April 10, 2013 Anti-Militarization Contingent at Immigration Reform Rally Print
Written by Arturo J. Viscarra   
Wednesday, 10 April 2013 08:31

SOA Watch and over 70 other organizations endorsed the following statement in April of 2013:

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On April 10th, 2013, activists and families from across the Americas will converge on Washington DC to collectively voice their support for Citizenship for All! Join us in the streets that day as we ally with our partners in the struggle for justice. We will join them in saying: "¡Es Tiempo!/It is time!" for citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants, and for an end to detention, deportation and the criminalization of migrants. In this powerful moment of voicing the strength of community to defend justice for all, it is critical to call out the U.S. policies and practices which are a driving force behind much of the migration from Latin America.

U.S. economic and military policies have created refugees by means of economic exploitation and the military interventions, coups d’état, and other forms of state-sponsored or condoned violence that preserve the unjust economic and social order in Latin America. Right now in Honduras, police, military, and paramilitary groups are terrorizing campesino villages[1], and as a recent AP report outlines[2], conducting “social cleansing”, which in turn creates displacement and forced migration. Notwithstanding these and other documented human rights abuses, as well as deep involvement in the drug trade[3], the U.S. continues to be the primary trainer and funder of the Honduran security forces. But this is hardly a new phenomenon. In the 1980s, during the civil wars in Central America, U.S.-backed military and paramilitary groups murdered hundreds of thousands and drove millions from their homes, causing many to flee to the United States. The large Salvadoran, Guatemalan, and Honduran communities of the Washington DC metro area are a permanent testament to this history of violence and forced migration.

The United States is currently spending $51 billion annually fighting the so-called Drug War which has not decreased the flow of narcotics across borders, but has left over 70,000 dead in the last 6 years in Mexico alone[4]. While U.S. military “allies” are forcing people to migrate, our government has increasingly militarized the laws, policies, and the police and other institutions within our borders, subjecting migrants to a new round of fear and criminalization. Domestically, the Drug War has fueled the mass incarceration of blacks and latinos. Militarizing the Drug War has created a humanitarian crisis within the Western Hemisphere, while having zero impact on rates of drug use in the U.S. It has been used as pretext to ignore due process and civil liberties, inflate the military budget, and justify the continuation of U.S. intervention throughout Latin America.

The notion of "Securing the Border" is synonymous with making the border more dangerous and deadly for all migrants and immigrants, with little or no impact on national security. This "security measure" is a threat to all of our communities, inside and outside of our geographic boundaries. It is another measure in place that reinforces the separation of our families and sister nations, while increasing the risks of violence, dehydration, and death to those we love. If the goal is actually to stop the drug cartels, then the executives at HSBC[5], Wells Fargo[6], Bank of America[7] and other drug money launderers are the ones that should be facing incarceration, not migrants.

Punitive immigration policies, mandatory detention, Operation Streamline, the increasing militarization of the border, for-profit immigration detention centers, the “War on Drugs”, and the training of repressive police and militaries at the School of the Americas (SOA/ WHINSEC), are all parts of the same racist system of violence and domination. A dismantling of these and other shameful policies that benefit the existing national and international system of exploitation as well as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the Geo Group, and other war and prison profiteers, is what is needed for there ever to be true “Comprehensive Immigration Reform”.

Immigrant and Latin@ voters played a decisive role in the last elections by lifting many members of the House and Senate to victory, and defeating anti-immigrant legislators. Let us stand in solidarity on the side of justice for all and be unafraid to point out the obvious connections between the U.S.’s military-driven foreign policy, forced migration, and the shameful treatment of immigrants in the U.S. These interlocking systems of oppression require a multi-faceted resistance to all forms of oppression: racist criminalization and fear-mongering, economic exploitation, and state-sponsored violence.

Initial Endorsers:

- NALACC - National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities

- No More Deaths / No Más Muertes

- La Coalición de Derechos Humanos

- La Voz de los de Abajo

- Alliance for Global Justice

- Alterna Community

- Casa Esperanza

- Families for Freedom

- Student-Farmworker Alliance

- National Lawyer's Guild

- School of the Americas Watch


[1] Rights Action, "Human Rights Violations Attributed to Military Forces in the Bajo Aguan Valley in Honduras" (Report published February 20, 2013): http://rightsaction.org/sites/default/files/Rpt_130220_Aguan_Final.pdf

[2] Associated Press, "US Aids Honduran Police Despite Death Squad Fears" (March 23, 2013): http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/03/23/world/americas/ap-lt-honduras-death-squads.html

[3] The Nation, "Honduras: Which Side is the U.S. On?" (June 11, 2012): http://www.thenation.com/article/167994/honduras-which-side-us#

