggest possible impact, we need to build a strong coalition of groups to make the convergence a success. We hope that you would consider to mobilize your community the Border Convergence.

Visit SOAW.org/border for more information.


May Day 2016 Rally and March at Union Square!

by on April 28, 2016

May Day 2016

International Workers Day

Workers of the World, Unite!

12:00pm Rally at Union Square

14th St & Broadway

Facebook Event Page

3:00pm Join Immigrant Worker Justice Tour at

Washington Square Park

Facebook Event Page

Free Oscar NOW
May Day Boricua Contingent 2016

10 Years in the Struggle for Immigrant Rights!

Workers and Migrants of the World Unite! We have nothing to lose but our chains! Join us on Sunday, May 1st, as we show that there is another world possible, another world where forced migration due to neoliberal policies happens, where refugees and migrants don’t have to flee their homelands and go to countries that and uses their labor as cheap labor, where refugees and migrants are not criminalized, where families are not torn apart, where families do not have to fear deportation, detention and raids, where black lives matter, where our workers have sustainable wages, where you are not killed or disappeared for fighting for your community, where we are liberated. Join us on Sunday, May 1st, and make our voices heard.


Deported to their deaths

by on January 8, 2016

Stop the deportation raids against Central American refugees

The Obama administration just launched a new wave of deportation raids targeting children and families who fled violence in Central America.1 It’s incredibly dangerous, irresponsible, and inhumane: since 2014, dozens of Central American refugees have been murdered just months after they were deported.2

Demand an immediate end to these inhumane deportation raids.

Many of the children targeted for deportation are facing a rushed, unfair process that gives them no chance to make their case in court.3 Children have been ordered deported after not showing up in court – despite the fact that they never received a notification to appear. The accelerated, aggressive deportation processes put in place by the Obama administration have led to these due process violations. To send refugees back into dangerous situations – especially without a fair process – goes against the values of the United States, and it may violate international law.stop deportations

Join us in demanding that President Obama immediately stop the raids.

This new wave of raids is becoming an issue in the presidential campaign, so what we do now to stand up against the raids could have a huge impact on immigration policy for years to come.

We already know that the Republican presidential candidates, led by Donald Trump, are committed to harsh anti-immigrant policies. But with President Obama initiating these raids, it’s less clear what the Democratic party’s position is on immigration.

Presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley have spoken out forcefully against the raids and called for them to stop.4,5 Hillary Clinton’s position is less clear – a campaign spokesperson said she has “concerns” about the raids, but she hasn’t called for them to stop.6 And in the past, she’s said that the unaccompanied children coming to the United States to escape violence in Central America should be deported.7 We need to raise our voices now to make sure all the Democratic candidates know we expect them to fight for justice for immigrants, and that they can’t take Latino votes for granted.

The U.S. legacy in Central America

Many of the immigrants who recently entered the country are fleeing violence in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala – countries with some of highest rates of violence in the world. Much of the violence – perpetrated by police, paramilitary gangs, and drug gangs – is the legacy of decades of anti-democratic U.S. intervention in the region.

Over and over again in Latin America, the United States government has undermined democracy, supported and trained oppressive military and police forces, and sent weapons. During the cold war, in the name of fighting communism, the CIA helped overthrow democratically elected governments, replacing them with violent dictators friendly to the U.S. The notorious “School of the Americas” – a U.S. military base in Georgia – trained Latin American dictators and their paramilitary foot soldiers in the use of torture and assassinations.

Demand an immediate end to these inhumane deportation raids.

U.S. aggression towards Latin America isn’t a thing of the past. In 2009, a military coup in Honduras – orchestrated by the country’s economic elite – overthrew democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya. The U.S. officially claimed to be against the coup – but the U.S. State department, led by Hillary Clinton, negotiated with the perpetrators of the coup, and did everything it could to ensure that Zelaya would not return to power.8,9,10 Since Zelaya was overthrown, violence – from the government, gangs, and everything in between – has plagued Honduras.11,12,13

In addition to the all the military and political intervention, the United States’ War on Drugs has fueled a massive criminal economy in Latin America, funding violent drug gangs that terrorize and kill.

