|The Coalition of Immokalee Workers and SOA Watch|
Following the November Vigil to Close the SOA, our friends in Immokalee, Florida are going to organize a major mobilization to take place in Miami at the Burger King headquarters on Friday, November 30. They are mobilizing folks from across the state of Florida, the southeast US, and the rest of the country to take a stand for fair wages and working conditions, fundamental human rights and an end to modern-day slavery in the agricultural industry. Click here for more information.
Check out a short film of CIW at the November 2006 Vigil to Close the SOA (click on image at right).
SOA Wach supports the efforts of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and we are grateful for their invitation to accompany them in this struggle, which is a struggle not just for better wages for the people of Immokalee but for a better world for all of us. We will follow CIW's lead in the effort to bring Burger King on board to help end human rights abuses in its supply chain.
We understand that many immigrants to the United States are victims of U.S.-sponsored military training and atrocities in Latin America. In our fight to close the SOA, we continue to work towards a world that is free of suffering and violence. We recognize the SOA as being a part of the same racist system of violence and domination. We ally ourselves with the victims of military violence and their families in our effort to create a better world.
Many immigrants that come to the United States from Latin America and work in the tomato fields in Florida are victims of SOA graduates who carry out violence against civilian populations in their own countries. Right now in Colombia, paramilitary groups are terrorizing villages, which causes internal displacement and migration. But this is hardly a new phenomenon. In the 1980s, during the civil wars in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, military and paramilitary groups uprooted people from their homes, and many fled to the United States.
SOA Watch and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers have worked together for several years. SOA Watch activists have joined the CIW for demonstrations at the headquarters of Taco Bell's parent company in Louisville, Kentucky and in Chicago last April, and CIW members traveled to Georgia to participate in the growing November actions to close the School of the Americas at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia. CIW has figured prominently in the annual November protests. In 2004, the story of exploitation in Florida's tomato fields served as the central theme of a spectacular, 500-person street theater that was preformed in front of 16,000 people. In 2007, after the McDonald's campaign resulted in the historic agreement between CIW and McDonald's. CIW members will once again be featured on the stage at the gates of Fort Benning to addressed the links between militarism and the modern agricultural industry.
Justice will prevail. Just as it is only a matter of time until the School of the Americas will be shut down, there's also no doubt that fundamental rights to a decent wage and fair working conditions in the tomato fields of Florida will be won.
Visit also: Student/Farmworker Alliance
and Coalition of Immokalee Workers
733 Euclid Street NW
Washington, DC 20001