With nearly five million Colombians forcibly displaced from their homes by a debilitating war, Colombia is now the second worst internal displacement crisis in the world. Between now and April, tens of thousands across the U.S. and Colombia will participate in this year’s Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia to call for a much-needed shift in U.S. policies toward the war-torn country. Please join us.
In March, hundreds of universities, faith communities, and organizations will assemble thousands of printed faces of Colombia’s displaced people to be later displayed in poignant, eye-catching displays. Each face will be literally framed by our message to President Obama. While the faces make awareness-raising appearances in numerous cities in April, congregations across the country will pray for peace in Colombia-focused worship services. After April, all the faces will be sent to Washington, D.C. for one final, massive display and to be presented in person to representatives of the Obama Administration.
3 ways that you can get involved
On Monday, April 20 people in a half-dozen cities across the US will creatively and publicly present 4000 paper cut-out dolls, each one representing 1000 of Colombia's four million displaced people, to governmental representatives. These symbolic actions, intended to raise the profile of Colombia's crisis, will take place in New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
To participate in this colorful grassroots mobilization, to stand up and speak out against the daily displacement of thousands of Colombians, and to urge our leaders to chart a new policy towards Colombia, we encourage you to:
Silences, Stories and Solidarities: Building Justice Across Borders with Colombia
Thursday, Sept. 25th @ 6:30pm
Make Out Room, 3225 22nd St, San Francisco
On Sunday October 19 at 8 a.m. Adriana Usuga, currently a resident of San Francisco and originally from Medellin, Colombia swam the 4th annual Treasure Island to YMCA Bay Bridge open water swim. She raised $1,000 to support the Peace Community of San Jose de Apartado and the Fellowship of Reconciliation's Colombia Program. She completed her swim in one hour and 15 minutes - yea Adriana!
Thanks so much to Adriana, to her sponsors, and to Salesforce.com, who matched the pledges of individual sponsors for $500.
Unanimous City Council Resolution to Put Military Money into Drug Treatment
By Liza Smith
After hours of waiting in the hot Santa Cruz, California city council room, listening to the impassioned arguments in favor and against off-leash dog use at a nearby beach; and seeing a lengthy power point presentation on the plans for a new building in downtown Santa Cruz, we were losing our steam.
It seemed likely that our resolution, requesting that all US military aid to Colombia be re-directed to domestic drug prevention and rehabilitation programs, wouldn’t be considered until after 7pm when the council members returned from their evening recess. Fortunately Santa Cruz Mayor Ryan Coonerty noticed that we had been patiently waiting all afternoon (thankfully we had all brought work with us: the UC Santa Cruz Colombia research cluster grad students were grading papers while others worked on their laptops) and pushed our agenda item to the top of the list before the break. At 6pm, life-long activist Bert Muhly from 3 Americas took the floor.
Friday, May 23rd, 2008
Eastside Cultural Center
2277 International Blvd. Oakland
Enjoy an energizing evening of spoken word, dance, music and community building
— Kick off the BAY-Peace Youth Manifesto Campaign
against aggressive military recruiting in our schools
— Interactive report back from the FOR Youth Arts and Action
Delegation to Colombia
— Silkscreen Workshop--Bring your own T-shirt to silkscreen
or buy one at the event
$8-20 donation requested
Free for youth, no one turned away for lack of funds,
The protest against the FARC February 4 was impressive, no doubt. Considering the fact that the government gave public employees the day off and cut the school schedule in half, it is not surprising that so many people were able to make their "no more FARC" voices heard. Days before the protest, human rights organizations in Colombia issued comuniques to their networks encouraging them not to participate in any kind of counter-protest; some held a mass instead.
Here in San Francisco about 300 people mobilized: many wore the official t-shirt, held Colombian flags and roses were distributed to all. The protesters listened to speakers and marched around Civic Center square a number of times.