[4] Truth-Out, "Fueled by War on Drugs, Mexican Death Toll Could Exceed 120,000 As Calderon Ends Six-Year Reign" (Novermber 28, 2012): http://truth-out.org/news/item/13001-calderon-reign-ends-with-six-year-mexican-death-toll-near-120000

[5] Rolling Stone, "Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War is a Joke" (December 13, 2012): http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/outrageous-hsbc-settlement-proves-the-drug-war-is-a-joke-20121213

[6] The Guardian, "How a big US bank laundered billions from Mexico's murderous drug gangs" (April 2, 2011): http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/03/us-bank-mexico-drug-gangs

[7] Bloomberg News, "FBI Says Cartel Used Bank of America to Launder Money" (July 9, 2012): http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-09/fbi-says-cartel-used-bank-of-america-to-launder-money.html

Additional Endorsers:

Number Date Name Organization Location
64 Fri Apr 12 10:32:20 EDT 2013 Thomas F Gogan Brookyn For Peace & USLAW Brooklyn, NY
63 Thu Apr 11 11:30:01 EDT 2013 Constance Kozel Sisters of Mercy Dallas, PA
62 Thu Apr 11 09:31:27 EDT 2013 Corey E. Olsen CEO Pipe Organs/Golden Ponds Farm Delafield, WI
61 Thu Apr 11 00:00:16 EDT 2013 Valerie White Corvallis Raging Grannies Corvallis, OR
60 Wed Apr 10 15:47:52 EDT 2013 Mary McMahon Grey Nun of the Sacred Heart Yardley, PA
59 Wed Apr 10 15:26:06 EDT 2013 Frances Frainaguirre NEA Denver, CO
58 Wed Apr 10 14:59:56 EDT 2013 Bonita Dillard St. Charles Deanery Social Justice Network (M0) St. Charles, MO
57 Wed Apr 10 14:47:26 EDT 2013 Linda Eastwood Colombia Accompaniment Program, Presbyterian Peace Fellowship Chicago, IL
56 Wed Apr 10 14:33:25 EDT 2013 Andrew Mills Witness for Peace Lower Gwynedd, PA
55 Wed Apr 10 13:36:31 EDT 2013 Wayne Alt WNY Peace Center Buffalo, NY
54 Wed Apr 10 13:21:12 EDT 2013 Diana Bohn Alameda Coiunty United to Defend Immigrant Rights Berkeley, CA
53 Wed Apr 10 12:29:17 EDT 2013 Kelly Epstein Pax Christi Houston Spring, TX
52 Wed Apr 10 12:18:41 EDT 2013 SisterAnne Michel Sister of St. Joseph Brentwood, NY
51 Wed Apr 10 12:04:50 EDT 2013 Sr. Jean Rupertus Sister of St. Francis of Philadelphia Glen Riddle, PA
50 Wed Apr 10 11:53:30 EDT 2013 Mary Harvey Sisters of Mercy Water Mill, NY
49 Wed Apr 10 05:29:09 EDT 2013 roxanne Monterastelli Loretto Community Cassper, WY
48 Wed Apr 10 02:51:13 EDT 2013 Francisco Cordero Gené Friends Peace Center San Jose, Costa rica San José Costa Rica, ot
47 Tue Apr 09 13:02:12 EDT 2013 Ousia Whitaker-DeVault Beloit Peace and Justice Beloit, WI
46 Mon Apr 08 22:04:41 EDT 2013 Pablo Ruiz SOA Watch Equipo Sur Santiago, ot
45 Mon Apr 08 16:11:11 EDT 2013 Judith LeBlanc Peace Action New York, NY
44 Mon Apr 08 11:42:31 EDT 2013 Yifat Susskind MADRE New York, NY
43 Sun Apr 07 17:23:07 EDT 2013 Bernie McAleer NYC SOA Watch New York, NY
42 Sat Apr 06 21:52:13 EDT 2013 Kay O'Neil Presentation Sisters Le Sueur, MN
41 Sat Apr 06 19:51:12 EDT 2013 Arthur Stevens CLUE Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA
Number Date Name Organization Location
39 Sat Apr 06 10:02:13 EDT 2013 Scott Woods Conflict Transformation Collective Loveland, CO
38 Sat Apr 06 01:24:25 EDT 2013 Yanira Arias Salvadoran American National Network CA
37 Fri Apr 05 23:07:30 EDT 2013 Ann Suellentrop Physicians for Social Responsibility-KC Kansas City, KS
36 Fri Apr 05 22:41:04 EDT 2013 USEU de California Unión Salvadoreñ@ de Estudiantes Universitarios (USEU) Californi CA
35 Fri Apr 05 22:14:42 EDT 2013 Ron Saeger Red River Veterans For Peace, Ch 154 Fargo, ND
34 Fri Apr 05 22:05:34 EDT 2013 Shannan Vance-Ocampo Presbyterian Peace Fellowship Guilderland, NY
33 Fri Apr 05 15:34:44 EDT 2013 Shona Clarkson St. Louis Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America st. louis, MO
32 Fri Apr 05 13:07:02 EDT 2013 Laetitia Bordes Society of Helpers - US Province San Bruno, CA
31 Fri Apr 05 11:36:53 EDT 2013 Andy Trares InterReligious Task Force on Central America and Colombia Cleveland, OH
30 Fri Apr 05 09:34:38 EDT 2013 Aida Bound The Hat Project Wenatchee, WA
29 Fri Apr 05 07:02:51 EDT 2013 Larry Johnson Veterans for Peace Chapter 27 Minneapolis, MN
28 Thu Apr 04 23:50:59 EDT 2013 Michael Eisenscher U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW) Oakland, CA
27 Thu Apr 04 21:02:04 EDT 2013 Charles Callman PCASC Portland, OR
26 Thu Apr 04 18:25:19 EDT 2013 Mike Woloshin Veterans for Peace Chapter 26 Tower Lakes, IL
25 Thu Apr 04 18:16:48 EDT 2013 Randy Shannon Progressive Democrats of America New Brighton, PA
24 Thu Apr 04 18:13:30 EDT 2013 Lorraine Krofchok Grandmothers for Peace International Elk Grove, CA
23 Thu Apr 04 17:38:03 EDT 2013 Linda Elbow Bread & Puppet Theater West Glover, VT, VT
22 Thu Apr 04 17:30:54 EDT 2013 Dan Rutt TopPun.com - Maximizing Prophets Toledo, OH
21 Thu Apr 04 16:12:39 EDT 2013 Judith Liteky SOAW West San Francisco, CA
20 Thu Apr 04 15:43:15 EDT 2013 Jack Cohen-Joppa The Nuclear Resister Tucson, AZ
19 Thu Apr 04 15:17:00 EDT 2013 Favianna Rodriguez CultureStrike CA
18 Thu Apr 04 14:59:16 EDT 2013 Dominique Diaddigo-Cash CEPRHI Indianapolis, IN
17 Thu Apr 04 14:37:17 EDT 2013 Sandra Sunshine Williams SOA Watch-LA pacific palisades, CA
16 Thu Apr 04 14:28:49 EDT 2013 Scott Wright TASSC International Washington, DC
15 Thu Apr 04 14:23:34 EDT 2013 Kaeley Pruitt-Hamm Seattle CISPES (Committee In Solidarity with the People of El Sa Seattle, WA

