Voces de la Frontera in Solidarity With OWS

by on October 13, 2011

Press Statement: Voces de la Frontera in Solidarity With “Occupy Wall Street”

October 12, 2011
CONTACT: JOE SHANSKY (414) 218-3331

On behalf of thousands of members across Wisconsin, Voces de la Frontera stands in solidarity with the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrations on both the national and local levels.

Today we are experiencing devastating economic inequality, at a level which is no longer sustainable for the vast majority of the country.

For far too long, we’ve been the victims of an economic system which marginalizes the poor and working classes, including immigrant workers who have to come to the US as a result of free trade agreements which only favor multi-national corporations.

The legacy of racism in the US means that racial and ethnic groups in the US that have been historically marginalized have been especially hard hit in the wake of the Great Recession.

The recent financial crisis caused by Wall Street generated an additional 8 million to the official unemployment rolls, and has had even greater impact on African American and Latino unemployment rates.

The housing market bubble of 2006 and the recession that followed from 2007-2009 has reduced wealth of Latino households by 66% and 53% among African-American households respectively, compared to white households whose wealth also declined by 16%.

Banks such as Wells-Fargo have made record profits off of immigrant detentions and imprisonment by investing heavily in the private prison industry. The private prison industry drafted the Arizona SB1070 racial profiling law and has lobbied for similar laws in other states.

This devious collaboration of politicians, banks, and private prison companies has separated families, trampled on the civil rights of individuals, weakened local economies that benefited from immigrant communities, and created a climate of fear and demonization of Latinos and immigrants in communities where AZ copycat bills were passed.

Voces de la Frontera joins the demand for an end to this unconscionable concentration of wealth by the top 1% and the scapegoating of immigrants as a way to misdirect the legitimate anger of working people from those who are truly responsible for the current crisis we face.

It is only democratic grassroots movements from below that have led to transformational change in our nation’s history.

On October 15th in Zeidler Park and beyond, Voces will stand with Occupy Milwaukee, Occupy Madison, and others who are also suffering in this economy, to spread the message that Wall Street, banks, and multi-national corporations must be held responsible for record poverty and unemployment.

We demand no cuts or layoffs to the public sector, a massive job creation program on the scale of the New Deal, humane immigration reform, and the saving of families from foreclosures.

 Download the Press Statement

U.S. Human Rights Observer Team Returns from Honduras with Troubling Report

by on October 3, 2011

U.S Human Rights Observer Team Returns from Honduras with Troubling Report

Tegucigalpa, Honduras- Nine U.S human rights observers returned to the United States this week after an intensive twelve-day investigation of the country’s worsening human rights crisis. Team members had been closely following events in Honduras since the June 28, 2009 coup d’etat that ousted democratically elected President Mel Zelaya at gunpoint. “In the last two years since the coup, despite the supposed election of current President Pepe Lobo, there has been as many as 200 political assassinations of members and leaders of the growing popular resistance front known as the FNRP- Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular,” says Tanya Cole-director of the human rights group Witness for Peace Southwest. Several human rights organizations that are part of the U.S Honduras Solidarity Network assembled this emergency observation team to travel directly to the Aguan basin of Honduras where recent killings of campesino leaders and police/military raids of campesino communities have left dozens dead and hundreds as internal refugees. “While we were in the Aguan Region, there were two police/military raids on the same community (Los Rigores- September 16, 19) in which 22 people were temporarily detained, tortured and threatened with death. A 16 yr old was drenched in gasoline by the police and threatened with being burned. All the detainees were released with no charges filed,” reports Vicki Cervantes of Chicago’s human rights group La Voz de los de Abajo.

The US State Department recently lobbied for the re-entry of Honduras into the Organization of American States as part of an agreement facilitated by Colombia President Santos and Venezuela President Hugo Chavez in May of this year known as the Cartagena Accord. The US State Department was quick to recognize the 2009 election of Pepe Lobo while most nations in South America and Europe still do not recognize the current government of Honduras because of the political climate during the 2009 elections and the continued concerns about human rights violations in Honduras. “I am particularly concerned that the US government is perpetuating gross human rights abuses by providing military funds and training to the Honduras security forces. An example of this is the $40 million recently given by the State Department,” responds Dale Sorensen of the California based human rights group Task Force on the Americas. In May of this year 87 US congress members signed a scathing letter addressed to US Secretary Hillary Clinton regarding the continued human rights violations in Honduras asking the state department and US Embassy in Honduras to speak out against violence targeted towards human rights defenders and journalists.” When we asked the new US Ambassador Lisa Kubiske if the embassy had complied with any of the asks of congress, she replied the letter pre-dates her and “there is a time to speak out and a time not to,” quotes Brian Stefan Szittai of the Cleveland based organization Inter-Religious Task Force on Central America.

