Archive for category Announcements

Victory for El Salvador in mining dispute! Great time to continue supporting Seattle CISPES

Seattle CISPES is excited to share the news of an important victory in one of the campaigns that we’ve been involved with for many years — supporting anti-mining activists in El Salvador and fighting back against an unjust lawsuit. We’re using this occasion to ask for your support and we also want to give you an update about our current work.

Here’s what our former coordinator Cameron Herrington had to say about this week’s victory:

Seven years ago, when I worked for Seattle CISPES, we fought against a Canadian gold mining company called Pacific Rim that wanted to open a mine in El Salvador. Pacific Rim sued the government of El Salvador for $250 million under the rules of the Central American Free Trade Agreement after El Salvador denied the company a mining permit based on environmental and public health concerns.

This week, after seven years of opaque legal process in a secretive World Bank tribunal, the lawsuit was unanimously thrown out. Today I’m thinking of the heroic Salvadoran environmental justice activists who were murdered as a result of their outspoken opposition to gold mining: Juan Francisco Duran Ayala, Gustavo Marcelo Rivera Moreno, Ramiro Rivera Gomez, Dora Alicia Recinos Sorto. I’m also thinking of all my friends and compañer@s at CISPES — in Seattle and around the country — who worked to support the Salvadoran people’s struggle for sovereignty and a healthy environment.

Here’s a 2010 video from when Seattle CISPES activists went to protest outside of Pacific Rim’s headquarters in Vancouver, BC. At the time we were also working to support trade reform legislation that would have prevented foreign companies like Pacific Rim from suing governments that sought to protect their people from environmental and health disasters.

As we enter our 36th year as an organization, Seattle CISPES is now all volunteer-run but still going strong. In June we hosted a successful tour visit from Moisés Gómez, a leader of the Jesuit Migration Network El Salvador, and met with a number of our elected officials, including Congressman Adam Smith. Over the summer, five Seattle CISPES activists went to El Salvador to learn about the migrant crisis in Central America, and upon return they coordinated several events to raise awareness about border militarization. Most recently we sent two members to the border in Arizona to participate in a national mobilization. We’re also excited to continue working with and supporting local partners like the NW Detention Center Resistance as well as sponsoring events for the upcoming Caravan Against Repression in Mexico.

In order for Seattle CISPES to keep up the fight we need you to support this amazing solidarity work.  Click on the donate button below:

or send a check to the address listed on our website.

We are also looking for new members and volunteers so feel free to reach out at


— The Seattle CISPES core team (Burke, Eddie, Helena, Jenny, Jed and Leigh)

PS: As a special treat here’s a picture of the spoof labels Seattle CISPES created for a number of anti-Pacific Rim actions we organized:



No Comments

Dangerous Journeys: How US-Sponsored Border Militarization in Meso-America is Fueling a Human Rights Crisis


June 2, 2016 – 7 pm EST

Casa Latina

For decades, the United States government has imposed economic and military policies in México and Central America that have resulted in mass displacement and family separation. Rather than change its policy, the US has a dangerous new plan: to stop migrants and asylum seekers from leaving their countries of origin, no matter the cost.

Join Seattle CISPES for a discussion on the root causes of forced migration and the impact of US-sponsored border militarization on the region. We will be joined by:

*Moisés Gómez, professor and researcher at the Central American University (UCA) and part of the Jesuit Migration Network El Salvador
*Maru Mora with NWDC Resistance/Resistencia al NWDC
*Wendy Pantoja with NWDC Resistance/Resistencia al NWDC

Come learn how Salvadoran and local groups are resisting detention, deportation, and militarization; and join the fight for the lives and rights of migrants!

No Comments

Seattle CISPES statement: Stop the Youth Jail

(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

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 2.46.21 PMThe 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!

No Comments

Feb. 2nd- 4th: Seattle CISPES Hosts Salvadoran Union Leader for Labor Solidarity Speaking Tour!

AlexSign this online petition today to denounce the US strong-arm tactics to force the P3 or Public-Private Partnership Law in El Salvador, a law that would open the working and poor majority up for exploitation for the corporate elite’s gain! Our goal is to collect 500 signatures by Feb 11, when Salvadoran labor leader Jaime Rivera and CISPES will deliver the petition to the State Department at the close of the tour.

Seattle CISPES is honored to host Alexander Gómez, Treasurer of El Salvador’s Federation of Public Service Workers (FESTRASPES), for the following events: (En español abajo)

Saturday, Feb. 2 @ approx. 6pm — Gómez arrives at SeaTac Airport and brings messages of solidarity to SeaTac airport workers from their counterparts in El Salvador who are facing similar issues. This is not a demonstration.

Sunday, Feb. 3 @ 7 p.m. — Salvadoran Committee Party @ Tropicos Breeze (Spanish-speaking event)

Monday, February 4th

    • 11:30-12:30: Labor Leaders’ Lunch: Seattle Labor Temple, Hall 8 – 2800 1st Ave. Union members, labor organization members, and trade activists are invited to discuss strategies for cross-border solidarity in the struggle against privatization while public sectors and unions are attacked in the U.S. and El Salvador.


    • 1:30-3:00: Speak-Out Against the Public-Private Partnership: Seattle World Trade Center, 2200 Alaska Way. Union members and members of the public are invited to speak out in solidarity with Salvadoran workers.

labor tour fist

  • 6:00-8:00: Public Presentation at Seattle University: Seattle U. Student Center, Fr. LeRoux Conference Center (Rm. 160). Alexander Gómez speaks about the Public-Private Partnership and other attacks on unions in El Salvador. Open to the public. For more information, e-mail, or call 206-325-5494.

