Oakland, CA: Send Off to Mexico Peace Caravan
Mexico’s Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity Calls on Us to End the Drug War!
The so-called “War on Drugs” (which is actually a war on people) is fracturing families, stigmatizing people, and fueling violence. It has failed to reduce drug abuse or drug-related crime and has instead fueled explosive growth in the prison-industrial complex.
This summer, the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD) will launch a Peace Caravan from San Diego to Washington, D.C. in an effort to tell the stories of the thousands of people who have been killed, disappeared, tortured or displaced as a result of the US drug war in Mexico and failed US policies towards Latin America. The caravan will begin August 12 in San Diego and end September 10 in Washington, D.C.
About the MPJD, Mexican poet Javier Sicilia writes: “We are a movement that emerged last year in response to widespread violence in Mexico stemming from the policies of the war against drugs and drug cartels. The 60,000 deaths, the 10,000 disappearances, and the 160,000 internally displaced people during the past six years are tragedies caused directly by failed security policies.” Sicilia’s own son, Juan Francisco, was murdered along with 6 other youths last year in Morelos.
The goal of the Peace Caravan is to promote dialogue with American civil society and its government regarding the followings themes:
- the need to stop gun trafficking
- the need to debate alternatives to drug prohibition
- the need for better tools to combat money laundering
- the need to promote bilateral cooperation in human rights and human security in two priority areas: promotion of civil society and safety, as well as protection and safety of migrants.
In a February 2012 delegation to the US/Mexico border, activists discovered that School of the Americas graduates are deeply involved in the “War on Drugs.” US policies of militarization in Mexico and the rest of Latin America have only led to more death, suffering, torture and displacement. Many of our sisters and brothers who flee the violence in their homes are forced into low-paying jobs in the U.S. and are attacked by unfair immigration policies. The Peace Caravan seeks to bring together those on both sides of the border affected by the war on drugs.
How you can support the Caravan:
- FOR and SOAW-East Bay are encouraging activists to join us and caravan to the border to greet and support those Mexican activists crossing to the United States to go on the tour. We leave Oakland Saturday, August 11th and travel to San Diego. On Monday we will accompany the Caravaners to Los Angeles before returning to the Bay Area. For details on joining the caravan contact: Bob Nixon at (510) 917-3235 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- A send-off celebration for the East Bay caravaners will be held on Friday, August 10, 6:00 pm at the Fruitvale Village Avenida in Oakland. Join us!
- Attend the People’s Movement Assembly, on Public Safety & Policing, Sunday, August 12, 11 am – 5 pm. This PMA will revolve around the questions of what police are protecting and who they are serving, and is a follow-up to the June PMA about ending the “War on Drugs.” Come and speak out against this racist policy and speak up for our community!
- Write, phone or e-mail your friends and anti-militarization activists if they live in the cities along the route. Urge them to join the caravan, provide food, lodging, and connection with local struggles for the caravaneros.
Cities being visited on the Caravan route are: San Diego, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Tucson, Las Cruces, Santa Fe, El Paso, Laredo, Brownsville, San Antonio, Austin, Houston, New Orleans, Jackson, Montgomery, Atlanta, Louisville, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.