On Saturday, April 14, SOA Watch hosted a one-day conference entitled "International (In)Security", to debunk the lies behind the War on Drugs, the War on Terror and the War on Immigrants, and deepen our understanding of U.S. militarization. We thank all the speakers, interpreters, volunteers and conference organizers who made this event possible. Video greetings from Cartagena and the People's Summit of the Americas kicked off the conference and set the tone for a day of solidarity and power-building.
(leer en español)
The conference took place from 9am-5pm at the Metropolitan Community Church of DC, located at 474 Ridge St, NW.
9-9:30am - Registration
9:30-10:30am - Opening Session. Welcome by Fr. Roy Bourgeois.
10:45-12:45pm - Breakout Sessions
a. The War on Drugs. Currently the War on Drugs is the primary justification for the expansion of US military and police installations, personnel, training and aid in the Americas. Following the US blueprint established by the complete failures of Plan Colombia and Plan Mexico, the US is continuing to expand its War on Drugs agenda into Central America, which has recently seen a dramatic re-militarization of domestic police forces. Speakers: Lisa Fuller from CISPES, Annie Bird
b. The War on Terror. The US has persistently justified the use and abetting of military force against vulnerable peoples by creating, disseminating and perpetuating lies about “terrorism.” In reality, the violence and terror resulting from these actions are perpetuated in order to preserve the exploitative grip the US has on other sovereign states as well as the global economy. Speakers: Sahar Shafqat, Adrienne Pine, Nicole Sault (moderator)
c. The War on Immigrants. US economic and security policies continue to push people from their home countries into the US, where undocumented immigrants compose an extremely vulnerable sector of the US workforce. Speakers: Emily Tucker, Kathryn Johnson, Alicia Brizuela, Patricia Montes, Luís Judiz, Marysol Gallego, Arturo Viscarra (moderator)
d. Militarization. Since Eisenhower’s warning nearly 50 years ago about the dangers of the Military Industrial Complex, the threats and dangers of the militarization of our life still exist, from US bases in Latin America and military training, to the militarization of police and mass incarceration. Speakers: Sebastian Patiño, Adwoa Masozi, Gabriela Uassouf, Eugene Puryear
12:45-1:45pm - Lunch
1:45-3:15pm - Breakout Sessions. Skills building workshops!
3:30-5pm - Closing Plenary: Resistance, Alternatives and Anti-Capitalism
Speakers: Luis Barrios, Lupita Aguila, Claudia Erazo, Alex Main (moderator)
Please check here for an update of speakers and presenters.
Statement of Principles (developed by the Conference Working Group)
- Develop the analytical tools of the movements fighting US militarism in the hemisphere by fostering dialogue and presenting sophisticated analysis on today’s principle justifications for US militarism: the War on Drugs, War on Immigrants & War on Terror.
- Develop concrete skills in activists engaged in battles against US militarism.
- Create a space for organizations and individuals to connect and build alliances in order to strengthen the local, national and international struggles against US militarism.
- Organize a dynamic conference that spotlights the women, people with disabilities, people of color, queer and transgendered leaders of the movements against militarism.
- Make the conference a multi-lingual organizing space.