Salvadoran unions have put out a call for cross-border solidarity in their struggle against a Public Private Partnership (PPP) law that threatens to give corporations even more free reign through the privatization of public sectors such as higher education, sea and air ports, water, and electricity in El Salvador. Seattle CISPES (the Committee In Solidarity with the People of El Salvador) is hosting a speaker, Salvadoran union member and treasurer of the Federation of Public Service Workers Alex Gomez Rodriguez, to highlight issues Salvadoran workers face as well as provide support to parallel struggles in the Pacific Northwest. Gomez will be in the Seattle area from February 2nd through the 4th and will continue on his tour down the west coast to Los Angeles.

Salvadorans have a history of successes in defeating privatization (in 2002, a 9-month strike fended off privatization of healthcare in El Salvador), but when privatization laws have won, it has been devastating. In 2001, privatization at the Acajutla port saw nearly 1,000 workers laid off, the union dissolved, and longshoremen’s daily wages were cut by more than 90%. Workers in the Pacific Northwest have seen the common thread of corporate greed cutting corners at the expense of the working and poor majority across the globe; the International Longshore and Warehouse Workers’ Union Local 19 decided that “an injury to one is an injury to all” when it voted to sponsor a Labor Leader’s Lunch on February 4th at the Labor Temple. Sea Tac airport workers will be acknowledged in a meeting by Gomez, who will bring messages of solidarity from airport workers facing similar issues in El Salvador. Labor allies in El Salvador have also requested that U.S. union members visit El Salvador for a week to be in solidarity with and learn from their struggle as well as to share lessons from the work of U.S. unions fighting against similar issues. To learn more about how to be involved in the speaking tour or the May Day delegation, call Kaeley at (509) 680-4212 or email

Itinerario aproximado:
Sábado 2 de febrero: Gómez llega al aeropuerto de Sea-Tac y dará una declaración en solidaridad con los trabajadores del aeropuerto de SeaTac

Domingo, 3 de febrero: 7:00 Fiesta del comité salvadoreño @ Tropicos Breeze 9710 Aurora Ave N – llame a Kaeley al (509) 680-4212

Lunes, 4 de febrero:
11-1 Un almuerzo con líderes sindicales @ the Labor Temple, Hall 8 – Estamos organizando una discusión con los líderes laborales del Noroeste Pacífico. Los miembros de los sindicatos, consejos de trabajadores, y las organizaciones sindicales están invitados a unirse a esta reunión con nuestro invitado de El Salvador y discutir las lecciones globales para la solidaridad laboral, ¿cómo podemos luchar contra la ley de privatización que amenaza a los trabajadores en El Salvador, y la próxima delegación sindical a El Salvador por el Primero de Mayo. Un evento colaborado, organizado y patrocinado por ILWU Local 19, organizada también por SEIU Local 6.

1:30-3 Una reunión frente de las oficinas del World Trade Center y el Puerto sobre la presión por EE.UU para la Asociación Público-Privada (PPP) – Todo el mundo está invitado a participar en un simbólico evento después del almuerzo; estamos planeando ir andando a las oficinas de World Trade Center acerca del puerto, después de lo cual se llevará a cabo una conferencia de prensa para crear conciencia sobre el PPP con representantes de diferentes organizaciones sindicales que haciendo declaraciones en la solidaridad y la presentación de la resolución firmada al Gomez.

6-8 Universidad de Seattle: presentación al público – STCN Student Center 160 – Fr. LeRoux Conference Center, este evento está abierto al público con una sesión de preguntas y discusión.

Los sindicatos salvadoreños han llamado para una solidaridad transfronteriza en la lucha contra la ley de Asocio Público-Privada (APP) que amenaza a dar a las corporaciones aún más vía libre a través de la privatización de sectores públicos como la educación superior, puertos marítimos y aéreos, el agua, y la electricidad en El Salvador. Seattle CISPES (el Comité en Solidaridad con el Pueblo de El Salvador) está organizando eventos con el sindicalista salvadoreño Alex Gómez, para resaltar los problemas que se enfrentan los trabajadores salvadoreños y también para proporcionar apoyo a las luchas paralelas en el Noroeste Pacífico. Rodríguez estará en el área de Seattle desde el 2 de febrero al 4 y continuará su gira por la costa oeste hasta Los Ángeles.

Los salvadoreños tienen una historia de éxitos en luchar contra la privatización (en 2002, una huelga de nueve meses se defendió de la privatización de la salud en El Salvador), pero cuando las leyes de privatización han ganado, los resultados han sido devastador. En 2001, la privatización del puerto de Acajutla causó el desempleo de 1.000 trabajadores, la disolución de la unión, y los salarios se redujeron más que 90%. Los trabajadores en el Noroeste Pacífico han visto que la avaricia corporativa hace daño a las mayorías pobres la clase trabajador en todo el mundo; la Unión Internacional de Estibadores y Trabajadores de Almacén (International Longshore and Warehouse Workers’ Union) “Local 19” decidió que “un ataque contra uno es un ataque contra todos” cuando ellos votaron para patrocinar un almuerzo de líderes sindicales el 4 de febrero en el Templo del Trabajo. Los trabajadores del aeropuerto de SeaTac serán reconocidos en una reunión con Gómez, que traerá mensajes de solidaridad de los trabajadores del aeropuerto que enfrentan problemas similares en El Salvador. Los aliados sindicales en El Salvador también han solicitado que miembros de los sindicatos en los Estados Unidos visita El Salvador por una semana para estar en solidaridad con y aprender de sus luchas, así como para compartir las lecciones de la labor de los sindicatos estadounidenses que luchan contra problemas similares. Para obtener más información acerca de cómo participar en la gira o la delegación del Primero de Mayo, llame a Kaeley al (509) 680-4212 o envié un email a Una lista de eventos en Seattle están abajo.


No Comments