The U.S. has an obligation to give refuge to all immigrants who come here to escape violence. But when children and families from Central America come to the U.S. to seek safety from the violence in their countries, the U.S. has a special responsibility, given the role it has played in the region. Instead, the Obama administration is sending people back into a violent environment the U.S. helped create, with very little regard for their safety or rights as human beings.

If enough of us call out President Obama now, it will help make this an issue in the presidential campaign, increasing the pressure on Obama to end the raids. It will also force Hillary Clinton to take a clear position for or against these raids, putting us in a better position to hold all the presidential candidates accountable to Latinos.

Tell President Obama: stop deporting people to their deaths.

Sources:

  1. Obama administration kicks off family deportation raids“, Politico, January 4, 2016
  2. US government deporting Central American migrants to their deaths“, The Guardian, October 12, 2015
  3. 7,000 immigrant children ordered deported without going to court“, Los Angeles Times, January 7, 2016
  4. O’Malley pushes Obama administration to end immigration raid plans“, CBS News, December 31, 2015
  5. Sanders writes Obama, urges end to recently started deportation raids“, The Washington Post, January 7, 2016
  6. Hillary’s border crisis“, Politico, December 30, 2015
  7. Hillary Clinton Now Says She Has “Concerns” About Deporting Migrant Children“, The Intercept, December 28, 2015
  8. EXCLUSIVE: Hillary Clinton sold out Honduras: Lanny Davis, corporate cash, and the real story about the death of a Latin American democracy“, Salon, June 8, 2015
  9. Hard choices: Hillary Clinton admits role in Honduran coup aftermath“, Aljazeera, September, 29, 2014
  10. During Honduras Crisis, Clinton Suggested Back Channel With Lobbyist Lanny Davis“, The Intercept, July 6, 2015
  11. Hopeless in Honduras?“, Foreign Affairs, November 22, 2013
  12. Honduran Coup Regime in Crisis“, The Nation, October 26, 2009
  13. Correction: Honduras-Death Squads story“, Associated Press, May 1, 2013

Rally and march to end forced migration and displacement

by on September 22, 2015

open borders

OPEN THE BORDERS!

Rally & March
SAT ► SEPT 26   
@  5pm
Arch at Washington Square Park
5th Ave & Waverly Place

Migrants, Refugees and Workers Unite!
Tell the UN – Open Up the Borders! Provide Safety!
Stop the Violence! End the Wars!

facebook.com/events/885680441513235/

Sponsored by:

  • Campaign for Peoples Goals
  • International Migrants Alliance
  • International Action Center
  • International Tribunal of Conscience
  • The Migrant Center at St. Francis of Assisi
  • Fuerza Mundial Global

Endorsed by: (list in formation)

  • Action 21-NJ
  • AlAwda Palestine Right of Return Coalition NYC
  • Bolivarian Circle NYC
  • Guyanese American Workers United
  • Haiti Liberte’
  • Honduras USA Resistencia
  • International League of Peoples Struggles
  • International Support Haiti Network
  • Jersey City Peace Movement
  • May 1 Workers and Immigrant Rights Coalition
  • Pakistan USA Freedom Forum
  • Peoples Power Assemblies-NYC
  • SI Solidarity with Iran
  • South Asian Fund for Education, Scholarship & Training
  • Syrian American Forum
  • Trade Justice Network-Metro
  • United National Antiwar Coalition
  • US Peace Council

Whether through “small wars” of destabilization or labor export programs, tens of millions are displaced from their home countries due to monopoly capitalism’s drive the control markets, resources, territories, and extract super-profits. With the drive for hegemony at the root, neoliberal economic policies and mercenary armies are unleashed on countries where imperialism has strategic interests, in order to undermine and overturn economic and political sovereignty.

