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- Memory & Resistance Coalition
October 20, 2020 to November 30, 2020
The spirit of IRTF’s 40th anniversary theme, Memory and Resistance, is seen and felt in the juried artwork expressing contemporary justice issues of our time. The artwork honors the memories of past and present advocates on whose shoulders we have stood and who inspire us to envision a world of peace and dignity for all. Inspired by the martyrdom of Cleveland women Jean Donovan and Sister Dorothy Kazel in El Salvador in 1980, we will highlight, celebrate, and commemorate our collective legacies of resistance with a series of Memory and Resistance programming over the next year.
October 8, 2020 to November 8, 2020
NEEDED: Calls to Congress to Protect TPS Holders. An investigation by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations shows that the Trump administration decided to cancel TPS based solely on political reasons, ignoring the State Department’s recommendations and showing no regard for the lives of the many TPS beneficiaries. The Trump administration is in the process of dismantling TPS and DACA protections. Nearly 400,000 people with TPS protection and one million DACA recipients are at risk of being separated from their families and forcibly removed from the United States. Many have been here for decades. Not only will communities and families be destabilized and harmed, but many DACA and TPS holders are essential workers, battling Covid-19 on the frontlines, will lose their jobs, and the United States’ economy will lose millions of dollars in tax revenues. Congress must put a stop the Trump’s administration xenophobic agenda. Join allies from throughout the country and call on Congress to take action and give protection to TPS and DACA holders before the end of 2020. [Thank you to our friends at CRLN (Chicago Religious Leadership on Latin America) for this alert. ]
October 22, 2020
We continue to organize our communities in support and defense of immigrants, especially those in vulnerable situations. Connect with Immigration Working Group CLE, a collaborative of community advocates and organizations across NE Ohio. Ask about the group’s Immigrant Defense Fund, Rapid Response Team, Bond Reduction Project, volunteer needs, legislative advocacy, vigils, rallies, marches, and more. Contact email@example.com or see www.facebook.com/iwgCLE
October 21, 2020
Becca Mollay-Renk works with the Center for Development in Central America in Ciudad Sandino, Nicaragua. When she got a headache that wouldn’t go away, her condition (and fears) put her right inside the debate over Nicaragua’s response to COVID-19. Despite being the poorest country in the region, since the coronavirus pandemic hit Central America earlier this year, Nicaragua has consistently had fewer cases, fewer deaths and more successful recoveries per capita than any other country in the isthmus.
October 12, 2020
A group of armed men arrived at the Garífuna community of Vallecito, whose residents have been victim to harassment, intimidation and threats over their land for many years. Attempts at forcible seizure of their territory (sometimes successful) has come from drug traffickers and African palm growers. In recent years, private investors (including many from the US and Europe) have been looking at Vallecito and other Garífuna communities on the Atlantic Coast to build their Model Cities, which was authorized under the ZEDE (Economic Development Zone) legislation passed in 2013. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has criticized the government of Honduras for not adhering to its mandates to protect Garífuna ancestral lands and adequately investigate the murders of Garífuna community leaders. As recently as May 2019, the Court acknowledged that Garífuna community members are still experiencing "direct death threats," "blackmail, increased robbery," and "profiling of leaders."
Second Military Style Raid in Two Months: Border Patrol detains 12 people receiving humanitarian aid
October 6, 2020
In a massive show of armed force, Border Patrol, along with the Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC), descended on the camp with an armored tank, ATVS, a helicopter, and many marked and unmarked vehicles. Agents armed with assault rifles chased and terrorized those that were receiving care, all while the helicopter hovered low above them kicking up dust and debris, making it nearly impossible to see. Border patrol smashed windows, broke doors, and destroyed essential camp infrastructure as well as supplies.This was after heavily surveilling the camp and patrolling its perimeter, creating an antagonistic and distressing environment for those receiving care, since late Saturday night on the 3rd.
October 6, 2020
“Every day that passes we know less about him. He’s weak, he’s had Covid symptoms; we worry about his health and safety in the prison.” Gabriela Sorto expresses great concern for her father Porfirio Sorto Cedillo, a 48-year-old builder and farm worker, who is one of eight protesters from Guapinol held in pre-trial detention since September 2019 for alleged crimes linked to their opposition to an iron oxide mine which threatens to contaminate their water supply. The community of Guapinol (named for its river) is in the fertile, mineral-rich Bajo Agua region, where for years subsistence farmers and indigenous Hondurans have been forcibly displaced, criminalized and killed in conflicts with powerful conglomerates over land and water. “My dad has been jailed for defending a river which gives our community life, for trying to stop the exploitation of natural resources by rich companies who the government helps to terrorize us,” said Gabriela Sorto.
October 5, 2020
The ZEDEs (Zonas de Empleo y Desarrollo) -- also known as "model cities" -- continue stirring up controversy on the pages of the daily newspapers and on the streets of Honduras in the form of organized resistance. Edmundo Orellano is the former foreign minister and former defense minister of Honduras. In this article published in La Tribuna, he describes the ZEDEs this way: "We are handing over the territory and sovereignty, displacing the population and stripping it of its real estate, to establish small States ['model cities"] in a territory that will no longer be ours, populated by foreigners, that are like the ones that appear provoking the islanders in the video went viral on the networks, they will be, for the most part, louts."
October 5, 2020
A "model city?" According to Edmundo Orellano, the former foreign minister and former defense minister of Honduras: "We are handing over the territory and sovereignty, displacing the population and stripping it of its real estate, to establish small States ['model cities"] in a territory that will no longer be ours, populated by foreigners, that are like the ones that appear provoking the islanders in the video went viral on the networks, they will be, for the most part, louts." This article looks at local resistance on the island of Roatán to the model city (aka ZEDE, or Zona de Empleo y Desarrollo) called Próspera .
October 5, 2020
With little more than a year passed since President Nayib Bukele took office, one thing has become crystal clear: the country is still trying to resolve its different historical problems through repression. At the onset of the pandemic, the president publicly instructed the security forces to “be tougher” on those who did not comply with the quarantine, noting that he did not care about complaints of the authorities “bending wrists” or seizing vehicles. Over the last few months, armed soldiers have, for example, been deployed to perform tasks related to containing the virus. These images only served to remind us of the terrible years of the armed conflict. In addition to the deployment of security, police and military forces, there have been multiple allegations of excessive use of force and arbitrary arrests. According to official figures, more than 16,000 people were quarantined in state custody, including those accused of breaking the national lockdown and people returning from overseas.