IFCLA took a bus load of 45 high school students and St. Louis folks to the annual vigil and protest held by the School of the Americas Watch in Fort Benning, GA. The event included small-group breakout sessions, workshops, music, puppets, speakers, and personal testimonies. SOA/WHINSEC is notorious for producing some of the most atrocious human rights violators in history, and the weekend closed with a vigil commemorating the victims.
On November 19, more than 70 people came to a panel hosted by IFCLA at Washington University to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership. TPP is the most significant US trade pact in the last decade and would include 40% of the global economy in the policy.
Representatives from Missouri Coalition for the Environment, Communication Workers of America, Washington University, and IFCLA spoke about the effects that the passage of the TPP would have on labor rights, the environment, food regulation, national sovereignty, and democracy.
This weekend, Nov. 22-24, IFCLA is taking a delegation of 40 people from St. Louis to the annual School of the Americas protest in Fort Benning, Georgia.
The Western Hemisphere Institute of Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), formerly called the School of the Americas (SOA) is a United States army combat school that trains Latin American soldiers. Graduates of this school have been responsible for some of the most atrocious human rights violations in history, and their training is paid for by U.S. tax dollars.
IFCLA and St. Louis are joining the thousands of voices speaking out in the effort to close the SOA/WHINSEC.
In spite of the cold and rainy weather, about 30 people came to the rally at Wendy’s in support of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers!
Students, faith leaders, fast food workers and concerned community members joined Fair Food St. Louis and the Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America to show Wendy’s that as consumers, we don’t support the way they are doing business. St. Louis does not care care for Wendy’s old-fashioned exploitation.
At the action, armed with banners, braids, and buttons, we took to the sidewalk with a picket line. Allies spoke about why this issue is important for all consumers, not just farmworkers or people living in Florida. A delegation went into the Wendy’s restaurant to speak with the management and deliver a letter explaining the issue. The manager refused to take the letter, citing that they had been told not to accept any literature from protestors. They were uninterested in hearing what the group had to say about unjust labor in the fields of Immokalee and how Wendy’s purchasing practices support those conditions.
The action itself may have had a relatively small turnout, but our demand of justice for farmworkers reached the rest of St. Louis City and surrounding areas thanks to press coverage by KMOX.
Despite being found guilty for genocide and crimes against humanity — a verdict hailed around the world as striking a decisive blow against the impunity of elites in Guatemala — former dictator José Efraín Ríos Montt appears likely to live out his days in the comfort of his home.
Ríos Montt’s conviction in May was a watershed for human rights law. It was the first time a former head of state was convicted of genocide in a national court. The short-lived celebration, however, was extinguished 10 days later when Guatemala’s Constitutional Court annulled the verdict.
Two recent developments in the case’s protracted legal maneuvering cast further doubt on Guatemala’s political will to reconcile with its bloody past. Originally scheduled to resume in April 2014, the trial was postponed again until January 2015, due allegedly to the court’s busy docket. Survivors and their attorneys, who continue to weather threats and harassment, are determined to push forward, but delay will strain their emotional and financial resources. In late October, the Constitutional Court directed the lower court to reconsider its prior holding that the country’s amnesty law did not bar Ríos Montt’s prosecution.
Author: Lauren Carasik
Dear Social Justice Community,
As you may know, the Catholic community across the nation is still working to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform in Congress this Session. This Wednesday, November 13th, in honor of the Feast Day of St. Frances Cabrini, Patron Saint of Immigrants, Justice for Immigrants is asking all Catholics to participate in their National Call-In Day to Congress.
The toll-free number is 1-855-589-5698. When you call, you will be asked to enter your zip code using your phone’s keypad, and then you will be connected to your Representative’s DC Office. The message you should deliver is short and simple: “Please support a pathway to citizenship and oppose the SAFE Act.” Since January, Catholics have sent over 65,000 Justice for Immigrants postcards to Congress; we could have just as many phone calls in this one day! Please pass this along as you see appropriate.
Additionally, the Missouri Association for Social Welfare is hosting an Immigration Forum this Friday, November 15th from noon-2 p.m. Naomi Carranza, who is a student at Notre Dame high school and a DREAMer, is an especially powerful speaker! Here is all of the information:
Immigration Reform: What, Why and How
Path to Citizenship * Family Reunification * Workers * DREAMERs
Naomi Carranza: DREAMer Student at Notre Dame High School
Vanessa Crawford-Aragon: MO Immigrant and Refugee Advocates
Virginia Nesmith: Former ED of National Farm Worker Ministry
Ken Schmitt: Immigration Attorney, US Legal Solutions
When: Friday, November 15, 2013 @ 12:00p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Where: The Highlands Golf Course inside Forest Park
5163 Clayton Avenue inside Forest Park, St. Louis, MO 63110
(Just down the road from the entrance to the Planetarium)
The Forum is Free
Lunch Buffet available for $10.00
Free CEH’s are available for Licensed Clinical Social Workers