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March 31, 2021
Six scholars, activists, and community members will facilitate an informal discussion based on three guiding questions focusing on contemporary and historical examples of resistance as well as how individuals conceptualize their own acts of resistance. The facilitators will post 5-7 minute reflections to the guiding questions prior to the event and we invite all interested participants and community members to submit reflections for archiving at EngagedScholarship at Cleveland State University. There are often limited archival records of individuals reflecting on their roles in acts of resistance. This event will bring these experiences and reflections to the forefront, creating a repository around the critical question of what it means to be an activist from individual perspectives rather than the labels applied by historians and other scholars, often after the events have occurred. Furthermore, this repository will serve as an archival record of the Memory and Resistance Coalition year for use by educators, activists, students and community members.
IRTF Social Justice Teach-In -- Memoria y Resistencia: Reflections on Self-Identity and Communal Legacy
March 27, 2021
This year's theme is Memoria y Resistencia: Reflections on Self-Identity and Communal Legacy. After the keynote, all participants will be invited to attend our three panels: (1) How I See Myself, (2) How I See The World, and (3) How The World Sees Me. Half-hour breakout groups in between the panels will give participants the opportunity to share and reflect on what they’ve just heard in a small group setting with a trained facilitator. Our keynote speaker is Dr. Shemariah Arki, founder and program director for the Ellipsis Institute for Women of Color in the Academy; she will also facilitate the panels. IRTF is grateful to our collaboration partners who are co-organizers of the event: CWRU Social Justice Institute, Ellipsis Institute for Women of Color in the Academy, and Sankofa Circle International. Students can attend for free. Others are asked to donate $5.
Right-wing Central American leaders praise neoliberal ‘Biden Plan’ to strengthen US ‘sphere of influence’
March 8, 2021
Right-wing Central American politicians are applauding Plan Biden, a US strategy promising corporate investment in return for neoliberal reforms. They pledge to remain in the US “sphere of influence” and isolate China and Russia, while calling for regime change against Nicaragua’s leftist government.
April 8, 2021 to April 20, 2021
For the 45th Cleveland International Film Festival, IRTF is a community partner for the film Missing in Brooks County. This film documents the harsh conditions under which migrants are often forced to travel to get to the United States. Many of these migrants never make it to the U.S. and succomb to the perilous conditions of South Texas, leaving their families with many questions and tremendous heartbreak.
April 7, 2021
Join us for a conversation about reproductive rights activism across the Americas. With panelists from Colombia, El Salvador, Argentina, and Cleveland, this will be an opportunity for all participants to expand their global perspectives and build transnational solidarity.
The panelists include Cinthia Rodriguez from Citizen Coalition for the Decriminalization of Abortion in El Salvador, Kai Kyles from All Options in Cleveland, Ohio, Valeria Pedraza Benavides from Women's Link in Colombia, and Rocío Cruz Alverez from Mumalá Nacional in Argentina.
March 25, 2021
In Nicaragua, governmental recognition of land rights was the first step in tackling incursions by non-Indigenous settlers from western Nicaragua and the violent conflicts they sometimes produce. But because colonization of Indigenous territories has been taking place for decades, taking the next steps – delineation of the territories, dealing with illegal titles (primarily given under previous governments) and potentially removing settlers – is a complex process that involves delicate negotiation and agreement at the local level. Sadly but inevitably, the invasions by settlers have become another issue on which to attack Nicaragua’s Sandinista government. Also, Nicaragua briefs and updates are included.
March 22, 2021
A Honduran Indigenous activist who helped led a fight against the construction of a dam has been killed, authorities said Monday.
Aura Minerals/Minosa continues harmful mining operation in Honduras: Threats, Contaminations, Explosions & harms, Lead poisoning Supported by President Juan Orlando Hernandez's regime
March 16, 2021
The US-based mining company Aura Minerals has been cyanide-leaching, open-pit mining for years, and where it intends to mine the El Cementerio hill – local inhabitants are fully opposed to this. Threats, contaminations, explosions,lead poisoning have all resulted. This mining project is supported by President Juan Orlando Hernandez's regime
Guatemala: 39th anniversary of Rio Negro massacres, carried out by the US-backed genocidal military regimes
March 13, 2021
39th anniversary of Rio Negro massacres in Guatemala, carried out by the US-backed genocidal military regimes on behalf of the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Banks’s Chixoy hydro-electric dam project. Some 450 people were killed outright. Villagers were killed by machete blows, gang-rapes and beatings, being strangled, small children beaten against rocks, and shot. Thereafter, massacre survivors perished in the surrounding mountains due to hunger and disease, after the final Rio Negro/Chixoy dam massacre in the village of Agua Fria, on September 14, 1982. This slaughter of Rio Negro villagers served as the Chixoy dam project’s “relocation” of the villagers to make way for the filling of the dam flood basin. In total, over 30 Mayan communities were forcibly evicted in whole or part, up and down river from the Chixoy dam wall. No community suffered more than Rio Negro. To this day, neither the World Bank or IDB have accepted any responsibility for Chixoy dam massacres and other deaths, the forced evictions and widespread loss of land, property and livelihood.
March 13, 2021
We wrote to officials in Colombia because of our concern for the safety of church leaders who are speaking out against armed violence. We are especially concerned that Bishop Ruben Dario Jaramillo, the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca Department, is receiving death threats. The bishop told a radio journalist on March 3 that he received a death threat via WhatsApp and was warned he could become the victim of a bomb attack. We are concerned that paramilitary organizations are succeeding in seizing control over several districts of Buenaventura because the local security forces are complicit in allowing them to do so. The paramilitary groups are trying to impose their control in the city through fear, various extortionist tactics, and advertising what they call a “social cleansing” in the city. In the process, they are forcibly recruiting youth. The ongoing violence in Buenaventura is a clear example of how impunity for paramilitary actors threatens the true possibility of peace.