As September 26 marks the one year anniversary of the Ayoztinapa 43 students who challenged neoliberal economic policies being imposed in Mexico, the images of 2-year-old Syrian refugee Aylan Kurdi washed up on a Turkish beach and an overloaded boat sinking off the coast of Libya captures the ongoing reality of refugees fleeing wars of destabilization in the Middle East and Africa due to U.S.- backed mercenary armies seeking to overthrow regimes.

As the United Nations General Assembly meets that Saturday in New York to discuss the post-2015 development agenda and their so-called “Sustainable Development Goals”, massive displacement of peoples, violence, racism, and death continues! People’s resistance and movement continues globally to undo these oppressive systems!

Tell the UN:

End Forced Migration! No to Neoliberalism!

End Labor Export Policies!

Stop U.S.- backed wars of destabilization in Syria, the Middle East, and Africa!

Justice for the Aylan Kurdi and safe haven for all Syrian refugees!

Justice and Accountability for the Ayotzinapa 43!

Justice and Safe Haven for Rohingya refugees!

Justice and Safe Haven for Burmese refugees!

IMA and CPGSD on the Refugee Crisis

by on September 8, 2015

Let the pictures break not only hearts, but also barriers to rights

Migrant Child

A spectre is haunting Europe and it’s the spectre of refugees fleeing from their war-torn homes only to find death on the sea and not safety on the land.

The picture of three-year old Syrian child, Aylan Kurdi, face down and lifeless after trying to cross to Greece has been making the rounds of alternative and mainstream media. It moved people, as it must. It called for change, as it should.

For weeks, countries in Europe have been besieged with criticisms from its own people as governments either take hardline stance against or dilly-dally in taking in refugees and providing them the protection, services and haven that international and even EU agreements mandate them to give.

The capsizing of the boat carrying Aylan, and another one carrying other refugees, was the latest proof of the vulnerabilities of displaced people. A few weeks ago, two boats from Libya carrying 500 people trying to get to Europe also capsized in the Mediterranean Sea and reportedly killed 400. This year alone, the United Nations estimated that 2,400 already died trying to get past the treacherous waters of the Mediterranean. Meanwhile, who can forget the Rohingyas and Bangladeshis from Myanmar who were also stranded at sea and refused entry by countries in Southeast Asia?

Closing borders and heightened restriction in the entry of foreign nationals – be they refugees fleeing from wars and hunger or migrants displaced by economic hardships and also political strife – is a trend that is slowly creeping not only into Europe but also in other countries that are destinations of those forcibly displaced from their country of birth.

States use the phantoms of jobs scarcity and scramble for dwindling resources and services to justify clamping down on refugee and migration flows. As economic and other crises rage with so-called recovery sluggish or is reserved for corporations and the business sector, refugees and migrants are still being used as convenient scapegoats to blur, if not totally skip over, the reality that skewed economic policies are at the root of problems faced by people in countries hosting refugees and migrants.

The same neoliberal-driven economics that uphold labor expert, coupled by wars and political strife, is what also drives millions of people from their own homeland to seek a more safe and secure life.

This month, the United Nations General Assembly is set to meet and chart the path to development for the next 15 years. It cannot be emphasized enough that the displacement of people due to economic or political causes – the 232 million migrants and 19.5 million refugees – is an issue of holistic development that should respect the comprehensive rights of the people.

When the two boats from Libya capsized, Amb. Macharia Kamau of Kenya who co-chaired the post-2015 development agenda negotiations said that how the migrants crisis is being handled is not the way “to transform the world towards 2030.” It definitely is not.

The post-2015 development agenda promises to leave no one behind. If governments are sincere about this, there should be no more Aylans left behind to suffer hardships or wash up lifeless in foreign shores.

Let the tragic pictures of the death of children not only break our hearts, but also the walls of exclusion and inhumane migration and refugee policies that do not respect the fundamental rights of people already forcibly displaced by economic want and wars.

Eni Lestari

International Migrants Alliance (IMA)/ Campaign for People’s Goals for Sustainable Development (CPGSD)


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