January 11, 2013 marks the 11th anniversary of the arrival of the first transfers of detainees to the U.S. detention centre in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Protests are taking place in Washington, DC, at the headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), and throughout the world.
Latin America Solidarity Coalition Calls for Closing Guantánamo and Returning it to Cuba
The Latin America Solidarity Coalition (LASC) demands that occupied Guantánamo, including its prison torture center, be shut down. Guantánamo is occupied against the will of the Cuban people, is used as a military base against Cuba and other Caribbean countries. LASC calls for shutting down not just the Guantánamo prison camp, but also demands the shutting down of the entire illegal Guantánamo US military base, and its return to Cuba.
The Latin America Solidarity Coalition has endorsed the November Vigil to Close the SOA and Resist Militarization from November 18-20, 2011 at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia. We are calling on solidarity activists to converge at the gates of Fort Benning to speak out against oppressive U.S. foreign policy.
Click here for more information about the vigil, workshops, nonviolent direct action and more.
For over 200 years the United States, with its military, has been interfering in the internal affairs of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. We want that to end! So on Invasion Day (Columbus) Weekend we will hold a series of events and actions centering around the U.S Southern Command in Doral Florida, just to the west of Miami Florida.
We are inviting groups and organizations to co-sponsor and participate in this national event. This weekend of education, entertainment, and protest, with groups from all over the country, grew out of last April’s conference on Latin America that was held in Washington DC.
From SOA Watch
On Sunday, April 10, hundreds marched to the White House, where 27 human rights activists were arrested when they staged a die-in on the White House sidewalk to call attention to thousands of Latin Americans who were murdered by graduates of the U.S. Army School of the Americas. The march to close the SOA and to resist militarization included torture survivors, union workers, educators and students from across the Americas. Marchers carried banners, flags and large puppets, including a 14-foot tall Mother of the Disappeared with them to the White House. Check out the photos of the march to the White House and the Nonviolent Direct Action by Ted Majdosz and by Linda Panetta.
Call for an Organizers’ Strategy Conference on U.S. Militarization – Nov. 18, 2010, Columbus, Georgia
We have seen US policy tilt more and more toward military options in its relations with Latin America and the Caribbean and the world. Support for the Honduras coup, the military response to Haiti’s earthquake, seven new bases in Colombia and four in Panama, continued restoration of the mothballed Fourth Fleet, all provide support for statements heard at the SOA Watch vigil in November 2009 that “Obama’s policies are more dangerous for Latin America than were Bush’s.” At the same time, the US government continues to prefer military solutions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and continues to escalate tensions with Iran, Venezuela and other countries which assert independence from US hegemony.
In the United States we are witnessing the militarization of our borders and law enforcement in our cities — aimed at immigrants, Muslims, and, as always, African-descended people. Desperately needed social programs such as health care and education are being short-changed while the Pentagon budget continues to grow beyond any rational need for defense. Continue Reading »
Growing a Movement to Combat U.S. Militarism in Latin America
National Day of Action: October 11
1. Cancel the threatening and unnecessary U.S. military exercises in Costa Rica.
2. Close the School of Americas (now Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.)
3. End U.S. military presence on bases in Colombia, Honduras, Guantanamo, and elsewhere in hemisphere.
4. End the Merida Initiative and the increase militarization of the U.S. border with Mexico.
5. Support Rep. Barney Frank’s proposal to reduce the social debt by cutting the U.S. military budget immediately by 25%.
Latin America solidarity organizations across the country can get in on the action! Even if your committee has not begun planning a protest, there are a variety of creative actions that you can organize to raise awareness about these militarization throughout the Americas and beyond as well as increase solidarity with those directly affected by U.S. foreign policy. Your outreach can range from the general public, local coalition partners to Congressional allies. Here are some action and pressure ideas for your committee, with accompanying materials to jumpstart your community organizing.
Read the draft Call to Action below and sign on your organization below to become an initial sponsor of the Day of Action to Confront U.S. Militarism in the Americas on Monday, October 11, 2010. The call to action with the signatures of the initial sponsors will be released on August 1. Continue Reading »