VFP enthusiastically supports this year's theme "Dismantle Border Imperialism! Struggle, Create, Power to the People!" Please join us, November 16-18, and many other peace and justice groups on the border.
SOAW strives to expose, denounce, and end US militarization, oppressive US policies and other forms of state violence in the Americas. Often these Latin American political and economic policies are directly linked to forced displacement, increased violence, and militarized borders. And as we call attention to the militarization of the border and Latin America, we also call for an end to state-sponsored terrorism and violence against our communities inside the United States.
We stand with organizations and movements working for justice and peace throughout the Americas. There is no wall or border that can deter the solidarity of the people!
Demands of the Encuentro:
- An end to US economic, military and political intervention in Latin America, and the closure of SOA/WHINSEC
- An end to Plan Merida and the Alliance for Prosperity
- Demilitarization and divestment of borders
- An end to the racist systems of oppression that criminalize and kill migrants, refugees and communities of color
- Respect, dignity, justice and the right to self-determination of communities
Thursday, November 15
In order to turn demands into concrete actions, a pre-Encuentro Training Day to Stop US Weapons to Mexico will occur the day before, on November 15th.
Plan Merida and the Alliance for Prosperity are both US policies that seek to further militarize Mexico and the northern region of Central America respectively, to purportedly confront the so-called Drug War, and contain mass displacement from the region, but instead have led to more human rights violations. The legal and illegal US gun trade is devastating migrants in Mexico who are fleeing US-supported drug wars in Central America and Mexican communities, who are experiencing more gun homicides this year than ever. SOA Watch has partnered with the Stop US Arms to Mexico project of Global Exchange to build a movement to end the US-Mexico Merida Initiative and weapons trade.
A day of skill-building and to meet other amazing activists from Mexico and the United States, to stop the deadly gun trade from the United States to Mexico. This training will build on understanding of human rights and arms, and our capacity for media, advocacy, research, cross-border activism, and more. The all-day training will take place in Nogales, Arizona, at the Hotel Americana from 9am to 6pm. There is no fee to participate, but you must pre-register to join. We will continue to build momentum by exposing Milkor USA, a weapons producer in Tucson, Arizona. Milkor USA exports grenade launchers to the Mexican Army special forces.
VFP enthusiastically supports this year's theme "Dismantle Border Imperialism! Struggle, Create, Power to the People! ." Please join us, and many other peace and justice groups on the border.
If you haven't already registered, please do so now!
To make our collective voice as powerful as possible we hope that you would consider becoming an endorser of the Border Encuentro.
VFP Chapters and Members - Please endorse this year's Border Encuentro
For questions, please contact Mike Tork at firstname.lastname@example.org
VFP will be organizing, but not leading, the walk to the border this year. We will gather outside the Hotel Americana at 0700, stepping off promptly at 0730.
Why We Walk
This year Veterans will walk to the border as a show of solidarity with our brother and sister migrants who have embarked on a long and perilous journey, with an uncertain outcome. We recognize, and denounce, the U.S. meddling and intervention in Latin America that has caused this forced migration by destabilizing the area so much that people fear for their lives, and the lives of their families. We recognize, and denounce, the racist polices that marginalize our fellow human beings. And we recognize that border imperialism reaches far beyond the actual borders.
Please join the walk to the border. Struggle, Create, Power to the People! Dismantle Border Imperialism!
We offer the following for our migrant brothers and sisters:
"Loving Creator, full of love and mercy, I want to ask you for my Migrant brothers and sisters. Have pity on them and protect them, as they suffer mistreatments and humiliations on their journeys, are labeled as dangerous, and marginalized for being foreigners. Make them be respected and valued for their dignity. Touch with Your goodness the many that see them pass. Care for their families until they return to their homes, not with broken hearts but rather with hopes fulfilled. Let it be."
~ Prayer for the Migrant