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Home News Organizing Updates From the School of the Americas to the Border - Join us at the U.S./Mexico Border this October 2016!
From the School of the Americas to the Border - Join us at the U.S./Mexico Border this October 2016! PDF Print E-mail

We are still feeling the energy and power from the thousands who attended the 25th anniversary Vigil at the gates of Ft. Benning last November! During the weekend, SOA Watch Field Organizer María Luisa Rosal and movement Founder, Father Roy Bourgeois made an important announcement about SOA Watch's decision to move the popular mobilization to the U.S./Mexico border in the Fall of 2016.

This October 7-10, join us in Nogales, Arizona for our first bi-national convergence at the U.S./Mexico border to demand a fundamental shift in U.S. foreign policy.

At a time when refugees who are fleeing U.S.-sponsored violence are being branded as criminals, rapists and terrorists, and as anti-immigrant rhetoric continues to poison the public discourse in this election year, it is important for people of conscience to take a stand and to offer a different narrative.

As politicians build walls, we must build bridges.

We need to build grassroots power to challenge the racist status quo and we need to take action. Immigration has been the biggest issue so far in the 2016 presidential election campaign, yet every major candidate has remained silent about the connections between militarized U.S. foreign policy and the reasons why people flee here for their lives.

Instead of welcoming refugees as required under international humanitarian standards, they are treated as criminals and imprisoned for profit in the U.S. Moreover, the U.S. "solution" to the so-called child migrant crisis has been to further militarize the borders of Mexico and Central America. Mexico now deports more Central Americans than the U.S. does - with our tax dollars. Enough is enough! We must answer the call to solidarity, speak truth to power, and demand an end to the current manifestations of U.S. violence in Latin America and beyond!

Beginning in the Spring of 2015, we began a discussion focused on moving the annual vigil to the U.S./Mexico border in order to expand our focus and shine a light on the many human rights violations caused by destructive U.S. foreign policy that the SOA represents. In the months that followed, we began an engaging and intentional series of conversations within our movement, as well as with partner organizations. In the month prior to last year's vigil, we embarked on a listening tour to consult with communities and organizers on the front lines of resistance along the U.S./Mexico border and were able to come to a consensus - SOA Watch needs to move to the border!

The SOA Watch movement began as a response to what was happening in El Salvador in the 1980's when many people joined the solidarity movement. The patterns of violence and forced migration established during the dirty wars of the 20th century have continued unabated as a direct result of U.S. economic and security policies in Mesoamerica as well as the U.S.-led Drug War. How do we respond to this current reality in the same way we responded to the violence in the 1980's? Where should our energies lie?

This year's vigil in Nogales is a response to the present-day call to solidarity.

The border mobilization in Nogales is one more way to fight for the closure of the School of the Americas, and to work towards a world that is free of suffering and violence. We cannot forget that many of our immigrant brothers and sisters are survivors of U.S.-sponsored atrocities in Latin America. In calling attention to the militarization of the border, we continue to demand an end to state-sponsored terrorism and violence against our communities on both sides of the border.

Join us! Organize your community to join human rights activists, torture survivors, union workers, veterans, community organizers, migrants, faith communities, students and educators from across the Americas.

It's never too soon to begin making travel plans! For questions about mobilizing yourself and others please contact us at 202-234-3440.

 

Contact us

SOA Watch
5525 Illinois Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20011

phone: 202-234-3440
email: info@soaw.org