(Please join us at the one-day encampment against the new youth jail in Seattle — Sunday March 6, @ 12thand Alder, in front of the current King County Juvenile Detention center, the site of the proposed new youth jail and courts.)
Seattle CISPES statement: Stop the Youth Jail – March, 2016
The Seattle Chapter of CISPES (the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador), strongly supports the grassroots effort to stop a new youth jail in Seattle. Since 1980, CISPES has fought back against harmful United States interventions in El Salvador. Our opposition to the youth jail is rooted in CISPES’ history of opposition to U.S. militarization and state-sanctioned violence.
The Reagan Administration fueled militarization abroad in places like El Salvador, as well as at home through the rapid expansion of the prison industrial complex. Both of these efforts were done in the name of security and economic prosperity, creating a cultural narrative of fear, repression, and criminalization.
In the latest iteration, last December Congress appropriated funds to double military aid to Central America, promising to address the root causes of youth migration, such as gang violence. In the midst of chaos, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani recently paid a visit to San Salvador to pedal his zero tolerance policing strategies, which made him notorious for repressive policing against communities of color in New York City. In this current moment, we are bearing witness to the architects of the U.S. criminal punishment system exporting their practices to other parts of the world, in El Salvador they refer to this as “mano dura” initiative (iron fist) — where youth in particular are viciously targeted.
Seattle CISPES extends our solidarity to all fighting for decriminalization, decarceration, and demilitarization. Toward a world without prisons or borders!
2015 is a landmark year for the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador. We’re celebrating 35 years of anti-imperialist resistance!
At this inspiring moment of leftist leadership in El Salvador, come and learn about the progressive changes underway in recent years – from the expansion of community health services, to the strides towards food sovereignty under the Family Agriculture Plan.
Enjoy a typical Salvadoran dinner, raffle, and dancing! And meet the generations of CISPES supporters who have accompanied the ongoing struggle for social and economic justice in the Americas.
Please register to reserve your spot and purchase your ticket in advance!
Tickets can also be purchased at the door but advance tickets are strongly encouraged.
¡En el 2015 se celebran 35 años de solidaridad con el pueblo de El Salvador!
Esto requiere la fiesta más grande en muchos años – ¡y se le invita a usted a estar presente!
Estaremos reflexionando sobre estos últimos 35 años de lucha revolucionaria popular, tanto en El Salvador como en los Estados Unidos, y esperamos que usted comparta sus historias con nosotros. Si ha sido activo desde el 1980, si recién se ha involucrado con CISPES, o sea cual sea el tiempo de su asociación, ¡necesitamos de usted para hacer de esta celebración la más fabulosa jamás!
Celebración del aniversario de 35 años de CISPES
Fecha: Thursday, December 17 at 6:00 pm
Lugar: Southside Commons, 3518 S Edmunds St, Seattle, WA (Columbia City)
Favor de confirmar asistencia!*
*Será también posible comprar los boletos en la entrada, pero es recomendable comprarlos por adelantado
Nuestro trabajo de solidaridad popular sigue avanzando gracias a personas como usted. Es por eso que esperamos que usted pueda acompañarnos el 5 de diciembre para celebrar todo lo que hemos logrado en la lucha por la justicia, conectarse con amigos viejos y nuevos, y tomar impulso.
¡Que haya 35 años más de acompañamiento a la lucha revolucionaria por la justicia y la autodeterminación en El Salvador!
¡Que viva la solidaridad internacional! ¡Que viva CISPES!
P.D. Estamos contactando a todos los que han ayudado a CISPES y a nuestros compañeros en el movimiento social salvadoreño a través del año – ¡esperamos que nos ayuden a correr la voz entre amigos y aliados del movimiento de solidaridad con América Central y a los que puedan haberse perdido de vista!
Summer Book Group – Undoing Border Imperialism & Drug War Capitalism
July 20th and August 24th
Join us for one or both sessions — Register by filling out this survey.
Hosted by: Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES)
We will be having a summer study group, where we will be reading excerpts from Drug War Capitalism (Dawn Paley) and Undoing Border Imperialism (Harsha Walia). We study together to deepen analysis, build relationships, and support each other in our development as organizers. This will be a fun, social, and (hopefully) outdoor summer activity. And it is open to all.
Further Info: email@example.com
Building Power & Solidarity
A Training Series With Seattle CISPES
Join the Seattle chapter of Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) for a training series to build our organizing skills, political analysis, and community. This is an exciting opportunity to re-engage for long-time members and we also welcome new folks who are interested in getting involved for the first time.
Please fill out this mini-survey to save your spot in class. As all are welcome, we strongly encourage Salvadoran-Americans to apply.