Number Date Name Organization Location
14 Thu Apr 04 14:17:00 EDT 2013 ed kinane central new york soa abolitionists syracuse, NY
13 Thu Apr 04 14:15:29 EDT 2013 Roberta Stewart Fellowship of Reconciliation Washington, DC
12 Thu Apr 04 14:05:33 EDT 2013 Janice Sevre-Duszynska Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests Nicholasville, KY
11 Thu Apr 04 14:01:57 EDT 2013 Joey King Veterans for Peace La Vergne, TN
10 Thu Apr 04 13:25:22 EDT 2013 Lyle P Veterans for Peace 099 Mars Hill, NC
9 Thu Apr 04 13:22:03 EDT 2013 paki wieland Western Mass American Friends Service Committee, and Northampto Northampton, MA
8 Thu Apr 04 13:12:15 EDT 2013 Kathryn Johnson Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA Washington, WA
7 Thu Apr 04 13:01:30 EDT 2013 Barbara Larcom Casa Baltimore/Limay Baltimore, MD
6 Thu Apr 04 12:58:25 EDT 2013 Sonia Silbert Washington Peace Center Washington, DC
5 Thu Apr 04 12:23:46 EDT 2013 Sidney Gluck Sholom Aleichem Memorial Foundation New York, NY
4 Thu Apr 04 11:05:00 EDT 2013 Theresa Cameranesi SOAW West SAn Francisco, CA
3 Wed Apr 03 21:26:04 EDT 2013 Mark C. Johnson Fellowship of Reconciliation Nyack, NY
2 Wed Apr 03 18:45:38 EDT 2013 Gerald Lenoir Black Alliance for Just Immigration Oakland, CA
1 Wed Apr 03 16:41:21 EDT 2013 Jane Kirk SOAW Erie PA Erie, PA
Last Updated on Monday, 15 September 2014 22:20