The Observer Team’s preliminary findings show that the Honduras government is not completing its part of the Cartagena Accord, which includes: 1. Free return of all exiles to Honduras with out fear of prosecution. Four are already exiled again and one is under house arrest. 2. Investigations and prosecutions for political assassinations. There continues to be a 90% impunity rate and increase in politically motivated killings. 3. The allowance for the registration of the FNRP has a political force including the creation of a new political party. In the weeks leading up to the ratification of the FNRP’s new party, the FARP, there were 3 political assassinations of leaders of the FNPR leaving an unsafe environment for the political process to freely move forward. 4. Beginning the process for a new constituent assembly to re-write the constitution. This process has not been able to proceed and many claim was the trigger for the military coup that took place June 28, 2009. “It is clear the current Honduran government has not complied to the Cartagena Accord nor made a concerted effort to complete its commitment. Even more concerning is that there are reports of threats recently made by Honduran police against international human rights groups working in the Aguan Valley,” reports observer team member Corinthian Davis of the Chicago Religious Leadership Network.

Preliminary recommendations from the September Observer Team’s findings are 1. International Human Rights Organizations increase their attention on Honduras as the electoral process is pursued by the FARP and the land struggle continues in the Aguan Basin of Honduras. 2. That US congress and State Department take concrete and public action to condemn human right violations in Honduras and withhold military/police aid from Honduras while Honduran military and police agents continue to be complicit in forced disappearances, illegal raids, illegal detentions and human rights violations across the country.

CONTACTS:

Vicki Cervantes- Chicago
Phone: 312-259-5042 (english/spanish)
Email: vickicervantes@yahoo.com

Tanya Cole- Los Angeles
Phone: 805-421-9708 (english/spanish)
Email: wfpsw@witnessforpeace.org

Dale Sorensen- San Francisco
Phone: 415-669-7828 (English only)
Email: geodale1@earthlink.net

We will never forget October 2!

by on September 29, 2011

On the 43rd anniversary of the Tlatelolco massacre in Mexico, join Mexican, immigrant rights and progressive activists in demanding:

NO TO STATE SPONSORED VIOLENCE IN MEXICO!

SOLIDARITY WITH THE PEOPLE OF MEXICO!

JUSTICE FOR THE SME UNION & ALL ACTIVISTS

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2 12:00 NOON

IN FRONT OF THE MEXICAN CONSULATE

27 East. 39th St. – Between Park & Madison, Manhattan
Train F or M to 42nd St.

On October 2, 1968 hundreds of students, workers, campesinos and others were massacred in Mexico City. The innocent people who died at the hands of the Mexican military never received justice.

Today the violence continues as state sponsored violence fueled by the lucrative drug industry continues with impunity. Over 50,000 people have been killed in Mexico over the last few years. Progressive activists are targeted, arrested, beaten and killed. Fair elections are a dream. Union activists and leaders are targeted and repressed for defending workers rights. Despite having stolen the election and doing nothing to stop the violence, current Mexican President, Felipe Calderon receives the complete backing of the Obama administration, including millions of dollars used to repress the Mexican people.

Every year tens of thousands of Mexicans are forced to leave Mexico and travel to the U.S. to look for work. The U.S. government, despite passing laws like NAFTA which force migration, is carrying out a vicious racist anti-immigrant campaign.

Join us on Sunday, October 2 to say no to state sponsored violence in Mexico

DEMAND JUSTICE FOR ALL THE VICTIMS IN MEXICO

STOP THE DEPORTATIONS OF IMMIGRANT WORKERS

WE WILL NEVER FORGET OCTOBER 2!

Celebracion Del 24 Aniversio De La Pena Del Bronx

by on September 9, 2011

Sabado 17 de Septiembre

KEEP VICTOR TORO IN THE U.S.

by on August 22, 2011

Download and send these postcards to Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano.