MidWest Whirlwind!

Gustavo visiting the MEChA Madison office

Gustavo visiting the MEChA Madison office

The Teaching Rebellion Tour touched down in Minneapolis on October 31st and has been running non-stop ever since.  West Coast veteran Melissa Mundt has returned to Arizona for a well-deserved rest, and I (Rachel Wallis) have taken over facilitation and coordination for the remainder of the MidWest tour dates. Check out below for a recap of the last couple of days!

In Minneapolis the tour met with activists and community members at the Resource Center of the Americas, May Day Books, and the University of Minnesota Law School, where international fellows from Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America were able to share their own experiences in their home countries with Gustavo.

We also had the privelege of attending an event in memory of Marcela Sali Grace Eiler, an activist brutally murdered in Oaxaca this year, and share with her friends a little more about the context of her work in Oaxaca.  Her friends have collected these photos and memories in a online memorial, if you’d like to know more about her life and work.

In Milwaukee we stopped off at Broad Vocabulary Bookstore, where an energized crowd of teachers, activists, and community radio organizers engaged in a spirited discussion about organizing in the US and Latin America.

Gustavo, Rachel and Simon on WORT

Gustavo, Rachel and Simon on WORT

After fixing a flat tire, we were off again, this time to Madison, where we met up with friend and filmmaker Simon Sedillo of El Enemigo Comun.  In Madison we met with Chicano activists from MEChA, had an interview with Simon on the local community radio station WORT.

kathy-and-hardy-small

Our hosts from Community Action on Latin America managed to organize a fantastic event, even though it was election night! We were joined by Simon and Kathy and Hardy Will, Brad Will’s parents.  With such an all star cast, we had a fascinating discussion about the movement in Oaxaca, the ongoing impunity in Brad’s case, and the links between US economic and military intervention in Latin America.  And then of course we went out to celebrate the new president-elect!

4 responses to “MidWest Whirlwind!

  1. Awesome. please sign up for our December 10th day to stop plan mexico!

    Contents:
    #1: Action to Stop Plan Mexico
    #2: Plan Colombia a Failure: US Congress Report

    #1 Action to Stop Plan Mexico:
    Now that Obama has won, and called for all of us to take more responsibility
    in our politics and government in his speech last night, will you join me in doing just that by taking part in this action?

    After our successful 4 day hunger strike in front of her office , we need you
    to

    Please CALL on your PHONE Senator Hillary Clinton at:

    ********* 212 688-6262

    (Use the talking points from your email to her below.)
    ********
    AND also email her with this very easy weblink:

    http://clinton.senate.gov/contact/webform.cfm?subj=issue

    Cut and Paste this below for the “Your Message” section, and/or add your own
    words! Yes We Can!

    “””>
    The cover-up of US reporter Brad Will’s murder has been news for the last
    several weeks, since the Mexican govt.’s National Commission for Human
    Rights denounced the Mexican state and federal investigations
    .

    Given that Brad was based in USA, our organization, Friends of Brad Will,
    is asking for Congress to take a public stand in demanding a hold on the
    moneys appropriated as part of Bush’s Merida Initiative (aka Plan Mexico).
    We’d like you to send a letter to Secretary of State Rice and the relevant Congressional
    Committee Chairs urging that

    i. allocation of funds appropriated in 2008 BE HELD UP because of the
    blatant cover up of the murder of u.s. journalist Brad Will;

    ii. more taxpayer funds NOT be provided (i.e. no new rounds of Merida
    Initiative funding);

    iii. all political prisoners in Mexico – including those activists wrongly
    charged with Brad Will’s murder – be released and accountability for the
    killing of Brad Will precede any future consideration of spending U.S.
    taxpayer funds on lethal aid.

    Please show your leadership on this important issue and reply in writing
    about know how are working to achieve justice for Brad Will and to
    stop the Merida Initiative.

    Yes we can bring more sensible policies to our politics. So, let’s start
    TODAY!!!!

    If you are already engaged, or were a first time voter and are excited about
    healing the violence of our country’s foreign policies, then contact your
    local Congressmember and Senator too.

    Let us know if you need help!

    Resources available at:

    http://www.friendsofbradwill.org

    3 minute video of the issues:

    http://albertcovelli.com/BradWill/Brads_Will_Vigil.mov

    *****SAVE THE DATE
    DECEMBER 10th, 2008
    International Human Rights Day to Stop the Merida Initiative.
    Volunteer to lobby rally, meet, forum or create an event in your local
    community. Our goal is an event in 100 Congressional Districts!
    We need local volunteers across the country!
    Email h.bubbins((AT))gmail(DOT))com

    #2: Plan Colombia A Failure says US Congress

    Advocates call for End to Plan Colombia and the Merida Initiative

    Contact: Harry Bubbins 646 641 5788 h.bubbins@gmail.com Friends of Brad Will
    Robert Jereski 212 973 1782 mutualaid@earthlinknet Friends of Brad Will
    http://www.friendsofbradwill.org

    The $6 billion US military aid plan for Colombia has failed to reach its target of halving drug production, a Congressional report says.

    In fact, despite record aerial eradication, coca cultivation in Colombia rose, the report says.

    In addition, the violence fueled by US military aid has led to the internal displacement of over 3 million people. And Colombian government officials continue to be implicated in human rights violations, including murders of innocent Colombians then labeled as “left-wing” fighters with the opposition FARC movement.

    In addition, human rights organizations have documented more than 500 reported extrajudicial killings by the army since the beginning of last year.

    “We have said all along that Plan Colombia was no model on which to base further policy proposals like the Merida Initiative.” said Harry Bubbins, Communications Coordinator for Friends of Brad Will, the international organization working for accountability of the US reporter murdered in Oaxaca, Mexico in 2006.

    Friends of Brad Will echoed recommendations to president elect Obama made by Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance when he suggested that we …”stop throwing taxpayer money down the drain on international drug control programs that can have no impact on drug problems within the United States.” (http://www.alternet.org/story/106106/)

    Rights violations

    The report was requested by Vice-president elect Joe Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, and was prepared by the General Accounting Office and recommends cutting the aid.

    US aid for Colombia amounted to around $650m in 2007.

    President-elect Barack Obama expressed concern over human rights violations in Colombia, especially the murder of labor activists and leaders by forces aligned with the government.

    “This is another step towards a more sensible US foreign policy and an end to the counter-productive drug war.” stated Harry Bubbins. “We have been calling on Congress to halt the Merida Initiative funding, aka “Plan Mexico”, because of human rights violations and the unresolved murder of US reporter Brad Will. This report should be the final nail on the coffin of these failed approaches.”

    More information at: http://www.friendsofbradwill.org

  2. Awesome. Join us for the december 10th actions to stop plan mexico!
    Contents:
    #1: Action to Stop Plan Mexico
    #2: Plan Colombia a Failure: US Congress Report

    #1 Action to Stop Plan Mexico:
    Now that Obama has won, and called for all of us to take more responsibility
    in our politics and government in his speech last night, will you join me in doing just that by taking part in this action?

    After our successful 4 day hunger strike in front of her office , we need you
    to

    Please CALL on your PHONE Senator Hillary Clinton at:

    ********* 212 688-6262

    (Use the talking points from your email to her below.)
    ********
    AND also email her with this very easy weblink:

    http://clinton.senate.gov/contact/webform.cfm?subj=issue

    Cut and Paste this below for the “Your Message” section, and/or add your own
    words! Yes We Can!

    “””>
    The cover-up of US reporter Brad Will’s murder has been news for the last
    several weeks, since the Mexican govt.’s National Commission for Human
    Rights denounced the Mexican state and federal investigations
    .

    Given that Brad was based in USA, our organization, Friends of Brad Will,
    is asking for Congress to take a public stand in demanding a hold on the
    moneys appropriated as part of Bush’s Merida Initiative (aka Plan Mexico).
    We’d like you to send a letter to Secretary of State Rice and the relevant Congressional
    Committee Chairs urging that

    i. allocation of funds appropriated in 2008 BE HELD UP because of the
    blatant cover up of the murder of u.s. journalist Brad Will;

    ii. more taxpayer funds NOT be provided (i.e. no new rounds of Merida
    Initiative funding);

    iii. all political prisoners in Mexico – including those activists wrongly
    charged with Brad Will’s murder – be released and accountability for the
    killing of Brad Will precede any future consideration of spending U.S.
    taxpayer funds on lethal aid.

    Please show your leadership on this important issue and reply in writing
    about know how are working to achieve justice for Brad Will and to
    stop the Merida Initiative.

    Yes we can bring more sensible policies to our politics. So, let’s start
    TODAY!!!!

    If you are already engaged, or were a first time voter and are excited about
    healing the violence of our country’s foreign policies, then contact your
    local Congressmember and Senator too.

    Let us know if you need help!

    Resources available at:

    http://www.friendsofbradwill.org

    3 minute video of the issues:

    http://albertcovelli.com/BradWill/Brads_Will_Vigil.mov

    *****SAVE THE DATE
    DECEMBER 10th, 2008
    International Human Rights Day to Stop the Merida Initiative.
    Volunteer to lobby rally, meet, forum or create an event in your local
    community. Our goal is an event in 100 Congressional Districts!
    We need local volunteers across the country!
    Email h.bubbins((AT))gmail(DOT))com

    #2: Plan Colombia A Failure says US Congress

    Advocates call for End to Plan Colombia and the Merida Initiative

    Contact: Harry Bubbins 646 641 5788 h.bubbins@gmail.com Friends of Brad Will
    Robert Jereski 212 973 1782 mutualaid@earthlinknet Friends of Brad Will
    http://www.friendsofbradwill.org

    The $6 billion US military aid plan for Colombia has failed to reach its target of halving drug production, a Congressional report says.

    In fact, despite record aerial eradication, coca cultivation in Colombia rose, the report says.

    In addition, the violence fueled by US military aid has led to the internal displacement of over 3 million people. And Colombian government officials continue to be implicated in human rights violations, including murders of innocent Colombians then labeled as “left-wing” fighters with the opposition FARC movement.

    In addition, human rights organizations have documented more than 500 reported extrajudicial killings by the army since the beginning of last year.

    “We have said all along that Plan Colombia was no model on which to base further policy proposals like the Merida Initiative.” said Harry Bubbins, Communications Coordinator for Friends of Brad Will, the international organization working for accountability of the US reporter murdered in Oaxaca, Mexico in 2006.

    Friends of Brad Will echoed recommendations to president elect Obama made by Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance when he suggested that we …”stop throwing taxpayer money down the drain on international drug control programs that can have no impact on drug problems within the United States.” (http://www.alternet.org/story/106106/)

    Rights violations

    The report was requested by Vice-president elect Joe Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, and was prepared by the General Accounting Office and recommends cutting the aid.

    US aid for Colombia amounted to around $650m in 2007.

    President-elect Barack Obama expressed concern over human rights violations in Colombia, especially the murder of labor activists and leaders by forces aligned with the government.

    “This is another step towards a more sensible US foreign policy and an end to the counter-productive drug war.” stated Harry Bubbins. “We have been calling on Congress to halt the Merida Initiative funding, aka “Plan Mexico”, because of human rights violations and the unresolved murder of US reporter Brad Will. This report should be the final nail on the coffin of these failed approaches.”

    More information at: http://www.friendsofbradwill.org

  3. Now that Obama has won, and called for all of us to take more responsibility in our politics and government in his speech last night, this email asks that you do just that!

    After our successful 4 day hunger strike in front of her office, we need you to

    Please CALL on your PHONE Senator Hillary Clinton at:

    ********* 212 688-6262

    (Use the talking points from your email to her below.)
    ********
    AND also email her with this very easy weblink:

    http://clinton.senate.gov/contact/webform.cfm?subj=issue

    Cut and Paste this below for the “Your Message” section, and/or add your own words! Yes We Can!

    “””>
    The cover-up of US reporter Brad Will’s murder has been news for the last several weeks, since the Mexican govt.’s National Commission for Human Rights denounced the Mexican state and federal investigations
    .

    Given that Brad was based in USA, our organization, Friends of Brad Will, is asking for Congress to take a public stand in demanding a hold on the moneys appropriated as part of Bush’s Merida Initiative (aka Plan Mexico).
    We’d like a letter to Secretary of State Rice and the relevant Congressional
    Committee Chairs urging that

    i. allocation of funds appropriated in 2008 BE HELD UP because of the blatant cover up of the murder of u.s. journalist Brad Will;

    ii. more taxpayer funds NOT be provided (i.e. no new rounds of Merida
    Initiative funding);

    iii. all political prisoners in Mexico – including those activists wrongly
    charged with Brad Will’s murder – be released and accountability for the
    killing of Brad Will precede any future consideration of spending U.S.
    taxpayer funds on lethal aid.

    Please show your leadership on this important issue and reply in writing about know how I can help you with this effort to achieve justice for Brad Will and to stop the Merida Initiative.”””

    Yes we can bring more sensible policies to our politics. So, let’s start TODAY!!!!

    If you are already engaged, or were a first time voter and are excited about healing the violence of our country’s foreign policies, then contact your local Congressmember and Senator too. Let us know if you need help!

    Resources available at:

    http://www.friendsofbradwill.org

    3 minute video of the issues:

    http://albertcovelli.com/BradWill/Brads_Will_Vigil.mov

    *****SAVE THE DATE
    DECEMBER 10th, 2008
    International Human Rights Day to Stop the Merida Initiative.
    Volunteer to lobby rally, meet, forum or create an event in your local community. Our goal is an event in 100 Congressional Districts!
    We need local volunteers across the country!
    Email h.bubbins((AT))gmail(DOT))com

  4. and nice Huichol bracelet!

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