Dates: We will be convening once a week for four weeks. There will be a potluck each session to keep us well nourished, community building to keep us smiling, and inspiring discussion to keep us fighting for a new world. The dates include…
- October 12th (Sunday) — 5-8pm
- October 19th (Sunday) — 5-8pm
- October 26th (Sunday) — 5-8pm
- November 2nd (Sunday) — 5-8pm
Political Analysis: Participants will have an opportunity to deepen political analysis, including…
- CISPES 101 – We will learn about the powerful history of CISPES’s approach to solidarity.
- History of Movement in El Salvador – We will learn about the emergence of the FMLN and the grassroots movement that is fighting U.S. domination and building a new world.
- Immigrant Justice – Identifying the root causes of migration and discussing the transformative approaches to fighting for immigrant justice in the United States.
- Solidarity & Oppression – Participants will discuss how fighting oppression (eg: racism, sexism, ableism, transphobia) is intimately connected to powerful solidarity work.
- Elevator Speech – Participants will have an opportunity to craft and practice their CISPES elevator speech that is rooted in your experience and values.
- Making Asks – Participants will have numerous opportunities to make direct asks — for fundraising, recruitment, task delegation, and outreach.
- Planning Meetings – Participants will learn about the nuts-and-bolts of planning an effective meeting.
- Social Justice Research – Participants will engage in mini research project on immigrant justice and get to connect with movement leaders.
- Popular Education – Throughout the experience, participants will learn about building learner-centered education rooted in our social justice values.
Commitments: We are asking participants to make the following commitments…
- Attendance — We are requesting that each participant make a commitment to attend each session, we are able to work with you if this is not possible.
- Event Planning — Participants will play an active role in organizing a CISPES public event in mid-November. This will be a hybrid graduation celebration, fundraiser, and speaking tour talk (CISPES is hosting an outside guest from El Salvador).
- Membership — We are seeking to build the chapter and hoping that individuals will be involved in 2015 as a CISPES member, involvement as a member is flexible.
On Friday afternoon, as President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden met at the White House with the presidents of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador to discuss the increasing numbers of Central American children crossing the border into the United States, activists gathered outside to call on the US government to take responsibility for its role in causing this crisis, to respect the children’s legal and human rights and prioritize family reunification in the United States.
Activists from Washington DC-based immigrant service groups, Central American policy and human rights organizations, and religious groups chanted “When migrant children are under attack, what do you do? Stand up, fight back!” and held signs that read “Protect refugees of failed US policies” and “CAFTA + CARSI = Forced Migration,” in reference to the US-Central American Free Trade Agreement and the US-funded Central American Regional Security Initiative.
This year alone 57,000 unaccompanied migrant children have been detained at the US-Mexico border, with about 75% of them coming from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Most of them are fleeing situations of extreme violence and trying to reunite with a parent who came to the US in the past decade due to a lack of economic opportunities at home.
Speakers at the protest highlighted how US-pushed economic policies like privatizations and free trade destroyed local Central American economies, forcing many of the children’s parents to migrate and fostering conditions for street gangs to take root in impoverished communities. Arturo Viscarra from School of the Americas Watch explained how militarized security policies that are part of the US-sponsored War on Drugs have only made narco-violence worse and empowered human rights abusing military and security forces in Guatemala and Honduras. He also denounced the role of the Obama administration in legitimizing the 2009 coup d’états in Honduras that has ushered in an era of violent repression against community activists and journalists, giving Honduras the highest murder rate in the world.
Jacob Blickenov of the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) called on the Obama administration and the US Congress to “recognize that immigrants, especially the children making the dangerous journey, are refugees of failed US policies,” and lamented the fact that the Obama administration has tried to undermine the poverty eradication programs of the Salvador Sánchez Cerén administration in El Salvador in order to promote corporate interests.
In his meeting with the Central American presidents, Obama affirmed that most of the children will be deported and proposed a program that would allow Honduran children to apply for refugee status in their home countries before making the perilous migrant journey. Officials say approximately 1,000-2,000 children might be eligible for refugee status under this program, a very small percentage of the tens of thousands that are fleeing their homes, meaning the program would unlikely curb the massive flow of migrant children.
Legislative proposals to address the crisis focus on more funding for border enforcement and regional militarized security programs as well as plans to fast track the children’s deportations. Those present at the demonstration were encouraged to call the White House and their elected representatives in Congress to tell them not to reverse the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 which guarantees all detained immigrant children the right to a trial with legal representation, as proposed, and to fund health and human services initiatives in Central America, rather than border and regional militarization efforts.
The action was sponsored by CISPES, School of the Americas Watch, the Washington Peace Center, the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission and the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN). Click here to download a statement from CISPES, School of the Americas Watch and the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission on the migrant children crisis.